Newscast Media CAIRO, Egypt—Hundreds of protesters have been arriving in Tahrir Square since early morning in preparation for mass rallies against President Morsi’s constitutional declaration and the draft constitution. Seventeen marches are expected to begin after Friday prayers from venues around Cairo including Giza, Tahrir Square, Abbaseya and a number of mosques. They will converge on the presidential palace in Heliopolis.
The protest has been variously termed ‘Friday to oust the Brotherhood’s militias’, ‘Red Card Friday’, and ‘Ultimatum Friday’. Around twenty-one groups have announced their participation in the protests.
Hundreds of protesters have been holding a sit-in in Tahrir Square since 22 November when President Morsi’s constitutional declaration rendered his decisions above judicial challenge and made the Islamist-dominated Shura Council and Constituent Assembly immune from dissolution by court order.
Protesters marched around Tahrir Square early Friday chanting, “The people want the downfall of the Brotherhood and Morsi” and “Leave, leave Morsi and Badie,” referring to the Muslim Brotherhood’s Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm
Newscast Media CAIRO, Egypt—Three of President Mohamed Morsy’s advisors resigned Wednesday evening, as a political standoff escalated into clashes between supporters of the president and his opponents.
Presidential adviser Saif Abdel Fattah told Al-Jazeera on the phone that he has resigned in protest of the clashes that took place outside the presidential palace on Wednesday.
“The Muslim Brotherhood is a narrow-minded and mummified group not worthy of Egypt,” he said. “I cannot bear seeing our young die.”
“The young are the ones who made the revolution, and who are still paying the price,” he added. “And the crisis could have been resolved, had the Brotherhood not been only working for its own interests.”
“I am going to unite the young and work with them,” he said.
Presidential adviser Ayman al-Sayyad also resigned on Wednesday. He tweeted that he and other advisers had resigned a week ago but did not announce it. Amr al-Leithy also tweeted that he had resigned last week to protest the constitutional declaration.
Newscast Media CAIRO, Egypt—As protesters descended upon the presidential palace, Egypt’s President Mohammed Morsi had no choice but to flee, and according to Ahram News, the ministry of interior issued an official statement declaring that President Morsi left the presidential palace. It also added that the security forces practiced self-restraint after the protesters breached the barbed wire cordons around the palace.
Eventually police withdrew as portesters surrounded the palace and tore down the barbed wire fence. The protests have spread across the country according to Egypt’s news Al-Masry Al-Youm.
Protesters in Assiut, carried a coffin covered in Egypt’s flag as a symbolic death announcement for the 15 December referendum. They chanted slogans demanding Morsi should step down.
State-run Al-Ahram newspaper’s website quoted Nasser Youssef, a member of the Free Egyptians Party, as saying that constitutions all over the world are written by consensus, not by a single group, irrespective of how large it is, because constitutions are crafted to protect the rights of minorities.
In Luxor, about 700 kilometers south of Cairo, thousands of members of revolutionary movements and political parties protested Morsy and chanted slogans against the Muslim Brotherhood.
In Port Said, north of Cairo, protesters tore down banners supporting Morsi across the city.
Thousands of protesters in Alexandria demanded the resignation of the current government and the formation of a national salvation one instead. They also chanted slogans against the Muslim Brotherhood’s supreme guide.
“The constitution makes Morsy a god that cannot be tried or questioned by Parliament or the judiciary,” said Abdel Rahman al-Gohary, one of the protest coordinators, according to Egypt’s Independent paper.
Mohamed Saad Khairallah, general coordinator of the Popular Front against the Brotherhoodization of Egypt, considered the demonstration outside the presidential palace a decisive battle to retain the goals of the revolution.
Newscast Media CAIRO, Egypt—Egyptian opposition parties and revolutionary groups will organize a march to the presidential palace in Heliopolis on Tuesday afternoon to protest the draft constitution, which will be put to national referendum on 15 December.
The call was initiated by the National Salvation Front, a recently-formed umbrella group led by former presidential candidates Hamdeen Sabbahi and Amr Moussa, as well as reform campaigner Mohamed ElBaradei, after President Morsi announced the date of the upcoming referendum on Saturday.
“The Constituent Assembly is illegitimate, and it produced a disfigured constitution without the participation of women, Christians, workers or intellectuals. We will seek all nonviolent means to prevent this assault on the rule of law from happening,” Hussein Abdel-Ghani, a spokesman for the group, told Ahram Online.
Marches from Rabaa Al-Adaweya Mosque in Nasr City and El-Nour Mosque in Abbasiyya will converge on the presidential palace in the district of Heliopolis in Cairo at 5pm, while adjacent protests in Tahrir Square will begin by 3pm.
Tuesday’s protests come after over a hundred thousand protesters held a demonstration in Tahrir on Friday to oppose Morsi’s controversial constitutional declaration from 22 November, which renders his decrees immune to judicial challenge and also makes the Islamist-dominated Shura Council and Constituent Assembly immune from dissolution by court order.
Morsi’s constitutional declaration prompted a wave of rival protests in Cairo and across the country, as both opponents and supporters of the president showcased their ability to mobilize.
