— Daniel Pipes (@DanielPipes) July 30, 2017
Commuters of the Cairo tube have been presented with a fatwa kiosk offering religious advice. Sheikhs from the Egypt’s highest Islamic authority Al Azhar, who are behind the initiative, say the aim of the kiosk is to counter extremism.
The kiosk was opened in front of the turnstiles of Cairo’s al-Shohada metro station, one of the busiest station of the country’s tube. It serves thousands of commuters basis queuing for trains and buses on a daily.
A green patterned booth is designed to offer a correct religious information from the trusted authority to the commute. Speaking to the Guardian, one of the booth sheikhs said: ‘We usually talk about the issues of daily life, and what religion says about such things. The topics we mostly discuss are marriage, divorce and inheritance’.
Egypt has been struggling to keep its security under control since Sisi came to power in 2013. The country has been suffering a string of large-scale attacks on Coptic Christians as well as violence in the Sinai peninsula.
Egypt’s religious leaders are hoping that the booth will help to downgrade the jihadi activity in the country.
However not everyone is welcoming the initiative. Mohamed Abu-Hamed, an Egyptian MP, said to the Guardian:’The whole project is absurd. It is a superficial understanding of the call to renew the religious rhetoric.’
‘When we talk about renewing religious rhetoric, we mean the main content [of their teachings],” he added.
‘If al-Azhar created these kiosks while thinking that this is renewing religious rhetoric, then they don’t get it. They are doing this to evade making any real changes.’
Religion on tubes around the world is often discussed on social media
— Stéphane Burlot (@Stef_Burlot) July 18, 2017
— Odalis Carvajal (@OdalsCrvvjl) November 29, 2014