Inside a large mosque in the Nile Delta, an Egyptian cleric looked over his congregation as he climbed the pulpit clutching a piece of paper and began to speak — delivering a 13-minute discourse on the virtues of personal hygiene.
For the first time in his career, the young imam found himself forced to read a Friday sermon printed from the official website of the Religious Endowments Ministry.
Minutes after he ended the unusually short sermon, uproar spread through the congregation.
Some men in the crowd began shouting "No to written sermons!" while others tried to hush them — a commotion filmed on cellphones and posted online. Similar scenes...