Top Islamist accuses opposition of sowing unrest

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 28, 2013 at 2:24 pm •  Published: March 28, 2013
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He urged his opponents to keep the competition "peaceful and honorable" in the service of the nation.

"Let us deny the saboteurs and those with ulterior motives at home and abroad the opportunity to sow sedition, burn the nation and take us back in time."

In the latest bout of violence on March 22, protesters and Brotherhood supporters clashed outside the group's headquarters in the capital, Cairo.

The violence was rooted in an incident a week earlier when Brotherhood members slapped a woman to the ground and beat up other activists who were spray-painting graffiti against the group outside its headquarters in an eastern district of Cairo.

Several reporters at the scene were also attacked. The Brotherhood said they were part of the protest.

In response, anti-Brotherhood activists called for a protest at the headquarters. Both sides brought out hundreds of supporters, and the scene quickly turned violent.

The clashes deepened the schism in Egypt that has been steadily widening since Morsi came to office in June as the country's first freely elected president. The Islamist leader and his allies are in one camp, while moderate Muslims, liberals, seculars, minority Christians and a large segment of women are in the other.

Badie also sought to claim for the Brotherhood the mantle of protectors of the uprising that overthrew Mubarak.

He suggested that the pro-democracy youth groups universally credited with engineering the popular revolt played second fiddle to the Brotherhood, which emerged in the wake of Mubarak's ouster as Egypt's most dominant political force.

"Our movement, together with honorable members of the patriotic opposition, was the direct cause of (the revolution). Our (Brotherhood) youth provided its fuel and strength from the very start," he said.

He also credited the group with protecting the revolution by standing up to bands of Mubarak loyalists who attacked crowds in Tahrir Square.

Also on Thursday, a Cairo court ordered the release of Egypt's former oil minister, Sameh Fahmy, after a retrial was approved for him earlier this week. Fahmy is the latest member of Mubarak's former Cabinet to win a retrial after his 15-year sentence on corruption charges was annulled. He was accused of harming the country's interests by exporting natural gas to Israel for prices lower than those prevailing on world markets at the time.

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