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Egypt Continues to Protest Military Rule

Egyptians Take to the Streets to Protest Arrest of Blogger-Activist

Thousands of protesters took to the streets of Cairo Monday in a march protesting the arrest of blogger-activist Alaa Abdel-Fattah.

The march, which included 3,000 participants, serves as yet another example of the Egyptian public’s unrest under Military rule.

Abdel-Fattah, which many uphold as Egypt’s first activist blogger, has always offered strong opposition to the military rule, which many argue exerts brute force to control the population, and does not permit religious plurality.

In reference to what many call the oppressive military rule, 24-year-old protester Andy Ishaq told the Associated Press: “Alaa is causing them trouble because he's been an activist for so long. He has many people around him he can influence.”

“They don't want this voice now," he added.

The march which took place Monday remained peaceful without clashes, in comparison to the march through Cairo on Sunday, Oct. 9, when 27 protesters were killed during a peaceful protest against the burning of a Coptic Church in Southern Aswan, which took place Sept. 30. Many blamed the military for the violence, arguing that the Military regime and state television created a sectarian society, pitting Christians against Muslims and the military.

The ensuing clashes reportedly saw Islamic extremists join the attacks against the Christians, and even saw a military vehicle driven directly into crowds of protesters.

Some human rights activists reported military personnel firing directly into the crowd of protesters.

Over recent months, Christians in the country have been anxious about their future in the country, as Islamic groups which remained underground or inactive during the rule of the now ousted president Hosni Mubarak, became more socially and politically active following the fall of the regime in a “January 25 Revolution.”

“The risk is that Islamist parties will gain substantial influence, and political debates ultimately will become debates about the proper interpretation of Shariah [Islamic law], and that’s a conversation in which the Copts won’t have any part,” Eric Trager, fellow of the Washington Institute for Near Ear Policy told The Washington Times.

Many fear that the current Military regime and Islamic radicals are creating a sectarian society against Christians, whose population has already diminished by 95,000 since the wave of uprisings which began in February.

Republican G.O.P. candidate Newt Gingrich stated Saturday that he sees the Arab Spring uprisings as being an "anti-Christian spring."

Although Egypt’s current ruling Military regime promised to step down after upcoming parliamentary elections, they have now pushed back the date of the elections. Christians fear that continued military rule will slight any chances of religious freedom in Egypt.

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