Counter-Salafi Coalitions

According to a May 12, 2011 news report from Al-Ahram, Concerns over the rise in Salafi violence against religions minorities have brought together Shiites, Sufis, Baha’is, and Copts.

For instance, during their stand in Al-Hussein to protest the alleged Salafist burning of shrines, Sufi participants were joined by a number of Shiite leaders, led by Mohamed El-Dereiny, the head of Shiites in Egypt. El-Dereiny said that he came to participate in the Sufist stand against the Salafi-Wahabi assault which, charged El-Dereiny, does not respect beliefs and religions. Masrawy.

According to a report by al-Youm al-Sabe’, a delegation from the Higher Council for the Protection of Ahl Al-Bayt presented a letter to the Grand Sheikh of Al-Azhar Ahmed El-Tayyeb to bring attention to a variety of issues including the following: the Wahabbi excommunication (Takfir) of Sufis, the demolition of shrines, and the call for including the religious endowments of Al-Ashraf (descendants of Prophet Muhammed) under government control. The same letter was presented to the Minister of Religious Endowments and the Grand Mufti. The delegation also presented a letter to Pope Shenoda to confirm their belief in citizenship. The letter said that Christians never paid jizya to any ruler throughout Islamic history in Egypt. The letter also spoke about renovating the path of the Holy Family as well as the path of Ahl Al-Beit in Egypt. The Higher Council for the Protection of Ahl Al-Bayt also issued a communiqué on March 24, 2011 about what they called the Saudi role in fueling the anti-revolution of the January 25th revolution. The title of the communiqué was: “The Excommunication of Sufism and Shiites by the Salafi Wahabism, Imposing Jizya on Copts, and Enforcing Hudud in Upper Egypt Are But Moves to Defeat the 25th of January Revolution.”

According to a June 1st report by Al-Masry Al-Youm, Shiite, Sufi, and Ashraf leaders also presented a case to the Prosecutor General accusing a number of Salafi leaders of enticing violence, insulting religious figures, and calling for the burning of Churches and shrines. Those accused were Salafi preachers Mohamed Hassan, Yasser Borhamy, Abu Ishaq Al-Huweiny, Mohamed Al-Zoghby, and Mohamed Abdel Maqsuid. Furthermore, Mohamed El-Dereiny, the head of Egypt’s Shiite community, said that he would present to the Public Prosecutor evidence of the Saudi financing of Salafis in Egypt to spread the Wahabi thought in the country.