CAIRO - Holding an Egyptian flag in one hand and a copy of the Noble Qur'an in the other, thousands of people filled Egypt's squares under Ramadan scorching sun on Friday, July 12, to support deposed President Mohamed Morsi, with rival groups planning iftar at Tahrir square.
"We will continue to resist. We will stay one or two months, or even one or two years," influential Islamist leader Safwat Hegazi told the crowd, Agence France Presse (AFP) reported.
We won't leave here until our president, Mohamed Morsi, comes back.
We will stay in the square. We are free revolutionaries and we will continue our journey," he shouted.
Camping outside the Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque in Cairo's Nasr City neighborhood over the past two weeks, pro-Morsi supporters called for massive protests on Friday.
The protests, joined by thousands from across Egyptian governorates, demanded the reinstatement of Egypt's first freely elected president, immediate parliamentary elections and a committee to oversee a plan for national reconciliation.
Pro-Morsi protesters arrived from across the country to join hundreds already camped out at the Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque.
Other supporters joined the mass demonstration held at Nahda square at Cairo University and Ittihadiya presidential palace.
"I'm sure Morsi will return to his position," said student Ibrahim Mohamed from the Nile Delta province of Sharqiya.
Any injustice has an end.
The anti-Morsi camp has also called for rallies after Friday prayers, in Tahrir Square and at the Ittihadiya presidential palace, with a mass iftar planned at sundown in the central plaza.
Compared to hundreds of thousands of Morsi supporters in Rabaa, several dozen demonstrators gathered in Tahrir Square under a scorching midday sun, adamant that the crowds would pick up later.
"It is because of the heat and Ramadan, when we have a fast," Gamal, 48, told AFP.
During the day, people stay at home but this evening, people will come to Tahrir.
Underlining deep division in international reactions, Germany called for the release of Morsi, who is being held in a "safe place, for his safety" and has not yet been charged, according to the foreign ministry.
"We call for an end to the restrictions on Morsi's whereabouts," a German foreign ministry spokesman told reporters.
The German ministry spokesman said a "trusted institution" such as the International Committee of the Red Cross should be granted access to Morsi.
"We and our partners are of the opinion that any appearance of selective justice in Egypt must be avoided and there must be no political persecution," he said.
The German new position comes as US State Department urged Egypt's leadership to stop the new authorities' "arbitrary" arrests of Muslim Brotherhood members, warning against targeting any particular group.
A US State Department spokeswoman said the arrests were "not in line with the national reconciliation" the interim government and military say they want, adding that if they continued "it is hard to see how Egypt will move beyond this crisis".
UN chief Ban Ki-moon has also warned against the exclusion of any party from the political process.
Police are hunting Brotherhood chief Mohammed Badie and other senior leaders suspected of inciting deadly violence, after arrest warrants were issued on Wednesday.
However, the US administration says it is examining whether the military takeover constitutes a coup - US law prohibits the sending of aid to any country whose elected leader is deposed by a military coup.
White House spokesman Jay Carney said that the US administration did not believe it should immediately suspend aid to Egypt.
Washington is due to send four F-16 fighter jets to Egypt, but has not publicly confirmed that the delivery will go ahead.
Reproduced with permission from OnIslam.net