Morsy sends religious leaders to Sinai to combat radicalism

President Mohamed Morsy has ordered officials at the Ministry of Endowments to increase their presence and activities in Sinai in order to combat the influence of certain militant groups and their extremist Islamist ideas, Al-Masry Al-Youm reported.

The paper added that the Ministry of Endowments received instructions from the president’s office to send missionary processions to Sinai with the purpose of challenging militant groups’ extremist ideas, which call for jihad against the nation.

The move comes less than a week after the release of seven security officers, kidnapped in Sinai by a hardline Islamic group.

Al-Masry Al-Youm added that the processions, organized by the Ministry of Endowments and the Salafi-oriented Ansar al-Sunnah association, will be heading to both North and South Sinai. They will spend 10 days there and then come back, after which other groups will visit other parts of Sinai, and so on until the convoys have covered all parts of the peninsula.

Imams will be sent as part of these processions and they will meet with elders and tribe leaders to discuss their problems and how the state can help them.

The sources said that a message sent from the president’s office to the Minister of Endowments requested that he swiftly organize these visits by moderate preachers and well-known Imams.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm