Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya calls for mass protest to prevent 'chaos'
Ultra-conservative Islamist group says protest on Friday a 'national duty' to prevent Egypt sinking into 'sea of chaos'; the Muslim Brotherhood is undecided on taking part
Ahram Online, Sunday 3 Feb 2013
Tarek El-Zomor (R), leading member of Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya's Building and Development Party, during a press conference (Photo: Al-Ahram)
Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya's Building and Development Party has called for a "million-man" march on Friday because it fears the country is "sinking into a sea of chaos."
The protest will take place at the Rabaa Al-Adawiya mosque in Cairo's Nasr City. The Muslim Brotherhood remains undecided over whether to join the protest.
Participation in the protest is a "national duty" to protect the nation, the party added in a press release.
The ultra-conservative Islamist party went on to accuse "political forces and liberal parties of using violence in an attempt to drag the country into complete mayhem."
"Negotiations are the only way to get the country out of its current turmoil.
"Everybody, with no exceptions, must take responsibility during this critical phase our beloved Egypt is going through."
Muslim Brotherhood spokesperson Ahmed Aref on Sunday said the group was undecided over whether to take part in the protest.
The country has been plagued by turmoil since the second anniversary of the January 25 Revolution. The nationwide death toll has so far exceeded 50.
Over the past week, tens of thousands of protesters have gathered in cities nationwide to express their opposition to President Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood, the group he hails from, which some consider the actual rulers of Egypt.
Three cities along Egypt's Suez Canal are currently subject to a month-long state of emergency and daily curfew following days of deadly unrest.
President Morsi has allowed the cities' governors to ease curfew restrictions in accordance with the local security situation.
Ismailia and Suez have both witnessed anti-government protests and sporadic clashes since the second anniversary of Egypt's January 25 Revolution. In Suez, at nine people — including one police conscript — have been killed, while at least one civilian has been killed in Ismailia.
On 26 January, a criminal court sentenced 21 Port Said residents to death for their involvement in the Port Said stadium disaster in February 2012. The decision sparked uproar and more than 40 people have died in violent protests in the city.