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FJP plans million-man Quran recital

Competing marches planned while Al-Azhar Sheikh claims killing those opposing President legitimate

 The Freedom and Justice Party are hoping to fill Tahrir Square, like this previous demonstration on 18 November 2011 (File photo) Laurence Underhill / DNE

The Freedom and Justice Party are hoping to fill Tahrir Square, like this previous demonstration on 18 November 2011 (File photo)
Laurence Underhill / DNE

The Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), the Muslim Brotherhood’s political arm, is co-organising a “million-man march” in Tahrir square this evening to listen to a Quran recital.

Mahmoud Hussein, Secretary General of the Muslim Brotherhood, released a statement on Tuesday announcing the Brotherhood will “participate in the march alongside national and revolutionary powers” to recite the Quran and “support President Mohamed Morsy’s decisions.”

“FJP is calling for the march alongside other parties such as Al-Nour Salafist party and the Salafist Call (Al-Da’wa Al-Salafeya),” Ahmad Abu Baraka, prominent Brotherhood lawyer and FJP leader said.

At the end of Ramadan, Muslims who have been reciting the Quran all month are advised to finish it in the coming days. As the last odd-numbered day of Ramadan, Thursday evening is particularly significant for Muslims who tend to double their prayers and Quran-recital.

However the planned march has a political as well as religious dimension.

“It is merely a call for people to wrap up their Quran-recital on Thursday,” Abu Baraka said. However he also said that calls for supporting Morsy’s decisions will come “in context with the event.”

Last Thursday Morsy reversed the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) constitutional decree, granting himself full presidential powers and retiring Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and Minister of Defence, Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, alongside his Chief of Staff, Lieutenant General Sami Anan, while appointing a new minister of defence, Major General Abdel Fattah El Sissi, as well as a new chief of staff of the armed forces, Major General Sedky Sobhy.

The FJP’s Thursday march is not the only upcoming rally scheduled. Activists are calling for a revolution against Muslim Brotherhood rule, to take place on 24 August.

Sheikh Hashem Islam, member of Al-Azhar Fatwa committee, labeled anyone who participates in the planned actions of 24 August as “infidels for Allah, his prophets and the state” and “going against the 25 January revolution.” The statements were made during a seminar coordinated by the Egyptian Diplomatic Club on Tuesday.

Sheikh Islam said Egyptians made a deal with Morsy when they elected him and to oppose him now would be religiously wrong.

“Fight those who go against the president,” Sheikh Islam said during the seminar. “If they kill you, then you shall go to heaven. And if you kill them, then their blood goes in vain since you won’t be punished for it.”

Sheikh Islam also said he is formulating a Fatwa to legitimise killing all those who take part in the planned 24 August revolution. A Fatwa is declaration drawing the line between what is religiously correct and what is prohibited for Muslims.

The Sheikh’s statements caused widespread disapproval, starting with those attending the seminar, whose loud protests followed his speech.

Poet and writer Fatima Naoot, publicly planning to participate in the 24 August action, criticised the statements on her twitter account.

“The statements are Sheikh Islam’s business.” Abu Baraka said. “Yet, saying that someone’s blood shall go in vain should they be killed is not an easy matter to be considered swiftly.”


URL for the video of Sheikh Islam’s statements: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pAUFuQCYxWE&feature=youtu.be


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