- Middle East/North Africa
The Egyptian Student Union (ESU) announced it would participate in a mass demonstration planned for Tuesday to show support for President Mohamed Morsy and the 15 December referendum on the new constitution.
The union plans to march from Al-Rashdan Mosque in Nasr City.
The ESU is a Muslim Brotherhood-dominated umbrella group of different student unions.
Various marches have been planned for Tuesday both in support of, and in opposition to, Morsy’s recent decisions — including a controversial constitutional declaration through which the president placed himself above judicial oversight, but which he subsequently annulled. The upcoming constitutional referendum is another point of contention, with secular opposition alleging that the constitution writing process was dominated by Islamists.
ESU Vice President Sohaib Abdallah said in a news conference on Monday at Al-Azhar University that secretary generals of 14 student unions attended a conference to show support for the president's decisions.
Mohamed Sobhy, coordinator of the Al-Azhar University Islamist Forces Coalition, said he was mobilizing students to vote for the new constitution.
Political elites who accuse the Egyptian people of illiteracy are “fools,” said Sohaib Abdel Maqsoud, the student union president of Al-Azhar University. He held the media responsible for the deaths of protesters in recent clashes by misleading the masses.
“Morsy is the first Islamist president who is trying to cleanse politics with Islam,” Maqsoud said. “Islam is the soap.”
Muslim Brotherhood members studying at Ain Shams University have postponed a march slated for Monday to support the president’s decisions, allegedly fearing they would be assaulted by students of other political affiliations.
Spokesperson Ahmed Karama said they might stage their demonstration at the gate of the university instead.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm