News / Middle East

Egypt Braces for New Round of Protests

A supporter of ousted Egypt's President Mohammed Morsi cries during a protest near the University of Cairo, Giza, July 5, 2013.
A supporter of ousted Egypt's President Mohammed Morsi cries during a protest near the University of Cairo, Giza, July 5, 2013.
VOA News
Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood called for mass protests Friday against the military-backed ouster of President Mohamed Morsi.

The Brotherhood is part of an alliance of Islamist parties calling for peaceful protests to follow afternoon prayers across the country.

Until now, the atmosphere on the streets has been largely celebratory since Morsi was forced out by the military following large opposition protests.

He was replaced by Adly Mansour, a top judge who was sworn in Thursday as interim president -- a move that was quickly rejected by the Brotherhood.

Islam Abdel-Rahman, who is on the the foreign affairs committee of the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party, told VOA that his group will not take part in any military-led political process. 

Key Dates in Egypt

  • February 11, 2011 - President Hosni Mubarak resigns after weeks of massive protests and clashes
  • January 21, 2012 - The Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party wins almost half of Egypt's parliamentary seats
  • June 24, 2012 - Mohamed Morsi becomes Egypt's first freely elected president
  • November 22, 2012 - Morsi grants himself sweeping powers, sparking protests
  • July 3, 2013 - The army removes Morsi from power and suspends the constitution
​But he says his group is calling for strictly peaceful protests against the move.

"We believe in peaceful means of defying this military coup," Abdel-Rahman said. "We don't believe in taking up arms or something like this. We still believe this country can be managed by political means."

He also rejected regional comparisons that some have made to other countries that experienced widespread unrest following military takeovers.

"Egypt is not like Pakistan. Egypt is not like Algeria," he said. "Egypt is Egypt and people are very confident and determined that we can give an example of a peaceful challenge to an armed coup."

Friday's protests are seen by some as a test of whether the Islamist faction still has the popular support that brought it to power in a series of elections held since the ouster of authoritarian leader Hosni Mubarak in 2011.

There were no signs of mass violence by mid-day Friday. Still, there were fears of retaliation, possibly by fringe Islamist elements, in response to what some consider a military coup against their elected leader.

Early Friday, security officials said "Islamist gunmen" attacked several military and police checkpoints in the lawless northern Sinai, killing an Egyptian soldier and wounding at least two others.

Egypt's military is calling for reconciliation and playing down concerns of a revenge campaign against the Muslim Brotherhood. A military spokesperson Thursday said no arbitrary measures will be taken against any political group.

But as of early Friday, prosecutors had issued arrest warrants for 300 of the group's members and detained some of its top leaders. Morsi has also been placed in military custody.

The Egyptian Military's Roadmap

  • Temporary suspension of the constitution
  • Interim civilian government headed by Adly Mansour
  • Early presidential and parliamentary elections
  • Formation of a national reconciliation committee
  • Implementation of a media code of ethics
The Brotherhood has also slammed the military for shutting down its official television channel and newspaper, as well as several other Islamist media outlets. In a statement, the group said the moves bring Egypt "back to the era of repressive practices, dictatorship, and corruption."

Judicial officials say they will open an investigation next week against Morsi and other Brotherhood members on charges of "insulting the judiciary."

United Nations human rights chief Navi Pillay said Friday she was concerned about the reports of arrests and media shutdowns, saying there should be "no illegal acts of retribution."

Some political groups that have chosen to take part in the transition government have also criticized the moves, saying it is crucial that the Muslim Brotherhood not be driven away from the political process.

The military has already suspended the country's Islamist-backed constitution and dissolved the parliament. It plans to soon set up a panel to review the constitution and set a timetable for new elections.

You May Like

Pundits Split Over Long-Term US Role in Afghanistan

Security pact remains condition for American presence beyond 2014; deadline criticized More

US Eyes Islamic State Threat

Officials warn that IS could pose a threat to US homeland More

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Moscow says Russian troops crossed into Ukrainian territory by mistake More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocksi
X
George Putic
August 25, 2014 4:00 PM
How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that were eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports from the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, where one band is bringing Yiddish tango to an American audience.
Video

Video Peace Returns to Ferguson as Community Tries to Heal

Thousands of people nationwide are expected to attend funeral services Monday in the U.S. Midwestern city of St. Louis, Missouri, for Michael Brown, the unarmed African-American teenager who was fatally shot by a white police officer August 9 in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson. The shooting touched off days of violent demonstrations there, resulting in more than 100 arrests. VOA's Chris Simkins reports from Ferguson where the community is trying to move on after weeks of racial tension.
Video

Video Meeting in Minsk May Hinge on Putin Story

The presidents of Russia and Ukraine are expected to meet face-to-face Tuesday in Minsk, along with European leaders, for talks on the situation in Ukraine. Political analysts say the much welcomed dialogue could help bring an end to months of deadly clashes between pro-Russia separatists and Ukrainian forces in the country's southeast. But much depends on the actions of one man, Russian President Vladimir Putin. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Artists Shun Russia's Profanity Law

Russia in July enacted a law threatening fines for publicly displayed profanity in media, films, literature, music and theater. The restriction, the toughest since the Soviet era, aims to protect the Russian language and culture and has been welcomed by those who say cursing is getting out of control. But many artists reject the move as a patronizing and ineffective act of censorship in line with a string of conservative morality laws. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video British Fighters on Frontline of ISIS Information War

Security services are racing to identify the Islamic State militant who beheaded U.S. journalist James Foley in Syria. The murderer spoke English on camera with a British accent. It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for the Islamic State, also called ISIL or ISIS, alongside thousands of other foreign jihadists. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from the center of the investigation in London.

AppleAndroid