French embassy in Cairo scene of Salafist protest

A group of about 100 Salafist Muslims and conservative Islamist groups have organised a protest outside the French embassy in Giza, Egypt.

They are angry at what they see as French colonialism in Mali, and with al-Qaeda posters all around, a number of speakers harangued the French and promised they would shed their blood in the desert while Islam triumphed in the region. They included Mohammed al-Zawahiri, the brother of al-Qaeda’s number two, Ayman.

“We’re here to send a message of peace to France. The Egyptian people are strongly opposed to what’s happening in Mali. I think it’s incredible that when a nation applies sharia law, western countries like France go to war with them,” said one man.

“We are calling for support for the Malian people of course, in every way and with everything available. With this escalation France will suffer the consequences around the world. There won’t only be war in Mali, but all around the world, if France continues,” said another.

Many posters in the crowd mocked the fact no-one was ready to go to the Syrian people’s aid, so why was France rushing into Mali? Egyptian police stood by, just in case.