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Egypt's Salafists start offering marriage counseling

A Salafi association holding premarital courses strictly for girls is raising controversy in Egypt’s religious and legal circles.
An Egyptian Muslim girl reads the koran during an evening prayers called "Tarawih" on Laylat al-Qadr or Night of Decree, at Amr Ibn El-Aas mosque, the first and oldest mosque ever built on the land of Egypt, during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan in old Cairo, Egypt June 21, 2017. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh - RC1ECD154720
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CAIRO — Egyptians in general welcome premarital education for Muslim couples, in light of the country's high divorce rate. But courses offered strictly to young women by Salafi groups are raising controversy for their claims that women are solely responsible for their marriages' success or failure.

In a statement published July 20 in Egyptian newspapers, Salafi preacher Sameh Abdel Hamid called on the Egyptian government to entrust every authorized marriage officer to propose counseling courses to couples wishing to marry. But reactions were largely unfavorable to an ad distributed in the streets of Cairo for courses targeting only young women. The Qurrat Ayun (Joy of the Eye) association, which organized those courses, ended up canceling classes scheduled for Aug. 2-5. The group cited reasons “beyond its control.”

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