News / Middle East

Multiple Protests Rock Egypt

Anti-Morsi protesters chant anti-government slogans at Tahrir Square in Cairo, December 11, 2012.
Anti-Morsi protesters chant anti-government slogans at Tahrir Square in Cairo, December 11, 2012.
Edward Yeranian
Multiple protests are taking place in Cairo and across Egypt Tuesday, both by Islamist supporters of President Mohamed Morsi and by the opposition National Salvation Front.

Crowds of opposition protesters began converging on the presidential palace by late afternoon Tuesday, as marchers poured in from several parts of the capital. Three walls of large cement blocks prevented the crowd from getting close to the building.

VOA correspondent Elizabeth Arrott said from the scene that several thousand demonstrators chanted demands to topple the regime. Some held signs urging to vote "no" on the referendum.

Arrott said thousands of Muslim Brotherhood members and other Islamists rallied at a nearby site, chanting support for Morsi. A Brotherhood leader said there are no plans to march on the palace.

Islamist supporters of the president mobilized in front of several Cairo mosques, chanting slogans in favor of the new constitution. Islamist demonstrations were also reported in Alexandria, Assiout and Suez.

  • An army soldier guards his tank in front the presidential palace in Cairo, Egypt, December 12, 2012.
  • Children play around protest camp tents in Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt, December 12, 2012.
  • Army tanks, left, deploy as Egyptian protesters gather outside the presidential palace during a demonstration against President Mohamed Morsi in Cairo, Egypt, December 11, 2012.
  • Protesters chant anti-government slogans in Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt, December 11, 2012.
  • Protesters gather in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, December 11, 2012.
  • Anti-Morsi protesters shout slogans as they stand on top of a wall in front of the presidential palace in Cairo, Egypt, December 11, 2012.
  • People clash with anti-Morsi protesters, after the protesters blocked the gate of a government building near Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, December 11, 2012.
  • Anti-Morsi protesters sit outside their tents, below a flag that reads, "No, to Constitution," Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt, December 10, 2012.
  • Protesters chant slogans during a demonstration in front of the presidential palace in Cairo, Egypt, December 9, 2012.
  • Protesters push army soldiers standing guard in front of the presidential palace in Cairo, Egypt, December 9, 2012.
  • Protesters chant slogans during a demonstration in front of the presidential palace in Cairo, Egypt, December 9, 2012.
  • Soldiers stand guard on top of a tank in front of the presidential palace in Cairo, Egypt, December 9, 2012.


The Egyptian military called for all political parties to meet on Wednesday at a military sports complex to resolve the crisis, the state news agency reported. There was no immediate response from various political groups.

Mohamed ElBaradei, who heads the opposition National Salvation Front, said his group was still debating whether to boycott Saturday's scheduled referendum on the controversial new constitution or ask supporters to vote no. Islamists are urging Egyptians to vote “yes.”

Referendum as civic duty

In a press conference at Cairo's Islamic al Azhar University, Sheikh Ahmed Olayil said it is the civic duty of all Egyptians to turn out for the referendum, no matter how they vote.
 
He said going to vote is a national obligation, and it doesn't matter if people vote "yes" or if they vote "no." He said that the 2011 uprising against the government was based on the principle of "destroying' corruption in the old regime," while the objective now is to build new government institutions.
 
But Prime Minister Hisham Qandil, in a separate press conference, said the crisis in Egypt is economic and that political differences need to be solved to attack that problem.
 
Egypt's Draft Constitution

  • Limits president to two four-year terms
  • Provides protections against arbitrary detention and torture
  • Islamic law, or Sharia, serves as the basis for legislation
  • Religious freedom is limited to Muslims, Christians and Jews
  • Citizens are deemed equal before the law and equal in rights
Qandil said a national dialogue will be held next week to discuss controversial proposed tax hikes and to determine how to move ahead in solving the economic crisis. He said the ongoing political instability is preventing a solution to the economic crisis.

Meanwhile, President Mohamed Morsi met with a stream of supporters and opponents at the presidential palace, including the head of the opposition Wafd party, Sayyed Badawi.

A clash of generational forces

Analyst James Denselow of Kings' College London said the current conflict is the product of a clash between three separate and distinct forces in Egyptian society.

"You have three dynamic elements clashing which each other," he said. They involve "the Muslim Brotherhood's attempt to consolidate its rule through Morsi's constitutional referendum; the traditional Mubarak era structures of power - the military and the security services - attempting to define their role in the post-Mubarak era; and the post-Arab Spring, Tahrir Square generation, who are unwilling to sit quietly by while dramatic and drastic changes occur...."

Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund has placed a $4.8 billion loan to Egypt on hold Tuesday as the political tensions grip the nation. The Egyptian government says it first wants to better explain austerity measures tied to the planned loan.

Loading timeline...

You May Like

Scotland Vote Raises Questions of International Law

Experts say self-determination, as defined and protected by international law, confined narrowly to independence movements in process of de-colonization More

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

Conservationists hail ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015 More

Annual Military Exercise Takes on New Meaning for Ukraine Troops

Troops from 15 nations participating in annual event, 'Rapid Trident' in western Ukraine More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Anonymous
December 11, 2012 10:23 AM
the last sentence is incomplete and misleading: it should have said that the 7 casualties are from the islamists


by: Philip Smeeton from: Norway
December 11, 2012 8:57 AM
We have to stop aiding Islamists in the Middle East. They feel that anything that they do in the name of Islam is justified. Threats, terror and murder, it is the Muslim way.


by: Brad Naksuthin
December 11, 2012 8:28 AM

America needs to learn a lesson from what's happening in Egypt.

Whenever religious groups gain political power they try to impose their beliefs on EVERYONE...even those who don't worship the same God.
Religious people delude themselves into thinking they are following the teachings of Allah or God or Jehovah or a divinity they automatically apply their beliefs to EVERYONE else.

We must be vigilant to prevent something like this happening in the US.

Already Christians are trying to use political power to force their views on abortion, contraception, stem cell research, euthanasia, same sex marriage, drugs and prostitution etc. on ALL Americans...even those who do not follow their rules or believe in their God.

There is no difference between the goals of the Muslim Brotherhood and the goals of the Christian Taliban




In Response

by: ali baba from: new york
December 11, 2012 8:24 PM
in fact Egypt have to learn from us. they have to learn separation of state from religion .they have to learn freedom of speech .they have to learn to establish secular Gov. they have to eliminate salfi and Muslim brotherhood from politics

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctionsi
X
September 18, 2014 2:28 AM
A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid