Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad talks to Egypt's President Mohammed Morsi after his speech during the 16th summit of the Non-Aligned Movement in Tehran, August 2012 (Photo: Reuters)
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The Salafist Call and its political arm, the Nour Party, will hold a conference on Friday in an attempt to condemn what they claim is the ‘spread of the Shiite tide in Egypt.’
The conference will take place in the Amr Ibn Al-Ass Mosque in the historic Fustat Cairo and is an attempt to show the differences between Shiite and Sunni branches of Islam, "that originates in the doctrine itself,” Sheikh Sherif El-Hawary, leading member of the Salafist Call, said in a press release.
"Egypt is a real catch because the Shiites see it as the main base for Sunni Islam, which they want to overtake. They believe their Mahdi [twelfth Imam] will only appear once Egypt is in their reach, but God willing, this will not take root", asserted El-Hawary.
"We truly believe that the Shiites will fail in spreading their influence just as they did when they initiated the Al-Azhar Institution and ruled for 260 years to take over Sunni Islam," he added.
Referring to the economic situation of the country, El-Hawary stated that this period is most significant, turbulent and threatening, which the Shiites are attempting to take advantage of.
The main objection against the Shiite sect is that they have attempted to change the word of God and the Holy Quran, in addition to their rejection of all of the Prophet's companions except a few, which is a clear violation of Islam," He further claimed.
The conference will be an attempt to reveal the ‘truth’ behind the Shiite sect and present the ‘dangers’ of its attempts at influencing Egyptian society by shedding light on a number of its betrayals throughout history, including what El-Hawary states is their ‘alliances’ with the US in aiding their ‘invasion’ of Afghanistan and Iraq.
On a similar note, spokesperson of the Shiites in Egypt, Bahaa Anwar Mohamed called on Salafists and Wahabi's to organise protests outside the Iranian embassy in Cairo against the recent resumption of Iranian tourism to Egypt. He called on the expulsion of the charge d'affaires of the Iranian envoy to Egypt.
Anwar added that before such normalisation of relations between Iran and Egypt takes place, the regime in Iran has to change, asserting "Egypt should nevertheless welcome all Shiites to Egypt, except those from Iran."
"Iran's Shiites attempt to spread political Islam in the form of Shiism that is affected by Ayatollah Khomeini, as opposed to Egypt's Shiites attempting to spread it in loyalty to Prophet Mohamed," asserted Anwar.
He further claimed that Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood, from which President Mohamed Morsi hailed, are using the recent wave of tourism to Egypt as a warning in an attempt to blackmail the Gulf countries and attain money from them.
Anwar concluded by stating that he was against all forms of theocracies and regarded them "failed states" since religion in this case is used and abused for the benefit of those in power, referring to Somalia, Sudan, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia and Iran.
There has been increased criticism by many Egyptians, specifically by Salafists groups, regarding the return of diplomatic ties between Egypt and Iran, with fears expressed of the rising influence of the Shiite branch of Islam in the country.
Mahmoud Ahmedinejad’s historic February visit to Egypt — the first visit of an Iranian leader to the country since the 1970s — was met with severe criticism from Salafist groups who issued a statement warning Ahmedinejad not to visit Tahrir Square.
Nevertheless, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar demanded for the former to stop promoting Shiism in ‘Sunni Egypt’.
Several Shiite activists in Egypt, however, claim that many of the attacks on the sect in Egypt have been an attempt at scapegoating them for the fears of normalisation of Egypt’s relations with Iran in the face of several Gulf countries.