Nour Party's Bakkar says statements against Brotherhood 'misunderstood'

Ahram Online , Monday 9 Dec 2013

Nader Bakkar says that he only meant the Muslim Brotherhood's leaders asked Nour Party to participate in the protests, not to attack Morsi's opponents.

Nader Bakkar
Salafist Nour Party's leading members Nader Bakkar (Photo: Reuters)

The Nour Party's deputy head Nader Bakkar has sought to clarify his statement from Sunday, in which he said that Muslim Brotherhood leaders had urged his party's members to attack opponents of ousted president Mohamed Morsi in front of Cairo's presidential palace last December.

In a statement published on the Nour Party's official Facebook page, Bakkar said that his initial remarks had been "misunderstood."

In an interview Sunday with television host Moatez El-Demerdash on Al-Hayat station, Bakkar said that leading Brotherhood member Khairat El-Shater had called on the Nour Party's leadership to help forcibly disperse the presidential palace sit-in.

Bakkar told El-Demerdash that his party's leadership rejected the Brotherhood's calls to violence.

In Monday's statement, however, Bakkar said that the Brotherhood had not "urged [them] to participate" in the clashes, but had rather urged them to join a pro-Morsi protest at the same location where Morsi's opponents were camped out.

The Nour Party had rejected the protest call, which came through social media networks, out of fear that it would turn violent, the statement read.

The statement added that their decision not to participate was viewed as a betrayal by Brotherhood leaders.

Bakkar's comments to El-Demerdash sparked controversy, with pro-Brotherhood supporters and members calling him a liar.

Television host and lawyer Khaled Abu-Bakr said that he would present Bakkar's testimony to the criminal court currently trying Morsi as evidence that the Brotherhood had intentions to violently disperse the opposition sit-in.

Thousands protested last December in front of the palace in response to Morsi's passing of a constitutional decree granting him sweeping powers.

The resultant clashes left at least ten protesters dead.

Morsi is currently standing trial for the incitement of murder.


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