Soldiers guard the supreme constitutional court in Cairo, June 7, 2014, where President-elect Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi will be sworn in Sunday. AP Photo/Amr Nabil
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Egypt has banned unauthorized preachers from giving sermons or teaching Islam in mosques and other public places, according to a decree Saturday marking a further step in official efforts to curb Islamist influence.The decree issued by interim President Adly Mansour's office also threatened fines and jail for freelance imams, especially if they wore clerical garments associated with the respected Al-Azhar center of Sunni learning in Cairo. The military-backed government sees mosques as recruiting grounds for Islamist parties and has moved to bring them under tighter control since the army toppled President Mohammad Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood last July.It said in April it had licensed more than 17,000 state-approved preachers to give Friday sermons to stop mosques from falling "into the hands of extremists".
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