Imam Mohamed Ezzat has been suspended and is currently being investigated by the Ministry of Religious Endowments for talking about Essam El Hadary in a Friday sermon instead of the topic predetermined for him by authorities.
An Imam named Mohamed Ezzat has been suspended from his position and is currently being investigated by the Suez Religious Endowments Directorate for giving a Friday sermon in which he spoke at length about Egyptian goalkeeper Essam El Hadary, according to Daily News Egypt.
In his sermon, Ezzat was referring to the legendary athlete’s performance throughout the AFCON 2017 games and how young people should look up to him for motivation. The speech that landed Ezzat in hot water was made on February 3rd, two days after the football game between Egypt and Burkina Faso, which the former won due mainly to Hadary’s superhuman performance.
The Suez Religious Endowments Directorate said that Ezzat strayed from the predetermined topic of the sermon which was “chivalry, help, and the rescue of those in need,” as per Daily News Egypt.
A top Imam at the Ministry of Religious Endowments told the publication that Ezzat didn’t just mention Hadary, but rather discussed him throughout the entire sermon, which is what the country’s religious authorities take issue with. The official also said that Ezzat’s choice may encourage other imams to explore topics such as “movies and artists that may be considered taboo,” according to Daily News Egypt.
Earlier this year, the Ministry of Religious Endowments said that it would be outlining topics for Friday sermons for the next five years, and that the measure would be applicable nationwide.