Salafi preacher accused of incitement against opposition

An Egyptian lawyer filed a report with the attorney general accusing a Salafi preacher of incitement against the opposition and violating human rights.

In a sermon, Mohamed Hussein Yacoub declared a victory for religion after the majority of Egyptians voted "yes" in a referendum on constitutional amendments on 19 March.

The Muslim Brotherhood and some Salafi groups had urged supporters before the referendum to support the changes, which leave untouched the article that cites Islam as the primary source of legislation. Slightly more than 77 percent of voters voted "yes", but some groups wanted more changes made.

Yacoub described the referendum as a “battle for the ballot boxes” in which the boxes “said 'yes' to religion.” He said opponents should leave the country if they are not willing to co-exist with the democratic majority.

Mohamed Zayed, the lawyer who filed the report, accused Yacoub of incitement against those who oppose his views, of humiliating a large number of Egyptians, and of violating human rights. He said Yacoub's statements violate the principle of tolerance advocated by Islam, which, he added, accepts the other and safeguards human rights.

Yacoub later retracted his statements, saying he was only joking, but Zayed said Yacoub takes Egyptians "lightly".

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