Egypt: 8 Wounded in Clashes as Salafi Fundamentalists Object to Elbaradei as PM

Amid a general calming on Saturday in Egypt, the Sinai Peninsula remained a hot spot, when a gas pipeline was bombed, probably by Muslim radicals who have announced an insurrection against the military after it deposed President Muhammad Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood. Likewise in Sinai, a Coptic Christian priest was shot dead. Some Muslim radicals unfairly blame the Coptic Christian minority for the overthrow of Morsi.

On Sunday, both the Muslim Brotherhood and the left-liberal Rebellion youth movement are calling for mass rallies to support their respective position. The Egyptian military has pledged that freedom of peaceable assembly will be preserved for all. The Rebellion Movement has called for there to be a big rally in Tahrir Square in downtown Cairo on behalf of “popular legitimacy” and in support of the Egyptian army.

Interim appointed president Adly Mansour attempted to make Mohamed Elbaradei his prime minister on Saturday, but put the process on hold when the ultra-fundamentalist Salafi Nur Party objected.

Nur said that Elbaradei is too ‘secular’.

Eight persons were wounded and one killed on Saturday throughout Egypt. In contrast, on Friday some 36 were killed and over 1000 wounded in fighting between supporters of Morsi and his detractors.

In other news, the new government reinstated the Fara`een satellite television station of Tawfiq Okasha (a right wing conspiracy theorist sometimes compared to Glenn Beck), which had just been banned by Morsi in a series of steps the previous government took to muzzle and repress media critical of Morsi.

It seems likely that the Muslim Brotherhood deliberately showed restraint in its quest to see Morsi reinstated, after the eruption of violence (on both sides) on Friday. It may also be that the Brotherhood’s leadership received effective pressure from the army to back down.

The USG Open Source Center paraphrased this item from Saturday’s press:

“The Cairo-based independent pro-reform Al-Shuruq al-Jadid daily, which supports revolution youth groups, reports at 2157 GMT that Mustafa Abd al-Karim, the public prosecutor in Suhaj, is overseeing the investigation of 31 supporters of ousted president Muhammad Mursi suspected of instigating riots and terrorizing citizens. It reports that “Sheikh Ala Siddiq, secretary general of the Construction and Development Party in Suhaj, said that 23 of the Mursi supporters detained on 4 July by the security forces have started an open-ended hunger strike because of maltreatment by the security forces. Meanwhile, an official security source denied that they are on hunger strike and said they are treating them very well.”

Likewise, MENA reported on July 6 of Damanhour that anti-riot police arrested Khalid and Tariq, the two sons of Muslim Brotherhood leader Gamal Hishmat, after 12 were injured in clashes between pro- and anti-Mursi demonstrators on Friday. You wonder if the sons are more or less hostages to the good behavior of the father (if so, this way of proceeding is illegal in international law).

Posted in Egypt | 11 Responses | Print |

11 Responses

  1. Clearly part of a sentence is missing here: “Nur said that Elbaradei…”. I very much appreciate your coverage of these events with the context of many years of study and contemplation of Egypt and the region. I was hoping you would shed some light on exactly this development, thus my pickiness about an abbreviated sentence. Please keep up the amazing blogging!

    • I was hoping you would shed some light on exactly this development,

      He cannot be trusted. He is phony and pose as “progressive”, but in fact whatever he does he support the war crimes of US and now Obama, an assassin and a liar. He is CIA consultant. He only ‘shed light on development that helps the war criminals in Washington.

  2. Dear Prof. Cole,

    would it be fair to say that the US Government bears partial responsibility for the coup? The coup was carried out by the Egyptian Army, the recipient of billions in annual US military aid. One would assume that objections by the US government would have stopped the Egyptian military from carrying out the coup. The Army had well publicized their deadline for intervention, so the coup cannot have come as a surprise to the US government. Moreover Obama had direct contact with Morsi during his final days as President. If the US government had tried to stop this they certainly had the means to do so.


    • Actually, Jurgen, the US government worked to prevent the coup and achieve a negotiated solution to the crisis:

      link to

      I suppose if you are really determined to pin this on the United States, you could complain that Obama didn’t use heavy-handed methods to impose America’s political will on Egypt. We could have cut off aid, imposed a naval blockade, or implemented Operation Egyptian Freedom.

    • Hey, the “US government” dumps a whole lot more cash and weapons and “military aid” into the laps of Likud and the IDF. Does that translate into “influence” with the Israeli rulers? And Obama and our ruling bunch have had a lot of contact with Netanyahoo and Friends, and gotten the equivalent of a shoe thrown at their collective heads, a “mooning,” and an upraised middle finger.

