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Religious leaders divided over proposal to add movie theaters to mosques

The head of an international association for Islamic preaching has proposed an initiative to annex theater halls to mosques in Egypt, stirring controversy among the country's religious institutions.
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CAIRO — In a press statement Aug. 16, the head of an international organization concerned with the quality of Islamic preaching proposed the idea of “mosque cinemas,” as they are known in the media. It seems that Othman Abdel Rahim did not expect his initiative to receive as much criticism as it has.

Rahim is secretary-general of the Global Association for Ensuring Quality and Assessing Performance of Islamic Preaching, or ITQAN, which is involved with the evaluation and development of religious discourse through the training of Islamic preachers and imams. Its headquarters is in Brussels, with branches in many countries, including Egypt. It is funded by the endowments ministries of several countries as well as the donations of Islamic associations.

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