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Posts Tagged ‘Mohammed Morsi

Stay tuned on the Egyptians: Perpetual successful revolutions

Since 2011, I declared that the revolution in Egypt will become the trademark of the successful upheavals in this century. And the Egyptians are back at it, one year after the election of Muhammad Morsi. https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2012/12/07/morsi-of-egypt-has-to-deliver-on-his-promise-if-the-people-gather-in-tahrir-square-as-during-the-intifada-on-mubarak-i-will-certainly-step-down/

June 30 proved to be very different from January 2011: This current mass uprising is dwarfing the previous huge and steady uprising. making it look like a minor protest in comparison. Tens of thousands of  protesters spent the night in the epicenter of Egypt’s uprising, Tahrir Square. By noon, the square couldn’t take any more protesters, as dozens of marches kicked off  from almost every neighborhood in Cairo. Until nightfall, masses continued to  march to the presidential palace, everyone demanded President Mohammed Morsi’s  downfall.

Mohannad  Sabry posted for Al-Monitor this June 30, 2013: “Millions of Egyptians Demand Morsi’s Downfall

Protesters opposing Egyptian President  Mohammed Morsi wave Egyptian flags and shout slogans against him and members of  the Muslim Brotherhood in Cairo, June 30, 2013. (photo by REUTERS/Amr Abdallah  Dalsh)

Chants condemning, mocking and harshly insulting Morsi and his organization,  the Muslim Brotherhood, echoed across every major street in  Cairo as the city was paralyzed by the marching masses.

The thunderous mantra,  “The people demand the regime’s downfall,” was the only scene reminiscent of the  18-day January 2011 uprising that toppled Egypt’s three-decade dictatorship of  Hosni Mubarak.

In January 2011, hundreds of thousands of Egyptians held their ground in  Tahrir Square until Mubarak resigned, but on June 30, significantly bigger crowds continued to occupy the square and hundreds of thousands occupied the  streets surrounding the eastern Cairo presidential palace, a much anticipated  scenario that forced Morsi to attend to his duties from the al-Quba Presidential  Palace, a few miles away from where he usually appears.

Mohamed ElBaradei, Egypt’s 2005 joint Nobel Peace Prize winner and former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, along with Munir Abdel  Nour, the prominent Wafd Party figure and former minister of tourism, and Ahmed  Said, head of the popular Free Egyptians Party, led tens of thousands of  protesters who gathered and marched from Giza’s Mohandessin district to Tahrir  Square.

“Morsi is gone, long gone in the hearts, minds and lives of Egyptians; he is  nothing but a nightmare that we just awakened from,” said Mohamed Abdelhakim, a  36-year-old engineer who pledged to remain on the streets until Morsi’s  downfall.

“Soon, he will be kicked out of our presidential palace; he will live and die  in disgrace,” said Abdelhakim as thousands chanted, “Leave, leave.”

The massive crowd was joined by thousands who marched from Giza’s Boulaq district, a few minutes before meeting tens of thousands heading to Tahrir Square from Giza Square. None of the three marches arrived at their target destination, Cairo’s famous Qasr al-Nil Bridge that witnessed deadly confrontations between Mubarak’s riot police and protesters on Jan. 28, 2011, which today was blocked by crowds that extended for hundreds of yards into the square.

Passing by police stations and security checkpoints, protesters shook the  hands of officers and soldiers who waved victory signs at the marching  crowds.

“Everyone hates him, even his own police who are known for corruption and  brutality; everyone wants him to resign,” said Emad George, a 29-year-old  accountant. He continued, “The Muslim Brotherhood accused us of being remnants  of Mubarak’s dictatorship; we showed them that we are Egyptians, Muslims, Copts,  atheists, even Islamists who are ashamed of Morsi, and how he divided the  country and stood watching as people killed each other.”

In Cairo, it wasn’t only Tahrir Square — every major square hosted thousands  of protesters. Other cities including the Mediterranean coastal city of  Alexandria, the Nile Delta’s Mansoura, Mehalla and Tanta; Suez Canal’s Port  Said, Suez and Ismailia; and Upper Egypt’s Assuit, Sohag and Menya witnessed  unprecedented numbers marching in locations that have become known as  revolutionary grounds since January 2011.

Violence was reported in Upper Egypt’s mainly Coptic city Beni Suef, where  several Morsi supporters led by a Salafist cleric attacked an opposition march  using firearms. One death and several gunshot wounds were reported among  opposition protesters.

Dozens of angry protesters attacked the Muslim Brotherhood headquarters in  Cairo’s Moqattam district; they hurled Molotov cocktails and rocks at the  well-barricaded building. Unconfirmed reports alleged that Brotherhood members  fired live ammunition at the attackers, no injuries or deaths were reported.

