Salafist Nour Party says Egypt army is 'a red line'

Ahram Online, Wednesday 28 Aug 2013

President of Salafist Nour Party Youness Makhioun says those who want destruction of army are traitors

Younis Makhioun
Salafist Nour Party chairman Younis Makhioun (Photo: Al-Ahram)

Youness Makhioun, president of the Salafist Nour Party, has reiterated his party's support for the army-backed roadmap for Egypt's future.

"The Egyptian armed forces are a red line," he stated on Wednesday during a joint press conference with Ahmed El-Muslimani, Presidential Media Advisor and spokesman. 

"It is a patriotic army and anyone who hopes for its fall is a traitor," Makhioun added.

Supporters of deposed President Mohamed Morsi have repeatedly circulated rumours over splits within the army in protest of Morsi's ouster. Such suggestions have been strenuously denied by the armed forces who have not showed any signs of disunity.

Morsi was deposed by the armed forces as part of a political roadmap, which was agreed upon by several anti-Brotherhood forces, including Nour Party, and enforced by the military following nationwide mass protests almost two months ago.

The roadmap included the suspension of the 2012 constitution, drafted by an Islamist-dominant Constituent Assembly, as well as the dissolving of the Shura Council which mainly consisted of members of the Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) and Nour Party.

Ever since, Morsi's supporters have been protesting against what they describe as a "military coup," accusing defence minister Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi of "betrayal" for allegedly orchestrating the overthrow of the former elected President.

Makhioun, whose Nour Party was allied to the Brotherhood in 2011-2012, also declared his support for the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Ahmed Al-Tayeb, who has been harshly criticised by Morsi's supporters and Turkish PM Erdogan's for supporting the army-backed roadmap.

"We flatly refuse to see the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar insulted," Makhioun said.

Provoking considerable controversy in Egypt, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyib Erdogan, a staunch supporter of Morsi, made a speech at the University Development Foundation on Sunday in Rize province, where he condemned what he described as a "military coup" in Egypt. He stated that he was "disappointed" to see the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Al-Tayeb, side with the "coup" leaders.

El-Muslimani told reporters after meeting with the Salafist leader: "Some people want to see our country [sink as the Titanic did] in the final scenes of the [classic] movie; the band is playing music, the passengers are busy and the ship is sinking."

Egypt's identity as an Islamic state was never contingent upon deposed president Mohamed Morsi, El-Muslimani added.

El-Muslimani, who has been in talks with various Egyptian political forces over the past few weeks, said: "Islam did not come [to Egypt] along with Mohamed Morsi, and did not go out with him [upon his overthrow]."

For decades, Egyptian law has been based on the foundational principles of Islamic jurisprudence.

However, Egypt was believed by some critics of Morsi to have been gradually turning into a theocratic state under Brotherhood rule.

Meanwhile, the ultra-orthodox Nour has recently agreed to join government-sponsored efforts to rewrite a constitution for the country, vowing to defend clauses that "protect Egypt's Islamic identity."

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