Anger gives way to gloom at pro-Morsi rally

Muslim Brotherhood spokesperson slams army's removal of Morsi as "thuggery."


Afp July 05, 2013
A member of the Muslim Brotherhood and supporter of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi holds a poster of Mursi at the Raba El-Adwyia mosque square in Cairo July 4, 2013. PHOTO: REUTERS

Anger gave way to gloom on Thursday as demonstrators rallied at a Cairo mosque where thousands of supporters of deposed president Mohamed Morsi said they felt under siege and betrayed by the army.

Pictures of the ousted leader hung on walls, as protesters chanted against the military that removed Morsi from his post and outlined a roadmap for a political transition.

Inside the hall of the mosque, members of his ousted government and the leadership of his Muslim Brotherhood huddled together, planning their next moves and vowing not to deal with the new leaders.

"The whole guidance council is here," said Muslim Brotherhood spokesperson Gehad al Haddad in reference to the movement's political bureau.

He slammed the army's removal of Morsi as "thuggery" and a violation of democratic principles.

Morsi was Egypt's first freely elected president. But his opponents accused him of betraying his promise as a president for all Egyptians by concentrating power in the hands of conservatists.

As the economy nosedived, inflation soared and fuel shortages drove large parts of the country to a standstill, public opinion became increasingly anti-Morsi.

Millions took to the streets to call for his resignation, but his supporters said he should have been allowed to see out his term and be removed only through future elections.

"President Mohamed Morsi is the elected legitimate Egyptian president. They imposed a new reality with force but legitimacy is on our side," said Brotherhood spokesman Ahmed Aref.

Outside the mosque, chants thundered against the military.

"Down with military rule!" they chanted, calling for an Islamic state.

In a statement read out to the Morsi supporters, the Brotherhood called for "peaceful protests" on Friday to defend Morsi's legitimacy.

"I'm ready to die for legitimacy, for my religion," said one student of medicine, carrying a shroud in a symbolic gesture.

Tents were pitched and street vendors sold food as the protesters settled in for the long haul.

"It's a soft military coup. The military was smart, using the cover of civilians," said Ahmed al Sayyed, 26, in reference to the mass anti-Morsi protests the military used to justify their move.

"I was hoping to see an Islamic state in Egypt, but they aborted this dream," he added.

News of the arrests of Brotherhood leaders and the closure of conservatist television stations was a painful reminder for Morsi's supporters of the dramatic end to his turbulent year in power and their place in Egyptian politics.

"During all his time in power, Morsi never closed down one television channel. They closed down six channels in just one hour," said protester Ahmed Ali.

Morsi's government unravelled late on Wednesday after the army gave him a 48-hour ultimatum in the wake of massive demonstrations since June 30 against his tumultuous rule.

COMMENTS (5)

Saleem | 8 years ago | Reply

The democratic system in Egypt is in its infancy compared to the system in Pakistan. I agree with Parvez that there is good and bad democracy and the corrupt democratic system in Pakistan has many parallels with Egypt. They should learn from us , Morsi was too quick in executing his plans. Learn from Pakistan and Sharifs / Zardari duo. (1) In preparation , before you even come to government , spend money and use media for Army bashing , make sure that you bring them on low moral ground. Never worry about expenses , everything can be earned back when you are in government. (2) Do not think of opposition as 'opposition'. Let them loot and plunder and wait for your turn patiently. However make sure that no 3rd party emerges to maintain a bipartite revolving door government system. (3) Find the key power brokers to counter the military , we found ours in flawed judicial system (4) Keep the military busy internally by fanning some militants with help of your friends or foes. We have Saudi and India , you can look for Saudi and Israel. Just some points from an observant citizen , for others Morsi should get in touch with our politicians.

shahid | 8 years ago | Reply

People don't understand that dreams of Islamic state and democracy cannot coexist.They are two differnt things. An Islamic state is bound to impose Islamic rules and values without considering the values and aspirations of minorities and dissenting opinion.In Democracy state persue no religious values/aspirations and work for the betterment of every citizen. In islmic rule minorities are not considered as equal citizens and their interest are not important.

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