Egypt bans 55,000 mosque preachers in crackdown on Islamists

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Around 55,000 unlicensed clerics in Egypt will be barred from preaching in mosques, the country’s minister of religious endowments said on Tuesday.

The move is the latest against supporters and sympathizers of deposed Islamist President Mohammad Mursi.

The minister, Mohammad Mokhtar Gomaa, said the clerics lack licenses to preach and are considered to be fundamentalist and a threat to Egypt's security, according to Reuters news agency.

"The decision is only meant to legalize the preaching process during Fridays' mass prayers and make only those authorized to do it, do it," Gomaa told Reuters.

Small unlicensed mosques or random praying areas will be targeted by the ban, in an attempt to spread a moderate message of Islam and keep Egyptians away from radical ideologies.

(With Reuters)

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