The Muslim Brotherhood’s Outrage: Protests and Gunfire Follow Morsi’s Ousting

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JUSTIN WILKES / EPA

Egyptian protesters take cover from tear gas during clashes next to the headquarters of the Republican Guard, in Cairo, Egypt, July 5, 2013.

To bar entrance to the stretch of Nasr Road where several thousand diehard Muslim Brothers have established a makeshift protest camp, the Egyptian army parked a line of armored vehicles, evenly spaced and impossible to miss — standing as they are between the grave of former Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and the reviewing stand where the Egyptian president was assassinated by Islamist extremists.

A couple of long blocks further on, bearded men stand behind homemade shields at a checkpoint of their own. The street beyond is crowded with a fraction of the millions who lifted the Brotherhood to power in every election since the 2011 overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak. Some sit dejected on curbs. A few arrange piles of broken concrete – first gathered as weapons – into swooping Arabic letters that might be read from the air: “Legitimacy is the source,” reads one. Most, however,  stand quietly in small groups, keen to articulate both their acute sense of betrayal and a determination that has been a hallmark of the Brotherhood since it was founded 80 years ago, though now expressed in more apocalyptic terms.

(MORE: Adli Mansour: Who is Egypt’s New Interim Leader?)

“The veil of democracy has been removed,” says Ali Holayel, 37, of Suez City. “We adopted peacefulness. We adopted democracy. They have used democracy against us.

“The end of it,” he says, “will be our souls, our deaths. The whole Islamic movement will join.”

The Brothers are scrambling for footing in a world suddenly turned upside down.  Until Wednesday afternoon, they held the presidency, the cabinet, the upper house of parliament, and the prospect of months before being called to account by voters in the next election.  Then President Mohamed Morsi was taken into custody by the army, arrest warrants were issued for 300 others and the armored personnel carriers moved into place.

“How is the democracy game played?” asks Sayeed Mohammad, a towel around his neck to cut the heat from Thursday’s afternoon sun. “Majority and minority, right? Fifty-percent plus one, majority rules. We’re not cutting anyone out of the process. We’re just asking people to respect the rules of the game.”

(PHOTOSEgyptians Protest the Rule of Morsi, Celebrate Ouster)

In the Egypt beyond the armored cordon, the forces behind the coup were hard at work marketing the new regime. It was not a soft sell.  Twice on Thursday, and again on Friday morning, fighter jets put on an air show over downtown Cairo, trailing decorative smoke in the colors of the national flag, then arcing across the pale blue sky to form a massive valentine.

On television, the government run Nile News channel aired patriotic songs over a montage that featured an aerial image of a massive gathering of people – presumably taken on June 30, when millions of Egyptians turned out to protest Morsi’s rule – followed by an aerial image of a massive gathering of tanks.  All stations sympathetic to the Brotherhood were taken off the air.

“The thing that upsets me right now is they’re making us feel like we don’t really belong to the country,” says Hassan Ahmed, 47, and leaning on a car listening to speakers outside the Rabaa al-Adawia mosque, ground zero for the encampment. “I don’t really care about political Islam. I’m not here about political Islam. I’m here as a regular person who voted. If it was [Mohammad] El-Baradei who was president and he was removed by force, I would be here all the same,” Ahmed says, naming the liberal Nobel Laureate who heads a secular liberal party.

(MORE: Schadenfreude in the Arab World: Middle East Reacts to Morsi’s Ouster)

Ahmed, an engineer, said he voted for Morsi but is not himself a member of the Brotherhood. “I elected Morsi because he had an institution that would work with him, spread out all over Egypt and they knew the problems of the population.” He said he found himself weeping after the coup, and made his way to the encampment, one of two in Cairo. “I came here only a few hours ago, but I came here to die,” he says, and chuckles.

No confrontation appeared imminent at the time, but on Friday afternoon Brotherhood supporters marched from a mass rally at the Nasr Road encampment to the army installation where Morsi is thought to be held. Gunshots were heard, and journalists saw at least one body. Reuters reported three killed. A military spokesman insisted soldiers fired only blanks. Before the march, Brotherhood spokesman Gehad El-Haddad said in a Tweet that the struggle against the coup would take place only through “peaceful means,” through a National Coalition. “Any violence is rejected.”

It seems too early to tell which way things would go. In Egypt’s largely lawless Sinai peninsula, where groups affiliated with al Qaeda have taken root,  attacks on the military put the region under an official state of emergency. But there were also signs that other Islamist groups were continuing to invest in politics, evidently happy to capitalize on the Brotherhood’s woes: The Salafist Nour party was represented on the podium Wednesday where Gen. Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi announced Morsi’s removal. And the Islamic Group, which throughout the 1990s carried out terror attacks aimed at bringing down the Egyptian state, called for “a comprehensive reconciliation.” Why? “To open a bright future for our dear Egypt.”

