[On July 4, Egyptians attacked a Cairo courtroom after a judge released
10 police officers charged with murder during anti-regime protests in
February. The protesters also blocked traffic on the highway between Cairo
and Suez City.]
The Brotherhood, with which the United States plans to begin a formal
dialogue, has been divided over whether to participate in demonstrations in
wake of the ouster of the regime of President Hosni Mubarak. The sources
said the division has pitted the Brotherhood leadership, comprised of
members close to the new military rulers, and the younger rank-and-file.
So far the Brotherhood has ordered its members not to participate in the
pro-democracy protests against the military regime. At the same time, the
reorganized police and security forces have attacked protests with what the
opposition charged was both live and rubber bullets. The Interior Ministry
responded that security forces were limited to the use of tear gas.
"We call on all those that supported the revolution to avoid political
differences during this critical phase in Egypt," a coalition of five human
rights groups said on July 3.
The secular opposition has accused the military regime of failing to
implement its promises to introduce political reforms. The opposition also
said the regime was refusing to prosecute former Mubarak aides accused of
human rights violations.
"We call on all elements to focus on the leadership phase of the
democratic process to preserve the purity of the revolution and save
Egyptian society from collapse," the opposition said.
Some opposition figures expressed concern that the U.S. decision for a
dialogue would only bolster the Brotherhood's alliance with the military
regime. They said the Brotherhood has relayed conditions for such a
dialogue, which already included meetings between the U.S. embassy and
Islamic members of the Egyptian parliament.
"Every time the Muslim Brotherhood has tried to engage in an alliance
with tyranny under the pretext that necessity knows no law, its fingers were
burned," Rifat Al Said, head of the National Progressive Union Association
told the Saudi daily A-Sharq Al Awsat.