Military give Nour mosque to the Ministry of Religious Endowments

Following a series of conflicts between the followers of Sheik Hafez Salama, chairman of the Hedaya al-Islamiya charity, and the Ministry of Religious Endowments, the military has given Nour mosque back to the ministry.

The mosque, in Abbasseya, has been a site of tension between the Salafi supporters of Sheikh Salama, whose charity originally owned the mosque's land, and the ministry, which is responsible for religious institutions.  

The Supreme Administrative Court previously ruled that Nour mosque be returned to Hedaya al-Islamiya. But Abdallah al-Husseiny, Minister of Religious Endowments, said that his ministry is fully responsible for it, in accordance with Law 157/1960.
Last week, Sheikh Mohamed Zaki el-Din, a Ministry of Endowments imam, ascended the pulpit and delivered the Friday prayers sermon. Husseiny as well as General Ali al-Qorashy, General Saeed Abbas and many other security and military leaders attended.
After prayers, Sheikh Salama, famous for commanding the popular resistance in Suez during the October War, performed the Salat al-Gha'eb, or "prayer for the absent", for the soul of Osama bin Laden, the Al-Qaeda founder recently killed by US ground forces in Pakistan.
After prayers hundreds of Salafis marched from the mosque to the American embassy in Cairo denouncing the murder of bin Laden and the throwing of his corpse into the sea. They chanted "Cowardly Obama, Osama's blood will not go in vain" and " Khaybar, Khaybar, Oh Jews, the army of Mohamed will return".
The mosque was heavily guarded by security forces for fear of clashes between Sheikh Salama's followers and the followers of Sheikh Ahmed Tork, a Ministry of Religious Endowments imam. The military set up a cordon around the mosque.
At prayer time worshippers found the mosque crowded with central security soldiers and military officers, who occupied nearly a third. This forced some worshippers to perform Friday prayers outside.

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