On Thursday, protesters heeded the call of the Muslim Brotherhood to fill Tahrir Square with tens of thousands of protesters, as they continued to reject the martial law amendments to the constitution issued by the military last weekend.
In a new development, major leaders of the Muslim Right are setting up tents in the square in downtown Cairo and just camping out indefinitely. This tactic had been deployed in January and February of 2011 by the revolutionary, leftist youth who spearheaded the overthrow of dictator Hosni Mubarak.
Hazem Salah Abu Ismail, a fundamentalist who was disqualified from running for president because his mother had taken US citizenship, has gone to stay in a tent in Tahrir Square. He now says that it was a mistake on the part of supporters of the revolution to abandon the square and crowd tactics after February 11, the last, failed attempt at a general strike called for by the revolutionary youth. After that date, most Egyptians put their political energies into the race for president. Now, he is calling on Egyptians to stay in Tahrir until the military is successfully sent back to its barracks.
Brotherhood no. 2 man, Khairat al-Shatir insisted that even if their candidate loses, the Btotherhood will not turn to violence.. Rival Ahmad Shafiq charged that the Brotherhood was preparing violent tactics, and al-Shatir did not want to play into the hands of the old trick of branding the Brotherhood violent and then cracking down on it.