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MB leader: Mursi’s ouster worse than destroying Islam’s holiest shrine

Published: Updated:

The overthrow of former President Mohammad Mursi by the Egyptian army is worse than destroying Islam’s holiest shrine, the Kaaba, Muslim Brotherhood’s Supreme Leader Mohammad Badie said Thursday.

“I swear by God that what [Gen. Abdel-Fattah] al-Sissi did in Egypt is more criminal than if he had carried an ax and demolished the holy Kaaba, stone by stone,” Badie said.

Badie’s analogy compares the popularly-backed military overthrow of Mursi on July 3 to a hypothetical destruction of the Kaaba, the cube-shaped shrine in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, which is faced by Muslims worldwide in their daily prayers.

His statement appeared to channel religious sentiments against a call by military chief for a popular mandate to quash “violence and terrorism.”

The Muslim Brotherhood fear that Sisi is planning a possible bloody crackdown against them and that he is calling for mass rallies to grant him popular cover for that.

The statement by the Brotherhood’s leader takes to a new level the enmity between the camp of Islamists led by the Brotherhood and their opponents, including liberals, moderate Muslim and secular Egyptians and minority Christians.

Badie, who has an arrest warrant against him for allegedly inciting violence, also called Sissi a “traitor” and urged him to repent.

Islamists also planned pro-Mursi rallies on Friday, raising fears of more street battles.

(With the Associated Press)