Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya Shura Council member Asim Abdul Majid accused The United Arab Emirates (UAE) of being at the centre of a plot to harm Egypt, Friday, after pledging to donate EGP 2m to the One Million Blankets campaign, aimed at helping impoverished Egyptians in Upper Egypt.
The comment was made on the Hafiz channel during a segment of “in the balance.” Speaking over the phone, Abdul Majid denounced the UAE donation, saying the people from Upper Egypt are not so needy as to require help from the UAE or secularists.
The One Million Blankets campaign was launched earlier in the week by Amr Adib on his channel “Cairo Today.” The campaign is aimed at helping Egyptians in the south through the cold winter months. It has garnered the support of the Egyptians Without Borders society, an expatriate organisation, which has already pledged to match every donation pound for pound.
Abdul Majid is determined to stop what he sees as a liberal and secular attempt to poison the minds of the poor with bribes.
“Honourable citizens must demand these regime channels be erased because they are the enemies of religion and the state,” Abdul Majid said. This is necessary “so that their hearts may find comfort and to keep these lies away from their homes.”
Yasmin Hossam, lawyer at the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, said such rhetoric is being used by the group to try and discredit secularists and garner public opinion ahead of parliamentary elections, set to commence in the next three months.
Upper Egypt suffers from a disproportionate amount of poverty and harsh winters. Areas such as Fayoum are a strong power-base for religious parties and other groups that obtain their votes through charity work in poorer areas. Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya draws a great portion of their populist support in Upper Egypt, a vital area for their political wing the Construction and Development Party.