CAIRO: The Interior Ministry has announced a plan to respond to expected mass Islamist protests called for on Nov. 28 under the banner of “the Islamic Revolution.”
The call to protest by the Salafist Front is considered by the government to be a huge threat to national security, and it has announced repeatedly it will deal with it using “real bullets.” The Ministry of Religious Endowment (Awqaf) also announced that whoever marches will be considered in betrayal of their country and religion.
The call to protest was initially made by the Salafist Front in a statement published on its Facebook page accusing the government of killing dozens of Islamic youth in the streets and squares. “President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi prohibits the name of Allah from being mentioned in mosques and strives to ruin and burn them,” the statement read.
The statement said protesters will be “defending Islamic Shariah against military rule and secular movements,” and hold the Quran in the streets during their demonstrations.
The Interior Ministry, however, said it was prepared to face the demonstrations and whoever tried to use violence, according to Brig. Gen. Alaa Mahmoud in statements to the Momken television show Wednesday. He added that the State will meet violence with “force and violence,” and that those arrested will be tried in military courts.
“It’s not the first time to hear such a call to raise the Holy Quran and use weapons. However, civilians should stay away from any gatherings,” he added.
Different meetings were held by Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim in response to the expected Nov. 28 clashes, according to Youm7 Wednesday. He called on immediately dealing with bomb explosions and possible threats. He also demanded bomb squads be on high alert, especially in Metro stations and railways.
Youm7 also reported the ministry had taken preemptive measures to arrest anyone suspected of planning to take part in the demonstrations.
Thursday, Youm7 said the Salafist Front told women not to leave their homes Friday, and that women should not risk going out.
They called on women in a published statement to cover the events and publish news of events on social media, and said that women have the same responsibility as men to their homes and religion, but they should do their part from home.
Al-Azhar University was reported by Al-Fagr Thursday to be secured by the Interior Ministry instead of private security starting from Thursday until Sunday, and the Al-Azhar Tunnel will be closed starting from Thursday until Saturday morning for what was claimed to be “maintenance.”
In related news, the Ministry of Health announced in a statement Wednesday that a state of emergency will be announced in all hospitals, and 2,673 ambulances will be ready for any emergency, including 488 in Greater Cairo.