More than 100,000 Islamists waved Egyptian flags and hoisted portraits of President Mohammed Morsi in rallies nationwide today to support his efforts to rush through a new draft constitution despite widespread opposition by secular activists and some in the judiciary. The demonstrations—the largest turnout of Morsi supporters since he came to office in June—were seen as a test of strength for Islamists seeking to counteract mass opposition protests denouncing the president's decision to seize near absolute power and the fast-tracking of the draft charter by an Islamist-led assembly ahead of a Constitutional Court decision tomorrow on whether to dissolve the panel.
The Muslim Brotherhood and the more radical Salafi groups organized today's protests a day after the opposition in a bid to avoid conflict and violence after days of street skirmishes between protesters from both sides. "The people support the president's decision!" chanted crowds outside Cairo University, where tens of thousands had gathered by midday. They held posters that read "Yes to stability" and "Yes to Islamic law." Protests in other parts of Egypt were expected to also attract large crowds in the evening. The rallies were dubbed "Shariyya and Shariah," Arabic for "legitimacy and Islamic law." Click for more.