Defense Minister General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said Sunday that the Armed Forces will stand firm in the face of violence, while calling on the Muslim Brotherhood to reevaluate their positions.
“Whoever thought that Egypt and Egyptians will kneel down under the weight of violence needs to reconsider,” Sisi said during a meeting with top military commanders and police chiefs. “We will not stand by silently watching the destruction of the country and the people or the torching of the nation and terrorizing of its citizens,” he said.
Sisi said that he had warned against the political conflict which would drive Egypt into a dark tunnel, turning it into a battle with a religious basis, adding that the measures taken by the military and police were transparent and based on an accurate assessment of the situation and its effect on national security.
Late last month, the Armed Forces chief commander called for people to take to the streets to mandate the military to confront violence and “terrorism.” This, Sisi said during the meeting, was a message to the world and international media “who denied Egyptians their right to freedom of choice and their true will for change.”
It was also a message, he said, to the Muslim Brotherhood to reevaluate their ideas and heed to the people’s will.
Sisi responded to claims that the military is interested in taking over power, saying the honor in protecting people’s lives is more precious that ruling.
He said that the military believes in the true concept of Islam, which is not meant to be used as a tool of fear.
Sisi said that the Armed Forces had given the Muslim Brotherhood several chances to end the crisis peacefully and for its supporters to “participate in rebuilding the democratic path and be integrated in the political process and the future map instead of confrontations and attempts to destroy the Egyptian state.”
He maintained that Egypt is big enough for everyone and that the Armed Forces care about every drop of Egyptian blood, reiterating calls for Muslim Brotherhood supporters to reevaluate their stance and recognize that legitimacy belongs to the people.
Last week, security forces moved to forcibly disperse sit-ins by supporters of deposed President Mohamed Morsi, triggering violence across the country and leaving over 600 people dead and thousands injured.
On Friday, marches organized by the Muslim Brotherhood turned violent when clashes broke between their supporters and security forces leaving 137 people dead.
Since the dispersal of the sit-ins on Wednesday, 57 policemen were also killed, and 563 injured.