Egypt's Eyes for Muslims & Christians?
And They All Stood Together in Unity?
Muslim & Christian Still Standing Together
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CAIRO — It was during the protests over a year and a half ago, all around Egypt, a "group of groups" - Including Christians and Muslims came together to support each other - all demanding only one thing - Hosni Mubarak Must Go NOW!
After it was discovered from Wikie Leaks, the attacks against Christian Churches in Egypt were actually instigated by outside forces and not from resident Egyptian Muslims, the Church leaders are calling for total reconcilliation between the two religions in their country. Muslim clerics are also calling for unity and solidarity for the common good of both faiths.
The coalition of groups called for ONE MILLION Egyptians to come out in full force in Cairo's streets - the same day.
Their voice will be united as one voice - Mubarak Must Go!
This is the most obvious sign yet of the unification the Egyptians on this single point.
Some outside observers have tried to detect some form of "movement" within this protest, naming several possible groups within Egypt as suspected promoters of the protest, while having their own political agendas.
All the while, outside interests and concerns for the direction and future of the world's largest Arab country are focused on the outcome of events.
Power-brokers, investors, bankers and media all have vested interests and deep concerns for the way any new rulership might deal with the rest of the world.
What about banks? Usury or " riba" is forbidden by Islam and of course this would greatly hinder the banking and investment business not only in the Arab world but the whole planet would feel repercusions if Egypt were to adhere to some type of Islamic financing.
And what about neighboring Israel? Palestine has long been a bone of contention amongst Egyptians since the late 1940's. What will the relationship be after Mubarak is gone?
Some news agencies have coined the phrase — "Opposition Groups" in an attempt to make it seem as though there is a political force behind all of this.
While many citizens hold varying opinions of how Egypt's government should be run, they are all clear on this one point and without any differences of opinions - "Mubarak Must Go" is their clear theme.
Mubarak tried to defuse the protest and make it seem as though he still had control by appointed a new lineup of leadership, something he had refused to do for over 30 years. He began by dropping his much hated interior minister of security forces.
He had also appointed a vice president and then other appointments were given out to other close military commanders — but the people were not having any of his actions and did not accept his henchmen as new rulers over them.
The lineup was greeted with disdain in Tahrir Square (Liberation Square), the central Cairo plaza that has become the protestor's main gathering point - with tens of thousands all calling for Mubarak to GET OUT.
"We don't want life to go back to normal until Mubarak leaves," said Israa Abdel-Fattah, a youth along with other young people pushing for democratic reform.
In what appeared to be a reaction to the opposition call, state TV aired a warning from the military against "the carrying out of any act that destabilizes security of the country."
If Egypt's opposition groups are able to truly coalesce, it could sustain and amplify the momentum of the week-old protests. A unified front could also provide a focal point for American and other world leaders who are issuing demands for an orderly transition to a democratic system, saying Mubarak's limited concessions are insufficient.
But unity is far from certain among the array of movements involved in the protests, with sometimes conflicting agendas — including students, online activists, grassroots organizers, old-school opposition politicians and the fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood, along with everyday citizens drawn by the exhilaration of marching against the government.
So it was not clear how much the groups that met Monday represent everyone. The gathering of around 30 representatives, meeting in the Cairo district of Dokki, agreed to work as a united coalition and supported a call for a million people to turn out for a march Tuesday, said Abu'l-Ela Madi , the spokesman of one of the participating groups, al-Wasat, a moderate breakaway faction from the Muslim Brotherhood.
But they disagreed on other key points. The representatives decided to meet again Tuesday morning at the downtown Cairo headquarters of Wafd, the oldest legal opposition party, to finalize and announce a list of demands. They will also decide whether to make prominent reform advocate Mohamed ElBaradei spokesman for the protesters, Madi said.
Then, he said, they will march to Tahrir Square to demand the ouster of Mubarak, 82, whom they blame for widespread poverty, inflation and official indifference and brutality during his 30 years in power. The coalition also called for a general strike Monday, although much of Cairo remained shut down anyway, with government officers and private businesses closed.
The mood in Tahrir — or Liberation — Square, surrounded by army tanks and barbed wire, was celebratory and determined as more protesters filtered in. Some played music, others distributed food to their colleagues. Young men climbed lampposts to hang Egyptian flags and signs proclaiming "Leave, Mubarak!" A speakers corner formed on one side where people have a chance to grab the microphone and make their voices heard.
Egypt endured another day of the virtual halt to normal life that the crisis has caused. Trains stopped running Monday — raising the prospect that the government was trying to prevent residents of the provinces from joining protests in the capital. Banks, schools and the stock market in Cairo were closed for the second working day. An unprecedented complete shutdown of the Internet was in its fourth day.
Long lines formed outside bakeries as people tried to replenish their stores of bread, the main source of sustenance for most Egyptians.
