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Egyptian Military Pressures Islamists with call for Protests

WASHINGTON — The Egyptian military’s top chief called for massive rallies this upcoming Friday, in a move to help him to gain a mandate to push the Muslim Brotherhood.

Protesters, who are against Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi, hold a poster featuring the head of Egypt's armed forces General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, in Tahrir Square in Cairo [1]Reuters reports [2] that General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who deposed Muslim Brotherhood and Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, will not back off from his road-map on restoring democratic governance in Egypt within six months [3].

“I request that all Egyptians next Friday … go down (into the street) to give me a mandate and an order to confront possible violence and terrorism,” Sisi told a military graduation class, which remarks were broadcast on state television networks.

Sisi greatly resents the continued unrest caused by the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood, which is upset that its president was deposed and taken into army custody. It sparked violent protests [4], death and injuries across the country.

The U.S. and its president Barack Obama have waffled on providing aid to the new interim government and whose side to take, with remarks such as calling both sides “factions [5]” and calling for open dialogue [6].

The Muslim Brotherhood ran the country and dominated the Egyptian legislature, passing a pro-Islamist constitution which was quickly disallowed by the military-backed interim government. The Muslim Brotherhood did not tolerate dissent and imprisoned bloggers [7] for a variety of accusations. Morsi defied an army ultimatum [8] before being removed from office and had imposed policies that upset the secular and non-Muslim population.

The military promptly ordered the arrest [9] of seven top Muslim Brotherhood officials after unseating Morsi and his government.