Campaign to weed out illegal imams

Updated 22 August 2013

Campaign to weed out illegal imams

The Ministry of Islamic Affairs has launched a campaign through its field officers in provinces and governorates to detect and punish imams and muezzins who violate the rules and regulations of the ministry. The campaign primarily targets Saudi imams and muezzins who allow illegal expatriates to lead prayers.
Local media reported that the ministry’s Agency for Religious Endowments and Mosques called on all ministry directorates to launch inspection campaigns on all mosques to detain imams and muezzins who violate iqama regulations and punish them and punish those who allowed them to deputize for them in leading prayers. Anyone who has been deputizing as prayer leader should be called in for questioning.
Some muezzins and imams work in government jobs in cities and towns other than where they are employed. They appoint illegal expatriates to carry out their jobs, even though they are paid for the job.
Official sources in the general directorate for Religious Endowment and Mosques in Jeddah found out about expatriates deputizing for Saudi muezzins and imams in some Jeddah mosques. These practices are against the law. These inspection campaigns coincide with the status correction campaign for illegal expatriates.
The campaign aims to detain non-Saudi imams and muezzins, and make sure those who practice the profession are Saudis.
Director of Religious Endowment and Mosques in Jeddah Faheed bin Mohammad Al-Barq, however, denied the existence of foreign imams and muezzins in mosques. He said his directorate appointed a consultative subcommittee for mosques’ affairs to study reports about imams and muezzins, and make its recommendations. All those who are caught violating the regulations will be subjected to statuary punishments approved in the system of imams and muezzins by a royal decree.
Al-Barqi said the system stipulates that all imams and muezzins be Saudi nationals. Those who deputize foreigners to work in mosques will be subjected to punishments ranging from warnings to losing their jobs.
He said the Ministry of Islamic Affairs has put various mechanisms in place to monitor the performance of muezzins and imams. Field officers work round the clock to detain illegal imams and muezzins, and file periodic reports to their directorates.
This in addition to field teams that follow up on imams and muezzins and evaluate their work.


Houthis drone attack targets Saudi Arabia’s Al-Jawf

Updated 13 min 11 sec ago

Houthis drone attack targets Saudi Arabia’s Al-Jawf

  • The drone was intercepted over Yemeni airspace
  • The coalition destroyed three drones during the earlier 24 hours

DUBAI: The Arab coalition destroyed a Houthi drone targeting Al-Jawf in the north of Saudi Arabia, state news agency SPA reported on Monday.

Coalition forces intercepted the drone while it was still in Yemen’s airspace.

Arab coalition spokesman Col. Turki Al-Maliki said, the militia’s continued attempted attacks would end in failure,

Earlier on Monday, the coalition announced that they successfully destroyed three Houthi drones and intercepted six ballistic missiles targeting Saudi Arabia over 24 hours.

The missiles, which were launched from Saada, were targeting civilian areas in Al-Jazan, Al-Maliki said.

Earlier in August, 10 drones were fired at the Shaybah natural gas liquefaction plant in Saudi Arabia, near the UAE border – the Houthis claim responsibility for the attack.

There were no injuries and operations were not disrupted.