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Sufi sheikhs urge tough action against Salafi attacks on Sufi shrines

Sunday 18-06-2017 - 10:19 PM
 Imam Hussein shrine
Imam Hussein shrine in Cairo
Cairo – Sufi sheikhs have expressed anxiety over attacks by Salafi-inspired groups on the Sufi shrines in various Egyptian governorates.
During their meeting, leaders of the Sufi orders urged the Egyptian Interior Ministry to immediately deter Salafists from attacking Sufi shrines any more.
 Sheikh Abdel Baqi
Sheikh Abdel Baqi Al-Habibi
“Article 118 of the Egyptian constitution obliges the state to protect Sufi shrines from any act of terrorism or sabotage,” Sheikh Abdel Baqi Al-Habibi of the Habibia Sufi order told Al-Bawaba News.
Al-Habibi urged the Interior Ministry to stand up to malpractices committed by the Salafi hardliners, who destructed and desecrated a large number of Sufi shrines in Kafr El-Sheikh and Gharbia governorates in the past period.
For his part, Sheikh Hani El-Embabi of the Embabi Sufi order has warned of the fierce attacks launched by Salafists on Sufi shrines nationwide.
“I call on the Egyptian state and its security bodies to strictly face such criminal acts committed by this hardline group,” he noted.
Tensions have long rumbled between the country's estimated 15 million Sufis, attached to some 80 different orders, and ultra-conservative Salafists.
The ousting of Mubarak in February has loosened state control over Islamist groups that he suppressed using an emergency law in place since 1980.
Shrines are central to Sufi practices and can be found in towns and villages across Egypt, but they are frowned upon by Salafists.
Built inside mosques, many of shrines are often highly decorated, using wood and mother-of-pearl.

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