Egyptian Cleric Says Political Protests Are “Forbidden”


Egyptian media is reporting that an Egyptian cleric close to the Global Muslim Brotherhood has said that participation in upcoming political protests is forbidden since Egyptian President Morsi was elected democratically. According to an Egyptian Independent report:

Wagdy Ghoneim
Wagdy Ghoneim

6/16/2013 Radical Islamic preacher Wagdy Ghoneim said participation in the protests scheduled for 30 June is forbidden as President Mohamed Morsy is a legitimately elected president.

Those who will join the protests on 30 June are ‘disbelievers’ because the people should obey those in charge of their affairs, he added.

In a video posted on Youtube, Ghoneim said, ‘[the protests]are a front of destruction, made up of crusaders, criminals, thugs, and traitors who want to oust his excellency the president.’ ‘You started it all and the initiator is the aggressor,’ he remarked.

Egypt’s opposition Tamarod campaign has gathered almost 15 million signatures, according to spokesperson Mahmoud Badr. The umbrella group, whose name means ‘rebel’ in Arabic, had originally set a goal of acquiring 15 million signatures for their petition calling for early presidential elections on 30 June.

’30 June will be a day of genuine revolt against the henchmen of former President Hosni Mubarak,’ Ghoneim said, adding that supporters of the Islamic current will not allow ‘the disbelievers’ to assume power. The Qatar-based preacher said that the rebellion against Morsy is a rebellion against Islam and an attempt to abort the Islamic project.

He also claimed that weapons had been stashed away in churches and that these should thus be searched.

In August 2012, shortly after Morsy had won the presidential election, Ghoneim issued a controversial fatwa in which he condoned the killing of anti-Brotherhood protesters who were planning a protest calling for the Brotherhood and its political party to be disbanded. Ghoneim’s fatwa provoked an outcry by Morsy’s opponents, who defended their right to protest peacefully.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

In January 2013, Mr. Ghoneim called on Egyptian President Morsi to “‘kill the ‘thugs’ and ‘criminals’ who he claimed were “causing the unrest that has plagued Egypt the past weeks.” 

Wagdy Ghoneim is an Egyptian cleric known for his anti-Semitic speeches. In January 2005, Mr. Ghoneim agreed to be voluntarily deported from the U.S. based upon Department of Homeland Security concerns that his past speeches and participation in fund-raising activities could be supportive of terrorist organizations. Following deportations from Bahrain and South Africa, he appears to have settled in Qatar where MEMRI reported on remarks by Mr. Ghoneim which aired on Al-Jazeera TV and which praised violent Jihad and criticized the U.S. and Europe as “Godless” nations. Ghoneim is closely tied to the global Muslim Brotherhood and has been a frequent speaker or invited speaker at Brotherhood events including those sponsored by the Union of Islamic Organizations in Italy (UCOII), the Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland (ICCI), and the League of Swiss Muslims. Known for his anti-semitic speeches, global media have also reported that he is closely associated with Hamas. Ghoneim was recently identified as one of sixteen individuals on a Home office list of people banned from the U.K. on the basis of “unacceptable behaviour by seeking to foment, justify or glorify terrorist violence in furtherance of particular beliefs and to provoke others to commit terrorist acts. In 2009, the Egyptian newspaper Al-Masry Al-Youm  reported that Mr. Ghoneim was added by Egyptian authorities to a list of 90 leaders of the “International Organization of the Muslim Brotherhood.”

Mr. Ghoneim has a long history of extremist statements and support for terrorism including:

  • In November 2012, Ghoneim called for Sharia (Islamic Law) to be implemented in Egypt referring to his opponents as “infidels.” Ghoneim had also recently tweeted his satisfaction with the devastating storm that struck the northeast U.S.
  • In March 2012 Ghoneim gave an address on Al-Aqsa TV in Match in which he accused Israelis of spreading drugs and AIDS in Egypt. The same month Mr. Ghoneim was visiting Tunisia where his remarks on female genital mutilation (FGM) stirred up controversy.
  • Also in March 2012, Ghoneim expressed his support for violent Jihad.

Our predecessor publication cataloged a lengthy set of Mr. Ghoneim’s other extremist statements.

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