January 26, 2009 Special Dispatch No. 2131

Egyptian Daily 'Al-Gumhouriyya' Editor: Drive the Sh'ia Out of Egypt – Before We Become Like Iraq or Lebanon

January 26, 2009
Egypt | Special Dispatch No. 2131

Following recent statements by Sheikh Yousef Al-Qaradhawi [1] warning of the spread of the Shi'a in Sunni countries, particularly in Egypt, Egyptian MP Muhammad 'Ali Ibrahim, editor of the Egyptian daily Al-Gumhouriyya, likewise complained about the spread of the Shi'a and about Sh'ia missionary activity in Egypt. He called for the expulsion from Egypt of Shi'ite Iraqis who have settled there in recent years, and added that if the Shi'a continued to spread, Egypt would meet the same fate as Lebanon or Iraq.

Following are excerpts from his article: [2]

"The Shi'ite Movement Has Launched a Forceful Onslaught on Egypt"

"As people emerged [from the mosques] following evening and Ramadan prayers in the city of Sixth of October - especially the Al-Hasri Mosque and other mosques in the Sixth District - they [were met by young boys who] handed out a book titled 'Charity that Keeps on Giving - "Bihar Al-Anwar" by Imam Al-Majlisi.' [3] [On this occasion] the book was handed out by young boys, but on other occasions, copies [of the book] were [simply] left near the mosque entrance, so that the worshippers [could pick one up as they left] and read it. I asked a friend of mine who lives in Sixth of October to send me a copy without delay, but although he searched diligently in several mosques, he returned empty-handed - the boys who had handed out the books had vanished immediately after finishing their task.

"As for the content of the book, I will get to it shortly. My objective right now is to alert and warn [the public] about some of the Iraqis who have recently settled in the city. There may be Shi'ites among them who are infiltrators from Iran. Alternatively, it may be the Sufi orders, which have recently spread around Sixth of October, that are distributing the book. I do not care to speculate - I am in search of the truth.

"First let me say that the Shi'ites are Muslims like ourselves [the Sunnis], and that our aim is not to examine their creed but to determine what they are trying to achieve. Their goal is surely not religious but political. The Shi'ite movement has launched a forceful onslaught on Egypt. What incensed me, personally, as well as some of my friends who frequent the mosques in [the city of] Sixth of October, is that the book - which is replete with curses against Egypt and the Egyptian people - is titled 'Charity that Keeps on Giving,' as though the curses and invective that they are hurling at us are a form of charity."

The Shi'ite Book Slanders Egypt and Falsifies the Hadith

"Let me quote some passages from the book, so that our dear readers know what [the Shi'ites] want from us and what curses they direct at us. [One of the passages says:] 'It has been handed down from Ahmad bin Muhammad bin 'Issa from Al-Bizanti, who said: I [once] told Al-Ridha, may he rest in peace, [4] that the Egyptians claim that their land is sacred. [Al-Ridha] replied, "How can that be?" I said, "... They claim that, on Judgment Day, 70,000 of them will enter Paradise without being held to account [for their deeds]." Al-Ridha replied: "That is not so. Egypt was the land to which Allah sent the Israelites when they incurred his wrath, and the land from which they were delivered when he was satisfied with them. Allah also instructed Moses to take Joseph's bones out of Egypt"'... [In another passage], the book says [again:] 'How horrible is the land of Egypt! Indeed, it was the prison of the Israelites when they angered Allah [and caused him to] punish them for disobeying Him.'

"[The book also says]: 'It has been handed down by Yahya bin 'Abdallah bin Al-Hassan [that] the Prophet [Muhammad] once said: Beware of Egypt and do not sojourn there, for it [is a land that] imbues one with depravity and dishonor. [The Prophet] also said: I hate eating food that has been cooked in a clay pot from Egypt, and I dislike cleaning my head with its mud, since I fear that its soil will infuse me with depravity and quench my zeal.'

