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Egypt bans 55,000 mosque preachers in crackdown on Islamists

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Egyptian officials will bar 55,000 unlicensed clerics from preaching in mosques in the latest move against supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi, the minister of religious endowments said on Tuesday, as Reuters reported.

Egypt's army has been cracking down on Mr. Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood since it toppled him July 3.

Minister of Endowments Mohamed Mokhtar Gomaa said the clerics "were considered to be fundamentalist and a threat to the Egypt's security," Reuters reported.

The ban is meant to spread a moderate message of Islam.

"The decision is only meant to legalize the preaching process during Fridays' mass prayers and make only those authorized to do it, do it," Mr. Gomaa told Reuters.

Egyptian authorities consider the Brotherhood a terrorist group, and discussions are underway about the possibility of banning it, Reuters said.

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