In an unsurprising development, Islamists have criticized Defense Minister Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s call for citizens to protest next Friday in order to give the military “authorization” to fight what he describes as terrorism.
Sisi’s call follows five days of violence between protesters calling for the reinstatement of deposed President Mohamed Morsi and those opposing him. The violence has resulted in 18 deaths and hundreds of injuries throughout Egypt, the last of which was a bombing in the early hours of Wednesday outside the Daqahlia Security Directorate, which killed one police officer and injured 28.
The Interior Ministry suspects Muslim Brotherhood involvement in the incident.
Muslim Brotherhood spokesperson Ahmed Aref described Sisi’s speech as a “disaster” and a threat to security.
Aref wrote on his Facebook page, “We listened to Sisi’s dictatorial speech, spoken from behind his dark sunglasses, a speech which is a clear threat to social peace and forcing the curse of the military coup on the Egyptian street.”
“This will end with chaos as the law, elections and democratic standards have been abolished,” Aref declared.
Deputy head of the Nour Party Bassam al-Zarqa wrote on his Twitter page that this mobilization and waving of the security card will not prevent violence and that the only secure path is through elections.
Armed Forces spokesperson Ahmed Ali defended Sisi’s call describing it as an initiative to fight violence and terrorism and the threats that they represent to national security.