Saturday, 14 March 2009

RFE/RL: Iranian Security Forces Attack Dervishes Again

Iranian security forces attacked a gathering of dervishes in the central city of Isfahan on February 19, RFE/RL reports. The dervishes had gathered next to the tomb of the great dervish poet Naser Ali when they were attacked.

The attack comes a day after the local authorities demolished the house of worship of the Gonabadi dervishes in Isfahan. A witness told RFE/RL that security officials used force and tear gas against the dervishes, a number of whom were injured and several were reportedly detained.

Dervishes are practitioners of Sufi Islam, and traditionally considered by Muslims as a source of wisdom, medicine, poetry, and enlightenment. But many conservative Muslims consider them a danger to mainstream Islam.

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