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Is Sufism answer to extremism in Egypt?

Sufism may well be a tool to spread values opposing extremism in Egypt, but Egyptian Sufis also view their politics through the lens of an existential crisis.
Egyptian Sufi Muslims practice ritualized Zikr (invocation) to celebrate the New Islamic Hijri year 1438 in front of al-Hussein mosque at Al-Azhar district in old Islamic Cairo, Egypt October 2, 2016. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh - RTSQGCU

If the Egyptian government wants to combat the spread of radical religious ideology, it would do well to return to its Muslim roots. At a conference held at the headquarters of the Azamiyah Order in Cairo on April 21, which Al-Monitor attended, presenters argued that Sufi Islam is the authentic expression of Egypt’s Muslims.

The conference emphasized the brotherly bond between Muslims and Christians, following the Palm Sunday bombings on April 9. But Sufis are singled out as infidels by the Islamic State (IS), too.

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