In videos: plans to burn down the Presidential Palace on Thursday and Friday


In videos:

It had been planned that crowds would gather outside the Presidential Palace at night and until Friday morning where they would break into it by breaking its doors and jumping over its walls and announce the fall of the President from within its walls…The Presidential Guard would then have the right legally to open fire at any attempt to storm the Palace because it is a national security issue…and the Presidential Guard is trained, large in number and armed with high-grade weapons…It was a choice between two options…either it opens fire, resulting in a massacre of hundreds or even thousands or it withdraws temporarily to avoid bloodshed – in which instance the state really would have collapsed and Islamists would not have stayed silent but rather would have taken to the streets in millions and it would have been a massacre in the streets…

The Muslim Brotherhood today took a preemptive step by going to the Palace in the afternoon. There were only three tents and around 50 people there while the Muslim Brotherhood were in their thousands…a few altercations and insults and the protesters completely withdrew from around the Palace. The tents were removed and hashish, alcohol and condoms found inside them, “everything is documented in pictures”…After a while a huge crowd armed with homemade teargas bombs, Molotov cocktails, birdshot, live ammunition handguns and knives started attacking the Muslim Brotherhood and so began the clash…99% of the casualties so far are drawn from the ranks of the Muslim Brotherhood and were injuries caused by live ammunition and birdshot as well as burns and cut wounds.

Tens of thugs and convicted criminals were arrested and handed over to the Presidential Guard…It would be nice if the people who claim that this was a bad or stupid decision and who hold the Muslim Brotherhood responsible for the blood find out what happened first in detail. The Muslim Brotherhood did this to avoid blood filling the streets and to avoid chaos whose end only God knows…I put up with people who haven’t got the full picture and who haven’t got the strength or nerves to bear events and so spit out any old nonsense. But mockery, arrogance and insistence that [other people] don’t know is disastrous!!!!!!!!

It’s nearly over…The biggest plot to provoke chaos has been foiled.

People who want to understand why the Muslim Brotherhood went to the Presidential Palace – people who really want to understand rather than just for sensationalist reasons – should watch all of the videos below.

Opponent: Why did you go to the Presidential Palace when you knew that there would be blood?

Supporter: Nobody is more concerned than us that that the blood of a single Egyptian not be shed. Proof of this is that we didn’t go to Tahrir Square and that we changed the location of our demonstration to the environs of Cairo University.

But have a look with me and see for yourself what Mamdouh Hamza says:

Alright, forget about Mamdouh Hamza…Look at Amr Afify inciting young people.

Amr Afify is also talking about breaking in…Is this merely a coincidence?????????

Opponent: But the young people would never have broke into the Palace. This was a peaceful protest.

Supporter: I won’t answer you myself, let’s watch this video that shows the protesters attacking and chasing away the Central Security Forces from the Presidential Palace.

OK forget about a video showing fleeing.  Let’s watch something more serious than that….The protesters attacking the Presidential flotilla itself.

– with the knowledge that the Presidency announced that the driver of one of the President’s cars was attacked and that the driver is currently in hospital.

Opponent: The Muslim Brotherhood went to the Presidential Palace to shed blood.

Supporter: Yes that’s right, they were shedding blood and the evidence for this is that the Muslim Brotherhood lost six martyrs.*

Opponent: The Muslim Brotherhood could have dealt with events in a better way. We were all together as revolutionaries in Tahrir Square.

Supporter: We are dealing with felool and not revolutionaries. Or are you trying to have me believe that the revolutionaries attacked Muslim Brotherhood offices? Are you aware that Muslim Brotherhood offices were attacked in Suez, Ismailia and El-Monufeyya yesterday evening?

Would you have me believe that this is all a coincidence????

Sobhy Saleh was attacked during an attempt to kill him and his car was torched. Are these revolutionaries????

We are dealing with felool.

May God hold to account whoever introduced the felool into the equation.

Since when do felools’ interests coincide with those of revolutionaries.

Where is the democracy that you are always mouthing off about????

Isn’t the ballot box the arbiter…or is it protesting and mobilisation????

Use your logic and you will see the truth clearly.

