Tahrir Imam mourns Badrashin train deaths, slams cabinet
Ahram Online, Friday 18 Jan 2013
Revolutionary Sheikh Mazhar Shaheen uses Friday sermon to voice objections to government policies, offers condolences to families of 19 killed in Monday's train disaster

Ahead of the second anniversary of 2011's popular uprising, the "revolution's preacher" Sheikh Mazhar Shaheen mourned those killed in the recent Badrashin train disaster, during his Friday sermon.

"In the past few days Egypt has experienced hard times that witnessed much bloodshed," said Shaheen during prayers at Omar Makram Mosque just off Tahrir Square.

He offered his condolences to the families of the 19 passengers who died when a train derailed on Monday night in the Giza governorate.

"How long will we continue to blame the former regime, when will we take responsibility for what we're managing?" Shaheen asked, while pointing out that Egyptians had high hopes for a new era that would bring administrative and political change.

Shaheen went on to criticise the government's recent performance and questioned the criteria used to choose Egypt's ministers.

"Are the appointed Prime Minister [Hisham Qandil] and his aids the most efficient in Egypt?' Shaheen added.

Shaheen further mocked the premier's attempt to donate blood to those inured in Monday's train crash, a photo of which was shared on Qandil's official Facebook page.

"I wonder if the government has any blood to donate?" Shaheen asked.

Moving on to the economic policies of Qandil's government, Shaheen said that its decisions conversely made the poor poorer.

He further slammed the Cabinet's initiative to implement Islamic bonds or Sukuk.

"What does Islamic Sukuk mean? It means that we will wake up one morning to find the Suez Canal and the pyramids sold," said Shaheen who reminded the audience that Al-Azhar, Egypt's highest Islamic authority, has also objected to implementation of Sukuk.

Speaking about Egypt's new Constitution, Shaheen urged the Cabinet to revise all the controversial articles in the national charter asserting that "Egypt is for all Egyptians."

Egypt's Constitution has been criticised for being drafted by an unrepresentative Constituent Assembly, dominated by Islamist forces.