The Salafi Da’wa group is concerned about “the dangers of Shi’a expansion” in Egypt and is working to combat this.
On Saturday, the Shura Council of the conservative Sunni Islamist group met to review a report issued by a committee formed to monitor Shi’a Muslims in Egypt, headed by group member Ahmed Farid.
The report, Addressing the Shi’a Doctrine in Egypt, outlined how the Shi’a Muslim in Egypt are “tempting youth to travel to Iran” and working to spread the sect’s philosophy.
Mohamed Ibrahim Mansour, member of the Al-Nour Party and the Salafi Da’wa Shura Council, said Egypt is in a sensitive position when it comes to dealing with Iran after 30 years of severed ties with the predominantly Shi’a country.
“The situation Egyptian youth are currently experiencing weakens their immunity against Shi’a expansion,” said Mansour, who attended Saturday’s meeting. “It is in dire need of strengthening.”
Mansour outlined a list of mechanisms adopted by the Salafi Da’wa committee to combat “the Shi’a expansion”.
“Iranian tourism is part of the normalisation of relations with the Shi’a country of Iran,” Mansour said. “It heavily contributes to the Shi’a expansion by allowing for direct interaction with the doctrine and opening the door for the spread of temptations.”
Egypt and Iran agreed on a new tourism exchange agreement back in March that saw the arrival of Iranian tourists to the country in late March for the first time in over 30 years. Another group of 132 Iranian tourists flew back to their country on Sunday after a week-long visit to Egypt.
While Minister of Tourism Hisham Zaazou has repeatedly touted Iranian tourism, several Islamist factions have said it is unwelcome.