JAFFA, Israel – The Egyptian government and media have stepped up efforts to quell potential riots on the fifth anniversary of the 2011 revolution.
President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi fears that the Muslim Brotherhood will exploit today’s anniversary to stage riots against his regime, which came to power in June 2013 after deposing Muslim Brotherhood President Mohammed Morsi.
Perhaps the most serious attempt to head off possible violence was a ruling by the Fatwa Council that “heeding to the Muslim Brotherhood’s call to participate in the January 25 protests is forbidden according to Islam.”
“The protests are not meant to serve Egyptian interests, but rather do the opposite – undermine security and stability in the country, now that the Brotherhood no longer has domestic or international leverage,” the ruling said.
At the same time, security has been upped in Muslim Brotherhood strongholds and foreign exchange offices were closed for fear that laundered money could help the Islamic opposition movements disturb the peace.
As part of the clampdown on the Muslim Brotherhood, the government has frozen the assets of several hospitals in the country suspected of being cover operations for the Brotherhood.