(MORE: An Elected President Has Been Deposed: Egypt’s Party Looks Premature)

The little-known jurist who was appointed interim president, Adli Mansour, professed that the Brotherhood would be welcome to participate in the elections he vowed were forthcoming. But it was unclear whether the Brotherhood could be lured back into the process. Their urban encampments amounted to an expression of the politics of protest that have held sway in Egypt – the one straddling Nasr Road in many ways a mini-Tahrir, with its makeshift tents and tea vendors and nonstop speeches.

At one point Thursday, there was even a phalanx of clerics from Al-Azhar University, their distinctive red and white hats bobbing in formation as they arrived from a side street, chanting “Illegitimate.” The University’s chief cleric supported the coup, but the school’s faculty includes a good number of Brotherhood supporters.

“The democratic system develops with time,” says Mohammed Ahmed Mahmoud, a pharmacist in the Giza section of Cairo, moving out from under the shade of a tarpaulin to chat. His words were directed at the injustice of a coup that, on Friday, prompted the African Union to bar Egypt from membership.  But the observations might, in one possible future, also prove useful in a remedial course for the Brotherhood, should such a course be undertaken.

“There could be mistakes at the beginning,” he says. “You have to stay with it. It didn’t appear in Europe overnight. It took a long time. I consider the Muslim Brotherhood to present the moderate way.”

WATCH: Crowds Celebrate Morsi’s Departure

40 comments
frankwhiteny1
frankwhiteny1

Egypt finds itself in a terrible position. I have read many differing reports coming out of the country ever since the initial Arab Spring. Many of us who are not there on a daily basis have no idea what it is like. Many believe the only reason the Muslim Brotherhood won the election is because they were the most organized at the time the election was held. They don't represent what the people really want and Morsi had already suspended many of the rights and freedoms that the people wanted. I believe the government should be for the people and by the people. If it was to the point where the army arrested him and 300 warrants were issued don't you think this article should also talk about what charges they are being brought up on. 

IbrahemOmer
IbrahemOmer

Brotherhood and their terror group Hamas and U.S. President supports terrorism in the Middle East

AbdelrhmanHosny
AbdelrhmanHosny

Moursi is the president pf egypt . Sisi has to stop the militry coupe we dont live in middle ages respect election

nickojul
nickojul

I think the egyptian people have spoken and the west should listen. I its rather unfortunate that washington's feathers have been ruffled.Egypt belongs to the egyptians and not the intrest of Obama or washington. Please Egypt is a soverign nation and It speaks well of themilitray leaders to defy washington inspite of the billions wasington gives them in aid. What is at stake is the intrest of Egypt and its citizen and not another syria tommorrow. America should learn from their involvement in vietnam by backing a government that was not popular at home no matter its militray might it failed against a peasant vietcong and country side boys that withstood the mighty usa and the scars of vietnam still haunts today. And to the  African union i will say mind your business what hvae you done to sit tight dictatorial leaders that rig elections and use the militray to perpetuate their atrocities and an electorate people that have no guts that are easily bought by the allure of some few dollars. The E gyptian people have spoken let the world sit down and listen. Finally before dawn it is always darkest. Egypt your dawn is about to come. Adious

ahmed_yakout
ahmed_yakout

For the first time in 42 years, the Egyptian army rejects U.S. dictations raises for this America's fear of lack of control over the region are described people's revolution .. Coup 

hamaad01020
hamaad01020

what happened in Egypt is not a revolution , I am Egyptian too and there are millions like me say this is a military coup for the benefit of the military leaders ,, as all the world say this is coup we also Egyptians say its coup --  the military leaders try to deceive the people to catch the authority , if they were  truly work for the people ,,they were called the president to make presidential elections and called the people to press Morse to make elections , but they made this to catch authority , but as the world watch , we will continue , we will not deliver the country to the military leaders , we are looking for elections and civilian president ,we will not accept to be controlled by the military by force , we are free and will live for ever free , plz if u respect other Egyptian view don't delete my comment , if not u will delete it


nushi
nushi

It's sad for me as an Egyptian revolutionary girl to see such an unprofessional article in a respectful magazine as Time. It seems that US neocolonialist view dominates simple US media.


I don't know from where to start, to try to right all the flaws in such a sad article, it seems that it needs around 20 papers to right such flawed points in such an unprofessional peace.

