Egyptian Islamists divided over protests

Muslim Brotherhood vows not to participate in protests that lead to confrontation; Salafists endorse planned million-man march.

Egypt muslim brotherhood flag 311 (photo credit: REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El-Ghany )
Egypt muslim brotherhood flag 311
(photo credit: REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El-Ghany )
Islamist groups in Egypt split on Tuesday over Tahrir Square protests that have seen 33 killed and hundreds injured over continued military rule.
The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party vowed not to participate "in any sit-in or protest that may lead to more confrontation," Egyptian newspaper Al-Masry Al-Youm reported on Tuesday.
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It will instead "strive along with other parties to abort the sedition that the interior ministry has instigated in the country."
The announcement came after Egyptian Salafist Front announced Monday night that it would join the million-man march in Tahrir Square on Tuesday to protest against the country's ruling military council, urging Egyptians to participate in country-wide protests.
The conservative Islamist movement called on the military council to draft a timetable for a transition of power to a civilian government by April 30, 2012.
They also demanded speedy trials for those responsible for killing protesters, and compensation for the families of those who have either been killed or injured.
Islamists eyeing a strong showing in the next parliament suspect the army wants to curtail their influence. The army has insisted the violence will not delay the election, due in just over a week.
Analysts say Islamists could win 40 percent of parliamentary seats, with a big portion going to the Muslim Brotherhood, the most organized Islamist group. Islamists were by far the dominant group at Friday’s mass rally, which drew 50,000 people to Tahrir Square.
Oren Kessler contributed to this report