Government Targets Muslim Brotherhood with Renewed Vigor
Egypt’s military-backed interim government stepped up their crackdown and arrested 23 people affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood yesterday; one person was killed when student protesters clashed with Egyptian security forces. Egypt’s government recently declared the Brotherhood a terrorist organization, and anyone convicted of being a senior member can now face life in prison. The government also froze the assets of hundreds of non profit organizations and charities associated with the Brotherhood earlier this week, and seized vehicles and other property belonging to Brotherhood members.
Friday Protests in Cairo
Despite the Egyptian government’s new classification of the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group and a renewed crackdown on Muslim Brotherhood supporters, protesters took to the streets on Friday after noon prayers to denounce the military-backed interim government, using the slogan “The Coup is Terrorism.” Protest marches set out from Mohandiseen, Giza, Maadi, Nasr City, Helwan, and Al Azhar University, and demonstrators chanted anti-government slogans and called for former President Mohamed Morsi to be reinstated. Two protesters in Damietta and Minya have reportedly been killed from live ammunition and from getting hit with a tear gas canister, and police have arrested over 100 people. Protests are still ongoing.
Beirut Car Bomb Kills Former Finance Minister
The former Lebanese finance minister and former US ambassador Mohammed Shatah has been killed in a massive car bomb which exploded in Beirut earlier today. The blast killed at least five other people and left several more seriously injured. The blast occurred in an affluent area of downtown Beirut and set several other vehicles on fire. No one has yet claimed responsibility, but the explosion comes at a politically sensitive time for Lebanon, as Hezbollah and other factions within the country are divided over support for the Syrian government and Syrian rebel groups. Shatah publicly criticized Hezbollah on Twitter hours before the event.
Egyptian Antiquities Under Heightened Security
Egypt’s Minister of Antiquities has decided to tighten security at all important historical sights around Egypt, after a week of violence and bombs shook the country. The government office has declared that Egypt’s heritage sites are officially under a ‘State of Emergency.’ In other antiquity-related news, a new statue head was uncovered in Luxor which depicts a ruler from the New Kingdom period. An Egyptian-Spanish archeological team was responsible for the find.
King of Kings, a longform piece in the Economist, takes up the subject of Shelley’s famous poem Ozymandius and its connection to Egyptian history.