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30 June violence will enrage Egyptian street, change nothing: Salafist leader

Another round of political violence during planned 30 June anti-govt rallies will anger large segments of Egyptian public and fail to change facts on ground, Salafist Call's Yasser El-Borhamy asserts

Ahram Online, Sunday 16 Jun 2013
Salafist leader
Salafist Yasser Borhami (Photo: Reuters)

Yasser El-Borhamy, deputy head of Egypt's Salafist Call, warned against bloodshed during planned 30 June anti-government demonstrations, saying that another round of political violence would enrage large swathes of Egypt's population and would ultimately fail to accomplish anything.

"We should not forget that the Mubarak-era police apparatus – consisting of about a million and a half people – could not resist millions of demonstrators; people will not accept jihad or a war to defend an Islamic state that has yet to be established," El-Borhamy said in a Sunday statement.

The Salafist leader criticised many Islamists figures who have accused the opposition parties and groups that will protest on 30 June of "mobilising against Islam and Egypt's Islamic project."

El-Borhamy went on to explain that all of Egypt's Islamists shared the same position regarding the Egyptian people, who, he said, are now suffering economically "more than they did under Mubarak."

He also warned against "undue enthusiasm" and "irrational" reactions to events.

"Blood is the fuel of the revolution; the loss of a couple of thousand of lives sparked the rest of the millions [of demonstrators in the 2011 uprising], and this is what our enemies bet on. So beware of this plan, which has failed more than once; they are attempting to do it again," he said.

Egypt is expected to witness nationwide protests on 30 June aimed at forcing President Mohamed Morsi – who hails from Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood movement – to step down.

The planned demonstrations, the culmination of Egypt's 'Rebel' campaign – which aims to collect 15 million citizens' signatures in support of a withdrawal of confidence from President Morsi – will also call for snap presidential elections.

In reaction to the planned 30 June protests, the Muslim Brotherhood and allied forces are expected to hold their own rally on 21 June against political violence.

El-Borhamy also stressed that there was still an opportunity for "real dialogue" with all of Egypt's political forces. "It's crucial to balance the situation in light of legitimate interests and what will happen in the future," he said.

On Sunday, the Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) praised a 'national reconciliation' initiative proposed by the moderate-Islamist Wasat Party, which is allied with the Brotherhood and whose initiative calls for "respecting democratic legitimacy and national unity in order to heal Egypt's ongoing state of polarisation."

Ahmed Bahaa El-Din Shaaban, for his part, a leading member of the National Salvation Front opposition bloc, described the Wasat Party initiative as "a desperate attempt at a desperate time; an effort to save a totalitarian, corrupt and failed regime."

On Friday, Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya spokesman Mohamed Hassan, too, warned that violence could occur on 30 June, which will mark the end of Morsi's first year as president. He alleged the existence of "foreign-funded domestic entities that aim to stir chaos and make Egypt like Syria or Libya," pan-Arab daily Al-Hayat quoted Hassan as saying.

"If the president is ousted, this will send Egypt into a cycle of violence and the law of the jungle will prevail," he asserted.
Muslim Brotherhood-allied forces may stage additional protests after the planned anti-violence Islamist rally on 21 June, Hassan added.

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