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Egyptian Islamists Call for Media Complex Protest, Alleging Bias

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March 24 (Bloomberg) -- Egyptian Islamist groups have called for a demonstration today outside Cairo’s main media complex to protest what they say is media bias.

The call follows March 22 clashes between opponents and supporters of President Mohamed Mursi that wounded at least 200 people, amid mounting anger at the Islamist-backed leader.

Former Salafi presidential candidate and Al-Raya Party leader Hazem Salah Abu Ismail posted on his Facebook page a call for protests outside the Egyptian Media Production City, where most satellite television studios are housed. He also urged Egyptians to “peacefully lay siege” to the headquarters of liberal parties and the houses of liberal opposition leaders.

Secularist and youth activists accuse Mursi of working to cement Islamist rule. They say Mohammed Badie, the Muslim Brotherhood’s top official, known as the Supreme Guide, is running the country behind the scenes. The Muslim Brotherhood backed Mursi’s presidential candidacy.

“Some people want to set Egypt on fire because they realize full well they cannot achieve any victory through elections, and because they have neither the intention nor the inclination to offer serious programs or development projects,” Murad Ali, spokesman for the Freedom and Justice Party, the Muslim Brotherhood’s media arm, said on the group’s website. “Their program is to drag the country into violence and destruction, their project is to thwart any attempt of development.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Salma El Wardany in Cairo at selwardany@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew J. Barden at barden@bloomberg.net

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