Thousands of Egyptians jammed Cairo’s Tahrir Square on Sunday to demonstrate against the Islamist government of Mohamed Morsi to mark the one-year anniversary of his rule. Their protest was an attempt to catalyze opposition to Morsi to spread across the country. Morsi supporters gathered by a mosque near the presidential palace, where more Morsi opponents planned a sit-in protest. Some carried banners saying, “The Revolution Goes On”, “Out, Out Like Mubarak” or “Obama Backs Terrorism”.
Morsi repeated his claim of a week ago, after the army called for a compromise on harsh Islamic strictures, that he would revise the Islamist-colored constitution because religious clauses within it were not his opinion. But he added that the protests were an undemocratic attack. Meanwhile, helicopter gunships hovered over Cairo.
Morsi said that if he resigned, “well, there will be people or opponents opposing the new president too, and a week or a month later, they will ask him to step down.”
Newspapers were divided: state newspapers ran headlines such as Egypt gripped by fear”, “Egypt under the volcano”, while independent rivals wrote, “Street to Mursi: One year’s enough”, “Red card for the president” and “Judgment Day”.
Meanwhile, Barack Obama, who championed the Arab Spring, called for dialogue, saying there could be trouble ahead.