Churches for free.. Thousands of mosques in endowments are threatened with closure for not paying electricity bills

Raised a banner hanging on the door of a mosque “Al-Rahma” in the Ard El-Lewa area in Giza governorate, mid-September 2022, with the inscription “The mosque was closed due to non-payment of the electricity debt.” There was widespread controversy on social media; The mosque is without electricity or water, so the employees of the Ministry of Awqaf did not perform religious rites as usual. While sources in the ministry confirm to Freedom and Justice that the crisis is much larger than that, and there are dozens of mosques already closed for non-payment of water and electricity bills, and there are thousands of other mosques affiliated with the ministry at the level of the Republic that are subject to closure for these reasons.

The wide circulation of the banner on the door of the Al-Rahma Mosque embarrassed the Ministry of Endowments and the organs of the dictator Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi; Some tried to defend the system by claiming that the mosque was not affiliated with the Ministry of Endowments; But it later became clear that the mosque belongs to the ministry and has an imam from the endowments, employees and workers. It is known that the Ministry is supposed to bear the cost of electricity, water and other services. If it is a private mosque, the mosque administration usually bears the cost of these services through the donation fund.

The ministry, in an attempt to contain popular anger, especially after the Minister of Awqaf Mukhtar Gomaa received a hot shower from senior security leaders in the national apparatus, referred a number of officials in the ministry and the area to which the mosque belongs to investigation, while working to solve the problem of the mosque and reopen it to stop the media circulation of the issue. However, sources at the Ministry of Awqaf confirm – to Freedom and Justice – that the problem is greater than the Al-Rahma Mosque, stressing that dozens of mosques are closed for the same reason, and social networking sites have not yet reached them, for not hanging a sign explaining the reason for the closure, as happened with Al-Rahma Mosque.

Thousands of mosques are threatened with closure

The problem threatens thousands of mosques with closure because the ministry had already contracted years ago with the Ministry of Electricity to install prepaid meters in all mosques affiliated with the ministry. The meter is charged at about one thousand pounds per month. The monthly installment of the meter is deducted by about (300) pounds, and only 700 pounds is left in the meter; which is barely enough for one week on; Because mosques use air-conditioning or fans, and there is a large heater in the winter and lift motors to pump water, in addition to the wide lighting that is as wide as each mosque.

Exacerbate the problem, or the Ministry of Awqaf took administrative decisions years ago by which it canceled mosque administrations and prevented the establishment of a donation fund after suspicions of corruption were revealed. However, these decisions deprived mosques of the people’s participation in bearing the costs of mosque services. But the most important and most dangerous of all is that the government has designated mosques alone, not churches, to install prepaid meters; While churches still enjoy special privileges, and electricity and water costs are borne by the government as in the past; Why does Sisi insist on treating Muslims with contempt and contempt while the Copts in his era enjoyed all the privileges and benefits?

These absurd decisions on the part of the Ministry, and the negative discrimination against Muslims and their mosques rather than churches; Pushing the people to circumvent the decisions of the Ministry; They delivered electricity to mosques via a bridge from behind the prepaid meter; This is the procedure that most endowment mosques have probably taken so that they can perform religious rites normally, because the ministry allocates a specific amount for each mosque to charge electricity, with the exception of the famous mosques that receive special treatment by the ministry; Any problem with it may cause major problems for the minister and the entire ministryembarrassing the system.

This means that the government’s decisions to abandon giving mosques free electricity and water services, as it does with churches, prompted Muslims to circumvent this discrimination against them by connecting electricity to mosques (by connecting a bridge behind the counter) as a right just like churches, and as was the case before 2015 when the Ministry began installing The meters are prepaid in stages.

What is the case with mosques?

When a technician from the Ministry of Electricity passes by, he reports the violation, so it happens exactly as happened with the Al-Rahma Mosque. This is what Al-Watan newspaper indicated in its handling of the news; A source in the Ministry of Electricity was quoted as saying that one of the engineers of the South Cairo Electricity Distribution Company discovered, while passing by the mosque, that those in charge of its administration had connected the electric current to it from outside the meter, which poses a danger to the lives of citizens, and harms the safety of the residents and the neighboring people,” adding that “the engineer Warn the people of the need to make a settlement to correct the legal situation.”

This means that thousands of mosques affiliated with endowments are actually threatened with closure due to inflamed electricity bills, as international prices are dealt with despite the miserable economic conditions in Egypt, unlike the state granting churches free electricity and water in a blatant and unacceptable discrimination.

This position represents new evidence that the regime tightens the screws on Muslims in the performance of their religious rites, while Copts and church parishioners enjoy the highest ceiling of religious freedoms at all. Muslims do not forget the decisions of the Minister of Endowments to prevent Tarawih prayers and i’tikaf last Ramadan, and Muslims do not forget the war that Sisi is waging on the houses of God, demolishing hundreds of mosques, claiming that they violate the law, while he enacted a special law to assess the conditions of the violating churches. This means that Sisi dealt with violating churches by enacting a law codifying their existence, and dealt with violating mosques with a bulldozer; He demolished hundreds of mosques and demolished their minarets, which God has authorized to be raised and in which his name is often mentioned.

Source: بوابة الحرية والعدالة by

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