Ministry of Interior spokesman Maj. Mohamed al-Tonoubi told the local ONTV  cable channel, “Police forces continue to secure the streets surrounding the  Brotherhood office and curb any further violence.” He added, “Several men in  possession of live ammunition, guns and Molotov cocktails were arrested earlier  in a neighboring building.”

Meanwhile, a press conference held at al-Quba Palace, where Morsi was forced  to relocate on June 29, triggered more anger among protesters and the opposition  leaders.

“President Morsi recently called for national dialogue; we fully welcome all  initiatives applied through the constitution and law,” said Ehab Fahmi, Egypt’s  presidential spokesman.

“Dialogue is the only language to reach common understanding,” he added. He  further threatened, “The state will not tolerate any form of violence or  breaking the law.”

Fahmi denied rumors of sacking Prime Minister Hisham Qandil and his cabinet  or appointing Defense Minister Abdul Fattah al-Sisi as a successor.

He added, “The military is responsible for securing the borders, and the  presidency does not need their mediation with political parties.”

As Fahmi read the presidency’s lax message, military helicopters continued to fly at low levels all around the capital, especially above Tahrir Square and the  eastern Cairo palace, where hundreds of thousands had gathered.

Several opposition parties and movements including the Wafd Party, April 6  Revolutionary Youth and Tamarod [Rebelion] Initiative, replied to the presidential  statement by announcing their open-ended sit-ins until Morsi’s resignations.

“In the name of the Egyptian people, the National Salvation Front endorses  the will of the masses that demand the downfall of Mohammed Morsi’s regime and  his Muslim Brotherhood movement,” said a statement by the National Salvation  Front, the opposition umbrella, in reply to the presidential  remarks.
“The Egyptian people will continue to pursue its revolution and  impose its will that was clearly shown in liberation squares across Egypt.”

Hamdeen Sabahi, the Nasserite presidential candidate who competed with Morsi  in the first phase of the 2012 presidential elections, sent a short, loud and clear  message from Tahrir Square. “Morsi should willingly resign, or he will be forced  to.”

Mohannad Sabry is an Egyptian journalist based in  Cairo. He has written for McClatchy Newspapers and The  Washington Times, served as managing editor of Global Post‘s  reporting fellowship Covering the Revolution, in Cairo, and contributed to its  special reports “Tahrir Square” and “Egypt: The Military, the People.” On  Twitter: @mmsabry

Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/06/egyptians-demonstrate-in-large-numbers-against-morsi.html#ixzz2XocRXQtv

Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/06/egyptians-demonstrate-in-large-numbers-against-morsi.html#ixzz2XocjPgaf

Do Egypt Moslem Brothers have established a State within a State?

Is Egypt’s Brotherhood still operating secretively?

Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi speaks publicly of firsthand knowledge of a meeting where opponents allegedly plotted against him.

A few months earlier, the most powerful man in his Muslim Brotherhood group, Khairat el-Shater, says he has access to recordings of former military rulers and electoral officials engineering his disqualification from last year’s presidential race.

HAMZA HENDAWI posted this Feb. 21, 2013 

In Egypt, those statements are seen by security officials, former members of the Islamist group and independent media as strong hints that the Brotherhood might be running its own intelligence-gathering network outside of government security agencies and official channels.

Such concerns dovetail the Brotherhood, which has a long history of operating clandestinely, to suspicion that it remains a shadowy group with operations that may overlap with the normal functions of a state.

Brotherhood supporters also demonstrated militia-like capabilities at anti-Morsi protests in December.

Another oft-heard charge comes from the Foreign Ministry, where officials complain that the president relies more on trusted Brotherhood advisers than those inside the ministry in formulating foreign policy.

The Brotherhood emerged from Egypt’s 2011 uprising as the country’s dominant political group and Morsi was elected president in June of last year as the group’s candidate.

The motive for setting up parallel operations could be rooted in the fact that many government bodies, such as security agencies and the judiciary, are still dominated by appointees of the ousted regime of longtime authoritarian leader Hosni Mubarak or anti-Islamists with long-held suspicions of the Brotherhood.

The perception that such agencies are hostile to the country’s new Islamist leaders lends their rule an embattled aspect despite a string of electoral victories.

“The problem with the Brotherhood is that they came to power but are still dealing with the nation as they did when they were in the opposition,” said Abdel-Jalil el-Sharnoubi, former editor-in-chief of the group’s website who left the Brotherhood in May 2011.

“Because they cannot trust the state, they have created their own,” he added.

The notion of a state within a state has precedents elsewhere in the Arab world. In Lebanon, the Iranian-backed Shiite Hezbollah is the de facto government in much of the south and east of the country and has its own army and telephone network.

To a lesser extent, followers of Iraq’s anti-American Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr are de facto administrators of Shiite districts in Baghdad and in parts of the mostly Shiite south.

