Local     News     World News
Brotherhood explains refusal to participate in Friday protests
  The Muslim Brotherhood has explained its absence from the “Last Chance Friday” mass protest in Tahrir Square, saying it wants to avoid any potential clashes that might result in many deaths.
Saturday 26 November 2011 10:58
Code : 48993
Brotherhood explains refusal to participate in Friday protests
BFnews: The Brotherhood said renewed clashes in and around Tahrir Square would affect the course of the parliamentary elections scheduled to start on Monday.

Many political forces called for a mass protest in Tahrir Square on Friday to demand the ruling military government immediately hand over power to a civilian authority.

The Brotherhood feels that some parties are trying to drag the group into clashes in the square to disrupt the electoral process, said group leader Mahmoud Gezlan on Egyptian state television.

These potential clashes will definitely affect the elections and might lead to “persecuting” the group's political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party, as well as the Brotherhood’s independent candidates, in elections, Gezlan added.

Clashes erupted last Saturday between security forces and protesters, following the previous day’s Islamist-heavy protest against the military’s proposed supra-constitutional principles document.

Meanwhile, the International Union for Muslim Scholars called for a million-strong demonstration at Al-Azhar mosque and other mosques around the world Friday to save Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem from hard-line Israelis. The Brotherhood supported the call for a protest and said it would take part in it.

The absence of the Brotherhood from Friday’s Tahrir protest surprised many political forces in and outside of Egypt.

Presidential hopeful Hamdeen Sabbahi said he was surprised to hear that the Brotherhood would instead attend the Al-Aqsa demonstration without providing any clear reason.

The Voice of Palestine Youth blog said it refused the call for a million-strong demonstration in support of Al-Aqsa Mosque at this time, instead calling for broad support for Friday’s Tahrir protest, reasoning that Palestine will be stronger if Egypt is freed.