EGYPT: Muslim Brotherhood urges protesters to keep up pressure to oust the regime
Egypt's marginalized Islamic political force, the Muslim Brotherhood, on Wednesday urged protesters to keep pressing their demands for democratic change despite violent repression by backers of President Hosni Mubarak.
In a report on the organization's website Ikhwononline, the country's largest organized opposition group called the demonstrations demanding that Mubarak step down the bold actions needed "to activate the wheel of change and to break the barrier of fear in the hearts of the Egyptians."
Citing political experts and analysts, the report said the 9-day-old challenge of Mubarak's rule was incited by decades of state-sponsored repression and economic inequities. The political group urged Egyptians to "stand in one trench against the ruling autocratic regime."
"The Egyptian regime has become an addict in its dependence on the security services and therefore it cannot have a dialogue with the people," the report cited former Assistant Foreign Minister Abdallah al-Ash'al as saying. "In fact, it is seeking to suppress the legitimate grievances of the people. The revolution of the Egyptian people has started and cannot be silenced."
Mubarak promised in a televised speech Tuesday night that he wouldn't seek reelection in the autumn but insisted he would fill out his present term and that he would die in Egypt, deflecting protesters' demands that he leave the country.
-- Carol J. Williams
Photo: Muslim Brotherhood leaders Essam el-Erian, center right, and Saad el-Katatni, center left, take part in a protest in Cairo on Jan. 30. Credit: Mohammed Abu Zaid/AP