Cairo (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Hundreds of moderate imams are protesting against the hegemony of the Muslim Brotherhood and the hegemony of Islamic mosques. The protest has been going on since yesterday in front of the Ministry of Religious Affairs (Ministry of donations). They accuse the Minister Talaat Afify of wanting to control the words and behavior of the imams, punishing and marginalizing those who deviate from purely Islamist thought.
The Ministry of donations or awfaq (religious offering), manages the allocation of funds to all the mosques, Islamic organizations engaged in helping the needy and the spread of Islam. The institution is an integral part of the government, it manages a total of 106 thousand religious structures, is responsible for the appointment of imams and verifies their behavior. Until now, the appointment was made in accordance with the Islamic University of Al-Azhar, but with the rise to power of Islamists that practice has stopped.
A few days ago Afify replaced some key officials of the ministry with members of his choice without any given reason. In a press release issued yesterday he justified his decision by saying that I "did not choose to become a minister, but was simply appointed and my actions are for the good of Islam and all the mosques." Afify also denounced the smear campaign launched by some religious authorities against the Muslim Brotherhood. However, for the imams, especially those closest to the moderate positions of al-Azhar, the minister is instead doing everything to politicize religious sites, concerned about the decline in support for the Islamist government, which is likely to lose the next election scheduled for July. The propaganda campaign has been running for months, and the ministry has already placed Salafi imams in different mosques in Cairo who became famous for their sermons in television and radio programs.