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Three Egyptian Salafist leaders resign from Islamic umbrella group

Nour Party figures have withdrawn from the Islamist group complaining of its bias towards the Brotherhood

Ahram Online, Monday 25 Feb 2013
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Three Salafist figures have announced their resignation from an Islamist coalition organisation in protest at what they described as the group's "hostility" towards Salafists.

The Islamic Legitmate Entity for Rights and Reform, an Islamists' umbrella group, was established in 2011 by several prominent Islamist figures, including Muslim Brotherhood leader Khairat El-Shater and deputy leader of the Salafist Call Yasser Borhami, with the aim of uniting Islamist forces in Egypt.

On Sunday, two leading members of the Salafist Nour Party, the political arm of the Salafist Call, resigned: spokesman Salah Abdel-Maqsoud and secretary-general Galal El-Morra.

Abdel-Maqsoud said in a press statement Sunday evening that his decision was based on the belief the entity has been taking negative stances against the Salafist Call.

"The entity contradicted what it was made for, and has not defended Khaled Alam El-Din, who faced clear injustice," said Abdel-Maqsoud.

El-Din was sacked on 17 February from his post as a presidential advisor, apparently amid claims that he had used his position in the presidency for personal gain. El-Din and the Nour Party vehemently denied the claims and requested an official apology from the president.

Sheikh Ali Ghalab, head of the Salafist Call in Marsa Matrouh, resigned from the Islamic entity on Sunday.

Ghalab claimed his resignation comes after what he described as a drifting of the entity from "its initial mission as a coordinator and its bias towards some factions."
Notably, influential Salafist preacher Mohamed Hassan resigned last week, saying that he "did not have enough time for the entity."

Meanwhile, head of the group Ahmed El-Salous refuted all claims that his organisation was biased.

"We're not biased towards any faction or party; whoever claimed otherwise should reconsider, because the entity has never drifted from its path, ever," said El-Salous in a video released on the group's official Facebook page Sunday evening.

Head of the Salafist Reform Party Ateya Adnan told Al-Ahram Arabic news website that he respects the decision of the Nour Party members who resigned and commented that the issue of Alam El-Din's sacking was for the presidency alone and not for the entity to interfere in.

Adnan further rejected claims that the entity is dominated by Muslim Brotherhood leader Khairat El-Shater, because "El-Shater is only a member of the board of trustees; it is controlled by all its members and not just one."

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