The Muslim Brotherhood, for all its muted presence in these demonstrations, is poised and ready to take advantage of the opportunity. “Mubarak calls for government’s resignation,” by Shaimaa Fayed and Yasmine Saleh for Reuters, January 28 (thanks to Pamela Geller):
CAIRO — President Hosni Mubarak said on Saturday that Egypt needed dialogue not violence to end problems that led to days of protests and said he was sacking his government, speaking in an address on state television.
“I have asked the government to present its resignation today,” Mubarak said, adding that he would move to appoint a new government on Saturday.
Protesters called for Mubarak, in power since 1981, to resign.
Mubarak sent troops and armoured cars into Egyptian cities on Friday in an attempt to quell street fighting and mass protests demanding an end to his 30-year rule….
Mr. Mubarak has built his power and international support by citing an Islamist threat to the country. But the Islamist opposition appear to have played little if any role in this week’s protests….
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Washington was deeply concerned by violence used by the security forces against the protesters and she urged the government to restrain them.
Snatch squads of plain clothes security men dragged off suspected ringleaders. At the Fatah mosque in central Ramses Square in Cairo, several thousand people were penned in and teargassed.
Protesters often quickly dispersed and regrouped.
Some held banners saying: “Everyone against one” and chanted “Peaceful peaceful peaceful, no violence.” Others threw shoes at and stamped on posters of Mr. Mubarak.
“Leave, leave, Mubarak, Mubarak, the plane awaits you,” people chanted.
Prominent activist Mohamed ElBaradei, a Nobel Peace Laureate, was briefly penned in by police after he prayed at a mosque in the Giza area but he later took part in a peaceful march with supporters. Arabiya television said later police had “asked” him to stay home but this could not be confirmed.
In some parts of Cairo, protests were peaceful. Dozens of people prayed together on one road. In Giza, on the city outskirts, marchers shook hands with the police who let them pass peacefully….
Members of the Muslim Brotherhood opposition group, including at least 8 senior officials, were rounded up overnight. The government has accused the Brotherhood of planning to exploit the protests….