Sufis demand removal of ‘pro-Mubarak’ figures in their leadership

Egyptian Sufis on Tuesday continued protests demanding the removal of various figures from the leadership of their main representative body after a prominent sheikh joined their sit-in Monday.

The protesters began their sit-in 26 days ago to demand the disbanding of the Supreme Council for the Sufi Orders and the removal of its chairman, Sheikh Abdel Hadi al-Qasaby, saying he had supported former President Hosni Mubarak.

The protesters demand the formation of an interim council run by a number of clerics before holding new elections to choose members of a new council.

Sheikh Mohamed Alaa Abul Azayem, a senior Sufi leader, joined the sit-in inside the council's headquarters in Gamaliya on Monday, voicing support for the protesters' demands.

During a press conference, Abul Azayem said he had urged Qasaby to respond to protesters' calls. He added that Qasaby had prior knowledge of plans for a sit-in but downplayed them.

Protesters said Qasaby could not bring an end to the protests except by yielding to their demands. 

Meanwhile, Sheikh Mohamed al-Shahawy, spokesperson for the Sufi Reformist Front, stressed demonstrators' right to protest, adding that they would not leave until their demands have been met.

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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