"This Shi'ite book, [then,] has gone so far as to falsify hadiths of the Prophet... because, according to an authentic hadith, the Prophet actually said: "Allah has helped you to conquer Egypt. Accordingly, recruit its people as [your] soldiers - since they are the best soldiers on Earth." If [the author] of this Shi'ite book had the audacity to falsify a hadith of the Prophet and to ascribe to him words that he never said - what kind of Islam is this?...

"Unfortunately, in Egypt we live under the illusion of a 'strong Iran,' which is battering Washington and forcing it to retreat. Under the influence of this illusion, we have issued fatwas in support of the mujahideen's war in Iraq, [although] it is common knowledge that most of them are Shi'ites. These fatwas, issued by extremist Sunni ulama and espoused by mosque preachers, who talk loudly but lack knowledge, hold that whoever refrains from joining the war in Iraq is a sinner. It is these Sunni fatwas that have opened the doors of Sunni countries to the Shi'ites and the Iranian money. These fatwas have sanctioned the spilling of our sons' blood in Iraq and have allowed [our sons] to fight on the side of the Shi'ites. In these circumstances, how can we prevent the Shi'ites from infiltrating Egypt?

"In Egypt, there is Iranian money, and it is used for exploiting the strained economic circumstances of a part of the [Egyptian] population. It is through 'the gates of poverty' that [the Shi'ites] are gaining access to a vantage point from which they brainwash the Egyptians and control their minds, capitalizing on their love for Ahl Al-Bayt [5] and exploiting the existence in Egypt of mosques named after Ahl Al-Bayt..."

"Either Expel [the Shi'ites] or Send Them Back to Their Homeland"

"The Muslim Brotherhood, the fundamentalists, and the extremist Sunni religious scholars have brought us to the point where we are welcoming the Shi'a [into our country]. Every journalist or politician who expresses an opinion against Iran is immediately branded a heretic, atheist, or an American or Israeli agent. In this way, the Muslim Brotherhood and mosque preachers have instilled the ideology of 'loving Iran' in the hearts of the Egyptian people. Naturally, this love has increased as the Iranian money has found its way into the Sunni countries.

"[I say to] our precious religious scholars: At present, Egypt cannot afford to start a pointless argument over the Sunna and the Shi'a. A sectarian conflict will propel us towards a fate similar to that of Lebanon or Iraq. I implore you not to be swayed by your hatred of America and not to open the doors before those who forge the Prophet's hadiths and impute to him falsehoods... The Shi'ites in Egypt are subsidizing the purchase of weapons for the Palestinians and the defense of Iran, and not one penny [of their money] goes to Egypt.

"There are Shi'ite charity organizations in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the Gulf states. [These] organizations are known for building mosques, mostly in the city of Sixth of October. [They are also known for] helping poor families, and for paying the salaries of mosque imams. On several occasions, I have warned about the growing number of Iraqis in the city of Sixth of October. I was told, on these occasions, that they were Sunnis who had escaped the horrors of the American occupation [in Iraq]. Unfortunately, with time, we have discovered to which sect [they really belong], as well as their true political objective. [Therefore, I say] either expel them or send them back to their homeland, for we do not want to hear about suicide [bombings] in Egyptian cities. Those who [pray] in the mosques of Sixth of October are praying for Hassan Nasrallah and his 'pure' money. Should we wait for something worse?!"


[1] See MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 2080, "Sheikh Yousef Al-Qaradhawi in Interview With Egyptian Daily: Mubarak Should Step Down and Should Not Pass Presidency to Gamal; The Spread of the Shi'a Is A Danger," October 12, 2008.

[2] Al-Gumhouriyya (Egypt), September 21, 2008.

[3] Bihar Al-Anwar ("Seas of Light") is a large compilation of Shi'ite traditions by Shi'ite scholar Mullah Muhammad Baqir, known as Al-'Alama Al-Majlisi (d. 1698).

[4] 'Ali Al-Ridha was the eighth Imam of the Twelver Shi'ites. He served as Imam between 799 and 818.

[5] The Prophet's family.

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