News / Middle East

    Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood Set for Mass March

    Religious scholars and supporters of deposed Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi take part in an anti-army rally that started from their sit-in area around Raba' al-Adawya mosque, east of Cairo, July 30, 2013.
    Religious scholars and supporters of deposed Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi take part in an anti-army rally that started from their sit-in area around Raba' al-Adawya mosque, east of Cairo, July 30, 2013.
    Heather Murdock
    As diplomats call for a peaceful settlement between supporters of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi and the military-backed interim government, Muslim Brotherhood leaders say there will be no compromise.

    Walls of sandbags have been rising around an encampment of Morsi's supporters, who plan more marches in Cairo into the evening.
     
    At the edge of the pro-Morsi protest camp, some men shoveled sand into bags while dozens of others guarded the gates, many carrying sticks and wearing hard-hats as they searched bags and patted down anyone attempting to enter.  

    Several blocks into the camp, past the staging area where rallies calling for Morsi’s reinstatement have been held daily for weeks, is the camp’s media center.

    Pro-Morsi protesters say they are non-violent and unarmed, but they will still fight to protect the women and children living inside the camp. (Hamada Elrasam/VOA)Pro-Morsi protesters say they are non-violent and unarmed, but they will still fight to protect the women and children living inside the camp. (Hamada Elrasam/VOA)
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    Pro-Morsi protesters say they are non-violent and unarmed, but they will still fight to protect the women and children living inside the camp. (Hamada Elrasam/VOA)
    Pro-Morsi protesters say they are non-violent and unarmed, but they will still fight to protect the women and children living inside the camp. (Hamada Elrasam/VOA)
    Osama Morsi, the ousted president’s son, told VOA at the center that his family has not heard anything about his father’s health, safety or whereabouts since July 3, when the Egyptian army declared it was removing him from office after public opinion turned against him.

    Muslim Brotherhood supporters view the move as a military coup.
     
    Osama Morsi said his family is planning to ask the International Criminal Court to charge army chief Abdel Fattah el-Sissi and other military leaders with kidnapping, falsifying evidence and incommunicado incarceration.  

    Ashton meets Morsi
     
    EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, April 6, 2013 file photo.EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, April 6, 2013 file photo.
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    EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, April 6, 2013 file photo.
    EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, April 6, 2013 file photo.
    Meanwhile, the European Union's foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said she met  Monday night with the ousted president. Ashton said he was in good health but did not give many other details.
     
    “We talked for two hours, we talked in depth," she said. "He has access to information in terms of TV, newspapers, so we were able to talk about the situation, and we were able to talk about the need to move forward."

    Ashton is one of several top diplomats in the U.S., Europe and across the region calling for compromise between the military-backed interim government and the Muslim Brotherhood.  
     
    As thousands of protesters pray in the camp before beginning another long night of marches and rallies, however, Muslim Brotherhood spokesman Gehad el-Haddad said compromise will not end what has become a standoff between Morsi supporters and the Brotherhood on one side, and Sissi supporters and the army on the other.

    At the edge of the pro-Morsi camp, men shovel sand in bags to pile around their tent city, July 29, 2013. Protesters say they believe sand will stop bullets better than the brick walls they erected over the weekend. (Hamada Elrasam/VOA)At the edge of the pro-Morsi camp, men shovel sand in bags to pile around their tent city, July 29, 2013. Protesters say they believe sand will stop bullets better than the brick walls they erected over the weekend. (Hamada Elrasam/VOA)
    x
    At the edge of the pro-Morsi camp, men shovel sand in bags to pile around their tent city, July 29, 2013. Protesters say they believe sand will stop bullets better than the brick walls they erected over the weekend. (Hamada Elrasam/VOA)
    At the edge of the pro-Morsi camp, men shovel sand in bags to pile around their tent city, July 29, 2013. Protesters say they believe sand will stop bullets better than the brick walls they erected over the weekend. (Hamada Elrasam/VOA)
    Standoff remains
     
    Like some interim government supporters across town, Haddad said the only way to end what has become a nationwide standoff, is for the other side to back down.
     
    “There is only one way for this to end," he said. "The military coup has to be reversed. I mean even if that takes a couple of more months or even a year. We’re not going to leave here. They have no other option.  They really don’t have another option.”

    Haddad said the group plans to expand the camp now occupied by pro-Morsi supporters, despite orders to dismantle the tents, makeshift kitchens, clinics and a professional-looking stage.  
     
    Hundreds of people already have died in clashes since Morsi’s ouster, including nearly a hundred who died early Saturday just outside the camp.

    The Muslim Brotherhood is planning to stage dozens of rallies across Cairo on Tuesday, and protesters in the camp say they expect more violence. The government has warned that any violations of the law will be dealt with “firmly.”
     