Source: Ahram Online News
Newscast Media CAIRO, Egypt—Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was ousted on grounds that he was running a dictatorship, now the same Egyptians who called for his ouster, say Mohammed Morsi is worse and has exceeded Mubarak by driving the country into a civil war.
Leftist, liberal and independent political forces met Thursday at the headquarters of Egypt’s Socialist Popular Alliance Party (SPAP) to comment on the current political crisis and planned weekend protests. Meeting attendees included members of the SPAP, the Constitution Party, the Popular Current movement, the Egyptian Social Democratic Party, the Free Egyptians Party, the Free Egypt Party, the 6 April youth movement, the National Front for Justice and Democracy, the Lotus Revolution Coalition and the Maspero Youth Coalition, among others.
In a joint press statement released after the meeting, attendees called on Egyptians nationwide to take to the streets on Friday in planned demonstrations to demand that Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi reverse last week’s “authoritarian” presidential decree.
“The only way to break the current impasse is to listen to the pulse of the street, as opposed to following a group that has attempted to steal the revolution,” the statement read.
They further called on protesters to avoid clashing with pro-Morsi rallies planned by the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafist parties for Saturday in Cairo’s Tahrir Square.
The statement went on to accuse Morsi of adopting the methods of ousted president Hosni Mubarak. “This is certainly proof of the quivering regime, which cannot withstand such public outrage and uses force,” the statement read.
“Morsi has exceeded Mubarak by attempting to drive the country into civil war, of which only he will be held responsible for,” the statement warned.
Commenting on the constitutional draft currently being voted on by Egypt’s Constituent Assembly, they claimed the draft charter was “void” and thus could not be put before public referendum.
“This is a constitution drafted by an illegitimate assembly that represents only one political current and is not representative of Egyptian society at large,” the statement read.
They reiterated their rejection of the same practice seen in last year’s March referendum on the constitution, which “largely resulted in the division of Egyptian society.”
Source: Ahram News Online
Newscast Media DAMASCUS—Worried about the current situation of the Syrian opposition, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned of efforts by extremists to “hijack” the so-called Syria revolution.
“There are disturbing reports of extremists going into Syria attempting to take over what has been a legitimate revolution against an oppressive regime for their own purposes,” Clinton said during a visit to Croatia on Wednesday.
The opposition should “strongly resist the efforts by the extremists to hijack the Syrian revolution”.
“We are working very hard with many different elements of opposition inside and outside Syria,” Clinton told reporters.
She said Washington’s efforts “are focused on pressuring the regime through increasing and tightening sanctions, meeting the humanitarian needs of the Syrian people who are displaced, assisting those countries that they seek refuge in, and helping the opposition unite behind a shared, effective strategy that can resist the regime’s violence and begin to provide for a political transition.”
The top US official added that the opposition umbrella group the Syrian National Council (SNC) “can no be longer be viewed as the visible leader of the opposition.”
“They can be part of the opposition, but the opposition must include people from inside Syria and others.”
She called for an opposition “leadership structure” to ensure that all Syrians are represented and protected, adding: “There has to be a representation of those who are on the front line fighting and dying today.”
“It is not a secret that many inside Syria are worried about what comes next. They have no love lost for the Assad regime, but they worry, rightly so, about the future,” Clinton said.
“And so there needs to be an opposition that can speak to every segment and every geographic part of Syria.”
Source: Al Manar TV News
Newscast Media WASHINGTON, D.C.—Last week there was indication from the State Department that the terrorist group Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO) could be removed from the list of terrorist organizations, but no justification was given to explain such a move. MKO took refuge in Iraq and under the support of Saddam Hussein, fought the Iraq-Iran war in the 1980s.
“I am not in a position to confirm the contents of this, because it’s classified, but we anticipate being able to make a public announcement about it sometime before October 1,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told the press. Others suspect that the reason the US may want to remove MKO from the list is to destabilize the region by using the group to fight proxy wars the way al-Qaeda is being used in the Middle East.
“The move indicates the United States’ blatant support for extremist and terrorist groups like the MKO and Al Qaeda-affiliated organizations, which is aimed at stirring tension among Muslims,” Khalid Abdul Wahab al-Mala who is also the head of the Council of Iraqi Scholars in Southern Iraq told Fars News Agency.
“The US wants to dominate the region, steal its assets and spark war and religious and sectarian conflicts in the region,” Mala added.
It is believed that Hillary Clinton plans to run for president in 2016, therefore it will be interesting to see what her decision will be between now and October 1, given the recent deaths of American diplomats in Libya at the hands of Islamist terrorists. The consequences of her decision will certainly have an impact on the way she is judged in the next four years, should she decide to run for president.
Newscast Media CAIRO, Egypt—After the conclusion of Egypt’s presidential election, both candidates are claiming victory. The Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohammed Morsi was the first to declare victory over his opponent Ahmed Shafiq. The Morsi campaign team displayed what they claim is proof of his presidential election victory at a press conference Tuesday.
