Arab Summer… Islamists Hold Massive Rally in Tahrir Square – 2 Christians Killed
Veiled Muslim women attend a protest at Tahrir square in Cairo July 29, 2011. Tens of thousands of Egyptians rallied on Friday in a bid to show Islamists and liberal groups were united in wanting change, but the overwhelmingly Islamic tone of chants and banners exposed differences between the two sides. (REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh)
Islamists held a massive rally in Cairo’s Tahrir Square. Two Christians were shot dead as they traveled south of the capital.
The AP reported:
Ultraconservative Muslims turned out in force Friday as tens of thousands filled Cairo’s central Tahrir Square in a rally marked by a growing rift in the protest movement.
South of the capital, gunmen fired on a car carrying Christians, killing two. While the motive was unknown, similar events have sparked religious violence in the past.
In one of the largest crowds to fill the square since the popular uprising that ousted President Hosni Mubarak in February, Salafis chanted for the implementation of strict Islamic law — spurring accusations that they violated an agreement to keep the rally free from divisive issues.
The decision by the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s best organized political force, and other Islamist groups to participate significantly boosted the turnout. These groups stayed away from recent demonstrations that sought to keep up pressure on the military council that took power after Mubarak’s fall, leading to smaller crowds.
But the Islamists’ participation also highlighted the growing rift between them and liberal activists. Some Islamist groups rallied their members to the square to oppose the adoption of a set of guidelines for drafting a new constitution after parliamentary elections later this year.
A man holds the Koran during a protest at Tahrir Square in Cairo July 29, 2011. Tens of thousands of Egyptians rallied on Friday in a bid to show Islamists and liberal groups were united in wanting change. (Reuters)