As Egypt's Morsi remains defiant, a former top Brother speaks out (+video)
A former senior leader of the Muslim Brotherhood outlined his disappointment in President Mohamed Morsi today, who is rushing through a new Egyptian constitution.
Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi addressed the nation tonight after two days of protests and clashes that have seen bloodshed and a polarization of society between Islamists, who appear to be in the majority, and citizens who favor secular government.
The president insisted that a constitutional referendum scheduled for Dec. 15 will go forward, offered no compromises on the contents of the document, and warned that elements among the protesters are seeking to destabilize Egypt.
His supporters at the palace shared that point of view this afternoon. Mahmoud Abdelaziz, an engineer, says the opposition constitutes no more than 10 percent of Egyptians. "This fight will be over soon," he says.
Other supporters say they captured 42 “thugs” during the violence of the night before. They handed them over to the palace guards, not to the police. “We don’t trust the police anymore since they let the protesters flood the perimeter of the palace on Tuesday. Some of them sympathize with the other side.”
The propaganda from the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamist movement that's at the base of Morsi's power, has worked well on these men, who seem to genuinely believe that they are saving their country from destruction. But elsewhere cracks are appearing in the Brotherhood's facade, suggesting that it's more than just a “bunch of thugs” who are unhappy with Morsi.
Nine Morsi administration officials have quit their jobs since the president issued a decree on Nov. 22 giving himself unprecedented powers.
On Thursday, the vice-president of the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), Rafik Habib, said he was retiring from political life. Habib is a Christian, and he served as a token of the Brotherhood’s openness and diversity.
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