Sufis form human shield to protect Qalyubiya shrine

Dozens of Sufis in Qalyubiya formed human shields Tuesday evening to protect the shrine of Sheikh Mohamed al-Nabarawy from Salafis who had attacked and threatened to demolish the structure.

Tarek Yassin al-Refa’ey, head of the Refa’eya order, said the shrine has been there for hundreds of years and it’s not a graveyard as Salafis claim. He alleged power to the shrine was cut several times last Friday and that Salafis tried to attack the shrine while he was there.

 The order is trying to get security forces to protect the shrine from assault as well as seeking approval for Moulid celebrations, he said.

Yossry Eleiwa, deputy of the Sufi orders in Khanka, said Sufis were given permission to celebrate the Moulid from 2-8 November, but a group of Salafis threatened to destroy the shrine to prevent the celebrations.

Sheikh Mostafa Zayed, general coordinator of the Sufi orders, accused an unnamed Salafi Shura Council member of creating division between Salafis and Sufis.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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