World Bulletin/News Desk
Braving the scorching heat of summer on the third day of Ramadan, thousands of followers of deposed Egyptian president Mohammad Morsi are staging a mass protest in Nahda Square in the Giza Governorate in a show of defiant support for the Islamist president a week after his ouster by the army.
With caps on their heads, copies of Quran in their hands along with Morsi photos, the protesters, most of them affiliates of the Muslim Brotherhood and its Freedom and Justice Party, marched on the square in time for the Friday prayer before they started their rally.
"Oh, God, return to us our president Morsi, who was kidnapped by the new pharaoh, Sisi," the preacher said, referring to army chief and Defense Minister Abdel Fatah Sis.
The army announced last week a roadmap for the future of Egypt that included suspending the constitution and naming the head of the constitutional court as interim president.
The move came after mass street protests in Cairo and across the country demanding the removal of Morsi.
But ever since, Morsi loyalists have taken to the streets to defend his legitimacy and demand his reinstatement.
"Oh, Sisi, Morsi is my president," chanted the protesters, while some organizers crisscrossed among the demonstrators and sprayed their faces and their heads with cold water to cool off the atmosphere a bit.
In Nahda Square, the place has turned into a site of joy and anger.
The protesters, some of them erected tents where they spend the nights before they start yet another day of support for Morsi in the morning, decorated the place with the traditional Ramadan lights and lanterns.
Together with the colorful Ramadan decorations, Morsi's photos and banners supportive of the ousted president also made their presence strongly felt.
"Morsi, you can leave after eight years if you want," read one of the banners.
Morsi was hardly beyond the first year of his four-year-term when he was deposed by the army.
Supporters argue that the 62-year-old president was not given enough time in office in order to prove his good mettle.
"Suppose you are in a one-hour exam, can I ask you to hand in the answer sheet after 15 minutes?" Nagwa Ahmed, one of the female protestors, asked.
Protesters decried the measures taken by state authorities since Morsi’s ouster, saying they were reminiscent of the bad old days under the repressive regime of topped president Hosni Mubarak.
Immediately after the army announced its decision to depose the president, several satellite channels supportive of Morsi were closed down.
There are also reports about a crackdown on Islamist activists and supporters of the deposed president.
Some top figures in the Muslim Brotherhood have been detained and face charges of inciting violence.
"We will never allow Mubarak's police state to return," said Amir Mahmoud.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 12 Temmuz 2013, 18:16