NASL wants ‘revolution’ on Rabaa anniversary; not all Islamists agree

CAIRO: Despite calls by the pro-Muslim Brotherhood National Alliance Supporting Legitimacy (NASL) to hold mass anti-government protests on the one year anniversary of the government’s dispersal of the Rabaa al-Adaweya and Nahda Square sit-ins, a number of likeminded groups have actually broken rank with NASL and called for calm.

In a statement released on Aug. 11, NASL announced that on Thursday it would launch a “revolutionary movement” to punish “security authorities who were responsible for the killing of thousands of people and the continuous crackdown on civilians by the Interior Ministry.”

Death toll statistics on the Rabaa dispersal remain conflicting. While pro-MB groups reported over 1,000 dead on Aug. 14, official state records said 632 people died in the dispersal.

Al-Wasat Party, previously led by MB members AboulElaMady and Essam Sultan, who are now in prison, did not entirely oppose protesting, but asked for peaceful demonstrations and suggested people commemorate the humanitarian side of the incidents by visiting cemeteries and comforting families of the deceased.

The party further condemned the lack of judicial progress in cases where civilians were killed in a statement released on their website Sunday, adding that they “remain committed to seeking legal and political initiatives to achieve justice.”

Another MB supporter, the Building and Development Party, also announced a view different than the Alliance’s, as party spokesperson Ahmed al-Iskandarany urged youth not to push for more street violence and clashes with security forces, in a statement released by the party.

Such disparities suggest Islamist political parties could be having conflicting stances regarding the current political scene.

Tarek Abu el-Saad, a former MB member, interpreted the differences as a sign of a change in attitudes between NASL and those who do not “want to enter into a direct conflict with the State,” Saad told Youm7 Tuesday.

Following the ouster of former MB President Mohamed Morsi on July 3, led and announced by then-Defense Minister, current President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, authorities launched an oppressive campaign against the MB and its supporters, arresting officials, well-known figures and closing down their broadcast networks almost immediately.

On Sunday, the High Administrative Court issued its final verdict on the dissolution of the MB’s political party: The Freedom and Justice Party (FJP). The party’s office and branches had been earlier stormed by security forces amid the arrest of its leaders, such as former Parliament President Saad Katatni, former party Vice President Essam el-Erian and former MB leader Mohamed el-Beltagy.

Former MB Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie, currently facing the death penalty, founded the FJP in February 2011 following the ouster of former president Hosni Mubarak as a result of the January 25 Revolution. The party won a majority of parliamentary seats in 2012.

“This is the regime’s way of oppressing others and imposing political choices on the public,” NASL said in a reaction statement to the court’s decision to outlaw the FJP.

Additional reporting by KamelKamel and Ahmed Arafa.

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