May God protect Egypt from the evil of discord.

Originally published in Arabic on the Daqhileyya Muslim Brotherhood portal.


The nuns of Cairo flock to vote “no” on the constitution 


A church delegation comprising a number of priests, monks, and nuns from monasteries gathered in front Al-Rashid National School in eastern Cairo to vote “no” on the constitution.

The Church intensified mobilizing and channeling their followers to reject the constitution in the referendum, when priests launched so-called “visitation groups” in order to distribute leaflets urging Christians to vote “no” in the referendum, claiming that “a Brotherhood and Salafist constitution does not represent all the Egyptian people,” and that, “the text defining Islamic law will be applied on Copts later,” according to the publication.

The Church paid hundreds of priests and monks to vote “no” in the referendum in accordance with an agreement between Patriarch of the Coptic Orthodox Church Pope Tawadros II, National Salvation Front leaders, and diaspora Copts to unite against the adoption of the constitution.

A big surprise: Gamal Sultan uncovers the secret behind the withdrawal by the Church and some members from the Constitutional Assembly


Gamal Sultan: the Constitutional Assembly as an auction for blackmail

The Constitutional Assembly has been transformed into a big market for political, economic and sectarian one-upmanship. Anyone who wants to push through an economic, sectarian or political interest plays the game, “you leave it and I’ll leave it”.

I don’t know of any logical reason for the announcement by Coptic Orthodox Church officials yesterday that they are thinking of withdrawing from the Constitutional Assembly because they have discovered – six months in – that it is unbalanced and doesn’t represent all factions of the population. Pope Tawadros said a week ago that the Church “will not play politics” and it seems that he considers the constitution a “card game”. In short, the Church wanted to take illegal possession 10,000 feddan of natural protectorate land and ancient antiquities in Fayoum in addition to an attempt to seize thousands of feddans – suddenly and in a premeditated manner – in other areas. This scared state bodies after there was widespread grumbling by many popular and nationalist currents, and walls were demolished, attacks stopped and the land was restored to the state.

Three days later the Church hinted that it would withdraw from the Constituent Assembly without a single logical reason or objection to a single article, because it had previously agreed to all that. In the same context, a “big lawyer” who is a former minister tried to whip up artificial controversy about his withdrawal from the Constituent Assembly. He said that he had “discovered” that it is unbalanced and that the Assembly head runs things according to his whims.

On another occasion, this “intellectual” – who could be described as a mercenary – discovered, six months later, that the head of the Assembly wasn’t running it correctly. He discovered this truth a week after the Presidency refused to agree to his offer of settling the “crime” of the company, an Egyptian-“Gulf” company, to which he is a legal consultant. Settling would mean that the state loses LE 45 billion. When the Presidency refused this he intimated that he would be withdrawing from the Assembly. This lawyer/intellectual is the godfather of most public sector selloff deals, deals that lost Egypt more than LE 120 billion. If Egypt had revolutionary trials after the January revolution this man’s head would have been the first of ten to be hung up in Tahrir Square.

In the same context, a former presidential candidate and Assembly member revealed that the Assembly had deviated from its course and that he had suspended his activities in it and would end his connection with the Assembly the following week without providing any clear reason that could be discussed. He discovered this truth after negotiations on the quota and which will be left to his “new” party in the next parliament.

There are other secular figures who have threatened to withdraw, and haven’t. They are connected or rather stuck to a number of whales from the Mubarak era who are currently suffering wide-ranging institutional movement to reclaim the land they falsely seized and squandered amounts sufficient to settle Egypt’s debts. The committees – formed of more than one ministry and government body – are now earnestly working in several areas, and in particular on desert roads and areas close to urban buildup. Every time arguments intensify we hear about threats to withdraw from the Assembly or the tone of attacks on satellite channels – a number of which are owned by these people – intensifies.

Take for example the blackmail of politicians who lost the presidential race and who think that they had it in the bag or that it is beneath them. Some of them still behave as if they are president and are trying all possible ways of completely destroying the Assembly no matter what amendments are made. They do not want the constitution to be completed in the first place so that the message is sent that Islamists are stalling the country and have failed.

