Egyptian Troops Making Progress In Dwindling The Muslim Brotherhood Support

Guest Post by Mara Zebest

Support for the Muslim Brotherhood appears to be dwindling. According to JPost, the Muslim Brotherhood was calling for a mass “Friday of Martyrs” protest and very few showed up.

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Jpost reports the following:

CAIRO – Mass protests called by Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood mostly failed to materialize on Friday as the movement reeled from a bloody army crackdown on followers of ousted President Mohamed Morsi.

Troops and police had taken relatively low-key security measures before the “Friday of Martyrs” processions that were to have begun from 28 mosques in the capital after weekly prayers.

But midday prayers were cancelled at some mosques and there were few signs of major demonstrations unfolding in Cairo.

“We are not afraid; it’s victory or death,” said Mohamed Abdel Azim, a retired oil engineer who was among about 100 people marching slowly from a mosque near Cairo University. […]

The Brotherhood, hounded by Egypt’s new army-backed rulers, had called for demonstrations across the country against the crackdown, testing the resilience of its battered support base.

A few dozen Islamists, many of them women, marched in an old Cairo district. Some carried Egyptian flags or rolled-up Morsi posters. Others held umbrellas to ward off the afternoon sun. […]

Security forces kept a watchful eye, but did not flood the streets, even near Cairo’s central Fateh mosque where gun battles killed scores of people last Friday and Saturday.

The mosque’s metal gates and big front door were locked and chained. Prayers were cancelled. Two armored vehicles were parked down the street, where people shopped at a busy market.

Only one riot police truck stood by near Rabaa al-Adawiya square in northeastern Cairo, home to the Brotherhood’s biggest protest vigil until police and troops stormed in, killing hundreds of people, bulldozing barricades and burning tents.

The mosque there was closed for repairs. Workmen in blue overalls stood on scaffolding as they covered its charred walls with white paint. Children scavenged through piles of garbage.

Troops used barbed wire to block a main road to Nahda Square, the site of the smaller of the two Brotherhood sit-ins.

The authorities declared a month-long state of emergency last week and they enforce a nightly curfew. The state news agency said the armed forces had strengthened their presence around the presidential palace and the defense ministry.

The Muslim Brotherhood, which won five successive votes held in Egypt after the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak in 2011, has been jolted by a week of bloodshed and the arrest of many of its leaders in what the authorities call a battle with terrorism.

In a symbolic victory for the army-dominated old order, Hosni Mubarak, the ex-military former president who ruled Egypt with an iron fist for 30 years before an uprising toppled him in 2011, was freed from jail on Thursday. His successor Morsi, Egypt’s first freely elected president, remains behind bars.

The Brotherhood’s “General Guide” Mohamed Badie, who was arrested on Tuesday, is due to go on trial on Sunday along with two other senior figures, Khairat al-Shater and Saad al-Katatni, on charges that include incitement to violence. […]

Read more here.

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