Egypt protest

Supporters of Egypt's ousted president, Mohamed Morsi, rally outside the Rabaa Al Adawiya mosque in Cairo. (Khaled Elfiqi / EPA / July 12, 2013)

CAIRO -- Heeding the Muslim Brotherhood's call for a "million-man march," throngs of pro-Islamist demonstrators poured into east Cairo on Friday to press their demand that Egypt’s ousted president, Mohamed Morsi, be reinstated.

The protest was peaceful, featuring singing and dancing instead of incendiary rhetoric, in keeping with Brotherhood leaders' promises.

But some demonstrators vowed to march from the main protest camp to other parts of the city, possibly testing the Egyptian military's willingness to tolerate the opposition after removing Morsi in a coup last week.

"It's a dynamic protest," said Osama Yassin, a former lawmaker from the Brotherhood's political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party, adding that the demonstrators wouldn't be cowed by the army.

"It's not up to the army to tell the people where they can protest. We have the right to express our opinion in our streets."

The sit-in outside Rabaa al Adawiya mosque in Cairo's eastern suburb of Nasr City was -- as it has been for two weeks -- a festival of Islamist nationalism.

Men toted pro-Morsi placards; women and children flew Egyptian flags, and groups of men danced in circles holding copies of the Koran while abstaining from eating and drinking during daylight hours in observance of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

"This is a purely peaceful protest, and we are staying until the military restores the legitimate position of Morsi,” said Sheik Abdallah Hamid, a cleric who traveled from the northern city of Alexandria.

Morsi opponents, meanwhile, were planning communal iftar meals -- during Ramadan, the first meal of the day, held immediately after sunset – at Cairo’s Tahrir Square and outside the presidential palace.

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