Despite oil wealth, many Egyptians live in poverty. Now religious body issues edict.
An Islamic research centre in Cairo has issued a religious edict saying it is the Egyptian government's sacred duty to pay 20% of its oil revenues to the poor.
The Islamic Research Centre, Sunni Islam's highest authority, issued the fatwa arguing that zakat
, or the giving of alms, is one of the five pillars of Islam. The announcement will put pressure on the government, already facing widespread discontent over food prices.
However, a finance ministry official said the fatwa was "a religious matter". Egypt's oil and gas exports will be worth more than 10.1 billion US dollars this year.
Around 40% of Egyptians live on around two US dollars a day.
Article courtesy of Panos London