Egypt Shias to commemorate Ashoura in al-Hussein mosque

Shia movements and coalitions in Egypt have announced plans to rally inside al-Hussein mosque in Cairo next Thursday to receive condolences over the death of al-Hussein bin Ali, a Shia tradition known as Ashoura mourning.

Shia figures, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Shia community leaders had called on the Interior Ministry to protect those attending the ceremony on 14 Thursday for fear of assault from Salafis.

Prominent Shia figure Ahmed Rasem al-Nafees, Tahrir Party leader, said: “Shias have the right to practise their rituals. The Interior Ministry should secure visitors to al-Hussein mosque from Salafi and extremist groups in order to prevent the repetition of the Abu Mosslem incident, when Shias were killed by Salafis.”

“There are no plans to cancel the event," he continued. "Particularly because Shias do not reject Salafis' right to protest, just so long as they do it without violations or attacks."

Amr Abdullah, a leader with the Shia Egyptian Youth Current, said: “There have been threats from Salafi terrorist groups to stop the event. But, we, the Shia youth, will celebrate.” He added that the Shia group contacted both the endowments and interior ministries to obtain permission to hold the ceremony.

Walid Ismail, head of the Salafi Coalition of Defending Companions, meanwhile said that Egyptians are Sunnis and will never accept insults to the Prophet or holding Shia traditions. “We will protest to prevent having the celebrations at Egyptian mosques on Ashoura.”

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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