Last Update 22:7
Tuesday, 12 November 2019

Tunisian press slams Egyptian cleric's 'infidel' election comments

Tunisians are angered by recent comments made by Islamist preacher Wagdi Ghoneim about the country's parliamentary elections

Karem Yehia in Tunisia, Sunday 2 Nov 2014
wagdi ghoneim
Egyptian preacher Wagdi Ghoneim (Photo: Ahram)
Views: 2933
Views: 2933

Egyptian Islamist preacher Wagdi Ghoneim has sparked anger among Tunisians after describing their recent parliamentary elections as "nonsense."

Ghoneim also described the winners of the elections as "infidels", saying the Islamist party Ennahda "sacrificed Islam for democracy" as its leader Rachid Al-Ghannouchi congratulated Beji Caid Essebsi, head of the winning party Nidaa, last Sunday.

Ghoneim is an oustpoken Islamist preacher and an ardent loyalist of the Muslim Brotherhood, a group that the post-Morsi authorities have banned.

In Egypt, he faces charges of inciting violence following the ouster of Mohamed Morsi, who hails from the Brotherhood.

He has been living in Qatar for several years. In September, as per Doha's orders, he moved to Turkey along with a number of other leading Brotherhood members who had been residing in Qatar. 

Ennahda spokesman Ziyad Al-Azari told Al-Ahram that his party "does not have any comments on such statements", adding that they are committed to "accepting the rules of democracy and respecting the election results."

Local daily newspaper Al-Maghrib daily newspaper however published an article on Ghoneim on Thursday titled "Pro-Brotherhood, pro-female circumcision preacher accuses Tunisians of blasphemy."

The paper noted that Ghoneim mentioned the word "infidels" and its derivatives (in Arabic) 29 times in less than 20 minutes during his comments. It also said that Ghoneim "approved of female circumcision, incited the killing of Egyptian soldiers, and after coming to Tunisia's generous land he talked about its people as if they do not uphold any morals or principles, and likened them to cats and dogs."  

According to the article, Ghoneim faces legal prosecution in Tunisia over accusations of preaching in its mosques without a license in 2012. If convicted, he could spend up to six months in prison. He also faces accusations of ridiculing the Tunisian national anthem.

State-owned daily Al-Sabah said that Ghoneim used libelous terms to describe civil secular groups. 

Essebsi has chosen Monastir city, hometown of first president of the Tunisian republic Habib Bourguiba, to launch his campaign for presidential elections on Sunday, among 27 other candidates.

The presidential elections are expected to be held on 23 November.

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Egyptian Muslim
03-11-2014 02:12am
Wagdi Ghoneim Supports Terrorism
Alsalamaalaikum, Wagdi Ghoneim professed his support for Daesh (ISIS) a few weeks ago in a video. He is a known supporter of Terrorism (ISIS and Muslim Brotherhood) and he should be condemned by our sheikhs. AlSisi and AlSibsi have exposed the brotherhood in Egypt and Tunis, and we Egyptians give our greetings to our brothers in Tunis! Long live Egypt and Long Live Tunis!
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02-11-2014 09:45pm
If they are infidels according to this clown.
Then they are decent people that's for sure. These parasites should be stifled not to embarrass Egypt with their ignorance.
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Aladdin, Egypt
02-11-2014 06:03pm
WHo is that Man?
He does not represent Egypt. Congratulation for your elections and for defeating the satanic forces.
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Tunisia's Spring flowers
02-11-2014 10:19pm
Credit goes to the martyrs of 2011
Both Tunisian elections were victories for democracy over the anri-democratic Ben Ali dictatorship. Without the glorious revolution, this election could not have happened.l

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