Salafist Abu-Ismail says protesting Egypt's liberal parties is 'necessity'

Ahram Online, Saturday 23 Mar 2013

Former presidential hopeful holds 'liberal' politicians and media figures responsible for current strife in Egypt

Abu Ismail
Former presidential hopeful Hazem Salah Abu-Ismail

Egypt's prominent Salafist figure and founder of Al-Raya Party Hazem Salah Abu-Ismail said that protesting at the offices of liberal parties and politicians has become "an urgent necessity."

In a statement posted on his official Facebook page on Saturday, the controversial Islamist figure accused liberal parties of fomenting the current state of strife in Egypt.

"If surrounding houses in peaceful demonstrations has become legitimate after [protesters did so] at President Mohamed Morsi's [private residence], then marching peacefully to the politicians and media persons who fuel sedition in Egypt, has also become legitimate," the statement said.

Abu Ismail said that "the Egyptian people cannot silently watch a sector of their society being [attacked]" maintaining, however, that "all our actions are always legal and peaceful."  

About 200 hundred people were injured on Friday when anti-Brotherhood protesters clashed with members of the group at the Brotherhood's headquarters in Moqattam, Cairo, and stormed a number of its offices nationwide.

The call for protest was originally prompted by what opposition activists described as attacks by Muslim Brotherhood members on protesting activists at the headquarters last week.

Several Islamist groups and activists made online calls for demonstrating the Egyptian Media Production City (EMPC) against what they called "biased" media coverage of Friday's clashes. 

Abu Ismail was the one leading the last sit-in against media bias at the EMPC last December.

The influential preacher started a campaign for the presidential race last year but was disqualified from the elections due to his mother's dual nationality.

Abu-Ismail established Al-Raya salafist political party in February vowing to compete in future elections.

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