Friday sermons 'should be more topical'

FNC member says Friday sermons should focus on the current reality locally and internationally.

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FNC members took their chance yesterday to ask the Chairman of the General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments about the possibility of making Friday sermons more topical and more pertinent to the UAE.

Sultan Al Shamsi (Ajman) asked: "Why can't the subjects of the Friday sermons revolve around the current reality and situation locally and internationally?"

Dr Hamdan Al Mazrouei, the authority's chairman, explained the unified Friday sermons, which are read at all mosques around the country, already took four main points into account: issues that help UAE policies, deal with local, religious, and international events, highlight ministry and government departments' concerns, and discuss timely topics.

Topics covered in the past had included traffic safety, diabetes awareness, Earth day, and human-rights day, he said.

"The authority has prepared special sermons on issues that has affected everyone such as the assault on Gaza and Palestine, and swine flu."

After the discovery of a mother who kept her psychologically disturbed son locked up in his own home for 12 years, a sermon addressed the issue of family violence.

Still, Mr Al Shamsi asked for more relevant topics, "like divorce and illnesses", as well as security issues such as "respect for the leaders and deterring people from sedition".

Dr Al Mazrouei thanked the FNC for their points and said he would present them to his colleagues.

"We would like to hear more from the public, and appreciate if they contact us directly with their thoughts," he added.