Islamist leaders endorse Morsy in Eid remarks

Eid al-Fitr sermons and messages were not only festive this year, but carried heavy political implications. When fired by Islamists, these sermons mostly contained endorsements for President Mohamed Morsy.

During Eid prayers in the Shubra neighborhood of Cairo, Islamist preacher and former presidential candidate Hazem Salah Abu Ismail called on his followers to be faithful to Morsy.

He described the past period of time to be “troubling” due to “disconcerting” events. “I remember Eid al-Fitr of last year, just after the 25 January revolution. People used to say that we would have better [circumstances].”

Abu Ismail said that the people’s dreams were shattered by the supplement to the Constitutional Declaration. However, he argued, the disappointment ended in the holy month of Ramadan with the end of the rule of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces. President Morsy had retired two senior officers and canceled the constitutional supplement.

He said he now prays for God to guide this nation to victory. “Therefore, we must get back to work and take action.”

Abu Ismail referred to a political current in the opposition gathering around one concept, “which is to be against religion.” 

He addressed them saying, “You should know that we are one nation. We should not consider the idea of dismantling into groups and certain parties.”

He called on the people to support the president and work for the sake of their country’s development.

The former presidential candidate said that rumors about Israel’s fears of the Arab Spring countries are not true, saying, it would have otherwise continued to attack Palestine on daily basis.

He also attacked those who “fight religion on TV and newspapers by attacking preachers,” and called on people to be informed on subjects they discuss.

He concluded by asking God to help President Mohamed Morsy run the affairs of the country, and to support him against internal and external enemies.

Ismail, who has an extensive following in the first round of the presidential race, was disqualified after it was discovered his mother held US citizenship, violating the electoral law.

Another former presidential candidate, Abdel Moneim Abouel Fotouh, also celebrated Morsy's rule as the first civilian president after decades of military rule.

“Thanks to the revolution and to the free youth of Egypt, today Egypt celebrates the first Eid after the election of the first civilian president,” he posted on his Twitter account.

Abouel Fotouh, whose candidacy in the presidential elections put him in conflict with Brotherhood leadership and led to his eventual expulsion from the group, garnered 17 percent in the first round of the polls.

Islamist preacher Sheikh Omar Abdel Kafi, who delivered Eid al-Fitr sermon at Mostafa Mahmoud mosque, said that now is the time for the media to be quiet.

According to Abdel Kafi, the media has contributed to the fragmentation of political powers, which led to instability. Now, he said, is the time to stabilize Egypt and settle political disputes.

“Now is the time to build [the country], and to achieve the goals of the glorious revolution by reviving Egypt,” he said.

He gave examples of development, such as the “Clean Homeland” campaign that aims at solving the problem of garbage management, as well as Morsy’s 100-days project, which addresses the most frequent problems facing the country in the very first 100 days of his rule.

Like other Islamist preachers or politicians, Abdul Kafi called on everyone to support President Morsy, “because he is the legitimate president-elect of the country.” He said that all should respect the choice of the majority.

Supreme Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood Mohamed Badie performed Eid prayers, and like others, prayed for Morsy.

After the sermon, he told worshipers, “Be like trees: people throw stones at them, so fruit falls.”

He called on people not to be afraid, and that Egyptians became like “a board of directors” of their own country.

“Whoever wants to damage Egypt, we will resist them. We will face any attempts at sabotage,” he said.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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