A radical Islamic preacher has warned that participation in the protests scheduled for June 30 against Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi is forbidden, the Egyptian-based Al Bawaba reports.
The preacher, Wagdy Ghoneim, reasoned his warning in the fact that Morsi is a legitimately elected president. Those who will join the protests, he warned, are “disbelievers” because the people should obey those in charge of their affairs.
In a video posted to 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 added, according to Al Bawaba.
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 June 30.
“June 30 will be a day of genuine revolt against the henchmen of former President Hosni Mubarak,” Ghoneim said, according to Al Bawaba, adding that supporters of the Islamic current will not allow “the disbelievers” to assume power.
The Qatar-based preacher said that the rebellion against Morsi 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 Morsi won the presidential election, Ghoneim issued a controversial fatwa in which he condoned the killing of anti-Muslim 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 Morsi’s opponents, who defended their right to protest peacefully, according to Al Bawaba.
In January, Ghoneim urged Morsi to kill “thugs” and “criminals” who are burning the country, otherwise people will do it themselves.
“I am saying this publicly and I am inciting the killing of criminals; I say criminals; thugs, thieves, those who are burning the country and those who are killing innocent people,” he said.
Ghoneim is reportedly banned from several Western countries, including the United States and the UK, for activities deemed to foment hatred or encourage and support violence.
Some of his previously controversial statements include gloating over the Hurricane Sandy disaster in the United States last October, and the death of Coptic Pope Shenouda III.
Ghoneim described the hurricane as revenge from Allah for the “Innocence of Muslims” film made that sparked waves of violent protests across the Muslim world in September.