The Egyptian coup aftermath continued to grow in violence over the weekend.
Supporters of Mohamed Morsi swarmed the streets of Cairo and marched on the Republican Guard headquarters with a vow to free Morsi and restore him to the presidency, but they were deterred by a superior military force and even larger crowds of demonstrators supporting the coup.
The pro-Morsi Islamists weren’t giving up though. Al-Qaeda flags were seen as the Islamists marched through the streets.
“We will continue our peaceful demonstrations,” Muslim Brotherhood spokesman Ahmed Aref told The Daily Telegraph. “We are the owners of a just cause. Legitimate rights do not disappear with time. We are facing an enforced disappearance of the legitimate president.”
Another group, Salafi Jihad, called for an intifada, or uprising, to restore the Muslim Brotherhood to power. A statement released by the group urged supporters to “mobilize.”
Violence has been increasing throughout the country, especially in Sinai, where there have been reports of Islamists smuggling weapons from Libya into the region.
Islamists have attacked checkpoints and police stations, killing at least five officers and two soldiers.
In Cairo, a couple of anti-Morsi teens were thrown off a roof by Muslim Brotherhood supporters, then beaten as they lay helpless on the street. One of the teens was reported killed.
Sexual assaults have soared, with scores of women being attacked and gang raped in public just in the past week.
The White House is publicly staying out of the conflict. After prominently demanding that Egypt’s previous leader step down and opening the way for the Muslim Brotherhood, President Obama is now playing disinterested.
The Egyptian crowds know what he did to their country, however, and anti-U.S. sentiment has grown, prominently displayed in banners linking Obama to terrorism.
It’s a difficult situation the Egyptians are facing. Morsi was democratically elected, but he brought with him the tyrannical Muslim Brotherhood and shariah law. Now, the military coup threatens to obliterate whatever nascent steps toward democracy Egypt had taken, yet it can’t be said that the military was unjustified in taking the measures it did.
President Obama has been behind most of the so-called Arab Spring uprisings, agitating in the shadows for rebellions that have installed Islamists in governments across North Africa and the Middle East. It’s a bit ironic that another rebellion, not funded by him, has now taken the power away from those groups he had deemed his allies in the region.
The rebellion also means that legally Obama must withhold the U.S. aid he had promised to Morsi’s government of thugs.
Who knows? There may be hope for a real democracy in Egypt yet.