A video shown on an Egyptian satellite channel revealed the establishment of the first Shiite school in Egypt, amid doubts about the authenticity of the news and denial on the part of the owner of the place.
The video, aired Tuesday on one of the Egyptian talk shows on Dream TV, showed that the new school has students from different Arab and foreign countries, on top of which were Algeria, Qatar, Iran, and the United States.
An Algerian girl said in the video that she had come from Algeria especially to attend the new school in which, according to her, students practice the Shiite rituals and perform the chants related to Shiite beliefs.
For Walid Ismail, member of the Muslim Coalition for the Defense of the Prophet’s Companions and Offspring and researcher in Islamic affairs, the new school is part of a plan to divide Egypt along sectarian lines.
“If this school continues, it will be the biggest threat Egypt could face in the coming phase,” he said.
The school, he added, took advantage of the security vacuum in Egypt as well as post-revolution rifts between several factions to promote the Shiite faith.
Islamic researcher Alaa al-Said expressed his surprise at the establishment of the school for logistic reasons.
“How can the school start classes without obtaining the necessary approvals from the Ministry of Education and other relevant bodies?” he said.
On the other hand, Shawki Ahmed, a Shiite who was hosted in the same show that aired the video, denied reports about the establishment of a Shiite school.
“The place shown in the video is my house and I do receive students there, but it’s not a school and their number does not usually exceed 15.”