Business tycoon Naguib Sawiris has said that the Muslim Brotherhood “will not be able to terrorize the Egyptian people” as group loyalists continue to protest against the violent dispersal of their sit-ins demanding the reinstatement of ousted President Mohamed Morsy.
“Again, to the Brotherhood and their followers, the people are bigger than any faction, the nation is bigger than any president, Islam is bigger than any poor mentality," the Coptic business magnate tweeted late Saturday.
An estimated 800 people have been killed in violence involving Brotherhood loyalists and security forces since police and army troops ended sit-ins by supporters of toppled President Morsy last Wednesday.
Speaking to Dream TV satellite channel, Sawiris urged the Muslim Brotherhood to renounce violence, rejecting what he described as “threats by the Brotherhood" and stressing that “menaces will not work with us."
“To whoever wants to halt financial aid or stop joint military exercises, do it," Sawiris said, in possible reference to the U.S. decision to halt military exercises with Egypt in protest at the bloody dispersal of pro-Morsy sit-ins last week.
Sawiris, a critic of Islamist groups whose family controls the giant Orascom corporate empire, had promised he and his brothers would be "investing in Egypt like never before" after the removal of Morsy.
He was accused under Morsy’s regime of tax evasion amounting to around LE14 billion. He later achieved a settlement with authorities.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm