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Hundreds protest Egypt's constitution in Alexandria in absence of Islamists

Peaceful demonstrations by hundreds of protests chant against the newly-ratified constitution at Alexandria's Qaed Ibrahim mosque, following two violent clashes between supporters and opponents of President Mohamed Morsi

Ahram Online, Friday 28 Dec 2012
protest constitution in Alexandria
File photo: Hundreds of protesters blocking Corniche road, Alexandria (Photo by: Mohamed Youssef)
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Hundreds of ant-Morsi protesters, who reject the newly approved constitution, demonstrated peacefully at the Qaed Ibrahim mosque after the prayer on Friday, following two violent clashes between supporters and opponents of President Mohamed Morsi at the mosque, one of the main protest sites in the coastal city of Alexandria.

 

Member of Islamist parties and groups seemed to have avoided praying in Qaed Ibrahim mosque to prevent a third violent incident.

 

"The Brotherhood would be facing the same destiny as Mubarak's if it continued to walk down his path," said Hussein Gomaa, coordinator of the Left Youth Movement, which participated in the protest.

 

Sheikh Ahmed El-Mahalawy, the Imam of the mosque, has refrained from giving the sermon this Friday to avoid further clashes.

 

On 15 December, El-Mahalawy demanded in his sermon that worshippers seek the implementation of Sharia (Islamic law). The sermon was regarded as a call to vote 'Yes' for the constitution that was drafted by a heavily Islamist constituent assembly.

 

The same day, the well-known Alexandrian Salafist cleric was held captive inside the mosque for 14 hours by worshippers angered by his Islamist political rhetoric during time of worship ahead of the constitutional referendum, which took place on 15 and 22 December.

 

Islamists then called for a rally on Friday, 21 December to protest the besieging of El-Mahalawy. However, the initially peaceful protest after Friday noon prayers in the Mediterranean city broke out, again, into clashes between Islamist demonstrators and opposition.

 

Dozens were injured and over 50 were arrested and a few vehicles were set ablaze in the span of the two clashes.

 

Following the national constitutional referendum polling, the disputed constitution was approved by 64 per cent.

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