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Egypt's Islamists protest French intervention in Mali

Dozens of Salafist Calling and Renaissance and Reform Movement members march to French mission in Cairo in protest of 'colonial' move by France to send troops into Mali

Ahram Online, Friday 18 Jan 2013
One of the protesters outside the French embassy in Giza (Photo: Reuters)
Views: 3686
Views: 3686

Egyptian security forces have bolstered security around the French embassy in Giza Friday, including closing surroundings streets, as dozens arrive for Islamist protest against France's recent military intervention in Mali.

The rally, which was called for by several conservative Islamist groups including prominent preaching group Salafist Calling and the Renaissance and Reform Movement, began after Friday's prayers.

Demonstrators marched from Al-Istiqama Mosque in Giza Square to the French mission, chanting "With our blood and our souls we sacrifce ourselves for Islam" as well as "France take away your dogs, your army is doomed."

France's military operation in the beleaguered West African country, which began Wednesday, has angered several Islamist groups who see it as a colonial move by the European country.

French president Francois Hollande claimed on Tuesday that his troops have no intention of staying in Mali, their own aim is to "eliminate terrorists and regain security."  The decision to begin the operation was taken after rebels, with alleged links to Al-Qaeda, seized the northern half of Mali nine months ago.

"We will not respect nor accept that an occupier lets its army raid countries that are not his," read the statement released by the Salafist Calling, who promised further protests against France.

"The region's nations have started to regain their freedom and whoever stands in the way of the people will lose," the statement added.

On Monday, Egypt's President Mohamed Morsi voiced his opposition to military intervention in Mali, adding that "the situation must be dealt with wisely."  

Morsi's statement came during a press conference held at the presidential palace with President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy.

A similar protest will take place in Egypt's second city, Alexandria, in front of the French consulate.

Last September, Islamists forces staged a series of mass protests by the American embassy in Cairo to condemn US-made film "The Innocence of Muslims" which mocked Prophet Mohammed.

The ensuing clashes between demonstrators and security forces, left at least 250 protesters and 24 security personnel injured.

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19-01-2013 07:25am
A coalition of the willing
I am Muslim and love my religion. But I am ashamed of the abuses perpetrated in Mali in the name of Islam. Just yesterday the ICC announced an investigation into war crimes committed by the radical Islamists implementation on Sharia law. Prosecutor Bensouda has determined that there is a reasonable basis to believe the following crimes were committed: (i) murder; (ii) mutilation, cruel treatment and torture; (iii) intentionally directing attacks against protected objects; (iv) the passing of sentences and the carrying out of executions without previous judgement pronounced by a regularly constituted court; (v) pillaging, and (vi) rape.
Comment's Title

18-01-2013 02:23pm
Mali intervention
Malians and all men of good will are extremely happy that France intervened to save Mali. Malians are jubiliant. Its really strange some Egyptians and their president are unhappy over France's great move. Even when the Malians are jubilant over their freedom as a result of France's intervention, others are unhappy. Honestly, its unfortunate and pathetic. More pathetic is the case of the president who is in support of terrorists instead of the sovereignty of a fellow country. You people can terrorize Egypt but know also that Malians treasure their freedom. You can't be more malian than the Malians.
Comment's Title
Alaa El-Din
18-01-2013 05:36pm
Absolutly with you!
Totally agree with you, there is no place for radical ideologies. The state must prevail and a consense in the Society must be the political power and not an extremist and fachist regime. Most of the Egyptian people support the People of Mali for a free prosporous country!
18-01-2013 03:52pm
France is an occupier of Mali, what freedom you are referring to. Your hate for Islam is clear. Go spread your lies somewhere else.

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