Cairo, Asharq Al-Awsat—Muslim Brotherhood spokesman Gehad El-Haddad accused Egypt army chief Gen. Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi of attempting to incite a massacre by calling on his supporters to take to the streets on Friday as part of mass demonstrations against “violence” and “terrorism.”
Haddad said that the Brotherhood have already called on their supporters to carry out a counter-protest on the same day to demand the reinstatement of deposed Islamist president Mohamed Mursi.
Speaking exclusively to Asharq Al-Awsat, the Brotherhood spokesman said: “Once legitimacy is restored [when Mursi is back in power], we will not allow the military to play any political role again,” adding, “The putschists are openly calling for a civil war.”
When we asked him whether he fears more Egyptian blood will be shed on Friday, Haddad confirmed that Mursi’s supporters are “committed to peaceful protests and will not allow any side to drag them into violence,” adding, “We will confront the military bullets with our bare chests, as we did before.”
Haddad maintained that Sisi’s call for mass pro-military demonstrations came in light of the weakness of Egypt’s interim officials, including the president, the prime minister and others.
He said that the status quo echoes the frustration of Sisi, who “staged a coup under a fabricated legitimacy based on masses in the street.”
“Now that these masses have disappeared and as he felt alone, Sisi called the masses to take to streets again,” Haddad told Asharq Al-Awsat.
Worried about the consequences of Sisi’s call, Haddad said: “The first time such crowds took to streets, [Sisi] staged a bloody coup that has killed more than 218 so far, with thousands imprisoned and many TV channels shut down.”
“Now, Sisi is calling on people to take to streets one more time so that he can carry out a massacre,” Haddad said.
Haddad emphasized that supporters of the deposed president will remain on the streets, adding that pro-Mursi protests had begun only “half an hour after Sisi’s [latest] speech.”
“We will continue to protest across all Egyptian provinces,” he added.
The Muslim Brotherhood spokesman stressed that “there is only one way out of this crisis, namely by returning the elected institutions which have been toppled and suspended by the coup.”
“What we needed was a parliament. Consequently, we have to hold parliamentary elections in order to produce elected representatives of the people who can determine the future road map,” he said.
“This must be done in cooperation with the president, who was elected according to the constitution, along with the elected Shura Council. These are constitutional mechanisms, and we must base our future road map on these,” he added.
The Brotherhood spokesman said: “I do not think that we will allow the military to play any political role [in the future]. The military belongs in its barracks, which they will return to sooner or later.”
Once Mursi returns, all of the decisions made by the interim leadership will be annulled “within days, weeks, months or years,” according to Haddad.