Al-Azhar religious institution described on Friday calls by the Salafi Front to stage an “Islamic uprising” as an “invitation for civil strife and treason to the homeland”.
The governmental religious institution released a statement describing the front as “religion traders who are planning to deceive Muslims in the name of the Sharia Law”.
“Amid the country’s fight against violent terrorism in Sinai, these protests aim to spread chaos, and humiliate the Quran and slain, innocent people”.
The Salafi Front, a Salafist – or conservative Islamist – political organisation called for demonstrations on 28 November, under the name “The Muslim Youth Uprising”.
The organisation, which is part of the Anti-Coup Alliance that supports the reinstatement of ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, claims that the authorities are sidelining Islamist values. They repeated their calls for protesters to carry copies of the Quran as a sign to “show that Sharia Law is the answer to all the problems faced by the society”.
In an attempt to counter the proposed 28 November marches, the Ministry of Religious Endowment amended the speech for the sermons in last Friday’s prayers.
Preachers in different mosques discussed the different forms of “corruption and plots to destroy the state”.
According to the text published by the ministry, “calls to protest on the 28 November aim to confront the armed forces, threaten the country’s stability, and question our beliefs”.
In Cairo, preacher Mohamed Al-Qadi said that Muslims should raise the Quran in order to spread peace and prosperity and “not to destroy and call for violence”.
“These ideologies are propagated by traitors and agents of other countries,” he added.
Also, on Friday night Yasser El-Borhamy, the deputy head of Egypt’s Salafist Call – from which the Salafi Front has split – warned of protests that might “spread chaos and anarchy in the country by applying guerrilla fighting”.
El-Borhamy added, in a conference organised by Al-Nour Party by the name “Our Egypt without violence”, that such calls for protests demonstrates the weakness of “those groups who preach for the collapse of the state”.
On the other hand, Hani Al-Sibai, an Islamist Egyptian Sunni scholar, based in London as a political refugee said in a Friday sermon: “The concept of peaceful protesting has proved too inadequate and has to be put aside.”
“Protesters have to be ready and careful; otherwise the demonstrations will turn into other massacres of Muslim men and women” he added.
Al-Sibai, who is a leading theorist of the Salafi jihadist groups, added that, although the Salafi youth supported the 25 January Revolution, they were deceived by the military. “Now it is the time for the Muslim majority to revolt, without the Christian or the secular minority”.
“However, we welcome people from any religion or ideology who are sympathising with us.”
According to the Salafi Front, “an uprising is a must when Islam is being fought in schools and media, and when Muslims are being banned from practicing their religion.”
The group added that the “uprising is not affiliated with a party or an alliance… and is not about excommunication or sectarianism”.
Minister of Interior Mohamed Ibrahim said in a Wednesday meeting with the cabinet that police forces are planning to secure state facilities.