Egypt's Morsi 'ignored hate speech' at Friday rally: NSF

Ahram Online , Sunday 23 Jun 2013

Opposition National Salvation Front says Islamists engaged in hate speech at Friday's 'No to Violence' rally

Senior opposition figure Mohamed ElBaradei (R) and Leftist leader Hamdeen Sabbahi stand during a news conference ahead of the planned protest against Egypt's President Mohamed Mursi, at the end of the month, in Cairo June 22, 2013 (Photo: Reuters)

The opposition National Salvation Front (NSF) has criticised President Mohamed Morsi for failing to condemn speeches filled with "hate and violence" made at a pro-government Islamist rally on Friday

The Muslim Brotherhood – from which Morsi hails – and the presidency “continue to deny the reality on the street and their complete failure to manage the country’s affairs,” the NSF said in a statement released late on Saturday.

During a conference of the Arab Engineers' Union on Saturday President Morsi said Friday’s 'No to Violence” rally reflected the revolution’s true spirit of peace.

However, several leaders at the rally called for “crushing” the opposition.  

"They threaten us with protests on 30 June, and today we promise [the opposition] they will be crushed on that day," said Tarek El-Zomor, a leader of the ultra-conservative Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya.

El-Zomor went on to assert – to loud cheers – that Egyptians either "back the president's legitimacy or they are thugs."

In a YouTube video on Thursday, popular Salafist preacher Wagdy Ghoneim said anyone who protests on 30 June is an infidel who must be killed. Other Islamists have portrayed the opposition as consisting mainly of members and allies of the ousted Mubarak regime.

It is clear “the ruling regime is biased toward one political faction and seeks to give it power over Egyptians who oppose their vision,” the NSF said.

This will all add to the “people’s determination to take to the streets on 30 June” for anti-government protests to force Morsi to leave office and call early presidential elections.

The NSF stressed the protests would be peaceful. 

Friday's Islamist rally was held in response to calls for anti-government protests on 30 June. Demonstrators carried pictures of Morsi and banners demanding an Islamist state.

Calls for protests on 30 June were made by the Rebel Campaign, a movement launched in May to collect signatures calling for Morsi's removal and early presidential elections.

The campaign has been supported by major opposition groups, including the leftist Egyptian Popular Current and National Salvation Front.

On Thursday, Rebel announced it had reached its target of 15 million signatures.

In an interview with state-owned newspaper Al-Akhbar on Saturday, Morsi said he would hand over power democratically if Egyptians choose another president at the next election scheduled for 2016.  

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