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Egypt's fake mosque problem

For years, Egypt’s Ministry of Religious Endowments has been weeding out dozens of fake mosques that employ thousands of salaried workers paid by the state to do nothing.
Muslim scholars attend a conference held by the Awqaf (Religious Affairs) Ministry headquarters in Cairo, May 25, 2015, to discuss the renewal of religious discourse, a proposal by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in hopes to confront the extremism that has swept the region in recent years. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany - RTX1EH37

CAIRO — The Egyptian Ministry of Religious Endowments is being plundered. The ministry has been fighting this controversial practice since 2012, when Talaat Afifi was appointed minister, with the discovery of a quarter billion Egyptian pounds ($31 million) in losses and 5,000 fake civil servants in these nonexistent mosques.

These establishments are vacant premises bearing the name of a mosque. No prayers or any religious rites are practiced in them; they are rather constructed to justify appointing salaried workers paid by the Ministry of Religious Endowments. In this context, 50 fake mosques were discovered on Sept. 27 in Minya governorate, each employing three salaried workers since 2009 in return for bribes.

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