Egyptians demand an end to ties with Iran and 'Shia Islam'
Egyptian protestors raise their shoes as they shout political and religious slogans outside the Iranian ambassador's residence in Cairo. (AFP PHOTO/GIANLUIGI GUERCIA)
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Dozens rallied around the Iranian ambassador’s house in Cairo in protest of Iranian tourism in Egypt, briefly clashing with security forces on Friday.
The Salafi protestors clashed with the Central Security Forces protecting the house after attempting to break into the ambassador’s house.
CSF troops stationed at the house launched teargas canisters to the crowd of Salafi protesters who responded by throwing back rocks. The clashes subsided only a few minutes later.
Protestors chanted against Iran and adherents of Shia Islam, the second largest sect of Islam. “Egypt will not become Shia, oh ambassador of Iran,” and “Listen, Muslim Brotherhood, we do not want relations with Iran,” were amongst the prevalent chants.
Egypt and Iran agreed on a new tourism exchange treaty back in March that saw the arrival of Iranian tourists to the country for the first time in over 30 years last week. Salafi groups and figures have condemned the move, labelling it an aid to the “Shia flow” into the country.
The protestors demanded cutting off all relations between Egypt and the “Iranian entity” and declared that Shia Muslims were not welcome in Egypt. They also demanded the expulsion of all Iranian tourists from the country.
The Salafi protestors also chanted against the Muslim Brotherhood and President Mohamed Morsi for “normalizing” relations with Iran and “aiding the spread of Shia Islam”.
They also brandished Syrian flags and expressed their support for the Syrian revolution, condemning Iran’s support of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad.
The Salafi Al-Nour Party announced it would be holding a conference regarding the “Shia flow” on Friday.