Controversy was raised on Friday after MP Mostafa Bakry accused officials in the Cairo-based Al-Hussein Mosque of performing what he called a “Shiite call to prayer,” leading the Ministry of Religious Endowments to deny the accusation.
Bakry accused the imam of Al-Hussein Mosque of reciting the “Shiite call to prayer” on Friday, according to the statement that the MP presented to the minister of endowments. He said that the mentioned cleric is “a common visitor to Iran,” adding, “despite our respect to the Shiite sect of the Arab nation, performing the [Shiite] call to prayer by a ministry-affiliated preacher is an Iranian infiltration.”
Al-Hussein Mosque, where it is believed the head of Imam Al-Hussein, the prophet Muhammad’s grandson, is buried, holds special value to both Shiite and Sunni Muslims in Egypt. However, for Shiites, it is more sacred, as they celebrate the religiously historic day on which Al-Hussein was killed.
Although there are some Sunni Muslims who partake in the Ashura commemoration with Shiites, along with other Shiite rituals, there has always been a general political and social stance of intolerance towards the presence of a non-Sunni Muslim ideology in Egypt.
Despite the ministry’s assertion that it follows the “Azharite-Sunni” doctrine and does not allow any Shiite rituals to take place in the mosques of Egypt, Bakry stressed that the alleged incident should be addressed by the authorities.
Gaber Tayae, the head of religious affairs at the Ministry of Endowments, told Daily News Egypt that any news circulated about any Shiite rituals having been held in Al-Hussein Mosque is not true. He added that those who claimed so did not submit any tangible proof.
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