- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 20, 2013

Muslim Brotherhood supporters of deposed Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi forced a best-selling Egyptian novelist out of a Paris conference at which he was featured Wednesday.

Author Alaa al-Aswany cautiously backed Mr. Morsi’s election in 2012 but supported the Egyptian military’s decision to remove him this summer, The Associated Press reported.

Video of Wednesday’s violence showed protesters pushing through French observers and hurling objects at Mr. al-Aswany, and the sound of breaking glass could be heard. The author fled through an exit in the floor by the stage, and his appearance was canceled, the report said.

No injuries were reported.

“A band of apparently pro-Morsi militants infiltrated [the conference] and took seats up front,” said Jack Lang, a Socialist former culture minister who heads the Arab World Institute in Paris. “I don’t know exactly what was said, but insults were exchanged … they (protesters) shook the table and one succeeded in breaking a window with I-don’t-know what.”

Mr. Lang said the institute was filing a legal complaint against unspecified culprits for damages after the incident at its Left Bank building, AP reported

“They came to the lecture to take revenge,” Mr. al-Aswany told AP. “As a novelist, I was prevented from speaking about literature in France … this is regrettable.”

The author said he believed the incident would show that the Muslim Brotherhood’s effort to depict itself as a victim “doesn’t really fit them.”



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