News / Middle East

Support for Military Rule Growing Among Egyptians

Support for Military Rule Growing Among Egyptiansi
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September 27, 2013 5:30 PM
Opponents of Egypt’s new rulers say a carefully orchestrated media and advocacy campaign is underway in Egypt to generate support for the country’s military and its leader.
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Opponents of Egypt’s new rulers say a carefully orchestrated media and advocacy campaign is underway in Egypt to generate support for the country’s military and its leader. 

In their luxury chocolate shop in an affluent neighborhood in Cairo, the Bartaw family sells chocolates emblazoned with the face of the man they hope will become Egypt’s next president - General Abdel Fattah el-Sissi.  

Shopowner Sherif Bartaw hopes the military leader will reach the stature of a previous national hero, Gamal Abdel Nasser, who died in 1970.

“This is our President Nasser, and the small guy, it’s Sissi,” he said, pointing to the chocolates.

Bartaw, who used to work in Cairo’s now-decimated tourism industry, says Egyptians are sick of political instability and the economic upheaval that has come with it.  He hopes Sissi will be a strong enough leader to end the on-going political and social crisis.
 
Egypt's interim government took office after the military led by Sissi ousted democratically-elected President Mohamed Morsi in July. Subsequent crackdowns reportedly left more than 1,000 protesters dead and at least 2,000 were jailed.

Despite the crackdown, there’s an upsurge of pro-military feeling in Cairo and a renewed taste for political strongmen.  Rights groups say this is being carefully choreographed though campaigns in the state and private media.

"Since the military is in control, is calling all the shots in Egypt, that’s also then allowed them to, through heavy handed military propaganda, frame themselves as the only reliable strong consistent voice in Egypt today,” said Heba Morayef, Egypt Director for Human Rights Watch.
 
In an office across town, leaders of the group "Complete Your Favor" are collecting 40 million signatures calling for Sissi to run for president. They supported the military action in August clearing the protest camps of supporters of Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood, despite the numerous casualties.  

“It was not a peaceful sit-in, it was an armed sit-in," said the group's spokesman Abd el Nabi Abd Sattar.  "The Brotherhood tried to alter and forge the image to the extent that they bought buried corpses to suggest and give the illusion to the Western or international media that the victims are numerous.”
 
Egyptian Army soldiers respond to clashes between supporters and opponents of ousted President Mohammed Morsi in Alexandria, Egypt, Friday, Sept. 13, 2013.Egyptian Army soldiers respond to clashes between supporters and opponents of ousted President Mohammed Morsi in Alexandria, Egypt, Friday, Sept. 13, 2013.
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Egyptian Army soldiers respond to clashes between supporters and opponents of ousted President Mohammed Morsi in Alexandria, Egypt, Friday, Sept. 13, 2013.
Egyptian Army soldiers respond to clashes between supporters and opponents of ousted President Mohammed Morsi in Alexandria, Egypt, Friday, Sept. 13, 2013.
Still, the Brotherhood continues its protests - despite being banned by an Egyptian court earlier this week.

In a Cairo suburb last week, several thousand Brotherhood supporters voiced their continued anger at the ouster of their president and the killings of fellow protesters.
 
“There are those voices that are calling for an exclusion of the Brotherhood and of political Islam as a fundamental threat to the Egyptian state," Morayef said. "And they then justify that by using a discourse of terrorism, to say that the Brotherhood are terrorists, and therefore should be excluded completely. And I think that’s incredibly dangerous, and incredibly destabilizing."
 
General Sissi says he has no ambitions to run for president and aides say he’ll only do so if the Egyptian people demand it. In the current climate, those demands seem to be growing.

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Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: basma from: cairo
September 29, 2013 6:00 AM
mubark back

by: Godwin from: Nigeria
September 28, 2013 7:56 AM
The statement 'Egypt's interim government took office after the military led by Sissi ousted democratically-elected President Mohamed Morsi in July', should read, 'Egypt's interim government took office after the military led by Sissi democratically ousted formerly-elected President Mohamed Morsi in July'. Where in the world is it that terrorists rule a country? When it happened in Afghanistan, the US, the entire West and allies rallied together that it never took foothold. Now it is happening in Yemen and the people are grunting under the load of its pressure, and the world seems to cave in from its deadly weight. In a world where Hezbollah, Hakanni Network, Taliban and Hamas terrorism is keeping the world in sleepless state, what menace will the addition of another deadly terrorist group like Muslim Brotherhood add in the world already saturated with this kind of evil. Egypt in the 3rd millennium is not willing to accommodate that because it is a setback not only to Egypt and the region but also to the entire world. The search for cure for terrorism should see to the curbing of such terrorist-bound organizations like the Muslim Brotherhood who make a pretext of being elitist and moderate but churn out terrorists in their drove. The earlier this message of separating Egyptian politics from religion is imbibed, the better for the whole country, region and world at large.

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