“Did you pray upon Prophet Muhammad today?” posters cause controversy in Egypt
"Did you pray upon Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) today?" poster on a car - YOUM7 (Archive)
By RANDA EL-BANNA

CAIRO: Posters with the sentence “Did you pray upon the Prophet Muhammad today?” went viral on cars, buses and in shops in Egypt and caused controversy as to where it was coming from, Al-Shorouq reported Saturday.

Salafi Call sources said they are strongly involved in widening the campaign depending on who liked the idea and got involved in it.

The campaign started a week ago, Deputy Minister of Interior for Media Affairs Abdel Fattah Osman told Amr Adeed on the Al-Qarhera al-Youm television program. “Egyptian law forbids any posters, writing any words, or hanging anything inside vehicles.”

He also told Adeed that these posters indicate a certain religious orientation which can cause sectarian problems and the ministry is planning to “eliminate these posters completely.”

These posters go beyond reminding people to remember God and Prophet Muhammad and have “evil intent” and everything should take place in its specified places, Minister of Endowment Mohamed Mokhtar Gomaa told “Yahdoth fee Masr” (Happenings in Egypt) Wednesday.

The new poster phenomenon “is something rightful that aims for something evil” and aims to divide the community into Muslims and Christians to turn Egypt into a “new Iraq,” Member of the Scientific Research Congregation Abdallah al-Naggar told Al-Tahrir channel Monday.

“They said it is a phrase that escalates sectarian violence and the reply to what they said should have been did you pray upon the prophet today?” Christian journalist Ramy Jan, who is against the ousting of former President Morsi, posted on his Facebook account.

“The hysterical state that went viral among the media and some government officials represents the worst publication for the new regime,” Al-Tahrir news reported Nour Party media committee member Abdel Ghaffar Taha as saying Thursday.

Vice President of the Salafi Call, Yasser Burhami announced that Salafi Call, and its political arm the Nour Party, have nothing to do with the campaign and that these are individual acts from individual people. However, he said the Ministry of Interior’s campaign to remove the posters will cause “a state of congestion” among Egyptians and the religious people among them. It is not a campaign against illegal posters but it is a conflict between the government and people’s religious beliefs, Al-Shorouq news reported Wednesday.

Some activists responded to the campaign by making a hashtag on twitter that translates as “Did you curse the Muslim Brotherhood today?”

Another related Twitter hashtag that translates as “Did you curse Sisi today?” also started trending, and many users cursed Sisi and accused him of killing people during the breakup of  the Rabaa al-Adaweya and Nahda Square sit-ins.

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