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Egypt’s leadership supports France, factions on the defensive - Daily News Egypt

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Egypt’s leadership supports France, factions on the defensive

Compassion, cynicism, praising Islam encompass local reactions to Paris attacks

Egypt will light up its pyramids with the French and Russian flags Sunday night at 9:30 pm local time, as decided by the Ministries of Tourism and Antiquities, state-run news agency MENA reported Saturday.

A number of political parties and local NGOs have aligned with international solidarity with the French people, condemning the attacks. Several of them have issued their press statements in both English and French.

Head of the Conference Party, Mokhtar Semeida, said such “demeaning actions do not differentiate between Muslim and Christian, nor Arab or Western, because terrorism has no religion and no borders”, demanding that an international summit be held to confront terrorism.

Furthermore, the Socialist Popular Alliance Party (SPAP), headed by Medhat El-Zahed, announced it is coordinating to send a delegation to the French embassy to offer their condolences to the “victims of inhumanity of Paris”.

Al-Dostour Party also condemned the attack, while its prominent member Gameela Ismail also called for the protection of refugees from further violence.

As for Al-Wafd Party, which has been campaigning for parliamentary elections in Sharm El-Sheikh, its president El-Sayed El-Badawy referred to a “conspiracy theory against Egypt”, based on the manipulation of the plane crash incident to the advantage of the West, led by the US, to hit the country’s economy.

The Islamist Al-Wasat Party headed by Aboul Ela Mady described the attacks as “criminal operations targeting civilians”. The party also confirms that the “religion of Islam is innocent of these heinous acts that were not according to the teachings of Islam”.

The series of terrorist attacks in Paris last Friday comes two weeks after the deadly Russian plane crash in Sinai, the aftermath of which Egypt is still enduring due to the emergence of reports suggesting the plane was downed by a bomb.

Both events sparked local reactions, some of which have been considered ‘outrageous’ amid the drastic humanitarian circumstances.

Egyptian TV host Lamees Al-Hadidy was widely criticised on social media for making a comment in which she said “we should send Egyptian inspection into French restaurants”, in a clear joke on international experts’ comments regarding Sharm El-Sheikh airport security.

Most Egyptians had slammed foreign countries’ decisions to ban their nationals from travelling to Egypt following the Russian plane crash, including President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, during statements expressing “disappointment in jumping to conclusions before official investigations were completed”.

Despite Egypt’s official stance in support of France, a hash-tag titled “Why Egypt” spread on social media in which most users questioned why France had not been flagged as a travel destination, while Egypt was flagged before confirmation of a terrorist attack on the plane.

The Maat foundation, headed by Ayman Okeil, issued a statement in which it said that the recent attacks prove that terrorism in nothing more than an act of aggression and organised crime against the human civilisation.

“As much as we understand the exceptional measures imposed in France for security reasons, we want the world to be understanding of similar actions taken in Egypt for the same reasons,” Maat said.


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