Egypt’s Islamists plan ‘Together Against Violence’ Friday rally

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A number of Islamist parties in Egypt declared their participation in a planned “Together Against Violence” rally in Cairo, among them is the ruling Muslim Brotherhood, reported a local newspaper late Thursday.

Egypt’s Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya and its political wing, the Construction and Development Party, called for mass rallies on Friday to “condemn political violence” after weeks of fierce nationwide protests, reported Ahram Online.

The group called for a peaceful million-man rally on Friday Feb. 15 outside Cairo University in the capital’s Giza district.

According to Essam Derbala, head of Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya, Friday’s protests will adopt the slogan: “Together Against Violence,” which is also backed by some elements from the liberal opposition coalition, the National Salvation Front (NSF).

Previously, the Muslim Brotherhood rejected to participate in rallies as it didn’t want to be “dragged into any confrontations or provocations,” decided to switch and join to make a “symbolic presence” in Friday’s protest.

Not all Islamist parties, however, agreed to take part in Friday’s planned rally. The Salafist Nour Party, the Salafist Watan Party and the moderate-Islamist Wasat Party said that they didn’t want to participate, fearing further escalation of political violence.

In a sign of its attempt to calm the political situation in the country, the Salafist Nour Party held meetings late Thursday with NSF leaders.

Nour Party’s head, Younis Makhioun, said that the meeting comes as both sides continue their discussions on ways to stop violence in the country and tackle security and economic issues.

Makhioun told the Egyptian daily Youm 7 that his party and the NSF will meet next week to continue their talks, ensuring that they both agree on the dismissal of Prime Minister Hesham Qandil’s cabinet and forming a new coalition government instead.

Meanwhile, a number of opposition parties called for counter rallies on Friday outside the presidential palace, to continue with series of protests that started last January against Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi and his government.

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