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Insider Perspective: Rabaa dispersal, why Muslim Brotherhood chose this venue for sit-in?

Sunday 20-08-2017 - 07:04 PM
Muslim Brotherhood
Muslim Brotherhood supporters raised Rabaa slogans

Cairo - In the four-year anniversary of Rabaa dispersal (the dispersal of Muslim Brotherhood’s sit-in organized at Rabaa Al-Adawiya Square), the question needs to be answered is why the Brotherhood chose this square to stage their sit-in.

The Muslim Brotherhood called supporters from all over Egypt for mass protest in Rabaa Al-Adawiya in response to the calls of their opponents (Tamarod Movement) to demonstrate against the then- Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated President Mohamed Morsi. Rabaa sit-in was a proactive step against the protests of Egyptian people against the then-Egyptian regime of Muslim Brotherhood.

Brotherhood's supporters
Brotherhood's supporters used weapons to threaten opponents

A message to opponents

Vice President of National Movement Party Yahia Qadri said that they chose the square due to its proximity to the homes of a large number of Muslim Brotherhood’s leaders. He added that most of the group’s leaders have been arrested in homes in Cairo’s Nasr City and its surrounding area.

The message they wanted to deliver to the opponents through their sit-in, Qadri said, is that they can control areas of Cairo taking advantage of the square’s small area.

Muslim Brotherhood's
Muslim Brotherhood's members took shelter in the mosque

Religious dimension

The religious dimension was not far from the thought of the group’s leaders who planned for the sit-in, as they always use religion in their political propaganda.

Rabaa Mosque was one of the main reasons that pushed the group’s leaders to choose the square for their protests, said Egyptian politician Amr Ali. He signaled that the protesters used the mosque as a shelter against any security attempt to disperse their demonstration and to hide their weapons.

He argued that the other squares, including iconic Tahrir Square, were occupied by the revolutionaries who staged against Morsi’s regime.

Erdogan raised his
Erdogan raised his hand with four fingers indicating Rabaa slogan

Qatar and Turkey

The Brotherhood’s plan to control Rabaa Square was not separated from their foreign allies, including Qatar, Iran and Turkey. The group was keen to coordinate with them to increase pressure on the Egyptian authorities since the ousting of Morsi. 

Political expert Tawheed Al-Banhawi said that Qatar and Turkey were the main regional powers that supported Muslim Brotherhood since January 25 Revolution. Both countries provided shelter to the group’s leaders who escaped from Egypt after the sit-in dispersal.

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