In Egypt, the situation reflects a chasm that has emerged since the uprising over the nation’s future. In one camp is the Brotherhood, their Islamist allies and a fairly large segment of the population that is conservative and passively inclined toward the ideas of Islam as a way of life.

Arrayed against them is a bloc of comparable size that includes not only those who served under Mubarak in the state and security structures but also moderate Muslims, liberals, secularists, women and Christians who account for about 10 percent of the population.

The Brotherhood denies that any of its activities are illegal or amount to a state within a state.

“The Brotherhood is targeted by a defamation campaign, but will always protect its reputation and these immoral battles will never change that,” said spokesman Ahmed Aref, alluding to claims that the group was running a parallel state.

“There is still an elite in Egypt that remains captive to Mubarak’s own view of the Brotherhood,” he added.

For most of the 85 years since its inception, the Brotherhood operated secretively as an outlawed group, working underground and often repressed by governments.

But even after its political success, the group is still suspected of secretive operations.

The Brotherhood counters that it has legitimacy on its side, having consistently won at the ballot box since Mubarak’s ouster. And they accuse the opposition of conspiring with former regime members in an attempt to overthrow a democratically elected administration.

The two most powerful Brotherhood figures, wealthy businessman el-Shater and spiritual leader Mohamed Badie, are seen by many in Egypt as the real source of power — wielding massive influence over Morsi and his government.

El-Shater, according to the former Brotherhood members and security officials, is suspected of running an information gathering operation capable of eavesdropping on telephones and email.

He was the Brotherhood’s first choice for presidential candidate in last year’s election but was disqualified over a Mubarak-era conviction.

Following his disqualification, he publicly said last summer that he had access to recordings of telephone conversations between members of the election commission and the military council that ruled Egypt for nearly 17 months after Mubarak’s ouster.

The conversations, he claimed, were to engineer throwing him out of the race. He did not say how he knew of the contacts or their contents.

Again in December, he suggested that he had access to information gathered clandestinely.

Addressing Islamists in a televised meeting, he said he has “detected from various sources” that there were meetings of people allegedly plotting to destabilize Morsi’s rule.

He did not identify the alleged plotters nor say how he had learned of the meetings.

A spokesman for the Brotherhood’s political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party, said at the time when asked for comment that it was to be expected from a group as big as the Brotherhood to have its own “resources.” That was taken as virtual confirmation of a parallel intelligence gathering operation.

Morsi was also seen as suggesting that the Brotherhood was spying on critics when he spoke to supporters outside his presidential palace in November. He said he had firsthand knowledge of what transpired in a meeting of several of his critics.

“They think that they can hide away from me,” he said.

The words of El-Shater and Morsi were taken as strong hints that the Brotherhood has its own intelligence gathering operation. But in a country fed on a steady diet of conspiracy theories, no hard evidence has come to light, only suspicion and talk.

A former Brotherhood member, Mohammed el-Gebbah, claimed the group had 6 “mini intelligence centers,” including one housed in its headquarters in the Cairo district of Moqqatam.

He did not provide evidence to back his claim and another Brotherhood spokesman, Murad Ali, denied that the group has such capability.

In an off-the-cuff remark, Brotherhood stalwart Essam el-Aryan said last October that Morsi’s presidential palace secretly records all “incoming and outgoing communications.” The president’s spokesman swiftly denied it.

But it only fed the notion of a Brotherhood parallel intelligence gathering operation with Morsi’s support and cooperation.

Another concern that has arisen is whether the Brotherhood might be running its own militias outside of government security agencies.

That fear arose from a wave of mass protests that turned violent in December. Protesters for and against Morsi faced off over decrees, since rescinded, that gave the president near absolute powers.

In early December, the Brotherhood posted a “general alert” on its official Facebook page and the next day, groups of armed Brotherhood supporters attacked opposition protesters staging a sit-in outside Morsi’s palace.

Thousands of Morsi supporters and opponents poured into the area and street fighting continued well into the night.

Video clips later posted on social networks showed Brotherhood supporters stripping and torturing protesters in makeshift “detention centers” set up just outside the palace gates, partly to extract confessions that they were on the opposition’s payroll.

On-camera testimonies by victims to rights groups spoke of police and palace workers standing by and watching as they were being abused by Brotherhood supporters.

At least 10 people were killed and 700 injured in the clashes on Dec. 5.

The next morning, groups of Morsi supporters staged military-style drills in residential areas near the palace.

Ali, the group’s spokesman, denied the existence of any kind of militias.

“We have no military or non-military formations. None whatsoever,” he said.

Aref, the other spokesman, disputed the version of events outside Morsi’s palace on Dec. 5, saying 11 of the group’s supporters were killed by thugs and nearly 1,500 injured, including 132 who were shot.

“The facts of that day were turned upside down to mislead public opinion and the victims became the culprit,” he said.


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