“Dr. Mohamed Mursi won 52 per cent of the votes (13,238,298), while Ahmed Shafiq won 48 per cent (12,351,184). This is based on results at polling stations issued on Sunday and Monday, and the tally of Egyptians voting abroad,” a spokesperson for Morsi’s campaign said.
Mohamed Morsi’s campaign said he won 52.5 percent of the vote in the presidential runoff election that took place Saturday and Sunday. Former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq won 47.5 percent, according to the campaign, with a difference of about 1 million votes.
Meanwhile, Ahmed Shafiq’s campaign dismissed what it called ‘lies’ about Morsi winning, confirming their candidate’s victory.
“The Egyptian public will know the truth, Shafiq is leading the race not Mursi,” said Ahmed Sarhan spokesman of shafiq’s campaign. Sarhan later stressed that “no one is president till Thursday.”
Shafiq’s campaign has claimed their candidate winning with earlier on Monday after all elections violations have been verified from their side. The campaign claims that Shafiq is winning with at least 200,000 votes.
The hysterics continued when the Presidential Elections Commission is not responsible for results announced by presidential candidates’ campaigns, a commission member said Monday. Omar Salama, a member of the commission’s general secretariat, said in an interview with privately owned satellite channel CBC that some ballots hadn’t been counted yet and that appeals will be reviewed.
He said it is still too early for celebrations in the streets, and that the commission would announce the official results Thursday.
Newscast Media CAIRO, Egypt—The preliminary presidential election round in Egypt resulted in the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohammed Morsy leading with 25 percent of the vote, and his closest rival Ahmed Shafiq with 23 percent, according to Egypt’s Al-Masry Al-Youm news outlet. The runn-off will be held June 16 and 17 between both contenders who have distinct differences.
Shafiq, a military man served as deposed leader Hosni Mubarak’s last prime minister, while Morsy an Islamist whose conservative message appeals to some has promised to introduce Sharia law if elected president.
According to Al-Masry Al-Youm, a Brotherhood official said that with votes counted from about 12,800 of the roughly 13,100 polling stations, Morsy had 25 percent, Shafiq 23 percent, a rival Islamist Abdel Moneim Abouel Fotouh 20 percent and leftist Hamdeen Sabbahi 19 percent.
Morsy’s success has dismayed non-Islamists, not least Christians who make up about a tenth of the population, unconvinced by promises that freedoms will be safe in a Brotherhood-led Egypt.
“It was for the sake of the Islamic Sharia that men were … thrown into prison. Their blood and existence rests on our shoulders now,” Morsy said during one campaign rally.
“We will work together to realize their dream of implementing sharia,” said the Brotherhood contender, who himself spent time in jail under Mubarak, according to Egypt Independent news.
Shafiq has relied on his military background and successes in the Civil Aviation Ministry to sell himself to the public in his presidential campaign. During his ten years heading the ministry, he was one of the few ministers whose performance was praised by both the regime and some opposition figures, journalists and writers. Some voices had called for him to be appointed prime minister or even vice president in the last few years of the Mubarak regime.
Shafiq believes it would be “unacceptable” if an Islamist takes the presidential office.
A victory for the Brotherhood will secure its position as Egypt’s dominant political group, which is a stark difference from the former military-dominated era of the past few decades.
Newscast Media CAIRO, Egypt —As the Egyptians celebrated the fall of former President Hosni Mubarak, political analysts discuss whether Egypt will eventually become a failed state in the months ahead. The discussion focuses on the power vacuum in terms of representing the interests of all the protesters, who were so inspired and hopeful during the revolution, about some kind of change.
The show also highlights messages from viewers, for example, Emmanuel from Nigeria writes: “It hurts me that Africans blame the West for all their shortcomings. It is clear that we Africans are not kind to ourselves.” Idris sends a text-message to the show that reads: “Egypt is going down the way of destruction and the country will never be the same.”
The entire discussion is part of PressTV’s Africa Today program and can be viewed in
the video below:
Video – Courtesy PressTV
Newscast Media –CAIRO, Egypt — Facebook has competition from the Muslim Brotherhood who have started their own social network called IkhwanBook. The user is greeted with the message, “Welcome in IkhwanBook Site where you can share your life with other muslim brothers over the world.”
The site looks similar to Facebook, but users say it respects Islamic values better. It has more reserved use of photographs, less intrusion in the personal lives of members, and a different attitude to homosexuality.
Because the group is banned, The Muslim Brotherhood says they are using the Internet, partly because it is one of the few channels of communication left open to them in Egypt. The group is also banned from the airwaves and is also prohibited from publishing articles in newspapers. This group insists that it does not want to isolate itself from the world, nor to compete with Facebook.
However, some Muslims have criticised Facebook for not shutting down anti-Islamic sites, not to mention their unease about the more liberal attitudes and opinions that can be exchanged on Facebook.
Because the group is banned, some members have concerns that the government will identify them through their membership of Ikhwanbook. For now the site is only operating on a trial basis, and has been doing so for only a few months, but the site organizers intend to go full throttle at a later date as the membership increases. http://newscastmedia.com/khwanbook.htm