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Egypt's Islamist forces call for million-man Friday demo to 'save revolution'
Brotherhood, Salafists call for 3rd consecutive Friday rally to 'protect revolution' as secular forces distance selves from event
Ekram Ibrahim , Thursday 26 Apr 2012
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Islamist protest
Thousands of Islamists flock to Tahrir Square to protest ex-Mubarak regime presidential candidates on 13 April 2012. (Photo: Mai Shaheen)

 Major Egyptian Islamist parties and groups – including the Muslim Brotherhood, the Salafist Calling and Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya – have issued calls for a Tahrir Square demonstration on Friday under the banner of "Saving the revolution."

"Protests will take place in Cairo and in other Egyptian governorates," Brotherhood Secretary-General Mahmoud Hussein announced on the group's official website.

On Wednesday, Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya, too, announced that it would take part in the scheduled demonstration "with the aim of protecting the revolution and ensuring that its demands are fulfilled."

Several non-Islamist revolutionary groups, meanwhile, have expressed their refusal to participate in the event. These groups include the United Maspero Youth, the Egyptian Brothers Independent group, and the Free Front for Peaceful Change.

"There's no reason to protest this Friday given the recent ratification of the disenfranchisement law and the fact that the ruling military council is keeping its promise to hand over power to an elected president by 30 June," read a statement released by the United Maspero Youth.

Egypt's so-called "disenfranchisement law" was approved by parliament on Monday and later endorsed by the ruling military council. The law effectively bars figures associated with the former regime of ousted president Hosni Mubarak from participating in Egyptian political life for a five-year period.

According to members of the Free Front for Peaceful Change, the Brotherhood is calling for the demonstration in hopes of attracting non-Islamist groups in order to bolster its clout vis-a-vis Egypt's ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF).

The ongoing rift between the SCAF and the Brotherhood first began when the latter accused the former of planning to dissolve Egypt's newly-elected parliament – despite SCAF assurances that it had no plans to do so. "The Brotherhood wants to threaten the SCAF by flexing its muscles and calling for mass protests, which show its ability to mobilise the street," according to the Free Front for Peaceful Change statement.

Both the Brotherhood and the Salafists have held massive Tahrir Square protests on the last two Fridays. In a clear demonstration of power, the two Islamist groups – which together control roughly three quarters of parliament – have bussed in members and sympathisers from across the country. 

On 13 April, the two Islamist groups held a mass demonstration in the square to protest the participation of former regime figure in upcoming presidential elections. Non-Islamist revolutionary forces, for their part, boycotted the event.

One week later, several revolutionary groups, including the April 6 Youth Movement, joined Islamist forces arrayed in the square for a similar protest dubbed "Self-determination Friday." The event was considered the largest public demonstration – representing the widest spectrum of Egyptian political forces – since the first anniversary of last year's Tahrir Square uprising on 25 January.

Supporters of disqualified Salafist presidential contender Hazem Abu-Ismail, meanwhile, have continued their Tahrir Square sit-in for two weeks to protest the recent decision by Egypt's Supreme Presidential Elections Commission to exclude their candidate from the presidential race.

Egypt's last major Islamist-led demonstration was in July of last year, when hundreds of thousands of Salafists and Brotherhood members flocked to the flashpoint square. With many waving Saudi Arabian flags, participants chanted slogans demanding the implementation of Islamic Law. 

 Major Egyptian Islamist parties and groups – including the Muslim Brotherhood, the Salafist Calling and Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya – have issued calls for a Tahrir Square demonstration on Friday under the banner of "Saving the revolution."

"Protests will take place in Cairo and in other Egyptian governorates," Brotherhood Secretary-General Mahmoud Hussein announced on the group's official website.

On Wednesday, Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya, too, announced that it would take part in the scheduled demonstration "with the aim of protecting the revolution and ensuring that its demands are fulfilled."

Several non-Islamist revolutionary groups, meanwhile, have expressed their refusal to participate in the event. These groups include the United Maspero Youth, the Egyptian Brothers Independent group, and the Free Front for Peaceful Change.

"There's no reason to protest this Friday given the recent ratification of the disenfranchisement law and the fact that the ruling military council is keeping its promise to hand over power to an elected president by 30 June," read a statement released by the United Maspero Youth.

Egypt's so-called "disenfranchisement law" was approved by parliament on Monday and later endorsed by the ruling military council. The law effectively bars figures associated with the former regime of ousted president Hosni Mubarak from participating in Egyptian political life for a five-year period.

According to members of the Free Front for Peaceful Change, the Brotherhood is calling for the demonstration in hopes of attracting non-Islamist groups in order to bolster its clout vis-a-vis Egypt's ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF).

The ongoing rift between the SCAF and the Brotherhood first began when the latter accused the former of planning to dissolve Egypt's newly-elected parliament – despite SCAF assurances that it had no plans to do so. "The Brotherhood wants to threaten the SCAF by flexing its muscles and calling for mass protests, which show its ability to mobilise the street," according to the Free Front for Peaceful Change statement.

Both the Brotherhood and the Salafists have held massive Tahrir Square protests on the last two Fridays. In a clear demonstration of power, the two Islamist groups – which together control roughly three quarters of parliament – have bussed in members and sympathisers from across the country. 

On 13 April, the two Islamist groups held a mass demonstration in the square to protest the participation of former regime figure in upcoming presidential elections. Non-Islamist revolutionary forces, for their part, boycotted the event.

One week later, several revolutionary groups, including the April 6 Youth Movement, joined Islamist forces arrayed in the square for a similar protest dubbed "Self-determination Friday." The event was considered the largest public demonstration – representing the widest spectrum of Egyptian political forces – since the first anniversary of last year's Tahrir Square uprising on 25 January.

Supporters of disqualified Salafist presidential contender Hazem Abu-Ismail, meanwhile, have continued their Tahrir Square sit-in for two weeks to protest the recent decision by Egypt's Supreme Presidential Elections Commission to exclude their candidate from the presidential race.

Egypt's last major Islamist-led demonstration was in July of last year, when hundreds of thousands of Salafists and Brotherhood members flocked to the flashpoint square. With many waving Saudi Arabian flags, participants chanted slogans demanding the implementation of Islamic Law. 





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Adill Hissan
27-04-2012 04:15am
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Islamists forces are copy cat of Youth Egyptian Revolutionaries
The islamists repeated attempts for "Million-Man" Friday demonstration, is only to aimed at "Stealing revolution" and not saving it. Adill Hissan Ottawa, Canada
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