Egyptian police (Photo: Flickr)

Egypt’s tourism industry may be dead, but that didn’t stop the banning of a Jewish festival that would have brought visitors and generated income. All in the name of Islam.

An Egyptian court banned the annual festival honoring Rabbi Yaakov Abu Hatzira, a famed Moroccan rabbi who is buried in Egypt, AP reports.

The festival is usually attended by hundreds of Jewish pilgrims, mainly from Israel and Morocco, but this year it was banned, allegedly for religious reasons.

The Administrative Court of Alexandria banned the visits on Monday and stripped the Culture Ministry’s designation of the site as an Egyptian monument. It acted on a complaint filed by local residents who objected to the mingling of men and women and the consumption of alcohol at the festival, which is considered offensive by some Muslims, AP reports.

The Egyptian government has been traditionally supportive of the festival. After the 1979 peace treaty with Israel, Egypt began allowing organized trips to the Abu Hatzira’s tomb in the Nile delta north of Cairo, AP reports. The Culture Ministry had declared the site an Egyptian monument.

In 1879, Abu Hatzira left his native Morocco and embarked on a pilgrimage to Israel, but he fell ill and died on the way. He was buried in Damanhour, where his tomb has become a site of pilgrimage.

Egypt has been suffering profoundly in recent years due to the instability in the country.

By: United with Israel Staff