Supporting Link: http://english.alarabiya.net/articles/2012/02/07/193234.html
Salafi member of the Egyptian parliament was ordered to “stop
talking and remain quiet” by the Speaker after he loudly recited the
Azan, or the Muslim call to prayer, while ministers were in session on
Mamdouh Ismail surprised fellow MPs when he stood up from his bench,
calling out “God is great … Hasten to prayer,” a call usually made from
minarets of mosques.
He was met with angry remarks from Speaker of the People’s Assembly,
Saad al-Katany: “There is a mosque outside for you to go and recite the
Azan in and pray in if you want.
“This room is for discussion
only. You are not more religious than us nor are you more vigilant over
prayer than us,” Katany added.
Ismail received his comments with further protest, but the Speaker
retaliated with: “Do you need media attention? You are a respectable
lawyer, do you need the attention?
“I will not permit you to talk [in the session] again. Sit down,” he
then ordered Ismail, to which the Salafi complied after a few angry
His microphone was silenced and he was no longer heard from in the remaining session.
Ismail said that he gave the call to prayer because it was the time of the Asr, or afternoon, prayer.
“We are not in the Vatican, this is a Muslim country, we need to pray on time,” Ismail said after the session.
Muslims pray five times at set times throughout the day as it an obligatory pillar of Islam.
Ismail said that politicians had been missing out on many prayers during
the parliamentary sessions and this should be resolved.
“I had asked the Speaker several times to organize the parliamentary
sessions around prayer times, so that we do not miss them. The Speaker
agreed and said he would take action, but he never followed through,”
“His reply to me was like that of a dictator, even though he was in the wrong.”
Nearly one quarter of the new parliamentary representatives come from
the ultraconservative Salafi movement that follows a strict
interpretation of Islam.
The alliance led by the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party took about 47 percent of the seats.
The Egyptian parliament was recently elected in the first votes since
the ouster of former President Hosni Mubarak last year after the popular
Egyptian member of parliament Mamdouh Ismail surprised fellow MPs
when he stood up from his bench, calling for prayer at a session. (Al
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