Exiled Brotherhood calls for calm after Egypt executions

Exiled Brotherhood calls for calm after Egypt executions
Muslim Brotherhood leaders urges peaceful protest after the execution of six men for terrorism in Arab Sharkas case leads to outpouring of anger from youth activists,
2 min read
20 May, 2015
Students at Cairo University protest against the Egyptian regime, March 2015 [Anadolu]

Exiled members of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood have urged Egyptians to stick to peaceful protest after an outpouring of anger at the executions of six men accused of terrorism and a call to retaliation by a Brotherhood spokesman.

The six defendants in the Arab Sharkas case were executed on 17 May after being convicted of carrying out attacks on behalf of the Egyptian based armed group Ansar Bait al-Maqdis in March 2014.

Brotherhood spokesperson Mohammad Montaser issued a statement on Monday 18 May calling for retaliation against the "oppressors" who had executed "innocent young men".

However, Mahmoud al-Ebyari, the editor-in-chief of the London-based Brotherhood publication Risalat al-Ikhwan, told al-Araby al-Jadeed the group remained committed to its basic principal of peaceful protest, despite attempts by the regime to incite violence.

A leading political expert in Islamist movements told al-Araby al-Jadeed: "Montaser's statement is the first of its kind for the Muslim Brotherhood. It is as an attempt to contain the rage of the youth, and to reassure them the leaders relate to their anger."

"However, we remain committed to the group's general guidelines. We do not initiate violence, we only defend ourselves, and self-defence is a right guaranteed by the law," he added.

Another of the group's leaders based abroad said: "The regime wants extremists, like the Islamic State group."

He said that youths were angry because they Muslim Brotherhood leaders refused to let them confront security forces.

"We understand their position especially after the massive bloodshed they've witnessed, and the murder of their friends in front of their eyes. However, the groups leaders are maintaining their position to avoid a destructive civil war," he said.

Gamal Heshmat, a leading member of the Brotherhood, told al-Araby al-Jadeed: "The execution of innocent defendants in the Arab Sharkas case proves the Egyptian people's battle against the military regime is null, and must be reviewed."

This article is an edited translation from our Arabic edition.