Abdel Halim Qandil (Photo: AL-Ahram)
The Muslim Brotherhood is encouraging sin among its young members by pushing them to take part in violent clashes, a leading Egyptian journalist has said.
Veteran journalist and co-founder of the Kefaya pro-democracy group Abdel-Halim Qandil stated on Thursday via Twitter that taking part in such violence could leader young Brothers to become thugs and criminals.
"Brotherhood leaders act like blind elephants and do not realise the magnitude of the social and political anger that is growing on the streets. It is escalating into calls for a new revolution," Qandil stated.
Qandil's statements come after violent protests in Tahrir Square on Friday when pro-Brotherhood protesters clashed with liberals and leftists and over a hundred people were injured.
Eyewitnesses claim Brotherhood supporters attacked peaceful demonstrators and destroyed their podiums in order to stop chants against President Morsi, who was a long-time member of the group.
For several days after the clashes, which left over 150 people injured, the Brotherhood blamed the violence on “thugs” and "agents of the dismantled state security."
However, the group's spokesman Mahmoud Ghozlan on Wednesday told the Al-Ahram Arabic news website that some “hasty Brotherhood youth” were involved in the clashes.
“The group was not going to take part in the demonstration," he explained, "but had a change of heart after learning that those going to protest shared some of our aims: protesting against the (Battle of the Camel) verdict that acquitted the killers of revolutionaries.
In addition to being a well-known Nasserist and journalist whose work has appeared in numerous publications, Qandil was one of the founders of the 2005 pro-reform Kefaya Movement.
He was a staunch opponent of the Mubarak regime. In 2004 he was kidnapped by thugs, beaten, blindfolded, stripped of his clothes and told to stop his opposition activism.