Egypt pro-democracy sit-in turns into show of force for Islamists

Tahrir Square

Islamist groups in Egypt staged a sit-in at Tahrir Square in a show of force on Friday calling for an Islamic state ruled by Sharia law.

That's according to Khawala Matter, the United Nations Information Centre Director in the capital, Cairo.

Matter says the sit-in was initially organized by pro-democracy forces in the country to demand speedier reforms and the drafting of a Constitution before elections in October.

Islamist groups like the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafis showed up in huge numbers chanting religious slogans.

Khawala Matter says the activists had agreed to meet before the Islamic month of fasting, Ramadan.

"The largest groups of those revolutionary youth and opposition leaders of 36 groups pulled out of Tahrir Square in the afternoon when they saw that the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafis have actually drifted from the objective of that Friday demonstration and they drifted from the slogans agreed upon."

The Islamist groups may not represent the majority of Egyptians, says Matter, but they do have the sympathy of a good number of people in the society.

Duration:23″

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