Minister of Justice, Awqaf and Islamic Affairs Yacoub Al-Sane has vowed to free the Awqaf Ministry from radicals and ‘servants’ of religious currents, whether they are citizens or expatriates, for the institution to remain a minaret of moderation.
Sources disclosed the residence permits of a new batch of preachers and imams, as well as employees in various sectors and departments of the ministry, will not be renewed for security reasons. Sources said the ministry is intensively coordinating with its Foreign Affairs and Interior counterparts, in addition to other concerned institutions, to get rid of those who pose security threat or social danger to the country.
Sources clarified the Interior Ministry did not renew the residence permits of 10 Imams whose services were terminated; thus, the decision to deport them is now in the hands of the ministry. Sources added Al-Sane expressed disappointment over some lawmakers who allegedly flatter radical and religious currents at the expense of public good just to protect their electoral or personal interests without any regard for the welfare of the country and its people.
Sources pointed out the ministry is suffering due to the presence of small states or entities and employees who prioritize the interests of their local and external religious currents without taking into consideration the well-being of the ministry and the country in general. Sources quoted Al-Sane as saying this is no longer acceptable, affirming the ministry will strictly deal with the issue, considering the regional circumstances which do not allow any leniency in this domain. Sources revealed the minister asked, as the per instruction of the Cabinet, the Civil Service Commission (CSC) to provide alternatives to address the manpower needs of the ministry in place of those whose services were terminated. Sources confirmed the ministry will also finalize steps for combating corruption.
On the appointment of the ministry undersecretary, sources said Al-Sane has clarified that HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak will take the decision upon his return. Sources added there are three nominees to the post — Esam Al-Osaimi, Riyadh Al-Sharhan and Saad Al-Abeedan. According to the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs the number of citizens and expatriates calling the ministry to complain about their children embracing or sympathizing with the terrorist groups or the radical ideology has doubled, reports Al-Qabas daily. The daily quoting the ministry sources said the number has jumped three times compared to what it was at one time.
The ministry on a daily basis used to receive about three calls per day but now that number has jumped to 10 over the past 10 months. The sources added girls also adopt the radical thought but in most cases the parents are afraid of reporting them. The sources added, the moderation committee at the ministry works to meet with these sympathizers and urge them to choose the right path to prevent them from falling prey to subversive activities. The sources pointed out the ministry do not report the sympathizers to the authorities unlike people who are considered a danger to society and those who brainwash others.