Posts tagged egypt
Chaos in Cairo
As injured football fans arrive at train station after ‘covert attack by Egyptian security forces’ left 74 dead and 1,000 wounded in stadium riot, this was the chaotic scene at Cairo’s main train station last night as hundreds of football fans returned from a stadium riot which left 74 dead and more than 1,000 injured.
Anxious Egyptians gathered to see whether friends and family had made it back safely after violence flared in the Mediterranean city of Port Said when local team Al-Masry beat Cairo’s Al-Ahly, the country’s most successful club, 3-1.
Security forces loyal to ousted Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak have been blamed for sparking the football riot. The final whistle prompted more than 13,000 home fans, armed with knives, iron bars and machetes, to storm the pitch and attack rival Al-Ahly players and their 1,200 supporters.
Anger quickly spread across the country – and thousands of protesters turned up at the Ramses terminal to chant ‘Down with military rule’.
Al-Ahly goalkeeper Sharif Ikrami, who was injured in the clashes and said the entire team had now quit football, said dead bodies were carried past him in the changing room.
He said: ‘There were people dying in front of us. It’s over.
‘We’ve all made a decision that we won’t play soccer any more. We can’t think about it.’
Pure hooliganism, and a bitter long-standing rivalry of clashes between the two sets of fans, was initially blamed for the worst football riot in Egyptian history.
But speculation is now mounting that the riot was orchestrated by pro-Mubarak forces in revenge against Al Ahly’s ultra fans.
The ultras had used their experience confronting police at matches to play a significant role in defending Cairo’s Tahrir Square – the heart of the uprising – against Mubarak’s heavy-handed security forces.
Albadry Farghali, a member of parliament for Port Said, screamed in a telephone call to live television: ‘The security forces did this or allowed it to happen.
‘The men of Mubarak are still ruling. The head of the regime has fallen but all his men are still in their positions.’ Former Al-Ahly player Hani Seddik told the BBC: ‘I don’t think this is about football. These trouble-makers were not football fans. source – Daily Mail UK
You are watching bible prophecy coming true
“They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from [being] a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance. For they have consulted together with one consent: they are confederate against thee: The tabernacles of Edom, and the Ishmaelites; of Moab..” Psalm 83
JERUSALEM – The Muslim Brotherhood last week held a secret meeting in Egypt to coordinate the Islamic group’s rise to power in countries throughout the Middle East and North Africa, WND has learned.
Egyptian security officials told WND the meeting included Brotherhood members from Gaza, Syria, Jordan, Sudan and Egypt. The group discussed methods of gaining more influence in the respective countries.
The security officials said that Muslim Brotherhood members at the meeting identified militant Salafist organizations as a threat to the Brotherhood’s plan of taking power via elections. The meeting followed the Brotherhood’s sweeping victory in Egypt’s parliamentary elections, taking 47 percent of the seats in the new assembly.
The confab took place as the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad faces an insurgency that is reportedly being coordinated in part by Muslim Brotherhood-allied groups.
In a related development, on Sunday, Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal made his first official visit to Jordan since the kingdom expelled him more than a decade ago. He met with King Abdullah, who has traditionally been a U.S. ally opposed to Hamas.
The Meshaal-Abdullah meeting is being widely seen as a sign of the region’s major shift of power toward the Muslim Brotherhood, the parent organization of Hamas.
The Hamas visit also reportedly gave a boost to Jordanian Islamists, who make up the country’s main opposition and have been at the forefront of street protests demanding sweeping political reforms that would likely result in the group’s rise to power in Jordan.
“There are forces that are not pleased with this visit and see themselves losing as a result,” said Zaki Bani Irsheid, a leader of the Islamic Action Front, the political arm of Jordan’s Muslim Brotherhood. source – WND
Thy word is true, oh God
“They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from [being] a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance. For they have consulted together with one consent: they are confederate against thee: ” Psalm 83:4,5
Tehran — Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood will eventually cancel the Camp David Agreement, despite the group’s announcement that it respects international agreements Egypt has signed, said Amin al-Sayed Ibrahim, head of Hezbollah’s political council.
Speaking to the “International Conference on Islamic Awakening and the Youths,” Ibrahim said that the Egyptian military, so as not to lose its clout, would never allow the Brotherhood to write the constitution or even form a constituent assembly to write the constitution.
Following their electoral victories in Parliament, Egypt’s most organized political group has offered assurances that it would respect the 1979 peace treaty with Israel.
When asked early this month whether Washington believed that the Islamist party would uphold the treaty, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said that the party “has made commitments to us in this regard.”
Ibrahim said that the current unrest in Syria is a conspiracy and not a revolution, as western media claims. The Egyptian delegation clashed with him over the remarks.
“The Syrians transfer arms to the Palestinian resistance,” he said.
