December 7, 2013
Egypt's Brotherhood fails to show street power
Mass protests called by Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood mostly failed to materialize today 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 canceled 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.
"They intend to strike at Muslims," the grey-bearded Azim said. "We'd rather die in dignity than live in oppression. We'll keep coming out until there's no one left."
Some marchers carried posters of Mursi, who was toppled by army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on July 3 after huge demonstrations against his rule. "No to the coup," they chanted.
Egypt has endured the bloodiest civil unrest in its modern history since August 14 when police destroyed protest camps set up by Mursi's supporters in Cairo to demand his reinstatement.
A few dozen Islamists, many of them women, marched in an old Cairo district. Some carried Egyptian flags or rolled-up Mursi posters. Others held umbrellas to ward off the afternoon sun.
Asked if she was afraid, a fully veiled nursery teacher with four children, who gave her name only as Nasra, said: "God will make us victorious even if many of us are hurt and even if it takes a long time. God willing, God will bring down Sisi."