Muslim Brotherhood, police blamed for Egypt's escalating violence

Ahram Online, Tuesday 23 Jul 2013

Clashes Monday resulted in 12 dead and 86 injured; different scenarios have emerged as to who should be blamed for inciting the violence

Anti-Morsi protester flashes the victory sign next to a burning scooter and posters of the former leader on Monday (Photo: AP)

Egyptian political parties and figures issued statements on Monday's clashes between supporters and opponents of deposed President Mohamed Morsi that left 12 dead and 86 injured across Giza, Cairo, and Qalioubiya governorates.

Each political party adopted a different version of events and conflicting views on who initiated the violence. Their reactions either sided with the Muslim Brotherhood and condemned the police for not protecting peaceful protestors or condemned the Brotherhood for inciting the violence.

The Brotherhood issued a strong statement Tuesday asserting that, "those lustful for blood who executed the coup continue to kill peaceful protesters, showing the fascist nature of the military regime."

The Brotherhood retold their version of events in their statement claiming that "police-sponsored thugs who are encouraged [by the police] to kill and sabotage" attacked and killed the protesters.

"The Egyptian population that revolted on 25 January 2011... will continue to pursue the revolution until it takes it back from those who stole it," the statement read, asking those who executed what the Brotherhood described as a coup to look to the protestors marching in the streets.

At the same time, the interior ministry issued a statement calling on protestors to stick to peaceful marches. The ministry also stated that it will take strong actions against those who jeopardise people's lives and property. However, the ministry of interior did not give an account of the events that took place at dawn on Monday.

The 6 April Youth Movement issued a statement Tuesday commenting on clashes that took place between some of its members and Brotherhood supporters. In the statement, the 6 April Movement denounced "the Muslim Brotherhood's non-peaceful acts, which caused death and injuries."  

The movement accused the Muslim Brotherhood of "escalating violence", not "accepting the popular will of the people in the second wave of the revolution on 30 June" and of portraying to the world that what happened in Egypt was a coup followed by civil war so that the Brotherhood can receive "international intervention."

Similarly, Egypt's main coalition umbrella, The National Salvation Front (NSF) 'strongly' denounced Tuesday the 'Muslim Brotherhood allies' continued attacks on peaceful protesters in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Qalioubiya, Alexandria and other areas.

The NSF reiterated people's right under the law to peaceful demonstrations. However, they described the Brotherhood's actions since Morsi's overthrow as "distinct from the rights guaranteed under the law," and described it as "part of crimes that should be subject to questioning and accountability."

The Front has asked the Egyptian police to protect peaceful demonstrators and take strong action against those who attack them.

NSF former general coordinator and recently appointed interim Vice President for Foreign Affairs Mohamed ElBaradie preferred to remain neutral and not take a position on the incidents.

Through his official Twitter account he called for 'national reconciliation'.

ElBaradie, who has been a one of the leading figures in constructing a 'roadmap' with the army after Morsi's removal, added that violence "does not heal old wounds but opens up new ones."

On the other hand, Secretary General of the ultra-conservative Nour party Galal Morra on Tuesday held the interior minister and government officials responsible for the "murders, intimidation and sabotage" happening in Egypt.

"We don't know how these crimes are happening in Egypt under the eyes of those responsible for running the country," Morra stated, demanding the officials to act before it's too late.

Morra, whose party also had a role in formulating the "roadmap" after Morsi's overthrow, has called on officials to stop this "farce," adding "or are we now ruled by the law of the jungle"?

The attacks are not the first of their kind.

Ever since Morsi was overthrown on 3 July during street protests across the country demanding his resignation, his allies have sworn to continue protests until he's restored to office. During the protests, clashes have erupted between pro-Morsi demonstrators and his opponents or the police and army.

Measures have been taken such as the swearing in of the head of the constitutional court, Adly Mansour, as interim president and the issuing of a constitutional declaration in order to return Egypt to civilian rule. However, Morsi's supporters refuse to acknowledge the transitional president and his cabinet.


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