Sufis reject decision to ban mosque gatherings

A decision by the Interior Ministry to ban Sufi remembrance gatherings was implemented for the first time yesterday at the Sayyeda Zainab and Sayyeda Nafisa Mosques.

Security forces closed mosques and switched off their lights following the night prayers. The closures triggered friction between Sufis and security forces, especially at the Hussein Mosque.

Even though some Sufi leaders showed security permits to hold their gatherings, the police said the Interior Ministry has recently decided to ban any gatherings at the mosques after the night prayers.

Mohamed el-Shabrawi, member of the Supreme Council of Sufi Orders, said the Minister of Awqaf (Religious Endowments) Hamdi Zaqzouq had decided to ban Sufi gatherings two days ago, adding that the step was taken in coordination with a prominent official from the Supreme Council of Sufi Orders, whose name he declined to give.

Describing this move as a victory for Wahhabi thought at the expense of moderate Sufism, el-Shabrawi said that some officials from the Supreme Council of Sufi Orders will take action to reverse the decision.

Translated from the Arabic Edition. 

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