Egypt’s banned April 6 Youth Movement has condemned as an “incitement of violence” a recent statement by several Egyptian and Arab Islamic clerical groups urging revenge on Egyptian authorities for a crackdown on Islamists.
Ten clerical groups from Egypt, Lebanon, Palestine, Mauritania, Sudan and Morocco called in a statement last week for “retribution” and “resistance against the criminal, murderous ruling system in Egypt" for what they describe as the "military coup" against former Muslim Brotherhood president Mohamed Morsi in 2013 and a state crackdown that has left "thousands unjustly killed and jailed.”
The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, which has opposed the ouster of the Islamist president, lauded the statement which was signed by over 150 Islamic clerics, adding that the communiqué had confirmed “that resistance to the coup is a religious duty.”
The April 6 group said in a statement on Tuesday it was deeply concerned about the call, describing it as “an incitement to violence, which is destructive to any remaining social peace among Egyptians".
“The group categorically rejects any reference or allusion to using violence against any Egyptian group that happens to belong to a state institution,” it added.
The movement, which helped ignite the uprising that toppled autocrat Hosni Mubarak in 2011 but was banned by a court ruling last year, warned that such calls might be used by authorities to ”discredit the popular movement... and crack down on political dissent.”
Morsi was removed from office in July 2013, following massive protests against his sole year in office.
Egypt's authorities have since mounted a fierce crackdown on Islamists.
For almost two years now, the post-Morsi government has been battling militant Islamist groups, including an Islamic State affiliate in the restive North Sinai, who have carried out deadly attacks against security forces.
The Islamist insurgency has claimed the lives of hundreds of police and army soldiers.
Courts have also meted out tough jail sentences to thousands of Morsi supporters as well as the death penalty to tens on charges of terrorism, incitement to violence and murder among others.
The government has also jailed a number of non-Islamist activists, including leaders of April 6, on charges of violating the restrictive 2013 protest law.
Egypt designated the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist group in late 2013, but the group has repeatedly said it is committed to peaceful change.