Children: Muslim Brotherhood’s means to harness sympathy



Mon, 14 Aug 2017 - 11:46 GMT


Mon, 14 Aug 2017 - 11:46 GMT

Children wearing coffins in Muslim Brotherhood demonstrations in Nasr City on July 30, 2013 – File Photo

Children wearing coffins in Muslim Brotherhood demonstrations in Nasr City on July 30, 2013 – File Photo

CAIRO – 14 August 2017: In its desperate attempts to gain sympathy and support, the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood resorted to exploiting children for a whole year in its demonstrations after the ouster of Morsi over mass protests on July 3, 2013.

That phenomenon started from the Rabaa El Adawiya sit-in, which lasted for 47 days from June 28 to August 14, 2013, when the Brotherhood organized rallies that took off from the sit-in on July 30 of the same year to other streets in Nasr City. Many participants were children wearing or holding coffins and raising banners reading “Potential Martyr”.

In a video report by Dostour newspaper, there was a child carrying a banner reading, “My father is a martyr. Afterwards, I will no longer live,” hinting that he wants to become martyr as well.

When asked by the reporter if his father was alive, the child answered “Yes.” When asked about the reason he was holding that banner, he answered, “They distributed them (the banners) to us.”

Wael Ahmed Ibrahim, a resident of Shubra neighborhood, reported to police in early August 2013 that five minibuses carrying almost 200 children, accompanied with bearded men, stopped in front of a clothing shop, where those men were offering children each LE 100 and a meal to go to the Rabaa sit-in.

Children used in 'We are not Paying' Campaign
Children during a pro-Brotherhood protest carrying banners 'We are not Paying' - File photo

When police arrived, three drivers escaped with their minibuses and the children. Among those arrested were two drivers, an Azhar teacher, and the vice-president of a charity association called “Preserving Quran”, accompanying 42 children.

The convicts are respectively named Mohamed Ahmed, Emad Kassem, Sheikh Ahmed Youssef Sadek and Mohamed Ibrahim.

Those children belonged to certain orphanages of Shubra and admitted that those men made them that offer when they arrived to the shop, as they were first told that they were going to buy new clothes for Eid El Fitr.

Sheikh Ahmed Youssef confessed to the Public Prosecution that he used to gather children and bring them to the Rabaa sit-in, and that some of those children were not orphans, but he had paid their parents to use them.

A manual worker from Omraneyah, Giza reported to the Public Prosecution in early August 2013 that his wife was using their four children in the Rabaa sit-in and the Muslim Brotherhood’s demonstrations in return for money.

children - file photo
Children standing with Rabaa slogans forming human chains calling for the reinstatement of ex-President Mohamed Morsi - File photo

The plaintiff said he found a video circulating on social media in which his elder son Hamza, 11, was carrying a coffin and wearing a gown on which it was written “Potential Martyr”.

On September 13, 2013, the Brotherhood organized a demonstration in Suez governorate calling on citizens to abstain from paying the bills of public services provided by the state, such as electricity, natural gas and water supply. That campaign, called “We Are Not Paying”, was propagated by the Brotherhood all over the country.

Prior to the presidential elections held in 2014, the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood organized demonstrations where children were used. In a demonstration in Cairo’s Warraq Island, children were instructed to throw glass and stones at the banner of one of the candidates.

In a report issued by the National Council for Human Rights in March 2014, it was indicated that the Brotherhood and its supporters used children “in political conflict”, in a blatant breach of international laws. It was stated that those children belonged to orphanages owned and run by the outlawed group.

The report highlighted that those orphans, under the age of 10, were amassed in the Rabaa sit-in and were used in rallies in the Nasr City neighborhood, as they were dressed in coffins and forced to carry banners reading “Martyr in Demand”.



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