Egypt’s Awqaf supports actress complaint over ‘screeching’ call to prayer

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The Egyptian Ministry of Awqaf (Religious Endowments) has supported an Egyptian actress’ complaint that the voices of some muezzins (those who call to prayer at mosques) sound like they are “screeching.”

Shereen Ridda’s comments have sparked outrage and controversy in the country.

During her interview with ONTV, the former wife to Egyptian popstar Amr Diab called for uniting Azan calls. According to Ridda, “some muezzins' voices make those who hear them stray away from religion.”

She urged that a government decision should be made and put into effect.

Remarks debated

Her remarks were heavily debated over various social media platforms. Some said she was right in her claims and was not exaggerating. Others opposed and criticized her, claiming she was tampering with religion and even demanded that she be interrogated and brought to court.

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Meanwhile, the head of the religious sector at the Egyptian Ministry of Awqaf, Jaber Tayei, responded to the situation making his support to the actress known.

During a televised interview, Tayei expressed the ministry’s understanding of Ridda’s statements. He also said that the ministry does not see her opinion on the Azan as a breach on Islam’s rulings – therefore expelling such claims made against her on social media.

Encourage religious duty

Tayei added that the ministry carefully selects muezzins in accordance with strict and precise criteria. This all aims to satisfy citizens and encourage them to perform their religious duties, he added.

He also commented on the call for the unification of the Azan (for it to be heard at the same time by the same recorded muezzin in mosques across the country).

Tayei said that the reason for delaying the move was because audio players were stolen from mosques after the January 25 revolution in 2011.