Some of the objections are nauseating, such as the protest against provisions that enable civil society activity on the pretext that they open the door to religious vice squads – despite the fact that those opposing are the ones who called for civil society to be strengthened. Some of the objections are completely meaningless, whether because they are motivated by attempts by some to preserve the “path back” amidst a hubbub of blackmail and intimidation. It is for this reason that these objections are extremely contradictory, and are reminiscent of the situation of actor Adel Imam in the “Cold Drink” play when the court responded to his demand and he replied, “cold?” and they said, “yes”, and he replied, “but I wanted something hot!”

This was originally posted in Arabic on the Qalyoubeyya Muslim Brotherhood portal.

Citizens: the non-publication of Tuesday’s papers spared us the misery


We hope that the papers stay closed and the screens black

God spared us their lies and the media must be cleaned up

This must be the fate of the low media

Enough of your lies and mockery of the heedful Egyptian people

Investigation: Mohamed Gaber and Abdallah Metawa’a

A number of newspapers that work in the service of figures from the dissolved National Democratic Party (NDP) went on strike on Tuesday in protest at the revolutionary decisions taken recently by President Mohamed Morsy in order to protect the January revolution’s achievements.

Readers expressed their opinion on this protest. Some of them were beset with a state of joy and happiness, describing the day as the Tuesday of light or the luminous Tuesday after these newspapers and channels protested and gave the Egyptian people the chance to consider and grasp matters without their influence or blackening of matters. Everyone sings his own tune, and all the media and media personalities care about is protecting their gains rather than the revolution’s gains, which they used to plunder more of the people’s money. [The readers] hoped that these channels’ screens would remain black.

The Egyptian street expresses its anger against the fabrications of newspapers belonging to the dissolved former regime figures [sic] and welcomes their non-publication today. Via Ikhwan Online:

Ibrahim Abdel-Sharif, an executive supervisor in the Arab Contractors Company says that by stopping work and protesting these newspapers have given us a day off from their lies. Their aim is to hinder political work through their low and base content, adding that they didn’t print today because of fear for their personal interests and to fight the revolution that President Mohamed Morsy wanted to protect by issuing the last Constitutional Declaration and by making elected institutions immune to dissolution.

He made clear that newspaper owners object to the Constitutional Declaration issued by the President of the Republic out of fear for their personal interests because there is no doubt that it is they that benefit from the former regime and are completely aligned with this fallen regime.

He added, “Anyone claiming that freedom of expression in the new constitution is restricted is making a false claim because under the new constitution they enjoy complete freedom. However, they are using all their power and raising their voices against this constitution. We say to them, enough lying. Why this attack on the Constitutional Declaration issued by the President? Why didn’t you do this with the Constitutional Declaration issued by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces that didn’t have any legislative legitimacy?”

Hassan Bereek, a former member of the People’s Assembly urged some newspapers to fold, considering this a positive step towards society’s progress. He said, “this is the best thing they ever did and I hope that this strike won’t only last a day but rather a week or a month or that deceptive newspapers such as this disappear because citizens are bored with their content. Their strike gives us mental rest”.

Bereek added that the objection of former regime newspapers to the Constitutional Declaration and their fierce attacks on the Constitutional Assembly are aimed at protecting their personal interests and not the country’s higher interests. He affirmed that the aim of the last Constitutional Declaration is to fortify the Constitutional Assembly putting in place the Constitution so that it can produce a constitution suitable for Egypt and so that the Constitutional can start to bear its fruits through stability.

He affirmed that the attack on the new Constitution is aimed at obstructing the march of progress and ascent and using it to pressurise the presidency who is represented by the first legitimately elected president. He emphasised that these games are headed for complete failure.

Press ethics

Hassan Kamel Othman, a physics inspector with the Ministry of Education believes that these newspapers are operating without any knowledge of media ethics or the industry’s code of ethics, rely on alarmism and sensationalism and defend their personal interests without consideration of the country’s interests. He pointed out that they rely on provocation and that what they write mostly has nothing to do with the subject being discussed.

He hopes that the newspapers protesting today stop work altogether because one day is not enough. He affirmed that these newspapers cause a sort of information pollution and that citizens are aware of their failing attempts.

