Photo Credit: Abhijeet Kundu

“Egypt Independent” reports that debate continued Wednesday among political groups and activists over the merits of the planned August 24 protest against the Muslim Brotherhood and President Mohamed Morsy.

Former MPs Mohamed Abou Hamed and Mostafa Bakry, as well as anti-Brotherhood media host Tawfiq Okasha, had called for protests outside the group’s headquarters in Moqattam, a suburb in southeastern Cairo, and in front of the presidential palace. The protests are to demand Morsy’s impeachment and the end of the Brotherhood’s political domination.

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Interior Minister Ahmed Gamal Eddin said Wednesday that the ministry respects all rights and freedoms, especially the right to peaceful protest.

Except that the Union of Revolutionary Youth, a group of political activists, declared Wednesday that the protest was called for by supporters of former Prime Minister and losing presidential candidate Ahmed Shafiq as a counter-revolutionary ploy, and accused the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces of backing the protest.

The group added that it recognizes Morsy as the legitimately elected president, despite political disagreements with the Brotherhood and the Freedom and Justice Party.

URY spokesperson Tamer al-Qady did agree publicly, however, that it is unacceptable to issue a religious edict ordering the protesters to be killed, referring to a recent statement by Al-Azhar official Sheikh Hashem Islam, who was quoted by press reports as urging citizens to fight against the August 24 demonstrators to the death.

The statement also stressed the right to peaceful protest, while denouncing calls to burn Brotherhood offices.

The Coalition of Coptic Egypt has announced that it will participate in the protest. In a statement Wednesday, the groups said that it will protest to stress the goals of the revolution and stress the preservation of the secular state, rather than to demand Morsy’s impeachment. It added that it would also oppose the domination of state institutions by one political ideology.

The Hayat Party, which has yet to gain official recognition and is led by Coptic activist Mikel Mounir, also announced its participation, saying it would attend the demonstrations to inform the Brotherhood that “the country is not theirs alone.”

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