Egypt braces for new revolution

Wednesday, June 26, 2013 |  Ryan Jones

Most Egyptians have today come to the realization that the Muslim Brotherhood's hijacking of their country's pro-democracy revolution two years ago was not a good thing.

Next Sunday, June 30th, they might just set things straight when the burgeoning "Tamarud" (Rebels) presents its 15 million-strong petition demanding the resignation of President Mohammed Morsi.

"There is a sense that something very significant is about to happen with both fear and hope intermingled," said Dr. Ashraf Ramelah, director of Voice of the Copts, an organization that seeks to highlight the plight of Egyptian Christians.

June 30 is the one year anniversary of Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood's rise to power, and the Tamarud have said enough is enough. In fact, the 15 million signatures collected by the group outstrips the 13 million votes Morsi received in the last election, and even then he had to resort to fraud, according to Ramelah.

The hope of the Tamarud is that Morsi will step down and that the courts will establish a constitutional assembly to manage the nation until fresh parliamentary and presidential elections can be held, in that order.

Of course, no one expects things to go so smoothly.

Already last week, Sunni Muslim mobs associated with the Muslim Brotherhood butchered a number of Shiite Muslims who allegedly opposed the regime. Arab media is predicting that next Sunday's showdown will be even more bloody, as the Morsi regime orders police and military forces to step back, thereby allowing Muslim Brotherhood militias to have their way with the demonstrators.

"Islamic groups affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) are restless, ready to defend their President and willing to incite bloodshed," explained Ramelah. "The Brotherhood [could try to] create terror in the hearts of the willful Egyptian people through an orchestrated killing spree in advance of the scheduled protest on June 30th."

Noting the cooperation between the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas and even Al Qaeda, Ramelah and others fear the Islamists "could potentially lead a bloodthirsty crowd from mosques after Friday prayers on June 28th to commit brutalities -- spreading panic and a fatal blow to protest efforts."

If they are to have any hope of success, Ramelah said the Tamarud must convince honest officers in the police and military to join their cause and arrest Muslim Brotherhood criminals. They must also be ready for a drawn out confrontation that could very well require tremendous sacrifice.

Another loser in this whole scenario would be the United States, which, according to Ramelah, is much resented these days by ordinary Egyptians for its previous assistance to the Muslim Brotherhood in its rise to power.

Ramelah reported that recently US Ambassador to Egypt Anne Patterson approached Egypt's Christian leadership in an effort to convince the community to stay out of the June 30th protests. Washington would appear at this point to have a vested interest in keeping the Muslim Brotherhood in power.

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