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Police And Protesters Clash In Tahrir Square

From a seemingly surprised Associated Press:

Police, protesters clash for 2nd day in Cairo

By Hamza Hendawi, Associated Press
June 29, 2011

CAIRO – Egyptian security forces and protesters clashed for a second successive day in central Cairo on Wednesday in scenes not seen since the uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak in February.

Riot police were deployed around the Interior Ministry and were using tear gas to keep the protesters at bay. The demonstrators were responding with rocks and firebombs. The clashes left streets littered with rocks and debris and sent a cloud of tear gas over the area…

Dozens of protesters and policemen were injured in the violence Tuesday and Wednesday, but there were no exact figures immediately available. Ambulances were ferrying the wounded to hospitals and volunteer doctors and nurses were treating others on sidewalks…

Many of the protesters who took to the streets on Tuesday are believed to be relatives of some 850 people killed during the uprising that ousted the former president, and are frustrated over what they perceive as the slow pace of prosecution of police officers believed to be responsible for the deaths.

The clashes began Tuesday evening at Tahrir square, the epicenter of the Jan. 25-Feb. 11 uprising, but later moved to streets leading to the nearby Interior Ministry when authorities ordered the riot police to pull back from the vast plaza. Tahrir square was closed to traffic on Wednesday.

The military, which has taken over from Mubarak, issued a statement on its Facebook page saying the clashes were designed to "destabilize the country" and drive a wedge between the groups behind the uprising and the security forces. It called on Egyptians not to join the protests

Perhaps we are old-fashioned, but we still find it odd that the military issues official statements on its Facebook page.

We also find it peculiar that there was no mention of another possible motive for the latest round of riots — another cartoon crime against Islam. From those defenders of the faith at the Associated Press:

Bearded Mickey Mouse cartoon causes stir in Egypt

Mon Jun 27, 2011

CAIRO – An Egyptian Christian telecom mogul has angered Islamic hard-liners by posting an online cartoon of Mickey Mouse with a beard and Minnie in a face veil.

The ultraconservative Islamists, known as Salafis, called the cartoon posted by Naguib Sawiris on Twitter a mockery of Islam. They launched an online campaign calling on Muslims in Egypt to boycott Sawiris’ mobile phone company Mobinil. Shares of Mobilnil and Orascom Telecom, which Sawiris founded, both fell Monday on the Egyptian stock exchange.

Sawiris, who is also a politician, promotes a secular Egypt. He owns media companies and after Mubarak stepped down on Feb. 11, he launched a political party that calls for separation of state and religion.

And yet you can bet the ACLU would support the ‘hardliners’ here.

After the cartoon posted a few days ago stirred complaints on Twitter, Sawiris tweeted an apology on Friday and claimed he was joking. "I apologize for those who don’t take this as a joke; I just thought it was a funny picture; no disrespect meant. I am sorry," he tweeted.

But new Facebook groups cropped [sic] and quickly gained more than 60,000 followers, calling for a boycott of his widely used cell phone company.

Shouldn’t they be called ‘Faceveil’ groups?

Named "We are joking Sawiris," the Facebook group said: "If you are really a Muslim, and you love your religion, boycott his projects. We have to cut out the tongue of any person who attacks our religion."

At least 15 Salafi lawyers have filed lawsuits accusing Sawiris of religious contempt, an official at the prosecutor general office said. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

Another Facebook group named "We hate you Mickey Sawiris" depicted the Egyptian businessman as Mickey Mouse. The group’s motto is: "No to mockery of Islam." …

The cartoons are another source of sectarian tensions, which have already exploded into violence on a number of occasions in the chaotic, post-Mubarak transition

So on Monday the AP admitted that these cartoons are a source of tension. But they make no mention of them when talking about riots on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The cyber campaign against Sawiris showed how uncomfortable his secular campaign has made Islamists. It also could lead to polarization in the streets ahead of crucial parliament elections set for September.

But remember the ‘Egyptian Uprising,’ just like the rest of the ‘Arab Spring’ is completely secular and only concerned about expanding freedom.

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, June 29th, 2011. Comments are currently closed.

4 Responses to “Police And Protesters Clash In Tahrir Square”

  1. Liberals Demise says:

    These people (?) need to get a grip. Their Arab Spring is turning into a
    Summer of Recovery and a Mickey Mouse regime is leading them.

    Looks like the have themselves a rock surplus.

  2. beautyofreason says:

    ” We have to cut out the tongue of any person who attacks our religion.”

    I can feel the peacefulness just oozing out of their pores.

  3. heykev says:

    I believe that Facebook has a ban on “hate speech.” I believe this (and much of what posted in Mooselimb countries) should be considered hate speech.

    Too bad Facebook does not limit this sort of hate speech. But then if it did, there could be almost no one using FB in mooselimb countries.

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