Hundreds of thousands of Egyptians rallied Friday in Cairo’s Tahrir
square with Islamists in the forefront to protest against what they say
are attempts by the country’s military rulers to designate themselves as
the guardians of a new Egypt. It was one of the largest rallied in
Egypt in recent months.
Most rallies in Tahrir have been led by liberal- or left-leaning groups. But Friday’s rally was dominated by the country’s most organized political group, the Muslim Brotherhood, which has rarely come out in full force since the protests that forced President Hosni Mubarak to step down in February.
The Brotherhood had until recently avoided confrontation with the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, but now warns of escalating its protest campaign if plans to give permanent political powers to the military are not scrapped.
“The army has no role in
ruling people. Its only job is to protect the country. We want civilian
rule chosen through democracy,” said Hani Hegazi, a 28-year old
Brotherhood member who traveled by bus to Tahrir from the Delta province
of el-Beheira, according to The Associated Press.
Banners read: “Down with military rule. Egypt our country is not a military camp.” Some demonstrators flew the Egyptian flag, while others including ultraconservative Salafis waved a banner declaring Islam's holy book, the Quran, to be “our constitution.”