Thursday, April 24, 2014
BY ABIGAIL HAUSLOHNER The Washington Post
(Continued from page 1)
Opponents of Egypt's Islamist President Mohammed Morsi protest outside the presidential palace, in Cairo, Egypt, Monday, July 1, 2013. Egypt's military on Monday issued a 48-hour ultimatum to the Islamist president and his opponents to reach an agreement to "meet the people's demands" or it will intervene to put forward a political road map for the country and ensure it is carried out. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
Protesters pray during a demonstration against Egypt's Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Monday, July 1, 2013. Egypt's powerful military warned on Monday it will intervene if the Islamist president doesn't "meet the people's demands," giving him and his opponents two days to reach an agreement in what it called a last chance. Hundreds of thousands of protesters massed for a second day calling on Mohammed Morsi to step down. (AP Photo/ Manu Brabo)
Across the city at the Islamists' rival sit-in, Brotherhood politicians and supporters took a steadfast posture in the face of Sissi's perceived threat.
"Any coup against legitimacy will not pass, except through our necks," Mohamed al-Beltagi, a Brotherhood member of Egypt's now-dissolved lower house of parliament, said from a stage outside Cairo's Rabia al-Adawiya mosque.
Monday is not the first time that Egypt's top generals have sought to shepherd the nation through a crisis. Egyptians have long been socialized to admire the military, which has remained Egypt's most popular state institution despite the generals' management of a rocky transition after President Hosni Mubarak's ouster in 2011.
Mubarak's top general, Mohammed Hussein Tantawi, then stepped in, earning the military widespread accolades as national saviors. But opposition to military rule, particularly among the youth activists who spearheaded the uprising, mounted last year as reports of arbitrary arrests, torture and closed military trials surfaced.
On Monday, some prominent Egyptian activists acknowledged that they were wary of a military coup, even though opposition groups had advocated loudly for military intervention. Others argued that there was little choice.
"The problem is that our other option is Morsi staying in power," said Ahmed Maher, the leader of the April 6th youth movement, which helped lead the uprising against Mubarak and later, the protests against military rule.