Tens of thousands of people took to the streets of Cairo against Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi’s power grabbing move, chanting slogans against the Islamist leader and accusing him of attempting to impose a new version of dictatorship and Islamasization of the country’s new constitution that is being drafted.
The rally was the biggest to date after Morsi’s recent move to grant himself new sweeping powers, forcing him to manage the mounting dissatisfaction that resonated the unrest that forced former Egyptianto step down.
Police tried to stop young protestors in the streets of Cairo by firing tear gas. Hundreds of leading activists staged protest in Cairo's Tahrir Square by pitching tents there. Reports also suggest that clashes between Morsi's rivals and followers hit the roof in a city north of Cairo and protestors burned to ashes several offices of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Instead of reaching out to progressive and moderate forces, Morsi, backed by the Islamists, are sticking to the conventional strategies employed by Hosni Mubarak, who dealt with the Islamists as an insignificant opposition movement for decades.
"Calls for civil disobedience and strikes will be dealt with strictly by law and there is no retreat from the decree," Refa'a Al-Tahtawy, Morsi's presidential chief of staff, told the Al-Hayat.
However, the present circumstances indicate that hostility and force could not outdo the struggles and sacrifices of Egypt’s secular and liberal voices, presenting Morsi the strongest confrontation all through his five months as Egypt’s president.
It is pertinent to mention here that similar demonstrations broke out when the military ruling body that governed Egypt after Mubarak's dismissal attempted to grab more governance powers just before presidential polls.
After a cycle of political exercise since winning the presidential election, Morsi now possesses complete power over Egypt’s executive, legislative and military divisions.
Morsi’s disagreement with judges over division of powers has united secular Muslims and non-Muslims who think that the president intends to slowly enlarge Islamic laws to rework the nation's moral fiber and put border around social and religious liberty.
Meanwhile, Morsi does not appear to withdraw his power declaration.
"Morsi has made it clear for the past 48 hours that he will not rescind the decree," said Khaled Fahmy, a political analyst and history professor at the WSJ. "The question is how to reduce it while saving face. My guess is that he will mobilize the Brotherhood public-relations machine."in Cairo, according to