Thursday, June 02, 2011

Egyptian town wants to stop Jewish pilgrimage to rabbi's grave

From The Egyptian Gazette:

Residents of el-Behira Governorate in the Nile Delta vowed Thursday to prevent thousands of Jews, who arrive en masse at the tiny village of Demito near Damanhour City, 50 km southeast of Alexandria, every year during the last week of each December to attend the birthday celebrations of Abu Hasira, a Moroccan Jewish holy man, who was buried there some 150 years ago.

"After the January 25 revolution, which toppled over the Hosni Mubarak regime, the Jews will not be allowed to enter Demito any more and endanger the public morals and hurt the feelings of its 5,000 residents," Moustafa Rasslan, a lawyer, said.

He called on the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), which has been ruling the country since February 11, to enforce a 2001 court ruling that compelled the Culture Ministry, responsible for the site where the annual gathering takes place in late December and early January, to cancel the Abu Hasira celebrations all together.

"If the SCAF does not enforce the ruling, Damito residents will not allow the Jews come to their village to attend the week-long Abu Hasira Mulid (festival), where they used to behave in a way that contradicts Islamic traditions and public morals under the very nose of security officials of the ousted regime," he said.

Although Damityoo residents insist that they have nothing against Jews , they insist that the Jews and Israelis should feel ashamed of themselves to visit their village while they are oppressing the Palestinians.

A female residents said that the Jews drink alcohol, which is forbidden in Islam, to be blessed as part of their veneration of the rabbi.

"The Jewish visitors usually get drunk and engage in obscene dancing during the celebrations," the woman, who asked not to be identified, said, demanding that the Abu Hasira festival should be cancelled after the revolution and the deposing of Mubarak, whom she dismissed as Israel's friend.

Damito dwellers, led by lawyer Rasslan, have officially requested the SCAF to stop the festival because of their discontent about the Jews' misconduct.

They have also demanded that the Essam Sharf Government to move Abu Hasira's remains to Israel and change the name of their village from Damito to Mohamed el-Dura, the Palestinian young boy whom Israeli forces shot to death in cold blood during the second Intifada eleven years ago.
It's not like they don't like Jews, Allah forbid. They just to ban them from their town. You can't call that anti-semitism!

Here's a video of the "drunken" revelry and "obscene dancing" that they are complaining about, that was embedded on Arab sites last January:

And then, as an afterthought, the article says:
Recently, there has been an unconfirmed report that the secret Egyptian security agents have foiled a bid by some anti-Israel activists from vandalizing the Abu Hasira Shrine.

No security official was immediately available to confirm or deny this report.
In fact, Shorouk News reported two weeks ago:
Hundreds of students from the University of Damanhur and a coalition of youth on Saturday held a peaceful march to the tomb of Abu Hatezira to denounce the Israeli occupation of Gaza and the West Bank, and to show solidarity with the third Palestinian Intifada, and the rejection of the establishment of the alleged birth of Abuhetzeira in Damanhour.

The march began in front of the college at the University of Damanhur and then walked around the streets, and stopped at the bridge leading to the Abu Rish Dmitoh village is located the tomb of Abu Hatzeira, and afterwards security forces prevented them from entering the village.

The students burned the Israeli flag, and carried a sign saying "The Zionists will not enter," in reference to repeated visits by Israeli tourists each year to the shrine of Abuhatzeira. The students chanted slogans condemning the Israeli occupation of Palestine, and calls for halt attacks on the Gaza Strip, and unify the Arab countries to restore the occupied Arab territories, and stop the various forms of normalization with Israel including natural gas, and the expulsion of its ambassador from Egypt.
So Egyptians decide to protestagainst Israel's existence at a shrine that has nothing to do with Israel and only has religious significance. A shrine that they want to remove from their midst.

But don't say they hate Jews!

(h/t Vicious Babushka)