Jama’a al-Islamiya asks Morsy to cancel US visit

Jama’a al-Islamiya has called on President Mohamed Morsy to cancel his visit to the United States on 23 September to address the United Nations General Assembly, due to current tensions in Arab and Muslim countries over a film that disparaged the Prophet Mohamed.

“The film was produced by Coptic Christians under American auspices,” said Assem Abdel Maged, a leading figure in the group. “The whole Egyptian people reject it.”

Thousands angry about the film demonstrated across Europe and the Middle East last week. In the midst of a protest in Libya, gunmen attacked the US Consulate in Benghazi, killing four Americans, including the ambassador.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has called the film “disgusting and offensive.”

Abdel Maged also played down fears that the US might stop aid to Egypt. “It is not in [the US’s] interest, as they know we are the superpower in the region,” he said.

Meanwhile, Hamada Nassar, a Jama’a al-Islamiya spokesperson, said the US would have deleted the film from all websites and from Google had it been against the Jews.

“We have elected Morsy to defend our religion and our sanctities,” he said. “He should not be afraid of the US cutting military aid, because God will compensate us.”

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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