MP Yasser al-Qady has submitted a parliamentary motion calling on the prime minister and the ministers of interior and endowments to halt what he called a "Shia tide" in Egypt and an abuse of the freedom acquired after the 25 January uprising.
He said the security service has failed to to do this, and that Al-Azhar also failed to combat attempts to spread Shia beliefs in Egypt at both theoretical and practical levels after Shia scholar Ali al-Kurani's recent visit to Egypt
Qady described the Lebanese scholar's visit, during which held forums and conferences, as an attempt to spread Shia beliefs.
Qady called for the implementation of Article 10 of Law 20/1936, which allows the Cabinet to confiscate publications that discuss religion in a way that could undermine public security.
Shia Muslims were shunned from Egypt’s political and social life throughout the 30-year regime of ousted leader Hosni Mubarak. There are no official statistics on the number of Shias in Egypt, but experts on the country’s religious minorities estimate their number between 50,000 and 80,000, a relatively small proportion of Egypt’s population of 85 million. Some were banned from traveling abroad and repeatedly arrested by the security services of Mubarak’s regime.
Some religious groups in Egypt, such as the Salafis — who follow the Sunni doctrine and became heavily involved in the Egyptian political arena after the 25 January uprising last year — are against Shias establishing a political party or even engaging in any political activity.
They accuse Shias of being financed by Iran to spread the doctrine in Egypt, where the majority are Sunni Muslims.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm