EGYPT: Censoring Sermons

Every Friday at noon from Cairo to Karachi, the thin nasal wail of muezzins crying, "There is no God but Allah," calls the faithful to the salat al-jami, the obligatory Friday service. The devout shutter their shops, rush through a thorough washing, and hurry into the mosque. Clad in dignity and finery, the imam ascends the pulpit, murmurs "salaam alei-kum," recites a text from the Koran, and begins a sermon which rarely lasts more than 20 minutes. So it has been for centuries.

Islam lived through its first three centuries without any clergy at all, for each man is responsible...

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