Two Egypts take to the streets

2013-07-26 22:28
The Arabic on the poster says, "Union of Egypt workers." The Arabic on the posters of the country's top general, Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi, says, "The people of the nation authorize Sisi." (Hassan Ammar, AP)

The Arabic on the poster says, "Union of Egypt workers." The Arabic on the posters of the country's top general, Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi, says, "The people of the nation authorize Sisi." (Hassan Ammar, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

  • The Muslim Brotherhood
    This book provides an in-depth analysis of the Muslim Brotherhood during the years of al-Hudaybi's... Now R528.00
    buy now

Cairo - Rival camps struggling for Egypt's future radiated mistrust and hostility from competing mass protests in Cairo on Friday, with Islamists proclaiming justice as their only weapon and their opponents demanding the army fight terrorism.

Supporters and opponents of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi evoked a battle of good against evil, exchanging vitriolic accusations of treachery in language suggesting the Arab world's biggest nation faces a long period of conflict.

"They call us terrorists, but justice is on our side. This is our only weapon," said Sherif Zeidan, holding up his pocket-sized Qur'an at a protest by tens of thousands of Morsi supporters.

Backers of Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood movement believe the army staged a coup when it removed Egypt's first freely-elected president on 3 July and installed a new government.

Across Cairo, by contrast, army attack helicopters banked low over Tahrir Square in a show of support for anti-Morsi crowds called out by military chief General Abdel Fatah el-Sisi, who deposed Morsi after only a year in office.

Sisi's call for protests - the first of its kind - has left Egypt more divided than at any time since president Hosni Mubarak was removed from power in 2011. The deep hostility raises the possibility of long-term uncertainty in a strategic US ally at the heart of the Middle East.

Sisi, the most powerful man in the country, has asked Egyptians to give him a mandate to crack down on what he described as "violence and terrorism", seen as a veiled threat to the Muslim Brotherhood.

This call drew sympathy in the square, including among more pious Muslims. "We came out because we are delegating [Sisi] to fight terrorism," said 26-year-old Suhair Zaki, dressed in a full black robe and face veil. "He is the shield of the country that protects us."

Nationalistic songs blared and vendors sold Egyptian flags and portraits of Sisi at the approaches to the square, guarded by the military and riot police trucks plastered with stickers of the Egyptian flag reading "the people's police".

At the Rabaa al-Adawiya protest camp, the Brotherhood's main sit-in on the other side of the capital, many remained defiant, even though they see Sisi's call as a sign that a major military crackdown was imminent.

Brotherhood occupation

"Sisi will fall, the voices of the millions will drive him out," said Mohammed Jamal, 26, as he sold headbands in green, the colour of Islam, that declared "Leave, Sisi!"

Drawing on state media, the army propaganda machine has been working overtime to deepen the Muslim Brotherhood's isolation. Privately-owned TV stations and newspapers, also deeply hostile to the Brotherhood, have been doing their part too.

One documentary screened on state TV on Friday showed celebrations that erupted the night Sisi announced Mursi had been deposed. The narrator declared it "the day of liberation from Brotherhood occupation".

One anchor declared "God is Greatest" after the downfall of Morsi, who is being held incommunicado.

Scenes of military manoeuvres, including with Sisi jogging at the head of a group of soldiers, were screened throughout the day. "Egypt against terrorism," declared an on-screen caption.

With its TV station closed down since Morsi was deposed, the Brotherhood has lost much of its media power. It has also been weakened by the arrest of many of its leaders.

Yet the group has been able to make its voice heard, using social media and the stage at its sit-in in northeast Cairo.

Mohamed Badie, the movement's leader, issued a statement on Thursday saying Sisi had committed a crime greater than knocking down the Kabaa, a building in Mecca which is the holiest site in Islam. The Brotherhood says it is committed to peaceful protest, even if it means death.

Addressing Morsi supporters, a top Brotherhood cleric urged the army to disobey any orders to open fire - something the army says it will do only against people involved in violence and terror. Sheikh Abdul Rahman al-Barr said Sisi had asked for a mandate "to spill the blood of innocents".

In language that could just as well have been heard on Tahrir Square, he said Egypt was caught between a group "seeking good, and a group seeking evil".

Read more on:    muslim brotherhood  |  mohammed morsi  |  egypt  |  north africa  |  egypt crisis
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
13 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Fashion
 

6 life hacks you simply have to know

A few simple tricks can make your life so much easier!

 
 

For chic geeks...

Device lets disabled people talk through their nose
It’s THIS easy for someone to steal your ATM pin!
This is why you should install iOS 8
17 photo illusions that look so real

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Sales Representative

Cape Town Northern Suburbs
Headcount Personnel
R30 000 Per Month

Advertising Sales Executive

Cape Town CBD
Cold Press Media
R10 000 - R18 000 Per Month

Front End Developer

Cape Town
Communicate Cape Town IT
R25 000 - R35 000 Per Month

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Pre-order your iPhone 6 at kalahari.com

Hurry and pre-order your own iPhone 6 now at SA’s favourite online store!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

Mind blow low prices on electronics

Get either the Prestigio multiphone or Proline tablet 7” tablet for only R699. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Barbie toys

Save 30% on all Barbie toys and accessories. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Baby extravanganza month at kalahari.com

Celebrate baby month with a wide range of awesome baby products. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Your sense of duty is emphasized and you may put your heart and soul into helping, serving and being there for the community in a...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.