Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Women Preachers, a First for Egypt | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Children play in the yard of al-Azhar mosque while their families pray inside the mosque during the holy month of Ramadan in Cairo July 1, 2014. REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih

Cairo- Sheikh Jaber Tayei, head of religious department in the Egyptian Endowments Ministry General Bureau, said that the newly appointed women preachers will perform their tasks at the women oratories.

He added that two days per week will be allocated to giving lectures on women related topics.

Tayei told Asharq Al-Awsat that “144 preachers were appointed as a first step and there are more steps in the upcoming period to activate the women preaching work.”

Other sources from the Egyptian Endowments Ministry General Bureau said that this will contribute to renewing religious speech and spreading the right notions.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi expressed earlier his annoyance from the pace of reforming religious speech and called on the official religious authority to combat the mental roots of extremist groups.

Some observers said that appointing women preachers in the mosques in the current time falls under Sisi’s calls for renewing the religious speech, especially among females who are being exploited by extremist groups in the oratories in order to spread hatred in the community.

The Egyptian Endowments Ministry General Bureau stated that the preachers will begin lecturing in prominent mosques in March to correct the misconceptions on the level of Islamic jurisprudence.

Observers see that extremist groups will try to prevent the women preachers from outreaching the Egyptian community, especially in the oratories.

There are approximately nine Islamic centers affiliated to the Egyptian Endowments Ministry General Bureau that teach women to become preachers.

In Dec. 2015, the government decided to shut down similar institutions that have not complied with Al-Azhar methodology.

“The government was keen to implement the decision but some associations manipulated it,” according to reliable sources.