He adds that newspapers owned by former regime figures are constantly orientated towards lying to the people. They are currently repeatedly saying that the new constitution snatches away freedom of expression. He said that this is the polemics of the former regime press, because they enjoy a complete freedom not witnessed in any other country. Rather, they are crossing all the red lines, red lines that it is inappropriate to cross. This is all a result of the policy dominated by secularists and Nasserists – who don’t respect freedom of opinion or other opinions at all – that the deposed president’s regime used to pursue.

He went on to say that the newspapers rely on spreading opinions in accord with their own schools of thoughts and on spreading lies. He demanded that they use the media to clarify perspectives, unify the ranks and explain the constitution to citizens and public opinion rather than misrepresenting and misleading.

Changing facts

Mohamed Abaza, a agricultural consultant in a sugar company points out that the newspaper strike is a positive step for the entire Egyptian people because the problem is not in their refusal to go to print but that they think this step will negatively influence public opinion. They ignore that the people know the truth about these newspapers and channels that rely on changing facts.

He asks: why are they opposing the Constitutional Declaration? Were these not the demands made by revolutionaries to realise the revolution’s goals and fortify elected institutions? He affirmed that they want to take the country back to the starting point and are deliberately confusing matters.

Mostafa Megahed, a medical equipment engineer says, “I hope that these newspapers stay shut, the media have mocked the people enough”. He emphasised that newspaper and satellite channels are not opposing the Constitutional Declaration itself. Rather, their aim is to destroy the project of progress through the poison and false news they spread amongst simple, ordinary citizens and their analysis of news in a way that is completely removed from reality.

Ahmed Salah, a teaching assistant at Menoufiyya University demands that these newspapers stop being published as a mercy to citizens so that the poison they spread, swallowed by citizens every day, stops. He affirmed that the media is engaged in a conspiracy plot against the President that has no clear reason and that they falsify facts. He pointed out that they claim that the constitution restricts press freedom while the head of the Journalists’ Syndicate has denied this and confirmed that the press community has presented more than eight proposals on freedom of expression and seven were adopted. This demonstrates that the media has complete freedom. He demanded that the presidency place curbs on newspapers that cross professional lines through insolence towards the president and officials.

He made clear that the ultimate objective of these newspapers is to bring down the Islamic project in order to realise personal interests and so that stability does not prevail. He asked, “why didn’t they protest when the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces issued its Constitutional Declaration annex? Why did the cheer for it despite the fact that it had absolutely no legitimacy”.


Ahmed Omar El-Neshouqy says, “we have been relieved of these newspapers-for-hire by businessmen connected to the deposed president”. He asked, “who are they to grant time to the President to change his mind about the Constitutional Declaration when they know very well that the people have exposed the truth about their misleading lies after they falsely reported a million man march at Cairo University.

Ali Mohamed Ali, a restaurant worker, agreed and made clear that, “what these former regime papers are doing is a positive step. They rely on misleading public opinion and we as citizens don’t trust their content because of the way they thrust their opinion on citizens and because of their deliberate lies. If they stopped publishing this would be better so that the misleading lies stop and all their plans to hinder the country’s interests would end in failure because they are deceptive and have special interests and every day that passes exposes the truth about them”.

Ahmed Othman, a mathematics teacher continued, “there is a state of joy surrounding these newspapers not publishing that we haven’t seen for a long time. Nonsense spouted by people who call themselves presenters about limits on freedom of the press and expression in the constitution is completely untrue because the new constitution protects the press and its right to open newspapers through mere notification. The only restriction in the constitution is that it bans false news and libel – which is journalists’ bread and butter”.

He added, “newspaper owners have got used to publishing false news and libeling and insulting anyone whose opinion differs to their own. The media doesn’t have real influence on public opinion because the Egyptian people naturally lean towards stability and are concerned with day to day issues rather than political matters and the majority of the Egyptian people know that the media is biased and does not have a clear message with an objective and only expresses what is consistent with its ideology and interests even if this differs with the country’s interests.

