Gamaa Islamiya founder: Suspending Morsi's trial to end political crisis

"Suspending Morsi's trial would be a major step towards ending the political crisis," Nageh Ibrahim, founder of Egypt's Gamaa Islamiya movement said.

Gamaa Islamiya founder: Suspending Morsi's trial to end political crisis

A leading Islamist thinker has urged Egypt's military-backed government to call off the scheduled trial of ousted president Mohamed Morsi, saying such a gesture could serve as an important step towards ending the country's ongoing political crisis.

"If the State called off the trial and a presidential decree was issued pardoning Morsi and Muslim Brotherhood supreme guide Mohamed Badie… it would calm the situation on the streets," Nageh Ibrahim, founder of Egypt's Gamaa Islamiya movement, said in an interview with Anadolu Agency.

Egypt has been in the throes of political violence since the military establishment ousted Morsi – the country's first democratically elected president – on July 3.

Morsi is now due to face trial on November 4. He faces charges – which supporters insist are politically motivated – of inciting the murder of protesters outside Cairo's Ittihadiya presidential palace late last year.

It will be Morsi's first court appearance since his ouster this summer following massive and well-coordinated protests against his presidency.

Ibrahim, who spent 24 years in prison before formally renouncing violence, warned authorities against engaging in a prolonged standoff with Morsi's Islamist allies, saying this would only lead to more bloodshed and polarization.

"Suspending Morsi's trial would be a major step towards ending the political crisis," he said. "The responsibility lies with the government as the stronger side. It should take the first step."

Ibrahim also called on Islamist figures and groups to stop demonstrating, insulting army commanders, and giving religious and political cover to attacks on security personnel and churches.

Since the bloody August 14 dispersal of two pro-Morsi sit-ins by security forces in which hundreds of demonstrators were killed, Egypt has seen a wave of attacks on police stations by unknown assailants.

Most attacks have gone unclaimed, but Egypt's military-backed authorities have repeatedly accused Islamist groups – on whom they claim to be waging a "war against terrorism" – of being behind the frequent assaults.

"Let's be objective," he said. "If we hold the army and police responsible for the massacres [in August]… we must also avoid justifying [violent] acts by the other side, which came in the wake of the dispersals."

According to Ibrahim, the Brotherhood is most likely not responsible for the recent attacks. "But their allies are," he went on to assert.

Ibrahim was jailed for the 1981 assassination of Egyptian president Anwar Sadat. He was finally released in 2005 after spending 24 years behind bars.

He was credited with championing calls to renounce violence, which his Gamaa Islamiya group eventually did in the late 1990s.

Ibhraim said his experience had taught him that violence never pays.

"This absurd situation should come to an end, prisoners should be released and violence should stop, since there will be no reconciliation until prisoners are freed," he said.

Since the August sit-in dispersals, Egyptian authorities have launched an extensive crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood, arresting hundreds of the group's first- and second-tier leaders – including Badie and two top aides – on charges of "inciting violence."

Egypt's pro-army media, meanwhile, continues to portray the crackdown as part of an ongoing "war against terrorism."

Detained Brotherhood leaders, for their part, dismiss the charges against them as politically motivated.

"The problem is that Egypt has become full of 'exclusionists,' with no side willing to share with others," said Ibrahim. "Ultimately, Egypt will be the victim."

"The authority will never be able to get rid of the Brotherhood and the Islamists and it would be naïve to think this way. In the same time, the Brotherhood cannot face the State and its institutions for good."

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Last Mod: 30 Ekim 2013, 13:59
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