Tens of thousands of Egyptians rallied in Cairo’s Tahrir Square on Friday, to protest against what they say are attempts by the country’s military rulers to designate themselves as the guardians of a new Egypt.
The Associated Press reported that it was one of the largest rallies in Egypt in recent months and that while most rallies in Tahrir have been led by liberal groups, this rally was dominated by the extremist Muslim Brotherhood.
The Brotherhood had until recently avoided confrontation with the ruling military Supreme Council, AP noted, but is now warning of escalating its protest campaign if plans to give permanent political powers to the military are not scrapped.
The protesters, according to the report, held up banners which read: “Down with military rule. Egypt our country is not a military camp.”
Some demonstrators flew the Egyptian flag while others including waved a banner declaring the Quran to be “our constitution.”
The rally was in protest of a document floated by the government which declares the military the guardian of “constitutional legitimacy,” suggesting the armed forces could have the final word on major policies even after a new president is elected.
Most of Egypt’s pro-democracy groups object to the document and are saying it is an attempt to perpetuate military rule past the post-Mubarak transitional period, which is supposed to end with the election of a new parliament and a new president.
The military has set November 28 as the date parliamentary elections will take place, with senate elections to follow starting on January 29.
The Muslim Brotherhood has described the document as reinforcing “dictatorship.”
“It contains articles that rob the people of their sovereignty and reinforces dictatorship. It constitutes a coup against the principles and goals of the January 25 revolution,” AP quoted the group as having said in a statement issued Wednesday.
The vehemently anti-Israel Muslim Brotherhood, banned from politics under Mubarak’s regime, has been eying the throne in Egypt since the revolution that resulted in Mubarak’s ouster.
(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)