What I was in the middle of, was a seemingly final victory to the 25th January revolution (that would hopefully teach Americans to change their own "so-called" democratic government that serves only the interests of capitalist multinational companies, & build American military bases to protect dictatorial regimes (such as Mubarak's & Morsi's that serve US "government" interests). SCAF sadly manipulated the first wave of the revolution serving only the interests of US government, the older regime, & the powerful MB group. It finally gave the authority to MB in rigged elections that are only called free & fair of course frankly by American media, after MB promised US government they'll continue protecting its & Israel's interests in the region as continuing to Mubarak's & SCAF's policy. But now US government is hell-like scared that finally the revolution has succeeded when all Egyptian people (except for Islamist extremists that frankly fight US army in Afghanistan & Iraq) demanded putting the path of the revolution to its right line & achieving its success, many Egyptians began to get killed my MB militia & Hamas, the army had no choice but to intervene to protect its people & give the power to the constitutional court, to continue achieving the success of our great revolution, that ultimately will teach American true freedom & democracy to demand of their own war-mongering neocolonialist government.

It's really too sad to see such a "so-called" professional magazine such as Time, giving such distorted coverage of our revolution just to serve the interest of US government!

EvoTharwat
EvoTharwat

It's a revolution, not a coup:

Please, when you see more than 33 million protesting against

The dictatorial policies of President ....Be sure it is a popular revolution, not a coup.

Egyptian citizen

salam
salam

It's a revolution, not a coup:
Please, when you see more than 33 million protesting against
on The dictatorial policies of President ....Be sure it is a popular revolution, not a coup.
Signature Egyptian citizen

Hxtext
Hxtext

SORRY FOR THE TYPO: The MB represents a religious rule of Islam. Separation of church and state is a corner stone of our own US Constitution.  I think it's an important and necessary one which allows freedom from the tyranny of religious institution and allows for freedom of expression and to worship as you see fit without being told what you should or should not believe.

Hxtext
Hxtext

The military is playing the same role as it did during the demonstrations against Mubarak - the benevolent leader... who is siding with the democratic aspirations of the people.  That's all I can honestly say because I don't have all the facts, who's to say? Only time will tell just what direction this will take. I for one take the stand the MB is taking not just as defiance.  They're showing their colors, with them it's all about Islam and not democracy so much.  The people know exactly what they're all about and don't care for it.  Ultimately, the choices are limited and many will wish to resort to the threat of a violent civil war to gain power. The Egyptian people have shown themselves to be too smart to go for that.

billorights
billorights

To Hell with the Muslim Brotherhood.

And to Hell with the Obama and Erdogan administrations, and the Qataris, for inserting their puppet MB government in Egypt in the first place.

DodyAli
DodyAli

رسالة الى الرئيس اوباما

توقف عن دعم المنظمات الارهابية فى مصر تحت مسمى الشرعية 
انها ارادة شعب وليست انقلاب عسكرى 
Letter to President Obama
Stop supporting terrorist organizations in Egypt 
under the name of legitimacy
It is the will of the people and not a military coup

OmarKamel
OmarKamel

It's very, very hard to take you seriously when you go from "Until Wednesday afternoon, they held the presidency, the cabinet, the upper house of parliament, and the prospect of months before being called to account by voters in the next election."

to

"Then President Mohamed Morsi was taken into custody by the army, arrest warrants were issued for 300 others and the armored personnel carriers moved into place."...

Totally skipping just a few 'tiny' things that happened in the middle. You're missing an awfully necessary paragraph, at the very least - that covers; the failures of Morsi, his violation of the constitution, his anti-constitutional 'declarations' of Nov 2012, the murder of at least 100 new martyrs by his regime, his failure to fulfill ANY of the promises he made to the people, and his absolute failure to even fulfill the bare essentials of his 100-Day program, his backing of a widely disputed constitution from which all but the Islamists pulled out, and finally - and most importantly, the TWENTY TWO MILLION people who signed a petition to remove him (he only got 5.5 million votes in the 1st round of elections) and the protests by (depending on which estimates you believe) anywhere between 15-30 MILLION Egyptians since even before June 30th, but building to that, that were insisting on removing him. 


But hey, I guess that's TIME level journalism these days. 

raniahashem
raniahashem

@TIME ur false coverage and continuous lies over the past four days for what's happening in my Country Egypt is a disgrace It is not a COUP

DrHaque
DrHaque

@TIME @TIMEWorld Slaute to brave Egyptians who refuse to accept USA & Israeli coup &. slavery . Traitor Generals be publically hanged.

