Egypt moves to restrict Ramadan sermons

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Cairo: Egypt will restrict Ramadan sermons to the topics of faith and morality, in the latest move aimed at limiting political speech in the deeply polarized country.

Religious Endowments Minister Mohammad Mokhtar Jomaa said Sunday the decision should ensure that sermons during the month of fasting “unite people, not divide them.”

The measure, announced on the first day of Ramadan, is the latest attempt by the state to control religious speech following last year’s overthrow of Islamist President Mohammad Mursi. In recent months Egypt has banned Mursi’s Muslim Brotherhood, which it considers a terrorist organisation, and passed a new law restricting protests.

The ministry had already restricted preaching in mosques to state-authorised clerics.

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