Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Egyptians learn about islamic terror, but will they draw the conclusions

It's maybe too much to expect Egyptians to have anything but hatred of Israel, but if today's funeral of the murdered soldiers is anything to go by, the islamists are not going to have it all their own way. Unlike in Turkey, maybe because of what has happened to the military there, the egyptian army does not look like rolling over to have its tummy tickled by the Muslim Brotherhood in the near future. 

Yet again we see how those who scheme against Israel finding their plans go awry. The islamic terrorists in Sinai could not have expected such a backlash against them from Egypt. Egypt has long tolerated terror against Israel, even in the times of our 'friend' Mubarak. As long as Israel bled Egypt has been happy for hundreds of tunnels to be built where rockets and munitions have been smuggled to Hamas and other terror groups in Gaza. Yesterday the chickens came home to roost.

Even arabs have understood the cruelty of this islamist group that slaughtered 15 border guards about to take their end of Ramadan meal. Nothing is too cruel for those acting in the name of 'allah the merciful' if jews are to be killed. but thankfully no jews were killed, which made it all the worse. If jews had been killed in the raid that would no doubt have helped to mitigate the cruelty of, in egyptian eyes. As it is all that can be done for the Muslim Brotherhood is to blame the Mossad for the killings. If in doubt or if the truth is too close to home, blame the jews.

Egyptian soldiers' funeral hums with anger for the Brotherhood
The soldiers' funeral resembled an anti-Brotherhood protest, with angry crowds asking attending military officers to save them from 'the rule of Morsi'

In a tense scene, hundreds of Egyptians gathered at Al-Rashdan Mosque in Cairo's Nasr City district around midday on Tuesday to attend the funeral service held for the 16 Egyptian guards killed at the Egypt-Gaza border on Sunday.

Security forces were heavily deployed around the mosque, and several of the surrounding streets were blocked off.

Getting close to the mosque, Ahram Online found families of the killed soldiers, as well as some public figures, mourners and many angry protesters.

The group was split between those who had made it inside the mosque to pray for the killed soldiers and the rest who waited outside in anger, chanting almost without pause, and at times fighting with each other.

Protesters mainly chanted against President Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood, describing them as "betrayers of the country" and claiming that the Brotherhood collaborated with Hamas, which they accuse of involvement in the killing of Egyptian soldiers.

“Down with the rule of the Supreme Guide of the Brotherhood” and “The Brotherhood are agents and betrayers” were among the slogans that were chanted.

The infuriated protesters also kicked out any citizen whom they suspected to be a member of the Islamist group. Most bearded men were labelled as members of the Brotherhood and were forced to leave.

The angry crowds did not physically assault any of them, but on several occasions they pushed them away. “You kill the person, then walk in his funeral,” many protesters shouted, while forcing the suspected members of the Brotherhood to leave.

Most of the protesters interviewed by Ahram Online at the scene expressed support for former presidential candidate and Mubarak-era prime minister Ahmed Shafiq, and Tawfiq Okasha, a controversial media figure, as well as the military council.

“No one in Egypt wants him [Morsi]; many of those who voted for him, did it for money,” said Soad Hassan, 58.

Inside the mosque the atmosphere was also electric. Hisham Qandil, Morsi's newly-appointed prime minister, was present at the prayers and was physically assaulted by protesters. Several protesters threw their shoes at Qandil when he was inside the mosque.

Other public figures also attended the prayers, including former presidential candidate Abdel-Moneim Abul-Fotouh, the Al-Azhar Grand Imam, former prime ministers Kamal El-Ganzouri and Essam Sharaf, and MP in the now-dissolved parliament, Mohamed Abu Hamed.

Protesters not only condemned the Brotherhood, but also many of them begged army officials as they passed by to end what they called “the rule of Morsi.”

“Isn’t this enough of the Brotherhood's rule? We want you back,” repeated one of the protesters as an army officer left the mosque. The army officer stopped, looked the man in the eyes and asked him to bear with them, explaining that they are with the people.

After the prayers, families of the deceased soldiers, mourners, protesters and high officials walked for around 10 minutes in the middle of a hot summer day, as part of a march at the Memorial of the Unknown Soldier.

The coffins of the 16 soldiers were also carried by ambulances from the mosque to the march at the memorial. High officials including Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, the head of the military council, attended the march, but they didn’t complete it until the end, as angry protesters ran towards them chanting with anger against the Brotherhood.

Many of the families of the deceased soldiers did not like the angry chants and described them as disrespectful and inappropriate.

“I didn’t want the funeral of my nephew to be filled with these disrespectful chants. I don’t know who to blame. God only knows who is responsible,” said Ferial Ahmed, aunt of soldier Bassem Ahmed. Ahmed died at the age of 26, and was two weeks away from his engagement ceremony.

However, the few members of the Brotherhoods who attended the scene were silent in most cases. “We are misjudged and only God will show the truth one day,” Elham Ali, Brotherhood member and housewife told Ahram Online.

Presidential spokesman Yasser Ali said that Morsi was absent from the military funeral to allow the public to easily attend the event, as a presidential cavalcade may have caused "obstacles."

Following his assault, Prime Minister Qandil also did not attend the military funeral that followed the prayers.

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