Would-be minister denies charges of spreading Wahabism in Egypt

Ahram Online, Tuesday 31 Jul 2012

Mohamed Yosri Ibrahim, Salafist preacher who says he was appointed country's next religious endowments minister, denies claims that he plans to promote Wahabism in Egypt

Left, Muslim Brotherhood's Khairat El-Shater and Mohamed Yosri Ibrahim ,November 2011(Photo: Mohamed Ibrahim's official facebook page)

Salafist preacher Mohamed Yosri Ibrahim, who recently claimed to have been appointed Egypt's new minister of religious endowments (Awqaf), denied accusations on Tuesday that he was attempting to spread Wahabism – an ultra-conservative form of Islam associated mainly with Saudi Arabia – in Egypt.

Ibrahim, a member of Egypt's conservative "Salafist Calling" group, declared on his Twitter account that he adhered to a "moderate form of Islam," stressing that he had never been associated with Wahabism.

Ibrahim faced a wave a criticism after announcing last Friday that he had agreed to head up the religious endowments ministry following a meeting with newly-appointed Prime Minister Hisham Qandil.

Liberal figures, along with some Islamist groups and Egypt's Sufi orders, have voiced their concern about the potential encroachment of Wahabism in Egypt were Ibrahim appointed to the post.

Some critics allege that Ibrahim's reported association with leading Muslim Brotherhood figure Khairat El-Shater got him the post.

Egypt's ministry of religious endowments regulates activities at the nation's mosques, issues licenses to Muslim preachers, and is responsible for maintaining religious buildings and properties.

Members of Egypt's incoming cabinet will be officially announced on Thursday, according to spokesmen for recently-inaugurated president Mohamed Morsi, a long-time member of the Muslim Brotherhood. 

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