    And while protesters vow that they are non-violent and unarmed, sandbags pile up around the tents and Morsi supporters say they will fight to protect the women and children inside.

    • People perform Ramadan night prayers in Cairo, celebrating Lailat al-Qadr (the Night of Power), August 4, 2013.
    • A supporter of Egypt's ousted President Mohamed Morsi prays outside Rabaah al-Adawiya mosque in Cairo, August 4, 2013.
    • The area around the Rabaa Adiweya mosque has been packed with Muslim Brotherhood supporters sleeping in tents for over a month. Families bring children to protect them from the police forcibly dismantling the sit-in. (H. Elrasam for VOA)
    • A supporter of Egypt's ousted President Mohamed Morsi prays outside Rabaah al-Adawiya mosque in Cairo, August 4, 2013.
    • Children have been participating in protests in Egypt since the became widespread and near-constant in 2011. (H. Elrasam for VOA)
    • A supporter of Egypt's ousted President Mohamed Morsi gets relief from the afternoon heat with the help of water sprayers in front of a poster of Morsi, Cairo University,Giza, Egypt.
    • A supporter of Egypt's ousted President Mohamed Morsi cries while saluting the Egyptian flag at Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque, Nasr City, Cairo, Egypt.
    • An Egyptian woman feeds her ducks in front of a barrier recently set up by supporters of Egypt's ousted President Mohamed Morsi in their camp in Giza, southwest of Cairo, Egypt, Aug. 1, 2013. 
    • An Egyptian child attends prayers with his father at a protest near Cairo University in Giza, Egypt, August 1, 2013. 
    • Egyptian children wear head bands with Arabic writing: "No god but Allah and Mohammed is the prophet." They attend a protest outside Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque, Cairo, Egypt.
    • Supporters of Egypt's ousted President Mohamed Morsi pray at Rabaah al-Adawiya mosque, where Morsi supporters have installed a camp and hold daily rallies at Nasr City, Cairo, July 31, 2013.
    • "Third Square" actvists, who promote a middle way in the rift between the Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of the army's overthrow of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, gather at Sphinx Square in Cairo, July 30, 2013.
    • "Third Square" actvists gather at Sphinx Square in Cairo, July 30, 2013.
    • Supporters of Mohamed Morsi during a march from Al-Fath Mosque to the defense ministry in Cairo, July 30, 2013.
    • Flares illuminate the gathering of several hundred activists the "Third Square" in Cairo. (Hamada Elrasam for VOA)
    • A young girl at the Third Square rally in Cairo. (Hamada Elrasam for VOA)
    • A young girl at the Third Square rally in Cairo. (Hamada Elrasam for VOA)
    • A young girl at the Third Square rally in Cairo. (Hamada Elrasam for VOA)

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    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: carmen from: australia
    July 31, 2013 8:26 AM
    a friend of mine went to the Al-Fath Mosque to have a look at the protest. He said there were about 500 people protesting. He and his friend were offered 100 EP to sit every day. They wanted there ID cards so that they wouldn't be free to come and go as they liked. The men who approached them were armed.

    Question: where is the money coming from? Is the pro Morsi group being funded by outside interests, if so why? Is the MB interested in Egypt , and the Egyptian people or their own power?
    In Response

    by: Godwin from: Nigeria
    July 31, 2013 10:39 AM
    The money is coming from Qatar. The Muslim Brotherhood is afraid it won't have another opportunity to win an election in Egypt again, so they don't want to let go of this opportunity. The Muslim Brotherhood is sponsored to destabilize Egypt; which is why it started with shariarizing the country from its inception in office.

    by: William Norman
    July 31, 2013 3:36 AM
    “In the 21st century, how can America and Europe support a military coup which kills revolution, freedom and the democratic experience in Egypt? If liberty dies and democracy is closed off from Islamists, they will face terrorism and extremism.”

    by: Craig Dillon from: USA
    July 30, 2013 4:09 PM
    You reap what you sow. The Muslim Brotherhood and Morsi created the problem by moving to institute Sharia law, and by altering the Constitution to push non-Muslims aside. They tried to make sure that Copts and secularists had little involvement in Government. They wanted to treat the people as subjects not as citizens.
    What is happening now is similar to our War of Independence, or the French Revolution. Egypt is trying to become a modern, post-Medieval state, where religion is not a key pillar of government.
    In Response

    by: Anonymous
    July 30, 2013 8:32 PM
    Imagine what is coming your way: genocide of Native Americans, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan ....
    In Response

    by: HCortez from: Brazil
    July 30, 2013 5:53 PM
    Great!

    by: Nagia Sammakia
    July 30, 2013 4:06 PM
    I really don't feel sorry for the Muslim Brotherhood and think they're terrorists. They are armed and dangerous and shoot at the army and polcie everywhere they go demonstrating. That mouthpiece Jehad El Haddad is paid handsomely by Qatar and makes them look like saints.

    by: ali baba from: new york
    July 30, 2013 3:07 PM
    the more people negotiate with Muslim brotherhood.,the more bloodshed will split. the best way is to arrest most of them put in jail until they understand the civilize way to deal with society

    by: SavidHSwingler from: Cairo and California
    July 30, 2013 1:08 PM
    The removal of Morsy was a democratic People's Action assisted - assisted ONLY - by the military acting on behalf of the Majority People's Mandate to remove a man who had used his democratic election to usurp democracy from Egypt.

