Salafist protesters in Suez accused of 'opportunism'

Ahram Online, Friday 9 Nov 2012

Salafist protestors face criticism they sat out the January 25 revolution only to press their agenda after its victory

Arbeen
Al-Arbeen Square during the 25 January revolution (Photo: Reuters)

Protestors in support of Friday's Sharia protest in Suez's Al-Arbeen Square dubbed as, "our Quran; our constitution," exchanged heated arguments after Friday prayers with other citizens not affiliated with the demonstration.

The protest in Suez is part of wider demonstrations by Salafist across the country, calling for Egypt's new constitution to be based on the Islamic Sharia law.

A number of people present at Al-Arbeen Square accused Salafists protesters of being "opportunistic." Those opposing the protest reminded the Salafists of their absence during the first days of the 25 January revolution. Yet, the uprising made it possible for Islamist groups to attain more political freedoms, Suez citizens stated.

During the first few days of the 18-day uprising that toppled ousted Hosni Mubarak, a number of Salafist preachers opposed the anti-Mubarak demonstrations and declared the protests as "sacrilegious."

The disputes were stopped by Salafist preachers who tried to calm critics.

Suez is considered one of the main birthplaces of the Egyptian revolution. Salafists enjoy a strong base in the industrial city.

Although the demonstration in Suez was joined by few thousands of protestors voicing the same demand of a Sharia-based constitution filled Cairo's Tahrir Square.

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