Popular Islamic preacher Mohamed Jibril faces risk of persecution under new anti-terror law after being blocked from leaving the country on Wednesday following his prayer ban on Tuesday, over what Egyptian authorities call a “political” sermon in which the preacher denounced oppression and “corrupt politicians” during the Ramadan “lailat al qadr” (night of power) prayers.
Jibril, who is an internationally renowned reciter of the Quran, has been banned from leading prayers and preaching by the Ministry of Religious Endowments after making congregational supplications in his sermon in which he denounces the oppressors in Egypt and the world.
The preacher asked for divine punishment in his supplication against those who “tyrannised, shed blood and orphaned children” without giving any names.
The Ministry of Endowments said the preacher was banned due to his “politically-charged” supplication during Ramadan prayers on Monday at the historic Amr ibn al As mosque, and added that the man is supporting “extremism.”
He was also accused of seeking “personal and political gain at the expense of religion.”
The ban was announced by the Minister of Religious Endowments, Mohamed Mukhtar Jum’a during a televised interview on Tuesday. He further demanded that no media stations broadcast Jibril.
The move came after President Abdel Fattah el Sisi demanded a “religious revolution” in Egypt on Tuesday, in a bid to curb “extremism” in the country.
“Oh God we ask you to protect us from corrupt media, and the obscurantism of rulers,” cried the preacher in his supplication that received enthusiastic Amens.
Sheikh Jibril was barred from travelling to London at Cairo Airport on Wednesday, according to Anadolu Agency.
The preacher will be reportedly charged under a new anti-terror law that is anticipated in the near-future.
The Egyptian government, with Sisi as president, has carried out a serious crackdown on religious and political figures who are affiliated or allegedly associated with the Muslim Brotherhood, or those who criticise Sisi’s motives, since the overthrow of Egypt’s first democratically elected president Mohamed Morsi in 2013.