Cairo's international airport was a scene of chaos and confusion as thousands of foreigners sought to flee the unrest in Egypt and countries around the world scrambled to send in planes to fly their citizens out.
A wave of looting, armed robbery and arson that erupted Friday night and Saturday — after police disappeared from the streets — appeared to ease as police reappeared in many districts. Neighborhood watch groups armed with clubs and machetes kept the peace in many districts overnight.
Still some incidents continued. One watch group fended off a band of robbers who tried to break in and steal antiquities from the warehouse of the famed Karnak Temple on the east bank of the Nile in the ancient southern city of Luxor. The locals clashed with the attackers who arrived at the temple carrying guns and knives in two cars around 3 a.m, and seized five of them, handing them over to the military, said neighborhood protection committee member Ezz el-Shafei.
In Cairo, soldiers detained about 50 men trying to break into the Egyptian National Museum in a fresh attempt to loot some of the country's archaeological treasures, the military said.
The official death toll from the crisis stood at 97, with thousands injured, but reports from witnesses across the country indicated the actual toll was far higher.
The White House said President Barack Obama called Britain, Turkey, Israel and Saudi Arabia over the weekend in the U.S. to convey his administration's desire for restraint and an orderly transition to a more responsive government.
European Union foreign ministers urged a peaceful transition to democracy and warned against a takeover by religious militants.
Mubarak's naming of a new Cabinet appeared to be aimed at showing the regime is willing to an extent to listen to the popular anger. The most significant change was the replacement of the interior minister, Habib el-Adly, who heads internal security forces and is widely despised by protesters for the brutality some officers have shown. A retired police general, Mahmoud Wagdi, will replace him.
Of the 29-member Cabinet, 14 were new faces, most of them not members of the ruling National Democratic Party. Among those purged were several of the prominent businessmen who held economic posts and have engineered the country's economic liberalization policies the past decades. Many Egyptians resented the influence of millionaire politician-moguls, who were close allies of the president's son, Gamal Mubarak, long thought to be the heir apparent.
Mubarak retained his long-serving defense minister, Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, and Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit.
State newspapers on Monday published a sternly worded letter from Mubarak to his new prime minister, Ahmed Shafiq, ordering him to move swiftly to introduce political, legislative and constitutional reforms and pursue economic policies that will improve people's lives.
But as news of the new government was heard in Tahrir Square, many of the protesters renewed chants of "We want the fall of Mubarak and his regime."
Mostafa el-Naggar, a member of the ElBaradei-backing Association for Change, said he recognized no decision Mubarak took after Jan. 25, the first day of Egyptian protests emboldened by Tunisians' expulsion of their longtime president earlier in the month.
"This is a failed attempt," said el-Naggar of the new government. "He is done with."
Reporters in other parts of the world are trying to make it seem as though anyone dressed in the traditional dress of Muslims, men wearing beards or women wearing hijab, are somehow connected to violent protests and over turning democratic rulership. Some have gone so far as to claim the protestors were rioting, breaking into shops, stealing and killing. The truth is opposite of this. In fact, the Muslims and Christians came together as families and neighbors against the prisoners who had been turned loose against the public by Mubarak's commanders, to gain outside support from other countries.
Here are some of the distortions we find in other news sources....
During the first few days of protests, the crowd in Tahriri Square was composed of mostly young men in blue jeans. Today, many of the volunteers handing out food and water to protesters are men wearing the traditional dress of Arabs from decades ago (long robes) and beards.
The various protesters are united by little, however, except the demand that Mubarak go. Perhaps the most significant tensions among them is between young secular activists and the Muslim Brotherhood (Ikhwan Muslimeen), which wants to form an Islamist state in the Arab world's largest nation. The more secular are deeply suspicious the Brotherhood aims to takeover what they contend is a spontaneous, popular movement.
ElBaradei, a pro-democracy advocate and former head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog, invigorated anti-Mubarak feeling with his return to Egypt last year, but the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood remains Egypt's largest opposition movement.
In a nod to the suspicions, Brotherhood leaders insist they are not seeking a leadership role.
"We don't want to harm this protest," Mohamed Mahdi Akef, a former leader of the group.
Mubarak, a former air force commander in office since 1981, is known to have zero tolerance for practicing Muslims in politics, whether they are militants or moderates, and it remains highly unlikely that he would allow his government to engage in any dialogue with the Muslim Brothers.
Rashad al-Bayoumi, the Brotherhood's deputy leader, said along with Mubarak's leaving, demands include the release of political prisoners, put in jail for speaking out against the harsh oppression of Mubarak.
There is also discussing of setting up a transitional government to run the country until free and fair elections are held and prosecuting individuals thought to be responsible for the killing of protesters.
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It's time for the truth. It's time for honesty. It's time - for real News!
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