Concerned about possible extremist tendencies, Saudi Arabia is trying to remove politics from the mosques. The Minister of Islamic Affairs, Saleh Al- Asheikh , has said imams who " politicize" sermons will not be allowed to continue to promote such attitudes .
" We have set up - he declared - a legal committee to advise
these imams. If they respond positively and follow the guidelines ,
they will be allowed to continue . If not, then we will say that they
are not suitable to preach".
"The use of political sermons divides the
community and creates hatred among people", instead preachers should
spread the word of Allah and "encourage people to worship".
minister's concern comes from the fact that traditionally the Friday
sermon addresses not only religious issues, but also issues of all
kinds, including those of custom and social questions, which are
borderline with political issues.
The minister added that he will
continue to monitor all the mosques and imams to ensure that no one
violates the rules, even if he did not hide the difficulty of following
all the existing 80 thousand mosques in the Kingdom.
The words of
Al- Asheikh , however , have not found unanimous support. Arab News
reports the reaction of a teacher who declares that "The mosque and
other platforms should be used for the benefit of people. Following
moderation is the best way. Efforts must be made to correct the wrong
impressions created by extremists" .
But the same newspaper also the
opinion of Fuad Kawther , a Saudi involved in the propagation of Islam,
according to who the minister's strategy contradicts the example of the
Prophet , as the mosque of Medina was the center of the Islamic state:
"Isolating Islam from different aspects of life will lead to