Sunni and Iran comments made by Egyptian cleric spark sectarian worries

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Sunni and Iran comments made by Egyptian cleric spark sectarian worries

An Egyptian Sunni cleric, Sheikh Yusuf Al Qaradawi, has sparked worries of a rift between Shia and Sunni Muslims in Egypt, after he accused Shia-dominated Iran of neo-colonialism through the spread of ‘Shiism’. Egyptian intellectuals have expressed outrage over the cleric’s comments. The Sheikh, who also hosts a religious programme on the pan-Arabic news network Al Jazeera, accused Iran of having “imperial dreams” of taking over the Sunni world. “I don’t accept that any Arab or foreign country attack Iran, but I don’t accept that Iran attack any Arab country, especially seeing as some Iranians have imperial drams, which is wrong and dangerous,” Qaradawi said in comments carried by Egypt’s Al Masry Al Youm newspaper. “What is happening is organised, an invasion … it is not a religious invasion but a political one. Iran is trying to impose itself on those around it and we refuse to follow a new form of neo-colonialism, be it Iranian or any other,” said Qaradawi. Fears are growing that Qaradawi’s statements could stoke the fire of sectarianism that is rife across the region. Though a minority in the Muslim world, Shia Muslims constitute the majority in Iran, among others.
Sunni Muslims constitute the largest denomination in the Islamic world

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