Egypt Sends Back Canadian Shia Muslims from Airport Without Explanation
By Sounak Mukhopadhyay | January 6, 2014 10:59 AM EST
Egypt did not allow 61 Shia Muslims from Canada to enter the country. They authorities considered it more appropriate to hold the pilgrims at the Cairo airport as long as the onward flight arrived on Sunday, Jan 5, 2014. The Canadian pilgrims arrived at the Egyptian capital to complete a series of pilgrimage to Shia sites in the country.
Their journey to visit pilgrimages continued from Iraq. However, Egyptian security authorities had orders to keep them out, according to security officials at the airport. The officials, on the other hand, did not provide any further explanation to such action of discrimination. Canadian citizens are generally allowed to enter Egypt with no advance visa. They usually receive the visa upon their arrival at the country.
The Calgary Sun reports that the government of Egypt, which has a majority of Sunni Muslim population, has been strongly criticised for exhibiting open discrimination against the Shia community of the country. The official Islamic establishment in the country has previously discouraged against the growth of the Shia community. On the contrary, the 2012 religious freedom report of the U.S. State Department stated that the government showed no respite in harassing the Shia community in the country.
Sunni leaders in the Middle-East are often blamed for encouraging anti-Shia propaganda which frequently contains hate speech and motivates violence. The sectarian civil war has been eating up the Muslim community all over the world like termites from inside. There have been numerous examples of violence in Syria and Iraq. The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, an umbrella group of Al-Qa'ida, killed 766 Iraqi civilians in December alone through suicide bombing attacks.
Patrick Cockburn of The Independent referred to an incident when one of the wounded members of ISIS was beheaded by his own co-activists as he muttered "Shia" by mistake while he rested on a stretcher. This incident simply shows the severity of the hatred these organisations possess against the Shia community in the region.
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