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Egypt shuts down newly-opened Shiite mosque in Cairo

Published:

The Egyptian authorities shut down a Shiite “Husseiniya,” a name given to the Shiite mosque, which was lately opened by Lebanese Shiite cleric Ali al-Korani during his recent visit to Cairo, sources close to Al Arabiya said.

The sources said that the Egyptian authorities confiscated the publications, posters and recordings found in the mosque. The authorities’ decision to shut down the mosque was final, according to Al Arabiya sources.

The recent inauguration of the “Husseiniya” angered the influential Sunni Muslim al-Azhar institute and other Sunni clerics, who regarded it as a move to spread Shiite Islam in Egypt.

Meanwhile, some Shiite figures regarded the move as a means of rapprochement between the different Islamic doctrines.

Following the inauguration of the Husseiniya in Cairo, a numbers of Shiites gathered and practiced some Shiite rituals which included beating their chests and chanting poems to commemorate the death of a number of descendants of Prophet Mohammed (PBUH). Shiites are accustomed to such practices in each of Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Lebanon.

Al-Korani’s recent visit to Cairo has been slammed by al-Azhar, the Islamic Research Academy and the Ministry of Religious Endowments. The Sunni clerics criticized the religious seminars that al-Korani has attended and the lectures that he has given in the houses of some Shiites living in Cairo and other governorates. They described the Shiite cleric’s move as an “unacceptable red line” and considered it as an attempt to spread the Shiite doctrine in Egypt


(Translated from Arabic by Rana Khoury)