When the uprising was useful to them, they did not hinder it, and they supported it. Now they’ve got a good thing going and the usefulness of the revolution and of public dissent as a means to an end has run its course, unless the Ikhwan decides to leverage it against the military in its own power struggle. “Egypt Islamists stop protesters on way to parliament,” from Agence France Presse, January 31:
CAIRO “” Hundreds of Egyptian protesters demanding the end of military rule were prevented on Tuesday from reaching parliament by backers of the Muslim Brotherhood, which holds the majority in the assembly.
“We are standing here as a human shield, because if the protesters go any further, they will clash with the police. They want to enter parliament, what do you expect me to do?” Muslim Brotherhood member Hamdy Adbdelsamad told AFP.
Behind him, anti-military protesters chanted against the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces that took power when Hosni Mubarak was ousted by a popular uprising last year.
Activists had called for a march from Cairo’s Tahrir Square — the symbolic heart of the Egyptian uprising — to parliament to press the newly-elected MPs to implement the goals of the revolution.
They want the ouster of the military junta, an end to the military trials of civilians, the restructuring of the interior ministry and a guarantee of freedoms and social justice.
Islamist and secular protesters stood side by side in Tahrir Square during the 18 days of protests that toppled Mubarak in early 2011.
But tensions have risen between them since parliamentary elections propelled the long-banned Muslim Brotherhood to the centre stage of politics, with its Freedom and Justice Party now controling 47 percent of the assembly.
Secular protesters accuse the Islamists colluding with the ruling military to maintain their new-found power.
“Badie, you are selling the revolution!” the anti-military protesters chanted, in reference to Mohammed Badie, the Islamist movement’s supreme guide.
“The Muslim Brotherhood youth are blocking all roads to the parliament, preventing the anti-military protesters… There are huge numbers of them standing in rows like militias,” one anti military protester told AFP….