Salafis vow to disperse Culture Ministry protests

The Salafi Watan Party has warned its members will disperse a sit-in set up outside the Culture Ministry in Cairo on Tuesday.
The move would allow Culture Minister Alaa Abdel-Aziz to re-enter his office, the party said, following a week of occupation by anti-government demonstrators.
“I call all Islamist forces to join us,” said party Vice President Mohamed Nour. “The protesters are the supporters of the former regime’s Culture Minister Farouk Hosni.”
“The revolution talked about purging the judiciary and fighting corruption, but did not speak of those who have poisoned the minds of Egyptians in the past 30 years,” he said, pointing to former ministry officials.
Nour called for robust legal action against the protesters on charges of "corrupting thought," squandering public funds and disparaging God’s divinity. “They have been presenting only the most permissive and decadent of arts,” he said.
Muslim Brotherhood spokesperson Ahmed Aref has joined the condemnation, demanding demonstrators be brought to trial for supposedly crossing the line.
“Their behavior is chaotic,” he said, contending that the minster is a “clean” man, unlike his predecessors.
“We [the Brotherhood] do not aim to dominate the ministry as they claim,” he said, adding that the minister is not a member of the group or its political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party.
Freedom and Justice Party spokesperson Ahmed Ramy also supported the minister, echoing calls for legal action against the protesters.
On Sunday evening, members of the Cairo Opera Ballet hosted a street ballet performance outside the occupied ministry building in Zamalek.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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