An Egyptian Salafist group has confirmed its boycott of a mass demonstration, organized by the Muslim Brotherhood, against Israel’s detention of Jerusalem’s grand mufti.
The ultra-conservative al-Nour party instead called on Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi to wage a holy war in Palestine, Syria, Mali and Afghanistan “because these are Islamic countries.”
The demonstration will take place in front of al-Azhar mosque on May 10 after Friday prayers, Youm7 newspaper reported.
The demonstration aims to show that Arabs are not preoccupied with their own internal affairs, as alleged by “Zionists,” and that the issue of Jerusalem is the most important matter for Arabs and Muslims, said Brotherhood media spokesman Yasser Mehrez.
“Jihad does not require a mass demonstration. This is a trick applied by the weak,” Youm7 quoted Egyptian Salafist leader Sheikh Murjan Salem al-Jawhari as saying.
“The fighters in Jerusalem, Afghanistan, Gaza, Palestine, Mali and Damascus need the sacrifices of money and souls rather than demonstrations and stances,” added Jawhari.
“Against whom are you demonstrating?” asked Dr Khaled Alam al-Din, a former presidential adviser to Mursi and a prominent Nour member. “What are the goals and demands of these demonstrations? Can Jerusalem be liberated through such demonstrations? Who are the organizers addressing their demands to?”
Former presidential candidate and ex-Brotherhood figure Abdel Moneim Aboul-Fotouh said the declaration to boycott the demonstration creates division and disunity.
Several Egyptian political parties and movements have declared their support for the protest.
“We will join the demonstration because we believe that the people’s role at this stage is more important than the role of the government and the regime; the people are drawing the regime’s policy after Egypt’s 2011 revolution,” said Dr Tarek al-Zomor, a leader of the Construction and Development Party, the political wing of the Islamist al-Jamaa al-Islamiya movement.