Hundreds of Thousands of Egyptians Protest U.S. Iraq War
No less than half a million Egyptians demonstrated against war on Iraq
By Khaled Mamdouh, IOL Staff
CAIRO, February 27 (IslamOnline.net) – Coming in droves from all Egyptian governorates and from all walks of life, hundreds of thousands of Egyptians demonstrated Thursday, February27 , inside and outside Cairo Stadium against the looming U.S.-led war on Iraq, chanting “No for War on Iraq… No for Stopping the Intifada.”
The demonstration begins with citing some verses of the Holy Qur’an, followed by a speech delivered by Assistant Secretary-General of Arab Physicians Union Dr. Abd al-Monaem Abul Fotoh, who dismissed as a “war for oil” the potential invasion of Iraq.
“Iraq is just the springboard to annihilate the peoples of the region and re-draw the map of the Middle East to suit fine the Americans,” said Abul Fotoh.
For his part, President of the Physicians Syndicate Dr. Hamdi al-Sayed said this demonstration serves as a message to the upcoming Arab summit.
He said Arab peoples want from the summiteers decisive resolutions that live up to the expectations of the Arab nation and flatly reject war and the brazen Israeli aggression on the Palestinian people.
“You great people of Egypt…This is a day of pride and this is a message from the Egyptian people to their brothers who repudiate war and the heinous crimes committed against the Palestinian people day in and day out,” he said.
“Don’t stop the Intifada…Don’t support war and stand up to it,” Sayed vented his anger by sending a message to Arab leaders.
“This historic rally is a solidarity message from the Egyptian people to the Iraqis. We as Egyptians will never fail you…It is a message for the Arab nation that aggression on Iraq is the first step to re-drawing the map of the region. It is only the beginning not the end and I underline and underscore,” he added.
Muslims, Christians Against War
Dr. Mohammed Ali Shehata delivered a speech on behalf of Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Sheikh Mohammed Sayed Tantawi, who urged Arab peoples to reject war on Iraq, asserting that it was a religious duty upon each Muslim country.
“Our religion tells us to spread peace and reject aggression. We do not attack anyone and we must rebuff any attack from the bottom of our hearts,” Sheikh Tantawi said.
Sounding the same stance, Priest Hana Luke delivered the speech of the Egyptian church, which fiercely condemned war on Iraq and the brutal Israeli aggression on Iraq.
The lay people also chanted anti-war slogans and lashed out at the U.S. President George W. Bush administration and its malicious plans to impose its hegemony on the region and deplete it of its natural resources.
“There is not God but Allah…Zionists and Americans are enemies of Allah,” “I say it and I’m totally disappointed: it’s now Al-Basra turn after Al-Quds,” “O’ coward Zionists…We are the people who defeated you in1973 ,” “In the name of Qur’an and Bible…We will defeat you Israel,” “Let’s go to war for the sake of Allah…We’ll never let you go Baghdad,” and “Bush Great offer to the Americans: kill kids today and get1 , 000Ben Landens tomorrow.”
Even children joined hands with the demonstrators. Maie Mostafa, a 13 -year-old Egyptian child, chanted a song urging peoples to go to Jihad. Its lyrics goes:
We will not give up our land to the enemy…We won’t sell;
No reconciliation…No normalization;
We won’t let you down Baghdad;
We won’t let you down Palestine;
We will neither sell soil nor religion;
Salahudin is coming back.
“I offer my blood and soul as a small token to defend Al-Quds…and I stand ready to go to Baghdad as a human shield. And This Bush has to steamroller us first to get to Baghdad. They have to fight us first to get there,” said Sami Abd al-Hai, from Alexandria.