Over 1,200 young people from Iran as well as 73 other countries are participating in the two-day conference, Iran’s Fars news agency reported on Monday. source – Egypt Independent
U.S. outrage as Egypt bars Americans from leaving
Among those hit by travel bans – one of those targeted called it “de facto detention” – is a son of U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, as well as other foreign staffers of the International Republican Institute and National Democratic Institute, officials at the two organizations said.
The United States said Egypt should reverse them: “We are urging the government of Egypt to lift these restrictions immediately and allow these folks to come home as soon as possible,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said.
“We are trying to get them free to travel as soon as possible, and we’re hopeful that we can resolve this in coming days,” she said.
A month after police raided the Cairo offices of the IRI, NDI and eight other non-governmental organizations, it raises the stakes for Washington, which had already indicated it may review the $1.3 billion it gives the Egyptian military each year if the probe into alleged breaches of local regulations went on.
Some see it as a poor omen for Egypt’s fledgling democracy following last year’s overthrow of Hosni Mubarak.
John McCain, the leading Republican senator who chairs the IRI, voiced “alarm and outrage” at a “new and disturbing turn” which included a travel ban on Sam LaHood, the group’s Egypt director.
The younger LaHood said he was stopped at Cairo airport on Saturday and prevented from boarding a flight out.
McCain, in a statement referring to Egypt’s ruling military council, said: “I call on the Egyptian government and the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces to cease the harassment and unwarranted investigations of American NGOs operating in Egypt. “This crisis has escalated to the point that it now endangers the lives of American citizens and could set back the long-standing partnership between the United States and Egypt.” source – Reuters
The Coming Psalm 83 War
“They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from [being] a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance. For they have consulted together with one consent: they are confederate against thee:” Psalm 83:4,5
Muslim Brotherhood spokesperson Mahmoud Ghezlan told the London-based Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper on Wednesday that the militant group will neither speak nor meet with Israeli officials.
He added that the Brotherhood’s stance on Israel is unwavering and not up for discussion. “It’s illogical to have dialogue, any dialogue, in light of the Israeli practices against the Arab peoples,” the paper quoted Ghezlan as saying.
Meanwhile, in the spirit of cooperation, Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesperson Yigal Palmor told Israeli radio that Israel has not ruled out talks. “We will be happy to hold dialogues with whoever wants to have dialogue with us,” Palmor said.
Egypt Independent adds: The Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party controls 47 percent of the seats in the newly formed People’s Assembly, but the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces is still running the executive branch of Egypt’s government.
Some fear that Islamists will push for ending the 1979 peace treaty between Egypt and Israel.
Western officials met with several Muslim Brotherhood and Islamist leaders after People’s Assembly elections. Ghezlan said the Brotherhood has not yet received a similar invitation from the Israeli Embassy in Cairo, but that any such request would be rejected. source – The Blaze
CAIRO (AP) — It was a raucous beginning Monday for Egypt’s first democratically elected parliament in 60 years.
Islamist lawmakers added religious references to the oath of office. Liberal lawmakers improvised too, adding a pledge to protect the “revolution” that ousted Hosni Mubarak. Some wore scarves with words protesting military trials for civilians. Shouting matches erupted. Hundreds massed outside, calling on the ruling generals to step down.
And millions of Egyptians watched it all unfold live on TV.
The opening session of parliament offered a stark contrast to past decades, when Egyptians knew that lawmakers came to office through deeply fraudulent elections engineered by the authorities, including the police, to ensure that the ruling party won comfortably. Apathetic and demoralized, they paid little or no heed to what lawmakers did or said.
All that came to an end when the new legislature was elected in balloting staggered over six weeks beginning Nov. 28. Islamists led by the Muslim Brotherhood, the largest and most disciplined political group in the nation of 85 million people, won about 70 percent of the parliament’s 508 seats.
The Brotherhood had been banned for most of its 84-year history, legalized only after the uprising that began a year ago Wednesday and toppled Mubarak, Egypt’s authoritarian ruler for nearly three decades.
The chamber’s top priority will be to elect a 100-member panel to draft a new constitution, which will have to be put to a vote in a referendum. The next major step in the transition will be a presidential election, scheduled to be held before the end of June, when the generals who took over from Mubarak are due to step down.
The lawmakers took office at a time when Egypt appears divided and near despairing. Since Mubarak stepped down, the economy has been battered. Tenuous security has hit tourism hard and foreign currency reserves have rapidly dwindled.
Thousands of people of all political views demonstrated on side streets near parliament to voice a wide variety of demands and speak of expectations from the new lawmakers. Some repeated calls for the ruling generals to step down, while others questioned the legitimacy of the chamber or voiced their opposition to the Islamists’ policies.
“We want to remind all those inside the parliament that they are there as the fruit of freedom. Therefore, we need more freedom,” said poet and activist Abdel-Rahman Youssef, who said his advocacy group was concerned about calls by Islamists to place restrictions on the arts.
