Secretary General of the Egyptian Sufi forces Abdullah Al-Nasser Hilmi Amin has said that criticising the Egyptian army is a “crime” and “heresy” and voting for the president is a “necessity,” Egyptian media reported yesterday.

In remarks delivered to the media Amin accused the different Islamic groups of “distorting the image of Islam”.

Taking part in the elections is a “necessity for the sake of protecting the Egyptian state, preventing chaos and stopping bloodshed,” he added.

 I am calling for all Egyptians to cast their votes in order to protect the state from destruction,” he said, noting that there is pressure from the international community to damage Egypt’s reputation.

After threatening, detaining and harassing effective candidates, only one Egyptian is competing with the current President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi for presidency. Monitors believe that the election results have already been prepared in favour of Al-Sisi.

Recent leaks revealed that the Al-Sisi regime has been mobilising religious forces to support his candidacy and to call on Egyptians to take part in the elections.

Prior to the Sufis the Grand Egyptian Mufti issued a fatwa stipulating that taking part in the elections is a religious necessity and the Salafist Al-Nour Party announced its support for Al-Sisi and called for a large number of Egyptians to turn out on election day.