A prominent Iranian cleric has strongly condemned the recent killing of Shia Muslims in Egypt, saying that Takfiri extremists are seriously damaging the reputation of Islam and the Muslim world through such vicious actions. “The main problem facing the Muslim world is Salafist Takfiris, who are dealing heavy blows to the pillars of Islam and the reputation and dignity of Muslims worldwide through their brutal actions. They introduce Islam, which is a religion of mercy and kindness, as a religion of violence, bloodshed, cruelty and savagery,” Grand Ayatollah Nasser Makarem Shirazi said in a statement released on Wednesday. The statement also expressed the readiness of Iranian scholars to hold talks with their Egyptian counterparts in order to foster proximity among various schools of Islam and promote unity among Muslims. Grand Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi also asked all Muslim scholars not to remain silent on the recent massacre of Shias in Egypt, urging the Egyptian government to spare no efforts to bring those responsible for the crime to justice. “Unfortunately, Egypt is facing a Zionist plot that seeks to undermine its stability, security and independence. It can spread to the entire region if no proper solution is sought,” the senior Iranian cleric stated. On Sunday, a group of Takfiri extremists attacked the house of a Shia cleric at a village near Cairo in Giza Province. The cleric and three of his followers were murdered after the house was surrounded by hundreds of people vowing to kill them for being Shias. Their bodies were then dragged into the street by Takfiri extremists. Takfiris believe that only their interpretation of Islam is correct and all other Muslims are unbelievers. Egyptian Prime Minister Hesham Kandil has denounced the killing of the Shias and said he is closely following the investigation into the incident. He also promised that the culprits would be punished. The incident comes a week after Salafist clerics insulted Shia Muslims during a demonstration. The Shia community is being targeted by Salafists, with the support of various countries, especially Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Shias, who form just one percent of Egypt’s population, are often attacked by extremist groups.