Voices calling for the military to immediately return to the barracks have intensified, with political activists accusing the generals of bungling the transition, torturing detainees and hauling 12,000 civilian before military tribunals for trial.
Many are frustrated by the waves of street protests, strikes and sit-ins preventing life from returning to normal. The generals have taken advantage of the disarray, stepping up a campaign portraying the revolutionaries as irresponsible agents of foreign powers while projecting themselves as Egypt’s protectors and true patriots.
The divisions were on display both inside and outside parliament Monday.
Liberal and independent lawmakers wore yellow scarves saying, “No to military trials for civilians.” Some of them added to the text of the oath of office, pledging to “continue the revolution” or “to be loyal to the blood of its martyrs.”
That led to lawmakers from the ultraconservative Salafist movement to do some improvising of their own. The oath ends with a pledge to respect the constitution and the law, but several of them added “God’s law” or said “as long as there are no contradictions with God’s law.”
The addition of religious references pointed to the Salafis’ intention to make good on election promises to impose a strict interpretation of Islam on the nation.
The Islamist character of the chamber was also shown in the attire of lawmakers, many of whom sported long beards, clerical turbans or flowing robes. Most of the women wore Islamic scarves.
Brotherhood lawmaker Saad el-Katatni, a botany lecturer from the central province of Minya south of Cairo, was elected as speaker and sought to woo the revolutionaries.
“Our revolution continues and we will not rest until all the goals of the revolution are met and we avenge our martyrs,” he said in an address that drew a standing ovation. “We will never betray the blood of our martyrs.”
The Brotherhood won just under half of all seats, followed by the Salafis who won about a quarter. The liberal and left-leaning groups that organized the uprising got less than 10 percent of the seats. Many of them were not as well prepared for the election as the Islamists, particularly the Brotherhood.
Adel Musbah, a 30-year-old supporter of the ultraconservative Al-Nour party, said outside parliament that the protests organized by youth groups to demand that the military step down were pointless.
“Democracy brought the people inside now. Those inside were elected by the people,” he said. “Why are these coming to object? The people chose and it wasn’t them. They (protesters) are not the people. … The only legitimacy is inside parliament.”
Adding to the tension were Brotherhood volunteers who escorted their lawmakers into the parliament to protect them from protesters.
“I want to make sure that my representatives are safe. I want to celebrate and make sure that no one ruins this atmosphere. There are many who want to ruin it,” said Fathy el-Sayed, a 35-year-old Brotherhood supporter.
Others waited with flowers to give to lawmakers they supported. They chanted religious songs to the beat of drums.
The families of protesters killed or wounded in the 18-day uprising and subsequent street protests were there too, calling for those responsible to be brought swiftly to justice.
“This parliament has no legitimacy. These elections were held under the military council’s eyes and anything under them has no legitimacy,” said Mary Daniel, sister of a protester killed at an October rally violently broken up by army troops.
Some of the protesters wore masks made of photographs of those killed or wounded by security forces in the past year.
“Down, down with military rule!” they chanted. “No military and no Brotherhood!” source – Yahoo News
CAIRO (AP) – Final results on Saturday showed that Islamist parties won nearly three-quarters of the seats in parliament in Egypt’s first elections since the ouster of authoritarian president Hosni Mubarak, according to election officials and political groups.
The Islamist domination of Egypt’s parliament has worried liberals and even some conservatives about the religious tone of the new legislature, which will be tasked with forming a committee to write a new constitution. It remains unclear whether the constitution will be written while the generals who took power after Mubarak’s fall are still in charge, or rather after presidential elections this summer.
In the vote for the lower house of parliament, a coalition led by the fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood won 47 percent, or 235 seats in the 498-seat parliament. The ultraconservative Al-Nour Party was second with 25 percent, or 125 seats.
The Salafi Al-Nour, which was initially the biggest surprise of the vote, wants to impose strict Islamic law in Egypt, while the more moderate Brotherhood, the country’s best-known and organized party, has said publicly that it does not seek to force its views about an appropriate Islamic lifestyle on Egyptians.
The two parties are unlikely to join forces because of ideological differences, but both have a long history of charity work in Egypt’s vast poverty-stricken neighborhoods and villages, giving them a degree of legitimacy and popularity across the country in areas where newer liberal parties have yet to get a foothold.
Muslim Brotherhood lawmaker Mohammed el-Beltagi said the new parliament represents “the wish of the Egyptian people.”
Egypt’s elections commission acknowledged that there were voting irregularities, but the vote has been hailed as the country’s freest and fairest in living memory.
The liberals who spearheaded the revolt that toppled Mubarak struggled to organize and connect with a broader public in the vote, and did not fair as well as the Islamists.
The Egyptian bloc, which is headed by a party founded by Christian telecom tycoon Naguib Sawiris, said it won 9 percent of the seats in parliament. Egypt’s oldest secular party, the Wafd, also won around 9 percent. source- My Way News