Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Badie 370.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The Muslim Brotherhood responded to the call by Egyptian army chief Gen. Abdel
Fattah al-Sisi on Wednesday for mass demonstrations against “violence” and
“terrorism” by telling its supporters to hold a counter-protest.
called the pro-regime protests for Friday to give the army a mandate to take
action against terrorism, particularly in the Sinai region, but it was
interpreted by his opponents as a call for a crackdown on former president
Mohamed Morsi’s supporters, including the Muslim Brotherhood and other radical
The Muslim Brotherhood’s top official, Mohamed Badie,
called on Morsi’s supporters to hold a counter-protest on Friday.
whom authorities accuse of inciting violence, said the demonstrations would
continue until Morsi is reinstated.
Brotherhood spokesman Gehad el-Haddad
said at a news conference on Wednesday that “the threats made by Sisi, leader of
the military coup, are nothing short of a full call for civil war and a warning
that massacres – widespread massacres – will be held under a false cover of
The military’s spokesman, Ahmed Mohamed Ali, responded
to the criticism by saying that Sisi’s call for a protest is not a call for
More than 100 people have died in political violence since the
overthrow of Morsi.
The Tamarod (“Rebel”) movement, which was behind the
June 30 protests that toppled Morsi, said it will support the protests called
for Friday by the army chief.
In a reflection of how deep the divides are
within Egyptian society, even some anti-Morsi groups such as the April 6 Youth
Movement and the Revolutionary Socialists oppose the army-backed protests
because they feel that they are unnecessary.
“Our armed forces do not
need popular delegation to perform its patriotic duties of preserving security
and resisting violence with the rule of law [and] without resorting to any
arbitrary measures,” the April 6 Youth Movement said in a statement on
The Revolutionary Socialists organization said it would not
give the army a “blank check to commit massacres.”
Also on Thursday,
adding to the high tensions and tense security situation, Egypt’s prosecutor-
general ordered the arrest of nine Brotherhood leaders and allies of the group,
including its leader, Badie, for inciting violence, according to Ahram Online.