Thousands of Salafis protest at Kafr al-Sheikh court

Thousands of Salafis gathered on Saturday outside Kafr al-Sheikh Court in support of a Salafi sheikh, Abu Ishaq al-Howainy, and to demand the dismissal of Egyptian Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa, who had sued Howainy for libel and slander.

Gomaa filed a lawsuit against Howainy, accusing of slander by saying that "the Mufti was born dead" in a TV program on the Salafi oriented Hekma channel.

Eyewitnesses said protesters blocked the streets surrounding the court and set up a podium where they delivered impassioned amplified speeches in support of Howainy.
Though known as a icon for the Salafi trend in Egypt, Howainy is not a graduate of Al-Azhar University, which is considered the center of moderate Sunni Islam education worldwide. Some critics accuse Howainy of being a hardliner and of delving into political issues.
The court decided last week to postpone Howainy's trial indefinitely, after lawyers protesting as part of a nationwide strike, closed the court and prevented judges from entering the building.
Salafis, the majority of whom have radical views about interpreting religion and who began engaging in politics after the ouster of former President Hosni Mubarak in Fenruary. Secular political forces say they fear Salafi hardliners reaching power and threatening freedoms.
Salafi protesters distributed leaflets to citizens at Kafr al-Sheikh, including one entitled "Who is Ali Gomaa?" and raised banners that read: " We sacrifice ourselves for you Abu Ishaq," and "Oh Gomaa, leave."
Gomaa is widely seen as a moderate religious symbol, but critics say he was close to Mubarak.

Related Articles

Back to top button