Egypt PM and Sufis talk details of Friday's Million Man March

Al Ahram Online , Tuesday 9 Aug 2011

For the first time Sufis join revolutionary forces in an effort to counter Salafist attempts at imposing an extreme Islamism on Egypt, meeting with PM Sharaf to detail the upcoming protest march

Tahrir square
Tahrir Square (Photo: Reuters)

Egypt's Prime Minister Essam Sharaf met with a delegation from protest organisers late last night at Cabinet headquarters to discuss the details of the upcoming protest march called by Egypt's Sufis.

The members of the delegation insisted on organising the million man protest after the maghreb (sunset) prayer at Tahrir Square promising to leave the square at midnight after cleaning it. According to the delegation the protest will include the maghreb and isha prayers as well as Coptic Christian liturgy and other cultural activities, including an iftar (the dinner that breaks the daily fasting during Ramadan).

The protest is organised by the Sufi movements and a number of pro-democracy political parties and movements, like the National Association for Change, Kefaya, 6th of April, the Egyptian Social Democratic Party and the Egyptian Tahrir party.

Ahmed Maher of the 6th of April movement clarified to Ahram Online that they didn't negotiate with Egypt's de facto ruling military council nor with PM Sharaf for permission to hold a protest in Tahrir. "We didn't ask for permission when Mubarak was in control and we will not ask for it now. Protesting is a human right," emphasised Maher.

Other parties and movements refused to participate in the protest, like the Revolution Youth Coalition. They argue that a protest to counter the Islamists' protest of last Friday will only deepen the political divide at the expense of meeting the revolution's main goals.

The calls for a one million man march in Tahrir Square this coming Friday will emphasise a civil, modern state in response to last Friday's overtaking of Tahrir Square by Islamists, especially Salafists, who raised hard-core Islamic slogans.

Egypt's Sufi's demanded in the meeting that the Cabinet announce its stance on the constitution and on the the Salafist attacks on their shrines and Coptic churches.

The protest will be the first held at Tahrir Square since security officers forcibly ended the 8 July sit-in on 1 August.

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