Thousands of supporters of President Mohamed Morsi demonstrated on Friday in anticipation of upcoming opposition protests.
Buses bringing protesters from other governorates began arriving at Rabaa Al-Adaweya Mosque on Friday morning and continued following Friday prayers. The demonstration, called for by the Muslim Brotherhood, Freedom and Justice Party, Al-Jamaa Al-Islamiya, the Building and Development Party, Al-Wasat Party, and other Islamist parties and movements, and dubbed “no to violence,” came after clashes across various Egyptian cities between volunteers of Tamarod and Morsi supporters. Earlier this week the FJP accused Tamarod and leaders of the National Salvation Front of attempting to create chaos and violence under the guise of political demands.
Voters chanted in support of the president and called for the purging of the media, which many of Morsi’s supporters accuse of inciting chaos and sabotage against the Brotherhood and president.
“The Egyptian people chose a president and no one can all of a sudden change that decision,” said Antar Morsy, a protester from Daqahleya, “Regardless of the president being from the Islamist current or not, we have to support his legitimacy.”
“Those who are going to protest on 30 June don’t love their country,” Morsy added, referring to mass protests planned by opposition groups for that day. “In the beginning, during the revolution, we all took care of each other in Tahrir Square… now, whenever these people protest, there’s violence and destruction every time.”
“If the police don’t protect President Mohamed Morsi, then we will,” he added.
“We chose Mohamed Morsi, because he represents the Islamic project,” said Fayoum resident Assem Sabbah. “The secularist’s issue isn’t with Mohamed Morsi. It’s with Islam,” he added.
Tagarod, the petition campaign collecting signatures in support of the president’s legitimacy, collected support at the rally.
“Our last president ruled the country for 30 years without elections,” Hany Fathallah from Beheira. “I voted for the next four years, not one.”