The Ministry of Endowments announced on Thursday that former deputy minister in the Endowments Ministry Salem Abdel Galil and Imam of Al-Sayeda Nafisa Mosque Abdullah Roushdy would not be allowed to lead Friday ceremonies or prayers and classes, according to a statement on Monday.
In its statement, the Ministry of Endowments denounced the remarks by Abdel Galil and Roushdy and described them as harming the national interest and contradicting what the ministry calls for, such as citizenship and freedom of religion and choice.
The endowments demoted Roushdy to an assistant researcher position in Cairo’s endowments, according to the statement.
The ministry called upon “national media outlets” not to discuss such sensitive issues in order to respect others’ beliefs and preserve the high interest of the nation.
“Abdullah Roushdy doesn’t have a PhD or even a Masters degree and neither is he a staff member at Al-Azhar University, while Salem Abdel Galil Abdel has resigned from his position in the Ministry of Endowments in 2014,” the statement read.
The statement comes following a controversy over prominent cleric and former deputy minister in the Minister of Religious Endowments Salem Abdel Galil, who faces accusations of contempt of religion after he claimed that Christians and Jews follow corrupt religions and are non-believers. The Imam of Al-Sayeda Nafisa Mosque, Abdullah Roushdy, was accused of “apostatizing” Christians during television interviews.
Roushdy denounced the decision and described it as an injustice against him. He said that he always asserted the importance of peaceful coexistence and does not understand the reasons for punishing him, especially as he was explaining Quranic verses.