The Muslim Brotherhood held a press conference outside their headquarters in Moqattam, Saturday evening to address Friday’s protests.
Clashes erupted Friday near the Brotherhood headquarters after protesters rallied outside condemning the Brotherhood’s attack on journalists and political activists the week before.
Brotherhood Secretary General Mahmoud Hussein read out a statement reflecting the group’s response to the Friday clashes.
The Brotherhood vowed to legally pursue anybody who incited, called for or participated in Friday’s protest. “We believe in the peaceful way [of protesting],” the statement read, “yet that doesn’t mean that it is permissible for everybody to attack the Brotherhood.”
The Muslim Brotherhood called on the security apparatus to face criminals and attackers within a legal context that preserves human and social dignity. They also called on prosecution to reveal the names of “corruptive figures, some of whom posing as political figures”.
The Brotherhood also stated that the legislative power should offer all that would serve the security apparatus, adding that legislative power cannot stand hand-tied and incapable of doing its job. They called on all peaceful political parties to strongly face any calls for protests inciting violence and not stop at condemning attacks.
“Those who have long tried to drag the country to crises and civil war have started by attacking the head of the state, represented in the presidential palace, but they failed,” the statement read. “Then they tried to get back at the state institutions, but again they failed. Now, they target the Muslim Brotherhood and its headquarters in an attempt to destroy the society, describing themselves as revolutionaries or activists; the Egyptian people don’t fall for such descriptions anymore.”
The Brotherhood listed a number of damages allegedly caused by Friday’s protests. They stated that Muslim Brotherhood headquarters were attacked in Mansoura, Mahalla, Fayoum and Minya, in addition to attacking the Brotherhood’s headquarters in Al-Manial and “terrifying Brotherhood girls preparing festivities in celebration of Mother’s day there.”
They also accused protesters of surrounding mosques and targeting worshippers inside, preventing ambulances from reaching the injured, and attacking houses with Molotov cocktails, birdshot and bladed-weapons.
The Brotherhood claimed 176 of its members were hospitalised upon being attacked, adding that 26 of them are in critical condition.
“Only God knows the amount of anger the Brotherhood is feeling,” the statement read. “We are being subjected to all sorts of attacks and insults before and after the revolution. We are now paying the price of having a Brotherhood member elected as president to face the former state and its deeply-rooted corruption. Yet, we don’t intend to release that anger outside its legal and peaceful context.”
The statement denied the Brotherhood’s possession of any armed militias. “If we did possess militias which produce violence as some claim, they wouldn’t have been patient for that long,” the statement read.
In the statement, the Brotherhood thanked all their youth for “sacrificing their dear blood and maintaining self-restraint”.
Hussein stated that Brotherhood members were available in numbers much larger than that of their opposition. “They could’ve eaten them if they wanted,” he told the attendants of the press conference. “Everybody knows that a hundred men cannot stand against a single Brotherhood member.”
He denied that the Muslim Brotherhood will officially take place in protests outside the Media Production City (MPC). Islamist political movements have called for protesting outside the MPC on Sunday, calling for reforming media outlets.
“Yet, if any Brotherhood youth angry about Friday’s attacks decides to join the protest, we cannot stop them,” Hussein said.
Opposition groups called for protests outside the Brotherhood headquarters on Friday to condemn the alleged Brotherhood attacks on political activists and journalists outside the headquarters last week. At least 200 were injured as a result of the clashes.