6 April 2012

Egypt: Demonstrations in Cairo and Alexandria Supporting Abu Ismail

Thousands of Salafist presidential candidate Hazem Salah Abu Ismail supporters demonstrated in Cairo's Tahrir square while hundreds demonstrated in Alexandria to show their support for him in light of the ongoing debate on his mother's reported US citizenship.

Around 4,000 demonstrators in Tahrir chanted slogans including "When they found out he was so popular, they said his mother was American", "The people want Hazem Abu Ismail" and "The people want to implement Shari'a".

The Higher Committee for Presidential Elections confirmed that the immigration department had informed it that Abu Ismail's late mother had American passport and its number is 500611598. On the other hand, Abu Ismail said that his mother never had a dual nationality, stressing all she had was the Green Card and her stay in the United States was to teach Islamic sciences at some American universities.

Abu Ismail is a lawyer and the son of late Sheikh Salah Abu Ismail who was a parliament member for several years.

"I support Sheikh Hazem because I see in him the person who can reform this country," one demonstrator in Tahrir said to Aswat Masriya reporter.

April 6 movement activists were attacked by some demonstrators after the former erected a platform in Tahrir square. People were divided as some called for keeping the event peaceful while others wanted April 6 activists to get off the platform and some attacked the movement's members.

Aswat Masriya reporter saw the platform and the crowds hurling empty bottles and shoes at each other and exchanging insults. This soon developed to attacking and demolishing the platform. The reporter also witnessed a group of the crowd beating one April 6 activist.

In Alexandria, hundreds of Abu Ismail supporters organized a demonstration on Stanley bridge in Alexandria in a protest to what they called the war launched against Abu Ismail to stop him from running for president.

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