Mosque of Imam Hussein – File photo
CAIRO – 1 October 2017: The Religious Endowment Ministry closed for the second day, the tomb of Imam Hussein on Sunday, to prevent any Shia celebrations on the anniversary of Ashura and prevent possible attacks on the mosque or its worshipers.
On Ashura, Shias commemorate the killing of Hussain, the grandson of the Prophet Mohammed.
Few Shia leaders announced earlier that they would head to Hussein mosque to commemorate Ashura in their own way and mourn the death of Imam Hussain.
Replying to the announcement, a number of Salafi coalitions said that they would be stationed near the mosque to face any Shia acts or rituals on Saturday and Sunday, the days that mark the Ashura celebrations.
Walid Ismail, a Salafi and a member of the Islamic Coalition, said that Shiites strived to enter the mosque and take photos to send to suspicious organizations for funding. Ismail claimed that they would do so under the pretext of spreading Shiism in Egypt.
Security forces intensified their presence around the perimeter of the Imam Hussain Mosque and secured the gates to avoid any clashes between the Salafists and Shias.