Firebrand Muslim Brotherhood preacher Safwat Hegazi threatened on Tuesday to “break the necks of former regime figures and symbols of the National Salvation Front” if ousted President Mohammad Mursi is hurt.
Hegazi made the statement during a speech at a pro-Mursi sit-in being staged for over a month now at Cairo’s Rabia al- Adawiya square.
Hegazi was previously reported to have set up an armed militia comprising hardline members of the Muslim Brotherhood. The militia was allegedly referred to as Egypt’s Free Army and was equipped with military uniform and fire arms, according Egyptian media reports.
The state-owned Al Ahram newspaper referred to Hegazi as a “star” of Rabia al- Adawiya, delivering fiery speeches to crowds of the Mursi supporters on a daily bases.
The Muslim Brotherhood group has denied media reports that it adopting violence as a means to ensure its survival after Mursi’s ouster. The group has consistently accused the Egyptian mainstream media of waging a smear campaign against it.
“Rabaa al-Adawiya and Nahda Square sit-ins are nothing more than a peaceful and legitimate expression of opinion. All anti-coup activities in the sit-ins, during last month, were in the full glare of the respected media,” Ahmed Aref, Muslim Brotherhood media spokesman, said on Wednesday.
“We invited human rights organizations and journalists, who came to see the situation inside Rabaa Al-Adaweya and Nahda Square sit-ins at first hand,” Aref said, according to the Brotherhood website ikhwanweb.