Egypt Independent

Groups urge military council to resist Salafi pressure

Seventeen rights and political organizations on Tuesday called on the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) to resist pressure from Salafi groups.

The organizations issued their statement following mass protests in Egypt's Qena governorate over the appointment of a Coptic Christian as governor.

The statement said Salafi and Jihadist groups have turned protests over the governor's appointment into sectarian ones. The protesters, they added, were encouraged by what the statement described as the "lenience of the SCAF and the government."

The organization also blamed these groups for the demolition of a church in Helwan, saying the state has resorted to "disgraceful" informal reconciliation sessions in addressing the incidents.

The statement said protesters raised banners stating that a Copt cannot rule over Muslims. They said such mottos undermine national unity and the principles of the 25 January revolution.

They also called on the Armed Forces to preserve national unity, firmly implement the law and bring criminals to immediate, fair trials.

Political observers and groups have been wary of Salafis' role in Egypt's political future. The Salafi movement tends to take a literal view of the Quran, and some say its influence has grown since the fall of former President Hosni Mubarak's regime.