Egypt Salafists denounce preacher’s inclusion on airport watch-list

Ahram Online , Friday 31 May 2013

Salafist figures demand to know govt agency responsible for adding name of influential preacher Yasser Borhami – godfather of Egypt's Nour Party – to airport watch-list

Salafist Yasser Borhami (Photo: Reuters)

Leading members of the Salafist Nour Party have condemned the inclusion of Yasser Borhami – the influential Salafist preacher considered the party's godfather – on Egypt's airport watchlist, which caused him to be briefly held at Alexandria's Burg Al-Arab international airport on Thursday.

Nour head Younis Makhioun stated that the party "will not accept the return of such tactics – no matter the cost – after the revolution."

In a statement issued early Friday, Makhioun demanded the name of the government agency responsible for adding the preacher's name to the watch-list, noting that both the interior ministry and General Intelligence apparatus had denied involvement.

"Either the presidency reveals who added Borhami's name to the watch-list or we'll assume that the presidency itself was responsible," he asserted.

Abdallah Badr, Nour Party representative in Egypt's Shura Council (the upper house of parliament), said he would demand that the interior minister be questioned over the issue.

"Was the move a response to recent Nour Party requests to discuss the interior ministry's 'special funds'?" Badr asked, adding that he planned to raise the matter with the presidency.  

Borhami is also deputy head of Egypt's Salafist Al-Daawa movement, which spawned the Nour Party in the wake of Egypt's 2011 popular uprising. In Egypt's first post-revolution parliament (since dissolved), Nour – Egypt's largest Salafist party – won roughly one quarter of the seats in the lower house.

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