News / Middle East

Pro, Anti-Morsi Groups Rally in Cairo

  • Muslim Brotherhood doctors hold up newspaper with photos of their supporters killed in a confrontation with the Egyptian military on July 8. Photo: VOA/Sharon Behn 
  • Pro-Morsi supporters in Muslim Brotherhood rallying point outside Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque in Cairo, July 11. Photo: VOA/Sharon Behn
  • Child offering man water to cool off at Muslim Brotherhood rallying point outside Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque, Cairo, July 11. Photo: VOA/Sharon Behn
  • Muslim Brotherhood supporters sitting outside Cairo's Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque, July 11. Photo: VOA/Sharon Behn
  • Exhaused Morsi supporter resting outside Muslim Brotherhood stronghold outside Cairo's Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque, July 11. Photo: VOA/Sharon Behn
  • Quran, beads and pen at Muslim Brotherhood rally site outside Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque, Cairo, July 11.  Photo: VOA/Sharon Behn
  • Egyptian flags for sale at Muslim Brotherhood stronghold outside Cairo's Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque. Photo: VOA/Sharon Behn
  • Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood holding Qurans and sticks at the security checkpoint entering the Muslim Brotherhood stronghold outside Cairo's Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque, July 11. Photo: VOA/Sharon Behn
Pro, Anti-Morsi Groups Rally in Cairo
Sharon Behn
Supporters and opponents of Egypt's ousted President Mohamed Morsi are back in the streets of Cairo Friday, more than a week after the Islamist leader was deposed by the military.  The Muslim Brotherhood, which refuses to accept the ouster, or join the interim government, says the country's democracy is under threat.

A Morsi supporter is doused with water at Cairo's Rabaa Adawiya square, July 12, 2013.A Morsi supporter is doused with water at Cairo's Rabaa Adawiya square, July 12, 2013.
x
A Morsi supporter is doused with water at Cairo's Rabaa Adawiya square, July 12, 2013.
A Morsi supporter is doused with water at Cairo's Rabaa Adawiya square, July 12, 2013.
Even before Friday's Muslim noontime prayer had started, thousands of Muslim Brotherhood and their supporters had gathered in front of the Rabaa el Adaweyeh mosque. Several men were spraying the families with water, to ease the midday heat. It is the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, so no one eats or drinks for almost 15 hours.

By the time the prayers started, thousands of bodies blocked every street and sidewalk. And people were still arriving, responding to the the Muslim Brotherhood's call for a massive protest to demand Morsi's return.

Morsi was elected last year, defeating a political opponent many associated with the previous government of Hosni Mubarak, ousted through a popular rebellion with the support of the military. Morsi supporters, like tour operator Fady Gamel, say the military's ouster of the Islamist leader threatens the country's democracy.

As Gamel put it, "It is a fight between democracy and dictatorship."  He says the generals who have always been talking about democracy, democracy, are not democratic, they are, as he put it, a democ-tatorship.

Sitting indoors in an empty hall near the protestors, Muslim Brotherhood spokesman Gehad el Haddad said in an interview with VOA that their demonstrations are peaceful and stand against what he describes as a military grab for power.  

The military has no role in politics, he said. They have to be put back into the barracks, and politicians and the people through the ballot box lead the scene. That is what we are standing for.

On Monday, dawn confrontations between Muslim Brotherhood protestors and the military ended with 51 killed and many injured.

In Tahrir Square, anti-Morsi protestors accuse the Brotherhood of instigating violence. The say the army merely responded to the democratic will of the people, ousting Morsi on July 3.

Sebastian Gorka, Director of the National Security Fellows Program at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies in Washington, agreed.

"We should admit that while Morsi won the election, he almost immediately began to act in ways that are fundamentally unconstitutional, undemocratic and not representative of the will of the Egyptian people."

Down in Tahrir Square on Friday, volunteers were setting up hundreds of tables and chairs for the evening fast-breaking Iftar meal, traditionally a time when families gather. Thousands were expected to fill the square by nightfall.

Activist Mamdouh Hamza, an engineer, had arrived early. He shrugged off the Brotherhood, saying they were no longer relevant in Egypt. "They are finished as far as I'm concerned,' he says. 'Absolutely finished. They have no support of the people."

But the mood in the Muslim Brotherhood stronghold was different on Friday. Despite the arrest of many of their leaders, many thousands turned out to insist Morsi be reinstated. El Haddad said they will keep increasing the pressure on the military.

Army tanks were on standby in different areas around the city, should the demonstrations deteriorate.

Whatever the outcome, Friday's rallies reflect the deep political divisions in Egypt today and the challenges that interim president Adly Mansour faces in his attempts to unify the country.

Watch related video

Muslim Brotherhood: Democracy Under Threat in Egypti
X
July 12, 2013 6:46 PM
Protests by supporters and opponents of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi continue to roil Cairo more than a week after the Islamist leader was deposed by the military. The Muslim Brotherhood, which refuses to accept the ouster, or join the interim government, is saying the country's democracy is under threat. Sharon Behn has more from Cairo.]]

You May Like

Tired of Waiting, South Africans Demand Change ‘Now’

With chronic poverty and lack of basic services largely fueling recent xenophobic attacks, many in Rainbow Nation say it’s time for government to act More

Challenges Ahead for China's Development Plans in Pakistan

Planned $46 billion in energy and infrastructure investments in Pakistan are aimed at transforming the country into a regional hub for trade and investment More

Audio 'Forbidden City' Revisits Little Known Era of Asian-American Entertainment

Little-known chapter of entertainment history captured in 80s documentary is revisited in new digitally remastered format and book More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Godwin from: Nigeria
July 13, 2013 10:09 AM
See that they have no respect even for what they call holy. If it were a holy month as they said, they would have given it the honor due to it and renounce violence, after all there are other ways to go about their demand than just fanaticism and violence. Dialogue should have been employed if these people were truly a peace–loving group. But no. Their tendency is toward what they how best – pressure through force and more force until…. Which is a tendency toward terrorism. That has been the mindset and strategy of terrorism. The anti-Morsi group should not copy this approach and waste precious time in the square, after all their objective has been achieved and a viable political process is in progress, midwifed by the army – it must deliver. Let the anti-Morsi group return to their homes, offices and business to keep Egypt’s economic hub moving again. Let the sidewalks be alive again with people, as peace has returned to Egypt. Let the army, the police and national guard do their work of keeping innocent and law abiding citizens safe and secure in the quest for the economic revival of the once lively country, rest assured that the army is not going to disappoint the country in this matter. Just until the Morsi supporters recollect themselves and do the right thing – vacate the streets for the political process to begin.

by: ali baba from: new york
July 13, 2013 3:08 AM
it seems to me that Isla mist want impose themselves by any means necessary . .they know that nobody like them .they saw how many people are against them. now the problem in the hand of the Gov. they act quickly to disable the evil of Muslim brotherhood by using the same methods which are used during Mubarak and Nasser .they have to kept in jail

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populationsi
X
April 24, 2015 10:13 PM
A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populations

A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Data Servers Could Heat Private Homes

As every computer owner knows, when their machines run a complex program they get pretty hot. In fact, cooling the processors can be expensive, especially when you're dealing with huge banks of computer servers. But what if that energy could heat private homes? VOA’s George Putic reports that a Dutch energy firm aims to do just that.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.

VOA Blogs