Takfir is the Islamic practice of declaring that another Muslim is less than sufficiently Islamic, that he has in effect become a kafir, a non-believer. Throughout the history of Islam, zealous Muslims have repeatedly called takfir on fellow Muslims who were thought to be less than fully pious — and engaged in much intramural bloodshed whilst doing so.
A flare-up of takfir seems to have occurred in the Egyptian city of Heliopolis today, where a mob of Salafists attacked the residence of an Iranian diplomat in protest against Shi’ites and Iran. But the protesters also lashed out at the Muslim Brotherhood for tainting itself by associating with Shi’ites.
No matter how pure a Muslim you are, there’s always someone else who’s even purer.
The video below from an Arab news channel shows the chanting mob in Heliopolis. Listen to the leader shouting “Al Jihad! Al Jihad!” I wonder if he’s referring to an “inner struggle”?
Here’s an article about the incident from Al-Ahram. Note the eyewitnesses’ conflicting identifications of the protesters, as “mostly Syrians” and also as “Egyptian Salafists”:
Salafists attack residence of Iranian charge d’affaires in Cairo
Protesters condemn Iran, Shiism and Muslim Brotherhood during demonstration in Heliopolis; Iranian chargé d’affaires blames protest on Syrian opposition
Dozens of protesters attempted to storm the residence of the Iranian chargé d’affaires in Cairo on Friday.
The protesters, mostly Salafists, threw stones at the building and daubed offensive slogans on the outer wall.
They chanted against Iran, Shias and the Muslim Brotherhood and in support of the Syrian opposition.
“Let all the Muslim Brothers hear, we will not accept relations between Egypt and Iran,” the protesters chanted. “Iranian ambassador, Egypt will not be Shia, Egypt is a Sunni country” and “Egypt and Syria are one hand.”
The protesters carried banners saying “No to Shias in Egypt.”
A number of journalists and photographers were assaulted during the protest.
Security forces dispersed the protesters with tear gas after a man tried to hang the Syrian independence flag on the gate of the residence.
“There were around 40 to 50 protesters in front of the residence. They were mostly Syrians from the opposition and they had the Syrian opposition flag,” Mogabati Amani, Iranian charge d’ affaires in Cairo told Ahram Online.
“These people are dangerous for Egyptian security because they are serving foreign interests,” he said. “We know very well that the enemies of Egyptian-Iranian relations want to harm Egypt.”
Amani said talks were underway with the foreign ministry to ensure such “actions will not be repeated again.”
“Such actions could be harmful to the relations between the two countries, “ stressed Amani.
Eyewitnesses said most of the protesters were Egyptian Salafists.
Hat tip: Vlad Tepes.