MidEast

Egyptian Media Describe “Sharp Decline” in Pro-Brotherhood Rallies, as New Polling Shows Broad Support for Army’s Moves Against Islamists

Egyptian media outlets report on dwindling crowds at Muslim Brotherhood rallies being held in support of the country’s former president Mohammed Morsi, even as the pro-Brotherhood National Alliance to Support Legitimacy announced that it was seeking to conduct new demonstrations. Al-Awsat noted a “sharp decline” in turnout, among other things:

Pro-Mursi protests were met with public condemnation across Egypt, and anti-Brotherhood protesters reportedly attacked Islamists and tore down their placards.

Those overseeing the situation in Egypt attributed the small turnout to the absence of communication among Brotherhood members and protest organizers, as well as the heightened security measures.

The assessment is in line with an array of qualitative and quantitative data showing broad support for the military, as well as new polling data published in recent days.by the Egyptian Centre for Public Opinion Research (Baseera). The new poll asked respondents to evaluate the army’s recent campaign to disperse Muslim Brotherhood sit-ins, moves that quickly escalated into nationwide clashes that killed hundreds. Two out of every three Egyptians described themselves as “content” with the Egyptian military moves, while fewer than 25 percent described themselves as “not content.”

Asked specifically if the army used excessive force, 65% of respondents said that the military’s tactics were not too violent, while 23% said they were excessive. 56% of respondents thought the death toll was too high, but 62% blamed the Brotherhood for the high number of casualties while only 13% held security forces responsible. An lopsided majority of Egyptians – 78% versus 8% – rejected international pressure on the army.

[Photo: VOA / Wikimedia.org]