News / Middle East

Egyptian 'Rebel' Group Backs Military

FILE -  An Egyptian activist covers her face with an application for "Tamarod," Arabic for "rebel," a campaign calling for the ouster of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi and for early presidential elections, during a protest in Tahrir Square, Cairo.
FILE - An Egyptian activist covers her face with an application for "Tamarod," Arabic for "rebel," a campaign calling for the ouster of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi and for early presidential elections, during a protest in Tahrir Square, Cairo.
Elizabeth Arrott
The Egyptian grassroots movement that boasts bringing down ex-President Mohamed Morsi is now seeking a spot in government. But even as Tamarod inspires similar movements abroad, the group remains dogged by the question - is it a player or a pawn?

While Egyptian leaders continue their crackdown on Islamist opponents, they are also trying to move forward on a roadmap for political change.

And one of their biggest backers in the overhaul, the Tamarod, or Rebellion, movement is moving along with them.

The public face of outcry against Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, Tamarod says it will compete nationally in new elections for parliament.
 
Founding member Mohamed Heikal says Tamarod has changed its focus.

He says Tamarod has “shifted from a protest movement to a movement of reconstruction and that there is a lot to rebuild."

The nation is torn apart by the military's crackdown on Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood and what many Islamists and others see as the subversion of democracy.

But Tamarod spokesman Hisham Goran defends the military's path.

He said, “They are handling it in the right way and we are going on the Road Map in the right way and you have to know that all the political parties and the people are together with the army. We are going to stand against this terrorism now.”

While other groups in Egypt's long-fractured opposition rejected the military's call for a mandate against “terrorism,” Tamarod stood by its side.
 
Its support raised further questions of how this small group, seemingly quixotic in its quest to topple a president, found in two months the means and organizational skills to rally millions.

Leaders deny any help from security forces in launching their anti-Morsi campaign, and are adamant they never met with officials before Morsi's July 3 ouster.
   
Spokeswoman Mai Wahba dismisses criticism the group is a pawn of greater forces.

She says Tamarod is not the voice of the army and never will be. She calls the group the “voice of the nation.” She says “the public commands and the army implements.”

Certainly Tamarod's voice is not always unified. Like other opposition parties, it has its internal rifts, with dissent most recently over whom to back for president - military leader General Abdel Fattah el-Sissi, or Nasserite politician Hamdeen Sabahi.
 
But in most cases, Tamarod has proven more nationalist than the new leadership itself. They called for rejecting U.S. aid to Egypt even before Washington made cuts.  Wahba has been in the vanguard of anti-Americanism.

She says she sees the U.S. as “big supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood” and thus regards America as “a supporter of terrorism.”

Tamarod also strongly opposed possible U.S. strikes last month against the Syrian government, which the group sees as a defender against Islamism. Leaders called, in vain, for closing the Suez Canal to U.S. warships.
 
Whatever its origins, Tamarod's anti-Islamist brand appears to be spreading. On November 11, a newly-minted Tamarod movement in the Palestinian Gaza Strip plans to protest against its Islamist rulers, Hamas.

You May Like

Video Snowstorm Sweeps Northeastern US

'This is nothing like we feared it would be,' New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says; he had warned storm could be one of worst in city history More

Millions of Displaced Nigerians Struggle With Daily Existence

Government acknowledges over a million people displaced in 2014 due to fight against Boko Haram insurgency More

Facebook: Internal Error to Blame for Outages

Temporary outage appeared to spill over and temporarily slow or block traffic to other major Internet sites 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.
Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visiti
X
Aru Pande
January 26, 2015 9:33 PM
U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visit

U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video US, EU Threaten New Russia Sanctions Over Ukraine

U.S. President Barack Obama has blamed Russia for an attack by Ukrainian separatists that left dozens dead in the port of Mariupol and cast further doubt on the viability of last year’s cease-fire with the Kyiv government. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington.
Video

Video White House Grapples With Yemen Counterterrorism Strategy

Reports say the U.S. has carried out a drone strike on suspected militants in Yemen, the first after President Barack Obama offered reassurances the U.S. is continuing its counterterrorism operations in the country. The future of those operations has been in question following the collapse last week of Yemen’s government. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Kerry Warns Against Violence in Nigeria Election

US Secretary of State John Kerry visited Nigeria Sunday in a show of the level of concern within the U.S. and the international community over next month’s presidential election. Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Saudi, Yemen Developments Are Sudden Complications for Obama

The death of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah and the collapse of Yemen’s government have cast further uncertainty on U.S. efforts to fight militants in the Middle East and also contain Iran’s influence in the region. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports on the new complications facing the Obama administration and its Middle East policy.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid