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Salafis protest Shi’a ‘invasion’

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Dozens gathered by the acting Iranian ambassador’s house demanding the cutting of all ties with Iran and expulsion of Iranian tourists

Protesters chanted against Iran and adherents of Shi'a Islam, the second largest sect of Islam (Photo by Mohamed Omar/DNE)

Protesters chanted against Iran and adherents of Shi’a Islam, the second largest sect of Islam (Photo by Mohamed Omar/DNE)

Dozens rallied around the Iranian ambassador’s house in Cairo in protest of Iranian tourism in Egypt, briefly clashing with security forces on Friday.

The Salafi protesters clashed with the Central Security Forces protecting the house after attempting to break into the ambassador’s house.

CSF troops stationed at the house launched teargas canisters to the crowd of Salafi protesters who responded by throwing back rocks. The clashes subsided only a few minutes later.

Protesters chanted against Iran and adherents of Shi’a Islam, the second largest sect of Islam. “Egypt will not become Shi’a, oh ambassador of Iran,” and “Listen, Muslim Brotherhood, we do not want relations with Iran,” were amongst the prevalent chants.

Egypt and Iran agreed on a new tourism exchange treaty back in March that saw the arrival of Iranian tourists to the country for the first time in over 30 years last week. Salafi groups and figures have condemned the move, labelling it an aid to the “Shi’a flow” into the country.

The protesters demanded cutting off all relations between Egypt and the “Iranian entity” and declared that Shi’a Muslims were not welcome in Egypt. They also demanded the expulsion of all Iranian tourists from the country.

The Salafi protesters also chanted against the Muslim Brotherhood and President Mohamed Morsi for “normalising” relations with Iran and “aiding the spread of Shi’a Islam”.

They also brandished Syrian flags and expressed their support for the Syrian revolution, condemning Iran’s support of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad.

The Salafi Al-Nour Party announced it would be holding a conference regarding the “Shi’a flow” on Friday.

About the author

Ahmed Aboulenein

News Reporter

Ahmed Aboul Enein is an Egyptian journalist who hates writing about himself in the third person. Follow him on Twitter @aaboulenein


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