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Excluding Islamists in Egypt could lead to violence: Nour Party head

Younis Makhion warns of violence and reprisals if Egypt's government wages a blanket anti-Islamist campaign

Reuters , Thursday 22 Aug 2013
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The Salafist's Nour party leader, Younis Makhion states it would be stupid to consider excluding the Islamist political current in Egypt.

"You cannot exclude the Islamist current and if anyone thinks about exclusion, it will be extremely stupid," said Makhionin an interview with Reuters.

After Egypt's army deposed Islamist president Mohamed Morsi on 3 July they engaged in what could be the fiercest crackdown against the Islamists in decades and Makhion says his party "feels that it is getting closer to the crisis."

Some members Nour Party members were harassed just for growing a beard as an expression of their religious commitment, says Makhion, worried about the state of emergency in Egypt.

"Thugs are now setting up checkpoints where they attack bearded men and sometimes beat and then hand them over the police stations where cases are being set up for them and then they are sent to the prosecution," said Younis Makhion,accusing the state of mobilising "the thugs."

Warning of an arbitrary campaign against Islamists, Makhion also stated that this campaign may force the Islamists to work underground. "This is a dangerous path and will make many reject democracy and use others methods," the leader of the second-largest Islamist party in Egypt (after the Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party) warned.

"The Muslim Brotherhood activists involved in violence should stand trial, but the mass arrest of Muslim Brotherhood members is extremely wrong" said Makhion.

Hundreds of Brotherhood members have been arrested in the past two weeks, not just in Cairo, but across several governorates in Egypt following the dispersal of the pro-Morsi sit-ins.

The leader of the Salafist party also warned of violence and counter-violence in Egypt, especially that weapons are flooding into Egypt from Libya since the Libyan revolution two years ago.

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