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Egypt: Senior Salafist defends Mursi's ouster - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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A supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood and Egypt's ousted president Mohamed Morsi (portrait) holds pictures of the former Islamist leader and shout slogans during a demonstration in the coastal city of Alexandria on July 19, 2013.  (AFP PHOTO / STR.)

A supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood and Egypt’s ousted president Mohamed Morsi (portrait) holds pictures of the former Islamist leader and shout slogans during a demonstration in the coastal city of Alexandria on July 19, 2013. (AFP PHOTO / STR.)

Cairo, Asharq Al-Awsat—Sheikh Yasser El-Burhami, the vice president of the Al-Dawa Al-Salafiya (Salafist Call) organization urged Salafist leaders and the members of the guidance bureau of the Muslim Brotherhood to step down to defend national interest.

Burhami’s call fuelled further divisions within the Salafist organization particularly following its approval of the ouster of the Islamist president Mohamed Mursi three weeks ago.

In an article he published in the Salafist Fatah newspaper, Burhami called on the “guidance bureau of the Muslim Brotherhood to resign to rescue the organization which we want to remain active in the Egyptian street and accepted by the public.”

The resignation of the Brotherhood leaders will “serve the interest of Muslims, Islam, the homeland, and the Ummah,” the Salafist cleric said.

As for the Al-Nour Party’s role in the ouster of Mursi, Burhami said: “the Nour party did not take part in a coup against Dr. Mursi rather it dealt with an existing reality which was obvious to those seeking truth.”

Addressing the Brotherhood, Burhami defended his position on the coup: “In the same way you dealt with the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) for a year and a half, we dealt with the new reality.”

Burhami explained that approving the military intervention the Al-Dawa Al-Salafiya did not betray Islam; rather, it attempted to fend off further troubles.

“Those who took part in the June 30 protests were not all secularists, Christians, or remnants of the former regime,” he said adding that millions of people took to the streets demanding better living conditions which they had been deprived of due to “conspiracies.”

“The new leaders should operate despite conspiracies. Otherwise, it should leave,” Burhami added.

He also slammed the “so-called Islamist” TV channels which exploit religion to twist facts.

Speaking exclusively to Asharq Al-Awsat, Dr. Mohamed Hajjaj, spokesman for the board of trustees of the Al-Dawa Al-Salafiya branded Burhami’s call “propaganda,” confirming that “clerics in the organization have stopped attending the organization’s council at all due to their dissatisfaction with the new trends within the Al-Dawa Al-Salafiya and its political wing, the Nour Party, particularly after their recent stance towards the ouster of the former president Mursi.”

Hajjaj insisted that Burhami’s announcement came as an attempt to convince the public that the resignations within the Al-Dawa Al-Salafiya are done at the request of the organizations’s leadership rather than out of the growing divisions within the group.

The spokesperson confirmed that many Salafist leaders are camped out at Rabaa Al-Adawiya square demanding the reinstatement of Mursi, including Sheikh Saeed Abdel Azim, and Sheikh Ahmed Fareed among others.