Nasr
Nasr

@hamaad01020 I am Egyptian too like you and I am happy the country is delivered from the gangs that would make Egypt sink in dirt and get back hundreds of years back. The government that was removed is a symbol of dictatorship and tyranny it is enough the see the barbaric behavior of the MB who do not know how to demonstrate peacefully and they have never done it. Using machine guns throwing kids from the top of buildings this what they are and are told to do. Bringing terrorism to Egypt and lots of other goodies as well. Allah would protect our country from those terrorists and their leaders

yodadog
yodadog

@hamaad01020 Like most countries, governments actions do not reflect the views of it's citizens. We wish you success in establishing a freely elected, civilian government hamaad01020, free of any rule but by it's citizens. Egypt could achieve great things in those circumstances. Best of luck! 

Lavrentii
Lavrentii

Mame, how do you explain the most extreme Salafist Islamists joining on stage as the coup was being announced by al-Sisi?

Sibir_Russia
Sibir_Russia

@DodyAli 

Today, Americans should demand from Barack Hussein that he had stopped supporting «Muslim Brothers» homes.

connection with the «Muslim Brothers» in the USA a long and extremely durable. Only this is preferred to be silent...
http://www.nybooks.com/blogs/nyrblog/2011/feb/05/washingtons-secret-history-muslim-brotherhood/
Activities  Muslim Brotherhood’s on the territory of the USA. In 1991 was created Fund of the Holy Land» as a legal form of the presence of «brethren» in the United States. And what did he do, you ask?

In one of its documents, 1991, the Fund reported that the aim of presence in America - «the creation of settlements, which is part of Jihad for the sake of destruction of Western civilization from within".
http://www.currenttrends.org/docLib/20090411_Merley.USBROTHERHOOD.pdf
In another document called the activists of the «Muslim Brothers» undergo military training in special camps, to conduct counter-espionage against the structures of the us government, including the FBI and the CIA, «the activities of the Muslim Brotherhood in the US include going to camps to do weapons training (referred to as Special work by the Muslim Brotherhood), as well as engaging in counter-espionage against US government agencies such as the FBI and CIA (referred to as Securing the Group)». http://imgur.com/W5rZMc8
http://www.nefafoundation.org/miscellaneous/HLF/IkhwanAmerica.pdf, р.13

Here, briefly, who are the Muslim brotherhood, which today Americans see as their allies in the middle East.
"Good guys" have appeared in the USA   
 

sridhar.sid
sridhar.sid

This is truly tragic! Egyptians were ecstatic throwing out Mubarak last year and the whole world cheered. But a year later, the democracy that replaced Mubarak has itself failed Egypt. The problem with the Islamic world is that all these countries have had dictatorships ruled by the Military or Monarchies. When these are replaced, the parties that replace them are equally hardened and there appears no middle ground. The Muslim Brotherhood had a great opportunity to set aside their push for political Islam and focus instead on development and poverty. The stage now is set for turmoil and instability where vengeance will be equally ruthless and many innocents will be the casualty

nakhaie@yahoo.com
nakhaie@yahoo.com

@OmarKamel  What 30 million. Only hundred of thousand from 43 million who going to the street. Nonsence! Why military support these few Egyption and ousted the elected president. This realy acoup. No doubt about it. And untuil now military play bigger role in the intrim gov. The liberal blamed Morsi from the first day in his office aand give him no chance to prove himself. It is unfair.

Lavrentii
Lavrentii

So, if the military rulers and the civilians they will allow in government( no MB, I presume) don't bring satisfaction in one year this (coup) will all be rightfully repeated, correct?

Egypt is a tough town!

nushi
nushi

@Lavrentii It wasn't a coup. CNN reported over 30 million people getting down to the streets to demand the stepping down of Morsi. He was turning Egypt into a Muslim Brotherhood (MB) state, & turning all revolutionaries into prison, & killing some. Egypt was turning into Iran. We had to act before the whole of Egypt & its institutions get controlled by the MB extremist group. The military only intervened to protect the people from MB &Hamas militia killing civilian people in the streets until this day. And nonetheless, it decided not to rule Egypt, as on February 11th 2011, instead the military immediately turned power to civilians, through the head of the constitutional court. As for the Salafist party, we had to call them to join all political forces, in fact we are also now calling on the party of the MB, to participate in the new political process...

I think if a close member of your dear family get shot by machine guns of MB & Hamas militia that are widespread in Egypt governorates, & you're unarmed to protect yourself & your family, you'd definitely ask the military to intervene & protect you!