Supporters of Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi shout slogans during protest around Raba El-Adwyia mosque square in Cairo June 21, 2013 (Photo: Reuters)
Islamist groups in Egypt, including the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party and hardliners Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya, announced on Monday that they will hold a demonstration in support of “legitimacy” on 28 June, in response to mass anti-government protests planned for the same day.
An alliance of Islamic parties and groups held a press conference on Monday afternoon to announce plans for the anti-Morsi protests set to be held on 30 June.
The open-ended demonstration and sit-in will be held in Rabaa Al-Adawiya Square in Cairo’s Nasr City under the slogan “legitimacy is a red line,” a reference to the stance of pro-government groups who view opposition attempts to push for early presidential elections as a violation of the democratic process.
"The Islamist parties and groups…will continue to protect legitimacy in Egypt, which includes both the regime and the opposition," said the alliance in a statement issued and read during the press conference.
"It is not about defending President Morsi but rather defending the road map of electoral legitimacy in Egypt," read the statement.
The alliance will also hold a public conference in Assiut on Tuesday and in Alexandria, Tanta, Zagazig and Minya on Wednesday.
"We call on the state to protect the gains of the Egyptian revolution against the counter-revolution and remnants of the Mubarak regime, [who seek] to exploit chaos and division in Egypt," read the statement, which directly accused the anti-Morsi ‘Rebel’ campaign and leading opposition coalition the National Salvation Front (NSF) of seeking violence.
"We are warning people about the Rebel campaign and the National Salvation Front militias," read the statement.
The statement also praised an announcement by Minister of Defence Fattah El-Sisi on Sunday, and called on the armed forces to protect the legitimacy and the will of the Egyptian people. On Sunday, El-Sisi called on Egyptian political powers and parties to reach reconciliation within a week, and said that the armed forces will protect the will of the Egyptian people and will not let anyone “terrorise” the people.
The parties also condemned the attack against Egyptian Shias in Giza last Sunday, when four Shias were killed by an angry mob.
The statement also affirmed that, despite some reports that figures at last Friday’s Islamist pro-Morsi rally made inflammatory statements, such figures were only speaking as individuals.
"We are not calling for violence; on the contrary, we will not start the violence," read the statement.
The statement’s signatories included the Freedom and Justice Party, the Salafist Front and its political arm the People Party, and Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya and its political arm the Building and Development Party.