Employees at the Awqaf Ministry (Ministry of Religious Endowments) in Cairo and in the governorates are angry that the LE250 salary raise ordered by President Mubarak will be restricted to preachers and imams. The raise will be implemented starting July 2010.
In statements to Al-Masry Al-Youm, the employees threatened to stage strikes, sit-ins and demonstrations before their respective ministry headquarters in order to receive a similar pay increase. Such a raise "will help us face the crazy increase in prices and meet our daily needs," some employees said.
The total salary increase approved by President Mubarak equals LE150 million–LE250 a person per month–and includes all 50,000 imams and preachers registered by the ministry, said Mahmoud Hamdi Zaqzouq, minister of awqaf.
The pay increase reflects Mubarak’s appreciation of the role played by imams and the importance of the enlightened, moderate and tolerant messages disseminated by these imams who avoid extremism and fanaticism, with the desire to spread peace, he added.
Salem Abdel Gelil, deputy minister of awqaf for preaching affairs, said the increase was approved exclusively for imams because they bear a heavy responsibility in protecting religious discourse and raising awareness about the true teachings of Islam.
Translated from the Arabic Edition.