Egypt Awaits 'Friday of Resistance,' Muslim Brotherhood Backlash

Egypt Awaits 'Friday of Resistance,' Muslim Brotherhood Backlash

Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, which governed the country through the Freedom and Justice Party until a coup July 3, called for nationwide protests and a “Friday of Resistance” following weekly prayers at the country’s mosques. 

In 2011, similar protests, then called “Day of Rage” demonstrations, helped topple then-president Hosni Mubarak’s regime. 

The Egyptian military has indicated it would tolerate peaceful protests.

Former president Mohamed Morsi has been detained by the military, and arrest warrants have been issued for three hundred other Muslim Brotherhood leaders. The BBC reports that Muslim Brotherhood spokesman Gehad al-Haddad said the movement refuses to recognize the legitimacy of the new government led by constitutional court chief justice Adly Mahmud Mansour, and demanded Morsi’s release.

The military coup enjoys popular support, but a large-scale backlash is possible, and could involve violence. Clashes have already been reported between the military and Islamists in the Sinai peninsula. 

Though the Morsi administration was widely viewed as having destroyed its own legitimacy through attempts to build its own power in its year in office, the means through which it was removed could fuel Islamist rejection.

There are also fears that the Muslim Brotherhood will turn to terrorism. Long before it joined Egypt’s new political system, the Muslim Brotherhood was banned, even after it formally renounced violence. Some of the Muslim Brotherhood’s affiliates, such as the Palestinian Hamas, are terror organizations. 

The fact that it has been denied power after winning an election could radicalize the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt again.