Imams face the sack if sermons are politicized

Updated 05 February 2014

Imams face the sack if sermons are politicized

Imams who politicize Friday sermons at mosques will not be allowed to continue in their positions, Islamic Affairs Minister Saleh Al-Asheikh said in comments published on Thursday.
“We have set up a legal panel to advise such imams. If they respond positively and follow the guidelines they will be allowed to continue. If not, then we’ll tell them they are not fit for the pulpit,” the minister said.
He said the ministry would continue monitoring all mosques and imams to make sure nobody violates the regulations. “The use of politics in sermons will divide the community and create hatred among people. Preachers should spread the word of Allah and the message of His Prophet (peace be upon him), and encourage people to worship.”
He rejected claims that many preachers are not qualified to hold their positions.
However, Al-Asheikh pointed out that it was difficult to find qualified imams for the 80,000 mosques across the Kingdom. “We launched a program 10 years ago to take care of mosques. It includes various maintenance and renovation work.”
Many Saudis supported the minister’s statement while some others objected, saying it was not the right approach. “The mosque and other platforms should be used for the benefit of people. Following moderation is the best way. Efforts must be made to correct the wrong impressions created by extremists,” said a Saudi teacher.
Fuad Kawther, a Saudi engaged in the propagation of Islam, said the move contradicts the example set by the Prophet (peace be upon him), adding the Madinah Mosque was the center of the Islamic state.
“Isolating Islam from different aspects of life will lead to secularization,” he told Arab News. Imams should be trained to deliver meaningful sermons, he added.


Saudi Arabia’s public spaces dotted with pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Photo/Shutterstock
Updated 19 October 2020

Saudi Arabia’s public spaces dotted with pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

  • According to the Saudi Ministry of Health, 55 percent of cases are detected at a late stage

JEDDAH: Splashes of pink are appearing in Saudi Arabia’s public spaces to raise awareness about the importance of breast cancer screening.
A number of campaigns are underway this month to support this outreach — in malls, on the street and on billboards.
Pamphlets are being handed out, videos and interactive pictures are on display, there are fundraising activities such as hiking and biking, and medical students have been talking to shoppers and passers-by as part of efforts to increase people’s knowledge.
In Jeddah there was a Tai Chi class on the city’s waterfront, headed by Amatallah Bahaziq, that was attended by female members of Bliss Runners and Bolts. Another event was a bike ride organized by Jeddah Cyclists that included men and women.
A number of major cities across the Kingdom have also seen pop-up campaigns, with specialists ready to answer questions and play a proactive role in spreading proper knowledge and information about the disease, its detection and the chances of survival when detected early.

HIGHLIGHT

According to the Saudi Ministry of Health, 55 percent of cases are detected at a late stage. This late stage detection is mostly because some women believe that a lack of symptoms means an absence of the disease.

The Zahra Breast Cancer Association is one of Saudi Arabia’s leading organizations dedicated to raising awareness about the disease. It has been supporting cancer patients and survivors and normalizing conversations about breast cancer among the community, with a renewed emphasis during October which is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
“Given the circumstances (due to the pandemic) we focused our efforts to raise awareness to the importance of early detection virtually,” a representative from the association told Arab News. “With billboards and visuals spread across Saudi cities, we’re still following through with our campaign promise to raise awareness each year and send the message across: Early detection will save your life.”
According to the Saudi Ministry of Health, 55 percent of cases are detected at a late stage. This late stage detection is mostly because some women believe that a lack of symptoms means an absence of the disease.