CAIRO (MSNBC) — Cairo police fought protesters demanding an end to army rule for a third day on Monday and morgue officials said the death toll had risen to 33, making it the worst spasm of violence since the uprising that toppled President Hosni Mubarak.
The bloodshed in and around Cairo’s Tahrir Square, epicenter of the anti-Mubarak revolt, threatens to disrupt Egypt’s first free parliamentary election in decades, due to start next week.
Police attacked a makeshift hospital in the square after dawn on Monday but were driven back by protesters hurling chunks of concrete from smashed pavements, witnesses said.
“Don’t go out there, you’ll end up martyrs like the others,” protesters told people emerging from a metro station at Tahrir Square, where about 4,000 had gathered by midday.
But there is one very big difference this time. The Muslim Brotherhood and its Salafi allies are leading the charge.
(RT) — There’s growing belief among some commentators that the Muslim Brotherhood may be behind the new protests in Cairo. Jerusalem Post author and correspondent Yaakov Lappin says that there is a chance that Islamists could eventually take power in Egypt.
“Unlike the first round, the first time that Egypt blew up with this kind of anti-regime violence, the Muslim Brotherhood is now leading these demonstrations, this civil unrest,” he told RT.
“The Muslim Brotherhood has gone from being a low-profile stealthy player to being very much a higher-profile one, because it senses that its time has come.”
The biggest threat coming from the movement’s potential victory, Lappin pointed out, are the views it promotes.
“If you look just at some of the statements that have been coming out of the Muslim Brotherhood movement and its new party, the Freedom and Justice Party, they are saying that nobody in Egypt would dare even question the notion that Islamic law, Sharia, should be the law of the land, which is, I’m sure, a statement that a lot of factions in Egypt would disagree with,” he explained.
According to the journalist, other leaders in Egypt are already saying that those who question the idea that Sharia should be the law of the land, are being described as adulterers, alcoholics, and drug addicts.
“This process of demonizing anybody who is opposed to this fundamentalist view is already underway,” he said, also adding that up until now, the Muslim Brotherhood’s vision for Egypt has not been a moderate one.