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The Egyptian government vowed on Saturday to fight “terrorism and radicalism,” saying Muslim Brotherhood loyalists have engaged in violence and not peaceful protests, a presidential official said in a press conference.
Mustafa Hijazi, who is a political advisor to Egypt’s interim government, urged protesters, who are calling for the re-instatement of deposed President Mohammed Morsi, to “go back to their rational senses.”
He said “war has been declared” against Egypt by “extremist forces” to foil the country’s aim of forming a civil state.
He stated that “burning churches, schools, museums, random firing on civilians sitting in their homes, random killing, burning of public and private properties , targeting government edifices and police,” were all forms of “terrorism.”
Egyptians, who “are more united than before,” will be protected from “religious fascism,” he added.
“The constitution will be for all Egyptians by all Egyptians,” he said, adding that the government will work to fully implement the roadmap.
After ousting Morsi in a popularly backed coup on July 3, Egypt’s army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi announced the roadmap which includes temporary suspension of the constitution, early presidential elections and review of proposed amendments to the constitution by experts and a wide-range of Egyptians.
Legalizing the Brotherhood?
On Saturday, Egypt’s prime minister proposed disbanding the Muslim Brotherhood but according to Hijazi that the government “is not into dissolving anyone.”
However, he didn’t make it clear whether the Brotherhood will be disbanded.
He said the government is in the process of legalizing all the groups operating in the public service domain but it “doesn’t accept” those who commit actions “outside the law or the authorities of police or army.”
The official told journalists that “in any organization there are people who condemn violence.”
“I am confirming that anyone from the MB or not from the MB should come back and join peaceful march towards the future, this doesn’t negate the fact that whoever is instigating violence will be banned under law, but those who wish to are welcome to join the march.”
He said that there are some who are already cedeing from the Muslim Brotherhood and forming a “new satellite like the Young MBs, MBs Against Violence, those are the future.”
'One-sided international media'
The interim government has been widely criticized for the use of violence against Morsi supporters. After security forces gave warnings to Morsi loyalists to clear their sit-ins in two major Cairo squares on Wednesday, more than 600 people were killed in one day.
Also, more than 100 people were killed on the “Friday of Anger,” when Islamists vowed to express their rejection of Wednesday’s killing and voice a call to bring down the military coup.
However, Hijazi said these protest camps were not peaceful. He said the protesters used women and children as shields, some had machine guns and snipers maimed security forces from the top of buildings, he added.
On Wednesday, “three officers were gunned down by 12 noon…they were sniped in the face and in the chest,” said Hijazi.
While he promised to investigate any violations by the security forces, he defended Egypt’s conduct in dealing with the protests saying that any capital in the world or any sovereign state has the right to defend itself.