|Minister acknowledges spread of Shiism in Egypt||
TEHRAN - A high-ranking Egyptian official on Tuesday admitted that the doctrine of Shia Islam is being spread in the most populous Arab country with unprecedented speed, according to the website of the Egyptian Masress.
Minister of Endowments Mohamed Mokhtar Gomaa said that he is seriously concerned about the expansion of Shiism in the country because it could put Egypt’s security at a huge risk.
He claimed that those who are spreading Shia teachings in Egypt are provoking division in the society.
Shias were shunned from Egypt’s political and social life throughout the 30-old year regime of ousted President Hosni Mubarak. There are no official statistics on the number of Shias in Egypt, but experts on the country’s religious minorities estimate their number between 50,000 and 80,000, a relatively small proportion of Egypt’s population of 85 million. Some were banned from traveling abroad and repeatedly arrested by the security services of Mubarak’s regime.
Hardline Sunni clerics in Egypt have speeded up their rhetoric against the Shias since the fall of Mubarak in 2011, a move which is believed to be directly supported by some Arab states in the region.
Egypt is the scene of daily protests and street clashes and the authorities have been cracking down on Muslim Brotherhood since the army toppled Islamist President Mohamed Morsi on July 3.
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