Monday’s papers: Islamists and civil state supporters face off again

The anti-Muslim Brotherhood protests that flared up Friday are still making headlines in most of Monday’s newspapers.

For its second lead story, independent daily Al-Shorouk reports that dozens of protesters will continue their sit-in in front of the presidential palace until their demands are met. Thousands of Egyptians took to the streets three days ago calling for the dissolution of the Brotherhood, the formation of a new national salvation government comprising all political forces, and reopening an investigation into the recent attack at the Israeli border in which 16 Egyptian security officials died.

Reporting on the same news, state-owned Al-Ahram newspaper says security forces succeeded in convincing the protesters to move their few tents to the sidewalks of Marghany Street in Heliopolis, a few meters from the presidential palace, to alleviate traffic congestion resulted from closing off the streets leading to the palace. Traffic has returned to normal after the removal of iron barriers and barbed wire, which cordoned off the streets surrounding the palace, the paper adds.

The recently established Al-Watan daily writes that the public prosecutor referred former MP Mohamed Abou Hamed to state security prosecution after a citizen, Mahmoud Abdel Rahman, filed a report accusing him of inducing the overthrow of the regime and receiving funds from internal and external sources to provoke sectarian strife.

Abou Hamed, former MP Mostafa Bakry and pro-military TV presenter Tawfiq Okasha were among those who called for a million-man demonstration on 24 August in protest of the Brotherhood’s attempts to Islamize the state. However, smaller protests were staged, drawing no response from government officials.

The Freedom and Justice Party daily, Freedom and Justice, allocates an entire page for an interview with Essam al-Erian, vice chairman of the Brotherhood’s political arm. A series of controversial questions were raised concerning the country’s crucial issues, the stance of the FJP toward internal elections and the upcoming parliamentary polls, and the decision of President Mohamed Morsy to retire Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, the defense minister and the general commander of the Armed Forces. Erian’s answers show his subtlety and diplomatic cleverness as a longtime prominent member of the group, as well as an unsurprising support of Morsy’s slow pace, if there is any, of achieving the 100-day plan.

Privately owned Al-Dostour maintains its attacking approach in its daily bolded headlines against the Islamist group’s attempts to establish what Al-Dostour calls “a Brotherhood state.”

“The political forces challenge the Muslim Brotherhood group,” a headline featured on the paper’s front page, along with quotes of former presidential candidate and two-time MP Hamdeen Sabbahi and Al-Fagr newspaper Editor-in-Chief Adel Hammouda. Both sharply criticize the Brotherhood’s manipulating policies of marginalizing other parties on Egypt’s political scene to monopolize authority.

Also, on its front page, Al-Dostour quotes text from an interview with a political analyst of Middle East affairs published in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

“Egypt lives in a new dictatorial era and is going through a grave economic crisis, if it does not gain attention, Egyptians will face hunger … indicators show that with the passing time political disturbances will increase in magnitude, and Morsy and his group won’t be able to contain them,” the paper writes.

For its lead story, independent daily Youm7 features a report on how divided political forces are rolling up their sleeves in preparation for the upcoming Parliament race slated for November. Apparently, Egypt’s largest Islamist group and non-Islamist political trends are facing off once again in the nation’s most disputed elections.

Youm7ʼs report states that FJP will exclude 50 percent of its members, who were previously elected in the now-dismantled People’s Assembly, the lower house of Parliament. According to the paper’s anonymous sources, the FJP is intending to push out new faces in fear of a drop of popularity of old MPs among the masses.

For its part, the days-old Egyptian Nation Coalition is also preparing a candidate list that would most probably comprise, according to the report, former presidential candidate Amr Moussa, former Planning and International Cooperation Minister Fayza Abouelnaga, Wafd Party head Al-Sayed al-Badawy and former MP Mostafa al-Fiqqi. The paper quotes Badawy as saying, “The coalition seeks to become a strong opponent bloc and work on establishing principals of a civil state, constituents of citizenship and law sovereignty.”

Al-Ahram: Daily, state-run, largest distribution in Egypt

Al-Akhbar: Daily, state-run, second to Al-Ahram in institutional size

Al-Gomhurriya: Daily, state-run

Rose al-Youssef: Daily, state-run

Al-Dostour: Daily, privately owned

Al-Shorouk: Daily, privately owned

Al-Watan: Daily, privately owned

Al-Wafd: Daily, published by the liberal Wafd Party

Youm7: Daily, privately owned

Al-Tahrir: Daily, privately owned

Freedom and Justice: Daily, published by the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party

Sawt al-Umma: Weekly, privately owned

Al-Arabi: Weekly, published by the Nasserist Party

Al-Nour: Official paper of the Salafi Nour Party

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