Amr Khaled - photo courtesy of facebook
CAIRO – 6 September 2017: Well-known Egyptian preacher Amr Khaled got in hot water because of a video posted on social media depicting him performing Hajj (pilgrimage) rituals in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.
In the video that went viral Khaled prayed for his followers on social media, a matter which raised a lot of questions and even mocking waves which saw the Egyptian preacher as only seeking to get more followers and ‘likes’.
Khaled was criticized and accused of acting and using religion by some social media users; however shortly later, Khaled replied.
“I didn’t ask for anything in return, I didn’t say that I own the truth for myself, as I didn’t force anyone to watch me praying, I just posted it on my official Facebook page,” Khaled said, asking social media users, “What is your problem?”
He added that he considerers his followers on social media as his second big family. “I spend too much time on social media the same I spend with my small family at home, it’s their right to pray for them,” he said.
Commenting on his “acting” allegations, Khaled said that no one can affirm what his real intentions were as he was praying for his followers. “Only god owns hearts and intentions,” he said, adding that he didn’t only pray for his followers, as the rest of the video includes other prayers for all Muslims all over the world.
It was not also the first time Khaled was criticized.
Using his Twitter account, Saudi actor Nasser Al Al Qasabi called Khaled an idiot. “This idiot is showing us how the idea of praying can be turned into a very silly thing,” he wrote.
Several other Saudis and Arabs agreed with Qasabi, leaving other similar comments to his perspective.
Who is Amr Khaled?
Khaled has been preaching since 1997, according to statements made in the video he posted on his official Facebook page in response to the criticism he took earlier.
In the early 2000s, Khaled’s religious effect as an Islamic preacher was overwhelming on Egyptians. He almost convinced a number of actresses to retire and wear headscarves. He made several television shows presented by many youth, women and men from all social levels, as he affected them all.
His TV show ‘Life Makers’ (Sonaa Alhayat), morphed into a social association per invitation during one of his episodes, when he said that serving society and working on its development is part of someone’s religion.
Later, in 2014, he was excluded from the association high board. In statements to BBC, the board’s head Mohamed Yehia said that excluding Amr was not for a personal reason; however it was due to ‘the nature of the stage the society is going through.’
As the time went by, Khaled’s affect didn’t remain the same, especially after the 25th of January revolution.
During this time, Khaled’s political affiliations were questioned within an environment where every political move was monitored. He called for a political party named ‘Masr el mostakbal’ (Egypt, the Future) on May 2012 which increased the controversial opinions around him amid voices refuses the mixing of religion and politics.
Despite all of this Khaled didn’t stop, repeating in every chance that he is “a man with a message” that will continue regardless of the circumstances. Khaled still participates in several social campaigns, and post regularly on his social media outlets as religious preacher.
Khaled now has about 27 million followers on Facebook, 8.97 million on Twitter and 538 subscribers on his YouTube channel.