The Muslim Issue

People perform Friday prayers led by Chairman of the International Union of Muslim Scholars Egyptian Cleric Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi at Al Azhar mosque in old CairoPeople perform Friday prayers led by Egyptian cleric Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi at Al Azhar Mosque in the old part of Cairo, Nov. 16, 2012. (photo by REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh).

by Rami Galal, Al-Monitor, March 3, 2015

Egypt closes 27,000 places of worship

An Egyptian administrative court on Feb. 18 upheld the Ministry of Religious Endowments’ decision issued in September 2013 to close down neighborhood places of worship of less than 80 square meters (861 square feet), a move intended to protect young people from the militancy and extremism that can prevail in such places, which lack the legal standing to hold Friday prayers.

The Egyptian Ministry of Religious Endowment has shuttered 27,000 local places of worship under the pretext of fighting terrorism, while awarding 400 preaching permits to Salafists.

This move sets a precedent that raises many questions about the fate of mosques in many Egyptian villages, the grounds of which are usually less than 80…

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