      Or maybe the hammering-down of Palestinians, the near sinking of the USS Liberty and killing of US sailors, the safe harbor for dual-citizenship Ponzi runners and murderers, and all the other incidents of what ought to be incitement that have happened over the years, are what was intended? One would hope not. But in the depths of the Great Game, who actually knows anything or controls the moves? We do love our “Game of Thrones,” our “Dallas!”, our “Mad Men,” our “West Wing,” and of course Erica/Susan Lucci.

      “Responsible international observation” calls two images to mind: the range of perception of an unfortunate with narrow-angle glaucoma, and what one “knows” of our world by careful examination of one shovelful of waste from a municipal landfill.

      But we are to be assured and re-assured that there are no grande or medio or even poquito conspiracies or stuff… and grown-ups are in charge. I believe I’d rather trust some eighth-graders, pimples, hormones, undeveloped prefrontal cortex, bullying, sexting and all.

    • Mr. Wiesmann, the United States has no interest whatsoever in encouraging a coup in Egypt or favoring it or even looking away while it is being carried out. We needed a military coup in Egypt as we needed a giant wart in the middle of our face.

      If you read the process stories published by the Guardian, the Washington-Post and NYT (see link here: link to, you will notice that we clearly didn’t want this to happen and we acted (maybe not as forcefully as we could have, you might argue) to prevent it.

      We bear no responsibility in this coup. The only one responsible for the coup and consequently all fallout is the Egyptian military.

  3. The Muslim Brotherhood has no choice but to return to the political process. Certainly some will resort to violent insurgency, but that will only be counter-productive.

    I hope that the Muslim Brotherhood has a large bloc in parliament in the next elections.

    As to the MB resuming majority control of the government any time soon, I expect there is some truth to the opposition’s joke, “The Muslim brotherhood is like the measles. Get it once and then you’re immune.”

    • The opposition is the joke. They can’t pick a PM because of the Salafists’ veto. The Salafist leaders would’ve been ok with ElBaradei, but their base is furious at them for supporting the coup.
      The young petition circulators are out chanting, “come out Al-Sissi, and teach the Brotherhood a lesson.”
      Troops are standing in the studios of state-run media. Is Jon Stewart on his way over to make fun of Al-Sissi?
      The first year of this new goverment is going to be really funny.

  4. The military has 2 options before it: 1) keep on their security crackdown and bring back the security apparatus of the deep-state, which we have started to see these days with reported kidnapping and fake islamists with fake beards running (caught on camera)–If the security apparatus of the deep state fully comes back, we would see summary executions, assassination, fake terrorist bombings, torture and all the horrible things that come with it. This will plunge Egypt into a protracted civil strife, and turn Egypt into the new mecca of international Jihad.

    Option 2) is to sit down and negotiate with the MB–and no negotiation will be fruitful before Morsi is freed, which will be an impossible condition for the military to fulfill.

    The military created a catch-22 situation by removing Morsi. They overreached, as all military in the world would do, and committed themselves to do something they clearly cannot do.

    As of now, their best option is to worsen the situation, to make it as bloody as possible so they could completely eliminate the MB as a negotiating partner and/or as even a political possibility or option. This path is horrible, costly, economically unsustainable (without US foreign aid), and will result in the death of democracy in Egypt and the Arab world. Moreover, this path has serious regional ramifications.

    There are no winners in Egypt’s crisis as of now, unless the military goes back to their barracks, and leaves politics to civilian politicians so negotiations could start without pre-conditions (i would add, Al-Sissi should be court martialed as a confidence building measure). That’s where we, the United States, have to play a role by bringing everybody to the table and by making sure that the negotiations lead to the resolution of this crisis that the military clearly created.

    The longer this situation endures, the deeper Egypt sinks. And no one has any interest in seeing Egypt sinks.

  5. So respect El Baradei’s commitment to facts before the illegal and immoral invasion of Iraq. Clearly remember him coming out in early March of 2003 before the invasion and stating that the Niger Documents were forgeries..and bad ones at that. Thought the Bush administration’s relentless push to invade would slow down but it did not. Still not one person held accountable for those false Niger Documents (Micheal Ledeen no one)) Still not one person held accountable for that horrific invasion.

    El Baradei has come right out and said Israel should sign the IAEA’s NPT. The man has some cajones. But did he support this Egyptian military coup? Is so…sad. So much for democratic elections in Egypt

    • According to the NY Times, ElBaradei said that he had worked hard to convince Western powers of what he called the necessity of forcibly ousting Morsi.

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