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Egyptian law seeks to control political speech at mosques

Egypt’s new Law of Oration has stirred conflicting opinions, as some consider it a government attempt to control religious discourse, while others argue it aims at limiting the use of religion for political reasons.
A man sleeps in front of a mosque on a street in Islamic Cairo May 19, 2014.  REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih(EGYPT - Tags: SOCIETY) - RTR3PW46

Enforcement of Egypt’s new Law of Oration, which regulates Friday sermons in mosques, shut down hundreds of small mosques with unlicensed imams in Egypt. Moreover, dozens of citations were issued against imams who took the pulpit in mosques without a permit.

The law stipulates that religious oration and lessons be limited to Al-Azhar graduates who hold a permit from the Ministry of Endowments. Any person violating the law will be imprisoned for up to one year or fined up to 50,000 Egyptian pounds ($7,000).

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