We Will Not Allow 'Another Khomeini' to Take Control of Egypt, Army Says

Members of ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces tell Egyptian daily that they would not permit Egypt to be ruled by religious extremists.

Egypt's military rulers have said they will not allow religious "extremist factions" to control the country, the Al Masry Al Youm newspaper reported Tuesday.

"Egypt will not be ruled by another Khomeini," members of Supreme Council of the Armed Forces were quoted in the report as saying at a meeting with newspaper editors.

Egypt Supreme Council of the Armed Forces - Reuters - 28.3.2011

Ayatollah Khomeini is the cleric who led the 1979 Islamic revolution in Iran.

"The Council will not allow extremist factions to control Egypt," Deputy Defense Minister Mohammed Mokhtar al-Mella reportedly said.

The comments by the Armed Forces came amid concerns over the growing influence of the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt's largest opposition group, as well as Salafi groups.

Although Salafi groups do not participate in politics, some of its leaders have said they are considering a political role following the January 25 revolution.

The army, which took control of the country after president Hosni Mubarak stepped down on February 11, also reiterated its commitment to transfer power to civilian rule after parliamentary and presidential elections to be held by the end of this year.