Sunday, Jul 28 , 2013 ( Ramadan, 1434)
Updated:10:45 AM GMT
Egypt Violence Angers World Muslims
CAIRO – The killing of scores of supporters of Egypt’s deposed President Mohamed Morsi has sparked angry comments from world Muslim organizations, demanding international condemnations to the bloodshed.
“We urge an end to the silence over the ongoing massacres of peaceful pro-democracy activists in Egypt by forces that receive billions of American taxpayer dollars,” the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said in a statement obtained by OnIslam.net.
The statement, issued on Saturday, July 27, called on the Obama administration to forcefully condemn the killing of dozens of pro-democracy demonstrators by Egyptian security forces.
It followed the death of at least 65 people and hundreds injured after Egypt’s security forces opened live ammunition on protesters supporting deposed President Morsi.
The Muslim Brotherhood said another 61 were on life support after what it described as a ferocious dawn assault by men in helmets and black police fatigues. The ambulance service put the death toll at 72.
“We join with those in Egypt and in the international community who are condemning the violence, including Sheikh of Al-Azhar Ahmed al-Tayyeb, who said he ‘deplores and condemns the deaths of a number of martyrs who were victims of today’s events,’” CAIR said.
“Condemnations came from across the political spectrum, including from Mohamed ElBaradei, who strongly condemned the ‘excessive use of force.’ British Foreign Secretary William Hague said: ‘I call on the Egyptian authorities to respect the right of peaceful protest, to cease the use of violence against protesters, including live fire, and to hold to account those responsible.’”
Saturday’s violence, and the threat of more, has deepened alarm over events in the country of 84 million people, a vital bridge between the Middle East and North Africa.
“Without a clear condemnation of the killings, we send the message that even more repressive measures may be taken against the demonstrators,” the statement said.
“The clearest indicator of our nation’s revulsion at the killings would be to suspend all American military aid until the violence stops and democratic freedoms are restored."
An umbrella body of Indian Muslim organizations has also condemned what it called an “unprovoked murderous attack” by the Egyptian army on peaceful protesters in Cairo and Alexandria.
“The Egyptian army is exposing the country to a civil war by its continuous attacks on unarmed and peaceful protesters, killing around 300 and wounding thousands since its coup d’etat on 3 July,” Dr Zafarul-Islam Khan, President of All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat (AIMMM), said in a statement on July 27.
“The coup is totally illegitimate from day one as a democratically elected President and his government can only be replaced by a fresh election,” he added.
“Any other means to change people’s mandate is illegal and tantamount to high treason.”
The Indian Muslim leader accused the Egyptian army, in collaboration with some defeated political leaders and civil society figures, has usurped power to “unseat a legally elected President and his government.”
He added that the army was “playing with fire and exposing their country to a long civil war on the lines of Algeria.”
Dr Khan appealed to the US, other western countries and India to scale down relations with the Egyptian military leaders and force them to return the status quo ante without preconditions.
“Democracy has no other meaning but to respect the outcome of the ballot box. Mere resumption of the democratic process is a farce if the previous popular mandate has been undone illegally,” he added.
Egypt has been thrown into turmoil after Morsi, Egypt’s first democratically elected president, was ousted by the powerful military after massive protests against his regime.
The army also suspended the constitution and instated the head of the Supreme Constitutional Court as interim president.
The Muslim Brotherhood, from which Morsi hails, has vowed peaceful protests until the Islamist president is reinstated.
Weeks of violence have followed Morsi’ ousting lave left more than 200 dead and laying bare divisions that have polarized the Arab world’s most populous state.
Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood claimed that police used live ammunition in deadly violence against loyalists of Egypt’s ousted president Mohamed Morsi in Cairo in the early hours of Saturday morning.
The Islamist group claimed at least 120 people have been killed and 4,500 injured in the Saturday clashes in the vicinity of the pro-Morsi sit-in at Rabaa Al-Adawiya Mosque in east Cairo.
The health ministry said on Saturday afternoon that 38 have been confirmed dead in connection with the violence.
Interior ministry spokesman Hani Abdel-Latif had said earlier on Saturday that pro-Morsi protesters had started to block traffic on a bridge, then “clashed with residents of the nearby [working class] Mansheyet Nasr district using live fire and birdshot, and this killed 21 people."
“The police moved to stop the clashes between the two groups and opened the road again," he added, stressing that the police had only used teargas, not live ammunition or birdshot.
In a press conference on Saturday afternoon, the Islamist group, to which Morsi belongs, condemned “unlawful use of violence” against “peaceful protesters."
Brotherhood spokesman Ahmed Aref said 66 people had been killed and more than 4,000 were wounded by tear gas, birdshot pellets and live rounds, “intentionally targeting heads and chests."
He went on to claim that military helicopters fired live ammunition at the pro-Morsi protesters.
Aref deplored what he described as “failed attempts to drag us into a civil war," slamming the labelling of “anti-coup" protesters as “terrorists" or “militants."
The Islamist spokesman pledged to press ahead with a month-long pro-Morsi vigil in northern Cairo until their leader reinstated.
Egypt has been rocked by roiling unrest since Morsi was ousted on 3 July following nationwide protests against his rule. Scores have been killed and hundreds wounded in violence between rival factions in the weeks since the change of government.