Muslim Brotherhood Stages “Day of Rage” in Egypt

By:  Warren Mass
Muslim Brotherhood Stages “Day of Rage” in Egypt

Protests by supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohamed Morsi continued across Egypt on August 16, as the Muslim Brotherhood staged a “Day of Rage.” The protests were often violent, and witnesses reported four protest-related deaths in central Cairo, four in the Mediterranean town of Damietta, and four more in the northeastern city of Ismailia. 

A writer for Reuters news observed that in calling for a “Day of Rage,” the Musim Brotherhood used the same name that identified January 28, 2011, when Egyptians' protests against then-president Hosni Mubarek became so potently violent that the police were forced to retreat.

As we reported two days ago, government security forces moved on Agust 14 to clear two camps of pro-Morsi protesters at Cairo University and across the Nile outside the Rabaa al Adawiya mosque. Thousands of Morsi’s supporters had been camped at Rabaa for more than six weeks. Following the government’s action, the intensity of protests has escalated.

The Reuters reporter observed that Egypt is “deeply polarized after months of political turmoil” and “stands close to the abyss of chaos with Islamist supporters refusing to accept the toppling of Morsi.”

“[Pro-Morsi protesters] have demanded the resignation of army commander General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and the reinstatement of Egypt’s first freely elected president, who is in detention and has not been seen in public since his downfall,” continued the report.

Sara Ahmed, identified as a business manager, told the Reuters reporter: “Sooner or later I will die. Better to die for my rights than in my bed. Guns don’t scare us anymore.” She added: “It’s not about the Brotherhood, it’s about human rights.”

Not all Egyptians support the Brotherhood, however. Some civilians helped the army block access to the Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque, where security forces cleared away the protestors on Wednesday.

“We are here to prevent those filthy bastards from coming back,” Reuters quoted Mohamed Ali, identified as a 22-year-old business student.

A report in the Washington Post noted that “heavy gunfire echoed through central Cairo and across the Nile River, sending protesters and ordinary civilians fleeing down side streets and into buildings, as thousands of pro-Morsi protesters streamed across a major bridge into downtown. It was not immediately clear who was firing or what the targets were.”

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Photo of aftermath of military action in Egypt: AP Images

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