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Ex-Egypt mufti says any moral police must be state-run

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Ex-Egypt mufti says any moral police must be state-run

Nasr Farid, the former mufti of Egypt  said that any future committee for the 'Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice' must be controlled by the authorities and not run by individuals.

In the wake of the Islamists’ recent emphatic triumphs in the parliamentary elections, vigilante moral police started to gradually emerge in parts of the country and made their presence felt through various Facebook pages.

Farid, who was the state official responsible for issuing religious edicts (fatwas) based on the Islamic Sharia law from 1996 to 2002 under deposed president Hosni Mubarak, said such an apparatus must branch from a ministry under the name of Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, similarly to Saudi Arabia.

“In Saudi Arabia, the jurisdiction and authority of their Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention is granted by the state,” he told Al-Hayat satellite TV on Friday.

Moral police in the Arabian kingdom enforce a strict version of the Sharia law (Wahabi Islam) and impose sanctions on natives who break it. For instance, they enforce a ban on alcohol consumption and a head-scarf dress code on all women.

In Egypt, emerging groups of moral police spearheaded by salafists have been following suit.

According to media reports, some salafists have warned some barbers not to shave men's beards in compliance with their version of the life and practices of the prophet Mohamed.

Farid also criticized Islamists who say liberalism as a political ideology is tantamount to atheism. He said, “those who say so have no idea what the word really means.”

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