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

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years 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.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs