Islamist alliance: Army for 'all Egyptians,' shouldn't take sides in fray

Ahram Online , Tuesday 2 Jul 2013

Brotherhood-led political alliance says Egyptian armed forces shouldn't take sides in political fray, rejects 'attempts by some to turn army against democratic legitimacy'

The National Alliance to Support Legitimacy, an Islamist coalition led by the Muslim Brotherhood, asserted at a Monday night press conference that Egypt's armed forces should represent "all Egyptians."

The comments came in reaction to a statement issued earlier on Monday by Egypt's armed forces regarding the country's current precarious political situation.

The armed forces statement gave all political forces 48 hours to resolve their differences or face an army-imposed "roadmap" for Egypt's political future.  

The statement was widely perceived as military backing for Egypt's anti-Morsi opposition, which on Sunday staged millions-strong rallies demanding the president's ouster.

"The great Egyptian army is for all Egyptians; we refuse attempts by some to turn the army against [President Mohamed Morsi's democratic] legitimacy and become bias towards a certain group against another," the Islamist alliance's statement read.

"The alliance respects all the initiatives proposed by different political powers aimed at ending the political crisis, as long as they respect [President Morsi's democratic] legitimacy," the statement continued.

"We also extend our respect to the millions of Egyptians who went to squares nationwide in support of democratic legitimacy," added the statement, which was read out by leading Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya member Safwat Abdel-Ghani late Monday night at Cairo's Rabaa Al-Adawiya Mosque, the site of ongoing pro-Morsi rallies numbering in the hundreds of thousands.

Abdel-Ghani went on to urge the Egyptian public to support democratic legitimacy and the constitution against perceived coup attempts while simultaneously denouncing the use of violence.

The alliance called on Egyptians to continue to protest at public squares nationwide until the 25 January 2011 revolution had achieved its aims.  

The alliance, officially launched at a Friday press conference at Cairo's International Conference Centre, includes the moderate-Islamist Wasat Party, the Salafist Watan Party and Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya's Building and Development Party.

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