    Recent news articles saying General El-Sisi is “the de-facto ruler of Egypt” are utterly wrong and are an insulting slap in the face the 60 million Egyptian PEOPLE who democratically voiced as a nation they will not tolerate the Muslim Brotherhood usurping democracy as they had done. It is the MAJORITY who are now THE TRUE GOVERNMENT IN EGYPT.

    Every time the media wrongly call this "a military coup" they side with the Muslim Brotherhood jihadists.

    The interim President, the Vice President, the Prime Minister, the new Cabinet Ministers – they are ALL DEMOCRATIC CIVILIANS and MANY WOULD BE ELECTED TODAY IF ELECTIONS WERE HELD TODAY. They are the de-facto leaders running Egypt, NOT the military.

    Morsy's MB 'legitimacy’ was forfeit almost as soon as he took office: the facts are, Morsy was elected last year in a boycotted minimum-turnout run-off election after a 14-candidate splintered initial election, and his ever-reminded "51.7% majority vote" was really only 20% of the Registered Voters choice – a MINORITY of Egypt’s population!

    Since February this year the vast masses majority of Egyptians have democratically been signing petitions and planning to march as a majority national show on June 30th - which they peacefully did as planned and announced. General El-Sisi courageously accepted the Majority People's Mandate and acted on behalf of the Egyptian Majority - as a democratic 'impeachment' in the only way Egyptians could get rid of the man who after being elected used democracy to usurp dictator powers and was using his powers only for the 7% Muslim Brotherhood special-interest group he served, TO CREATE A JIHADIST STATE.

    Washington DC politicians need to see that the Muslim Brotherhood followers WANT to be "martyrs" and video evidence is now emerging that in ALL these street incidents the first shots are fired by MB-assigned gunmen who shoot willing, volunteer "martyrs" to get the shooting started - and make the world believe they are victims. This sounds crazy - yet the video evidence is clear, visible and real. The MB adepts who are acting in RELIGIOUS WAR against their fellow Muslims come armed, they shoot first, and if this same thing were happening on United States soil our police would be forced to arrest, detain and when fired upon, shoot back.

    When the Washington administration calls it a coup, when Associated Press calls it a coup - THIS IS SIDING WITH THE SMALL MINORITY JIHADIST MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD. When you call it a military coup - you show your siding in full support of Morsy's utterly undemocratic presidency and you show full support for the "martyrs" to keep up their anarchy. STOP CALLING IT A COUP. Only the MB and jihadists in Egypt are calling it a coup. Is this Washington's side? Is this Associated Press's side? Jihad?

    Everything the Majority of Egypt's population is now mutually doing with El-Sisi’s help is 100% good for America!

    We do not want an extremist terrorist jihadist Islamic state in Egypt any more than the majority of Egyptians - or General El-Sisi!

    It is time to support the majority in Egypt who have worked so hard to reclaim the new birth of democracy in Egypt - and Washington and the media should stop pretending the protesting resistors are not enemies of the democratic Egyptian State provoking their own martyrdom.
    In Response

    by: Godwin from: Nigeria
    July 31, 2013 10:28 AM
    Sanni Aliyu, you failed to reply to the fact the government became largely unpopular. You also refused to see where he said the elections were boycotted and so should have been postponed to get all interested parties and stakeholders involved. You also failed to comment on the issue of how Morsi was going to be recalled if he failed to listen to voices of the 60% of the electorate who raised the "impeachment" demand. SavidHSwingle threw enough light in this submission that is quite convincing. Please keep your peace and pray for Egypt's quick recovery, as they have done what Nigerians can never get round to doing.
    In Response

    by: Sani Aliyu Hunkuyi(Mr.) from: Nigeria
    July 30, 2013 8:19 PM
    SavidHSwingler should know that Washington DC politicians are enlightened people who know the importance of separation of power in democracy. That is not how democratic 'impeachment' takes place to get rid of a whole democratically elected president. That any decisions in democracy are not done by the Military as the case in Egypt where the military men led in the removal of President Morsy using the video evidence to justify their action that they were working with the Majority of Egypt's population. The essence of separation of power between the Executive, the Legislative and the Judiciary is to resolve any conflict that may arise in democratic government. The exercise of political power must not be decided by the Military, instead there should be respect for the law, the constitution, and the will of the people. Any decision by people of Egypt must be decided by the people through their elected legislative representatives. In true democratic country, the Military Chiefs are themselves supposed to be appointed through constitutional process to create a balanced power that would reflect the true wishes of the people of Egypt. In democratic government, the head of government and his ministers do not have the power to make the law or to interfere in court cases. In a democracy, the executive is to implement policies and implement the national budget and other national affairs. The Executive may only propose laws, but only the legislature may enact legislation, including the budget. Only the courts can decide whether individuals charged with crime are guilty or innocent, and only the higher courts can determine whether any action/policy by Morsi's government is constitutional.

    by: Sani Aliyu Hunkuyi(Mr.) from: Nigeria
    July 30, 2013 12:52 PM
    Walls of sandbags believed to stop bullets better than the brick walls around the encampment of Morsi's supporters, we hope the plan for more marches in Cairo will not lead to more death. Diplomat Catherine Ashton should do her best before leaving Egypt to get the Military Junta, a government led by a committee of military leaders, to sit with the ousted President Morsi and his nominated/trusted persons of the Muslim Brotherhood. Negotiation should commence on steps to return to democracy including getting a list of those killed. Madam Catherine Ashton should seek for audience/consultation with key leaders of Muslim Brotherhood to get their views on the provisions of Islam on how best to compensate and make happy, the families of those killed in the protests that followed the removal of President Morsi. Other views of Muslim Brotherhood should be sought on how to organize another democratic election in Egypt with opportunity for Morsi and his fellow Party members to have equal opportunity to contest for next presidential and other posts.
    In Response

    by: Plain Mirror Intl from: Plain Planet - Africa
    August 02, 2013 11:31 AM
    Sani Aliyu Hunkuyi my bother, I like the way you analysed democracy, pretty good. But, note it that Egypt has no democracy yet and Morsi is the one to ask about the emerging democracy in Egypt. Mind you, democracy doesn't mean saying that your people are crazy 'dem are crazy' then you do anything none-sense in the name of democracy. Any person nursing such mentality is a FOOL: That was the mentality of Morsi. When we see democracy in Egypt, we would know. Get Morsi back to elementary school and re-define democracy for him. When he does pass the exams, the military would respond accordingly too.

    by: Godwin from: Nigeria
    July 30, 2013 12:38 PM
    2nd Input: Let’s make no mistake about this. Not all protests in Egypt are in support of Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood. In actual fact, there are three factions protesting at the moment – the pro-Morsi group, the anti-Muslim Brotherhood and anti-military group, and the anti-military group. These distinct groups have also distinct reasons for protesting. The pro-Morsi group wants a restoration of Muslim Brotherhood rule by restoring Mohamed Morsi as the only way forward. The anti-Muslim Brotherhood and anti-military group wants neither the brotherhood nor the army. They should have done better by staying away from the streets. Their presence on protest stands swells the attendance of the Muslim Brotherhood and gives the impression they have a larger than necessary followership. The only way to describe them is that no one knows how they want to get to their destination of democracy for Egypt without first having the current middle ground created by the anti-Morsi cum military intervention.
    Like the preceding group, the next group on the streets is the anti-military group. This group claims to have a bitter taste in the mouth from the previous military rule in the country and so does not want to see the army taking part whatsoever in the political scene in the country. Ambiguous under the present dispensation as it is, this group has not given time enough for the military to finish the job of helping the civil society wrestle power from the Muslim Brotherhood before protesting for the army to leave. They two would have done better to leave the streets and give enough time to the interim government to deliver or fail on their promise. At the best their demand is unclear.
    The anti-Morsi or anti-Muslim Brotherhood group make up about 73% of the population with the undecided – peasant, plebeians and elite – some of whom sit on the face and take whatever comes their way. This is the most important group and includes the June30 group that started the revolution. They are off the streets. If the other two groups not interested in Morsi or his Muslim Brotherhood rule had stayed off the streets like the anti-Morsi group, the Muslim Brotherhood would have been forced to realize how hopeless and insignificant their protest is. The anti-military group claims to be religious but not in solidarity with the extremist views of the Muslim Brotherhood. They simply don’t want military rule. All these groups asking for return to democratic rule give false impression the Muslim Brotherhood has large followership. That is false.
    These groups have to be reached out to to vacate the streets for a while. This will drastically wane the support the Muslim Brotherhood tends to enjoy which makes them sustain the protests. The Interim government should reach out to these groups as a matter of urgency to reassure them of the goodwill of the administration to return the country to total democracy as soon as possible. The Muslim Brotherhood can then be paid in its own coin or be totally ignored.

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