Salah El-Hadad believes that the Egyptian people possess a natural intelligence and that public opinion will not be influenced. He hopes that broadcasting by these channels that have got used to falsifying truths at their will when chaos breaks out will stop broadcasting for good. They don’t want stability for the country out of concern for their own interests and personal greed which comes before the country’s interests.

He demanded purification of the whole media including state media which latter’s corruption was shown when presenter Hala Fahmy appeared on screen carrying a burial shroud in objection to the Constitutional Declaration issued by the President of the Republic and called for a referendum on it. This is unprofessional – indeed it is media thuggery. Some presenters have corruption cases against them that were shelved by the Prosecutor General and fall over themselves to create crises and obstruct the country’s march towards stability.

Sayyed El-Gammal, an accountant, added, “the media is politicised and works for its personal interests and seeks to create chaos in the country because corruption cases haven’t been opened against them, but they won’t succeed in this because it has become clear that this media is awful and doesn’t portray the reality objectively. The clearest evidence of its lack of credibility is the million-man march last Saturday that revealed the extent to which the Egyptian people trust President Mohamed Morsy and support the new constitution – unlike what the corrupt media were alleging.

Saeed Serageddin affirmed the importance of cleansing the media, furiously saying, “Please God let them close down for good. The people have had it up to here with their lies. The war now doesn’t revolve around the constitution or freedoms as they allege, the war is against Islamists and any decree issued by them will be opposed regardless of its content because we don’t have a professional, objective media. It doesn’t follow a policy of difference of opinion, rather one of love and hate. They hate Islamists and so oppose anything by Islamists and support anything Islamists oppose”.

This was originally published in Arabic on Ikhwan Online.

My problem with circumcision…what should I do?!


M.M – Egypt

I am a girl who will be getting married soon, and I have read that one of the essentials of personal hygiene for girls is circumcision, and that failure to circumcise can lead to problems in a couple’s private life. Since I’m not circumcised, I decided to seek advice on this subject and ask whether circumcision is mandatory or not, whether it has negative effects, what its positives and negatives are and how I can solve the problem if indeed there is a problem? Thank you.

Answer provided by the Advice Team at Ikhwan Online:

1. “Circumcision is Sunnah* for men and a noble trait for women” (El-Siouty).

It is not a duty for women except where there is a genuine medical need for it…Where it does have to be performed its advantages are that it reduces the sexual arousal rate to a rate that does not exceed the normal average at that time [sic] and causes a woman many problems because of her lack of satiation and frequent arousal.

Its disadvantages are that if it is not carried out moderately and under specialised medical supervision it may cause what is known as (female sexual frigidity), where the woman loses her ability for enjoyment and excitement during sexual intercourse.

As for hygiene, this is innate in accordance with the teachings of the Prophet**. The most important of these habits is cleaning of the pubic region, the sensitive area surrounding the vulva in front and the anus, and plucking armpit hair and all the other innate habits for women mentioned in the Prophet’s hadith.

“10 innate habits: cutting the moustache and letting the beard grow, using the miswak***, cleaning the nostrils with water, nail cutting, cleaning the finger joints, plucking armpit hair, shaving pubic hair and lowering water. And Zakaria quoted Mosa’ab as saying: “and I forgot the 10th, and it is rinsing the mouth with water. Qotayba added to this, quoting Wakee’a: “lowering water means washing the genital area after going to the toilet” (Sa7ee7 Muslim****).

If you feel that you need to check whether you need to be circumcised – and you know best about this – you can go to a female gynecologist – and to nobody else – for a consultation, while bearing in mind that we think you probably don’t need it.

* Sunnah is the way of life prescribed as normative for Muslims on the basis of the teachings and practices of Muhammad and interpretations of the Quran”.

** The term used is سنن الفطرة sunan el fitra, “a collection of hygienic or cosmetic practices enjoined by the Prophet Mohamed”.

*** Miswak: teeth cleaning stick.

**** Sa7ee7 Muslim: “is one of the al-Kutub al-Sittah (six major ahadith) of the hadith in Sunni Islam. It is the second most authentic hadith collection after Sahih al-Bukhari, and is highly acclaimed by Sunni Muslims”.

