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Middle East

Egypt moves to restrict Ramadan sermons

  • An Egyptian buys traditional Ramadan lantern marking the holy month of Ramadan at a market in the neighborhood of Sayyida Zeinab, Cairo, Egypt, Thursday, June 26, 2014. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)

CAIRO: Egypt will restrict Ramadan sermons to the topics of faith and morality, in the latest move aimed at limiting political speech in the deeply polarized country.

Religious Endowments Minister Mohammad Mokhtar Gomaa said Sunday the decision should ensure that sermons during Islam's holy month of fasting "unite people, not divide them."

The measure, announced on the first day of Ramadan, is the latest attempt by the state to control religious speech following last year's overthrow of Islamist President Mohammad Morsi. In recent months Egypt has banned Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood, which it considers a terrorist organization, and passed a new law restricting protests.

The ministry had already restricted preaching in mosques to state-authorized preachers.

 
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