Two Egyptian hardline Salafists clash with a Coptic Christian man (front L) outside the courthouse in Cairo in this October 14, 2012 file photo, after the trial of Ahmed Mohamed Abdullah, known as Abu Islam -Reuters/Mohamed Abd El Ghany/Files
Salafist preacher Yasser Borhami has accused head of the Constitution Party Mohamed ElBaradei of inciting violence through his social media statements.
Referring to ElBaradei's tweet posted late Friday reading "Violence and chaos will continue until Morsi & co listen [to] people's demands: new gov (government), democratic const (constitution), independent judiciary," Borhami said the liberal figure should be held accountable for encouraging the violence.
"[The statement] can be considered a form of incitation for violence and a subversion from the agreement of the Azhar initiative … He has to be held accountable," said the Salafist figure in a press statement Saturday.
An Al-Azhar initiative to stop the present violence was launched Thursday amidst escalating clashes between protesters and police across Egypt, and is joined by both the Salafist El-Nour Party and the National Salvation Front (NSF) of which ElBaradei is a founding member.
Borhami's attack on ElBaradei comes after El-Nour Party, of which the Salafist figure is considered a godfather, and the NSF had come to agreement over possible reforms that could better ground a national dialogue.
Meanwhile, El-Nour Party spokesperson Nadder Bakkar condemned the violence used by protesters at the presidential palace Friday, but blamed the police for its use of excessive force.
"I repeat what I said this morning: we refuse acts of [rioting] and the fires that were [set] at the presidential palace; we reject the brutal treatment of any citizen no matter what his crime may be ... brutal dragging and beating is a crime," said Bakkar on his Twitter account.
Both Borhami and Bakkar condemned the torching of the mosque opposite to the presidential palace, which they allege was the doing of protesters.
Tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets Friday — in Cairo and across the country — to demand the dismissal of the current government of Prime Minister Hisham Kandil, the amendment of Egypt's newly-approved constitution, and the appointment of a new prosecutor-general.
Towards the evening, the protests turned violent after protesters started hurling Molotov cocktails at the presidential palace building, resulting in a limited fire in the palace garden. In response, security forces fired volleys of teargas at demonstrators and later torched several tents that had been part of a sit-in.
By late night, a young protester, Mohamed Korani, was confirmed dead and a video went viral showing a man being stripped and beaten by security forces in front of the palace, stirring the rage of many.