Thugs, misleading media and opposition behind Friday turmoil: Brotherhood
The Muslim Brotherhood charges that nationwide violence witnessed on the second anniversary of the 2011 revolution was premeditated, blames opposition
Sherif Tarek, Saturday 26 Jan 2013
Protesters opposing Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi stand near a fire as they take cover from tear gas fired by riot police during clashes along Mohamed Mahmoud street near Tahrir Square in Cairo January 25, 2013 (Photo: Reuters)
The Muslim Brotherhood has blamed "thugs," "misleading" media, and opposition parties for violence that erupted across Egypt on the second anniversary of the 2011 revolution Friday. At least 10 were killed in clashes with the police.
Tens of thousands hit the streets, chanting slogans against Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood, from which he hails, charging both with "not fulfilling the demands of the revolution" after assuming power.
Others called for the cancellation of the "unrepresentative" constitution drafted by the Islamist-dominated Constituent Assembly and newly ratified.
Some protests turned violent with hundreds of injuries reported in Cairo, Alexandria, Beheira, Luxor, Kafr El-Sheikh, Gharbia, Sharqia, Ismailia and Suez. The latter two cities witnessed one and nine deaths respectively as government premises and Brotherhood headquarters were attacked and torched.
The Brotherhood commented on the events Saturday, saying: "While the people are getting ready to bear some of the fruit of their great January revolution in 2011 … The population was staggered by those who are trying to turn the hope into a nightmare.
"Assaults [were executed by] groups of thugs, and the militias of the Black Bloc that has recently appeared, on the police, governmental institutions, and public and private properties," the statement added.
The Black Bloc, a new vigilante group dressed in black and that made their first statement on the eve of the second anniversary, vowing to fight the Brotherhood, featured in some of the hot spots on Friday. They appear to be drawing inspiration from European Black Bloc protesters in Germany in the 1970s, and at anti-globalisation protests in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
The Brotherhood went on to blame the "misleading media" that keeps "charging people with hatred against the regime and calls on them to go beyond the legitimacy [of President Morsi]," who was elected in 2012. "They even publish plans for sabotage before their execution, which indicates someone planned for this and funded it."
The Brotherhood statement added: "The political forces of the opposition refrained from condemning these crimes; on the contrary, some of them welcomed them (the crimes) with gloating."
Meanwhile, opposition political forces mourned in a collective statement those killed across Egypt, calling on Egyptians to continue on the path taken Friday of pressing for the revolution's demands of "freedom, dignity and social justice."
Signatory political forces include the Egyptian Popular Current, the Constitution Party, the Nasserist Karama Party, the Socialist Popular Alliance, the Egyptian Social Democratic Party, the Free Egyptians Party, the Freedom Egypt Party, the Justice and Freedom Youth Movement, the Free Egyptian Movement, the Lotus Revolution Alliance, the National Front for Justice and Democracy, the 6 April Democratic Front, the Revolutionary Socialists, the Free Front for Peaceful Change and the Maspero Youth Union.