News / Africa

    Hardliners Join Calls for Morsi-appointed Luxor Governor to Quit

    Protesters, armed with sticks, gather in front of the Luxor governorate building to protest the appointment of Adel Mohamed al-Khayat as governor, Luxor, June 19, 2013.Protesters, armed with sticks, gather in front of the Luxor governorate building to protest the appointment of Adel Mohamed al-Khayat as governor, Luxor, June 19, 2013.
    x
    Protesters, armed with sticks, gather in front of the Luxor governorate building to protest the appointment of Adel Mohamed al-Khayat as governor, Luxor, June 19, 2013.
    Protesters, armed with sticks, gather in front of the Luxor governorate building to protest the appointment of Adel Mohamed al-Khayat as governor, Luxor, June 19, 2013.
    Reuters
    A hardline Islamist group called on Saturday on one of its members to resign as governor of Luxor “for the sake of Egypt” despite President Mohamed Morsi defending the appointment.
     
    Morsi infuriated many Egyptians this week by swearing in al-Gamaa al-Islamiya's Adel Mohamed al-Khayat as governor of the town where members of the group massacred 58 tourists at a pharaonic temple in 1997.
     
    Some members of Al-Gamaa al-Islamiya were also charged with killing president Anwar Sadat in 1981, along with other politicians and police in the 1980s and 90s. The group renounced violence and condemned al-Qaida in ideological U-turns a decade ago.
     
    Many of its members were jailed for decades under former president Hosni Mubarak but Morsi freed them last year shortly after his election following Mubarak's ouster by an uprising in 2011, with many moving into public life.
     
    Governor was a suspect, acquitted

    In an interview with the state-owned newspaper Akhbar Al-Youm published on Saturday, Morsi said: "There has never been a court ruling against the Luxor governor who was never condemned in the Luxor incident but was a suspect in the assassination of Sadat and was acquitted."
     
    The hiring of Luxor governor showed that Morsi, who hails from the relatively moderate Muslim Brotherhood group, is openly reaching out for a political alliance with the more radical and former militant group ahead of a big wave of opposition-led protests expected to start on June 30.
     
    However, just hours after the paper carried the interview on its front page and three inside pages, Al-Gamaa al-Islamiya's political wing called on the new governor to resign.
     
    "We are not after any post," the group's leader, Safwat Abdel Ghani told a news conference, adding he expected Khayat to officially announce his resignation on Saturday night. "We asked the new governor to resign for the sake of Egypt."
     
    The group may be trying to find a way out of the impasse before the opposition protests by showing it understands the needs of the country and taking the pressure off Morsi. Tourism is one of the mainstays of Egypt's economy, but has suffered badly in two years of unrest.
     
    Morsi said al-Gamaa al-Islamiya's newly founded Construction and Development Party “works in the framework of a civil state and the governor was picked after he was seen as better than all other candidates.”
     
    Rival Rallies
     
    Morsi also appointed many members of his Brotherhood as governors, triggering protests in many cities that prevented the appointees from entering their offices.
     
    The president denied the tourism minister had resigned over the Luxor appointment, although a source in the ministry said the minister has stopped going to his office since Khayat was named.
     
    Thousands of protesters from al-Gamaa al-Islamiya, the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamists' groups staged a big rally on Friday for Morsi and warned opponents, whom they described as atheists, agents for Western states and anti-Islam, that they would crush them if they forced Morsi out.
     
    The opposition called it an attempt to “terrorize” them before mass rallies they plan to hold in just over a week's time.
     
    Echoing the same language as al-Gamaa al-Islamiya, opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei called on Morsi to resign.
     
    “The regime has to understand that time has come for change.... For the sake of Egypt, many Egyptians had elected Morsi and for Egypt I ask President Mohamed Morsi to resign and to leave for a new stage to begin,” he told an opposition rally.
     
    The June 30 rally is planned by a group of young independent Egyptians called Tamarod (Rebellion), which says it has gathered more than 15 million signatures in a month from people among the 84 million population wanting Morsi to quit.
     
    Both the youth movement and established opposition leaders are demanding an early presidential vote after what they describe as Morsi's failure to live up to any of his promises of more freedoms and better living and economic conditions.
     
    But Morsi's allies say he needs more time than one year in office to tackle Egypt's deep economic and political problems. In a previous interview, Morsi described the call for an early presidential vote as “absurd and illegitimate.”
     
    In Saturday's interview, Morsi said the call for the June 30 protests “reflects an atmosphere of freedoms granted by the January (2011) revolution,” but said that any expression of opinion has to be done peacefully and that the government was ready to face violence from any side with all measures.

    You May Like

    US Internet Giants, EU Reach Deal to Combat Online Hate Speech

    Facebook, Twitter, Google and Microsoft commit to ‘quickly and efficiently’ act to clamp down on use of social media to incite violence, terror

    Tunisia’s Ennahda Party Begins a New Political Chapter

    Party now moves to separate its political and religious activities; change described by party members as pragmatic response to political and economic challenges facing Tunisia today

    Virtual Reality Fine-tuned at Asia Tech Show

    Microchip designers hope to improve resolution for users of systems that can turn your bedroom into the ocean floor

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Tech Startups Showcase Wares at Amsterdam Conferencei
    X
    Serginho Roosblad
    May 30, 2016 5:11 PM
    More than 20,000 tech enthusiasts, entrepreneurs and lovers of digital technology came together in Amsterdam recently at the Next Web Conference to discuss the latest developments in digital technology, look to the future and, of course, to connect. In recent years, there has been an explosion of so-called startup businesses that have created devices and applications that have changed the way we live; but, as Serginho Roosblad reports for VOA, there are pitfalls for such startups as well.
    Video

    Video Tech Startups Showcase Wares at Amsterdam Conference

    More than 20,000 tech enthusiasts, entrepreneurs and lovers of digital technology came together in Amsterdam recently at the Next Web Conference to discuss the latest developments in digital technology, look to the future and, of course, to connect. In recent years, there has been an explosion of so-called startup businesses that have created devices and applications that have changed the way we live; but, as Serginho Roosblad reports for VOA, there are pitfalls for such startups as well.
    Video

    Video US Military's Fallen Honored With Flags

    Memorial Day is a long weekend for most Americans. For some, it is the unofficial start of summer -- local swimming pools open and outdoor grilling season begins. But Memorial Day remains true to its origins -- a day to remember the U.S. military's fallen.
    Video

    Video Rolling Thunder Rolls Into Washington

    The Rolling Thunder caravan of motorcycles rolled into Washington Sunday, to support the U.S. military on the country's Memorial Day weekend
    Video

    Video A New Reading Program Pairs Kids with Dogs

    Dogs, it is said, are man's best friend. What some researchers have discovered is that they can also be a friend to a struggling reader. A group called Intermountain Therapy Animals trains dogs to help all kinds of kids with reading problems — from those with special needs to those for whom English is a second language. Faiza Elmasry has more on the New York chapter of R.E.A.D., or Reading Education Assistance Dogs, in this piece narrated by Faith Lapidus.
    Video

    Video Fan Base Grows for Fictional Wyoming Sheriff Longmire

    Around the world, the most enduring symbol of the U.S. is that of the cowboy. A very small percentage of Americans live in Western rural areas, and fewer still are cowboys. But the fascination with the American West is kept alive by such cultural offerings as “Longmire,” a series of books and TV episodes about a fictional Wyoming sheriff. VOA’s Greg Flakus recently spoke with Longmire’s creator, Craig Johnson, and filed this report from Houston.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora