News / Middle East

    Protests Heat Up Across Egypt

    Egyptian protesters shout anti-Muslim Brotherhood slogans as they hold posters depicting U.S. Ambassador to Egypt Anne Patterson and President Mohammed Morsi during a protest in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, June 28, 2013.
    Egyptian protesters shout anti-Muslim Brotherhood slogans as they hold posters depicting U.S. Ambassador to Egypt Anne Patterson and President Mohammed Morsi during a protest in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, June 28, 2013.
    Edward Yeranian
    Backers and opponents of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi have traded gunfire and thrown firecrackers at each other during brutal street fighting in Alexandria.

    Riot police moved in with armored vehicles and tear gas, but not before the offices of Morsi's political party were set on fire.

    Authorities say two people have been killed, including a U.S. citizen stabbed to death while taking pictures of the riots. The State Department has issued a travel warning for Egypt, telling Americas to put off non-essential travel there. Some embassy workers and their families will be evacuated.

    Protesters also are gathering in Cairo's Tahrir Square, waving Egyptian flags and calling for Morsi's departure. They are preparing for a massive anti-government rally Sunday, the one-year anniversary of Morsi's presidency.

    The opposition accuses Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood movement of trying to undermine secular rights and not living up to the 2011 uprising that forced ex-president Hosni Mubarak to flee.

    A few thousand Morsi supporters gathered in front of a mosque in the outlying Cairo district of Nasr City during Friday prayers. Many carried banners proclaiming support for the president and the crowd broke into periodic chants of “Islamic rule, Islamic rule.”

    Supporters of Morsi rally in the suburb of Nasr City, Cairo, June 28, 2013.
    Supporters of Morsi rally in the suburb of Nasr City, Cairo, June 28, 2013.






    At the same time, anti-Morsi protesters chanted slogans calling for the president to resign, marching from at least three Cairo districts towards the city's iconic Tahrir Square.

    In Egypt's second largest city, Alexandria, still more anti-government protesters turned out in force, fighting with guns and firecrackers.  At least one person was killed while the offices of Morsi's political party were set on fire.

    Riot police moved in with armored vehicles to break up the clashes, firing tear gas in an effort to clear the streets of protesters demanding that the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood group stop meddling in politics.

    Battles between Morsi supporters and opponents in the provincial regions of Fayyoum, Sharqiya and Dhekeliya left at least three dead and 300 wounded in the last 48 hours. At least one Muslim Brotherhood political office was attacked and burned, near Cairo.

    A new opposition movement calling itself “tamarud” or “rebellion” claims to have gathered 15 million signatures asking the president to step down. There is worry that young tamarud members will clash with the president's supporters who say that he was “democratically” elected and must remain.

    Said Sadek, who teaches political sociology at the American University in Cairo, said that the situation in the country is “explosive.” But the fundamental conflict is economic.

    "Political Islam reflects class struggle in the country. It's not religious," he said. "They are using religious terminology to cover up for socio-economic differences and rivalry and competition. It's a pure political conflict, that [Morsi] is incompetent, that he doesn't deliver, he doesn't know how to manage the country, he is dividing the country, he is not delivering the objectives of the revolution."

    Societal conflict in Egypt will not be resolved by street protests, Middle East scholar Fouad Ajami of the Hoover Institution said, adding that little will come out of the this cycle of protests:

    "It's an essential political stalemate and the protests will not offer deliverance from that kind of stalemate, because the regime has its crowds," said Ajami. "The opposition has its crowds, and let us not forget that Morsi has on his side that very elusive but nevertheless very powerful prop in a situation like that: legitimacy.....The protests will tell us of the unease in the country and of its divisions and the morning after the protests we shall return to the same stalemate."

    Egypt's army officials told cadets recently that the military would only intervene in the country's political conflict if violence were to break out in the streets.

    • Opponents of Egypt's Islamist President Mohamed Morsi wave national flags in Tahrir Square in Cairo, June 28, 2013.
    • An Egyptian protester shouts anti-President Mohamed Morsi slogans and holds a red card that reads "leave" in Arabic during a protest in Tahrir Square, Cairo, June 28, 2013.
    • Islamists and supporters of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi shout slogans during a protest around the Raba El-Adwyia mosque square in the suburb of Nasr City, Cairo, June 28, 2013.
    • Islamists, members of the brotherhood, and supporters of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, shout slogans during a protest around the Raba El-Adwyia mosque square in the suburb of Nasr City, Cairo, June 28, 2013.
    • An Egyptian protester holds posters depicting U.S. Ambassador to Egypt Anne Patterson and President Mohamed Morsi at an entrance to Tahrir Square in Cairo, June 28, 2013.
    • Opponents of Egypt's Islamist President Mohamed Morsi camp outside the presidential palace ahead of mass protests in Cairo, June 28, 2013.
    • Egyptian women chant slogans against President Mohamed Morsi during a demonstration in Tahrir Square in Cairo, June 27, 2013.

    You May Like

    Former US Envoys Urge Obama to Delay Troop Cuts in Afghanistan

    Keeping troop levels up during conflict with both Taliban and Islamic State is necessary to support Kabul government, they say

    First Lady to Visit Africa to Promote Girls' Education

    Michele Obama will be joined by daughters and actresses Meryl Streep and Freida Pinto

    Video NYSE Analyst: Brexit Will Continue to Place Pressure on Markets

    Despite orderly pricing and execution strategy at the New York Stock Exchange, analyst explains added pressure on world financial markets is likely

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Davis K. Thanjan from: New York
    June 28, 2013 5:52 PM
    Morsi of the Islamic Brotherhood was elected democratically in Egypt just like Hitler of the Nazis in Germany. Democracy is not the dictatorship of the majority, but the sharing of the power with all the people.
    In Response

    by: Amr Hashem from: saudi Arrabia
    June 29, 2013 2:06 AM
    I agree with you that the sharing of power should be among all parties of people not by one person but if the other parties want to seize the power and Morsi ahould be stepped down. i think in this case, Morsi has the right of legitimacy upon the willness of people.

    by: DORAI RAJ L from: Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu.
    June 28, 2013 1:56 PM
    First all should discuss whether religions should take part in administration. Because I do think religions involving in administration is out-dated. Most of the global communities have come out of that and in a very few countries only, people still stick to that old style or administration. Still I respect all those who are in support of Morsi. I believe they might have discussed all before they took a decision to support Morsi. But it is the time to take a firm decision on this matter.

    by: Dr. Malek Towghi from: USA
    June 28, 2013 1:47 PM
    Mr. Morsi & All other Islamists of the World,

    There will never be peace and tranquility in your societies nor respect for you abroad unless you constitutionally, sincerely and honestly separate religion / Islam from common educational, civic, political, state and international affairs. No cheating ala the Turkish ruling Islamists, Please!

    by: Godwin from: Nigeria
    June 28, 2013 1:17 PM
    Morsi's incompetence can be traced to his unpreparedness. The so-called muslim brotherhood was not prepared for the elections. They had promised not to present a presidential candidate. Then, suddenly, there was a U-turn, and Morsi appeared from nowhere. Appearing from nowhere also means he may either not know where he's going or who he pretends to lead. Which is the reason for his palpable and resounding failure. The present day politicking is not a matter of constituency but the ability to deliver. Unfortunately the barbaric and fundamentalist islamists in Egypt, especially fronted by muslim brotherhood, do not understand it, living in the Stone Age. Mubarak made the mistake of not using his military might to open up the society, probably trying to favor the hard line islamists. But to his chagrin he must have realized too late that they did not deserve that respect - gold ring to the pig's snout. Egypt, about the oldest civilization from the ancient world, is now being taught what civilization means - freedom to people, liberty to live their lives, and good interpersonal relationships without the state autocracy interference. Egypt needs to return to the classrooms again to learn how to tame the barbaric islamists and bring them up to modern day realities. No one is against what religion the individual chooses, but let everyone be free to make their choices in Egypt. The days when people, churches or buildings are burnt because someone wants to switch religion, especially away from islam, is over. If Egypt will not learn that, then the UN and the civilized world should enforce it on them. No longer to treat citizens of the same country as inferior or second rate because they refuse to embrace islam. Morsi must ensure that or jump down from the presidential throne. Let a competent person with the clout and maneuver take over and navigate the country until it arrives in sfety. That is what is required in Egypt now. Can Morsi promise that?

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Unchartered Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Unchartered Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora