Security arrests 14 Sufi followers

Security forces in Cairo arrested yesterday 14 followers of Sufi orders as they were distributing food in front of the Sayyeda Zainab Mosque.
The arrests were part of a wider campaign to seize gas cylinders used in Sufi pavilions and to dismantle tents erected for the celebration of the birth of Sayyeda Zainab.   
Nagui el-Rifai, a follower of the Rifai Sufi Order, said security forces took down several Sufi pavilions set up next to the Sayyeda Zainab Police Station and in nearby streets, forcing them to erect their pavilions next to the subway station.
El-Rifai added that those arrested–who belong to the Ahmadi, Rifai and Bayoumi orders–were merely distributing alms in front of the mosque door.
He added that the security forces confiscated gas cylinders and kerosene burners.
Saad Abdallah, an official from the General Assembly of Sheikhs of Sufi Orders, said the followers of Sufi orders flocked to the area from Cairo and the different governorates to celebrate the Sayyeda Zainab moulid, or carnival honoring a religious holy person. Abdallah said it is normal for security forces to intervene to bring order, adding that they confiscated the gas cylinders to avoid possible fire breakouts.
Abdallah added that there are certified Sufi orders which have permits to set up pavilions and hold celebrations, which do not include dance or sorcery. He added that other less popular orders hold random celebrations in alleys where sorcery and theft are rampant.
Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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