Egypt’s Parliamentary committee of religious affairs has approved a new draft law suggesting the limitation of issuing of Fatwas (religious edicts) to licensed clerics.
The approval came in light of efforts to combat radical clerics. The licensed clerics will be allowed to issue Fatwas unlike licensed preachers, who are only allowed to preach on Fridays prayers and give religious lessons.
Secretary General of the religious affairs committee Omar Hamroush drafted the five-article-law stipulating that only clerics and scholars affiliated with Al-Azhar, the largest Sunni Muslim institution, Ministry of Religious Endowments and Complex of Islamic Research will be the ones allowed to issue fatwas.
All the preachers and Imams will be allowed to proceed with their religious teachings. However, their statements will not be deemed as public fatwas, according to the drafts law.
The draft law further stipulates that only licensed cleric will be allowed to issue public fatwas in media outlets, including TV channels, radio, and newspapers. Violators could face up to six months in prison and pay a fine that ranges between EGP 5,000 and EGP 10,000.