This was originally published in Arabic on Ikhwan Online.

Mohamed Gamal Arafa writes: blame on the Pope and the Church


During the drafting of the constitution most members of the Constitutional Committee responded to the churches’ various demands that article 2 of the Constitution remain unchanged. They refused Salafist forces’ demands that the words “Sharia jurisprudence” replace “principles of Sharia” in order to reassure the partners in the nation. Their demands were met by the inclusion of an article stating that their laws will govern them, and Church representatives signed the last but one draft. They then issued orders for a “political” withdrawal from the Constitutional Assembly with those withdrawing without any logical justification for this withdrawal!

It is said that the withdrawal came after the passing of article 219, which explains article 2 dealing with Sharia, which latter provides that the principles of Sharia include general evidence, fundamental and jurisprudential rules and credible sources accepted by Sunni schools of Islam and by the greater community”.

Then came the protests in front of the Presidential Palace and the Church made the same mistake it made during the presidential elections when it mobilised its supporters behind (the Feloul) Ahmed Shafiq against President Morsy, and when it mobilised its supporters against the first Constitutional Declaration adopted by the military, claiming that it was with Sharia.

I don’t need to mention here what was reported by American papers like the New York Times and the Washington Post about large Christian crowds (which some estimates put at 15,000) coming out of churches in order to chant against the Muslim Brotherhood and the Supreme Guide and President Mohamed Morsy in front of the Presidential Palace. Coptic expat organisations protested in front of the White House in order to take strength from America in toppling the president of their country!

Yes they have the democratic right to demonstrate and protest, but as “citizens”, far removed the political role that was previously played by the Church and that caused the previous tension in a great many Islamist sectors behind the scenes.

Priest Angelos Ishaq, the Pope’s Secretary, denied charges directed against the Church that it mobilised against the President saying, “they are completely untrue” and “the Church is a spiritual, patriotic institution that has no connection with politics”. However, I was careful to mention the opinions of foreign correspondents on the truth of this mobilisation and the political role played by the Church, the raising of the cross and the chants against the President and the Constitution rather than what Islamist activists said about this mobilisation – which is a lot!

I expected Pope Tawadros II to take the Church back to its beautiful spiritual role far removed from incitement against a lawfully elected president and to prevent it riding the “National Burning Front”* bandwagon. I was happy when he invited all national political forces to sit at the dialogue table, and with his call for calm and against resorting to violence. I fear however that if this inflammatory mentality from some angry Copts to mobilise church congregations against the (Islamist) President and against Islamist forces on satellite channels continues, and if the Church continues to play a political role, the intensity of sectarian strife will increase after political strife increases.

I hope that the Church does not – by means of some of its priests and not all its leaders – mobilise again against a legitimately elected president because in the previous two instances it backed the losing horse rather than betting on peaceful coexistence.

And I hope that Pope Tawadros slaps on the wrist those priests who are souring the relationship between Muslims and Christians through political mobilisation and who deliberately lead them through the streets wearing their gowns and setting off from some churches. There is a difference between a Christian citizen protesting next to a Muslim citizen in order to call for his political rights and between senior priests protesting against a legitimately elected president just because he is “Islamist”!

* Translator’s note: the expression is جبهة إحراق مصر  gebhat e7raq masr a play on words on جبهة إتقاذ مصر gebhat enqaz masr or the National Salvation Front.

This was originally published in Arabic on the Freedom and Justice Portal.

A Coptic citizen chants: “There is no god but God and Mohamed Morsy is loved by God.”


Ahmed Hazza

A Coptic citizen, on the main stage in the millioneya emphasizing the legitimacy [of President Morsy] in Rabaa Al-Adawiya Square, confirmed that the Egyptian people elected President Mohamed Morsy, and this must be respected for the stability of the country, and to start the wheel of production and the advancement of Egypt.

He announced that he fully agrees with the constitution, which does not differentiate between Muslim and Christian, repeating slogans: “There is no god but God and Mohamed Morsy is loved by God, and say it, Ahmed, say it Mina, the constitution is for you and for us.”

This was originally published in Arabic on Ikhwanonline.