She was hoping for a day of peace, maybe some reflection on the 51 Egyptians who were killed on Monday as the country celebrated the October 6 holiday. But instead, Leila Faloun only met further hostility.
“I came here today to mourn the dead, and still I am attacked by my fellow Egyptians,” she said from the Zeinhom morgue in Cairo where she had come to help identify the body of a cousin killed on Monday. A friend helped wash her face, which was covered in dust after a brawl she said happened on her way to the morgue.
“I was attacked by young men in the street who yelled at me that I was a betrayer, that all Muslim Brothers are betrayers,” said Fahoum. She said that one of them, a teenager, pushed her into the road and said, “We want all the Muslim Brotherhood dead. Then this country will be clean again.”
Accusations flew on Monday that the Brotherhood was behind a series of attacks in Sinai and Cairo that day. Egyptian officials said a suicide bomber had killed three police offers in southern Sinai, hours after masked gunmen shot dead six soldiers in a patrol car near the Suez city of Ismailiya. In the early morning hours, an RPG was also launched at Cairo’s central satellite station near the upscale Maadi neighborhood, damaging one satellite.
“We blame the Brotherhood, we know that they, along with other Islamists, are behind these attacks,” said Mohammed Fahim, a student who said he could hear the RPG attack from his parents’ house in Maadi. “It woke me up, it was very loud and frightening. That is what the Muslim Brotherhood wants, to make us all afraid.”
Some security analysts said Egypt could be facing the beginning of a low-level insurgency. Charles Lister, a Cairo-based security analyst told The Independent: “Once a trend like this begins, and one attack turns into three or four, it’s very hard to see it come to an end.”
But Egyptian analysts disagree if what they are seeing is the beginning of a drawn-out insurgency, or a short-lived burst of violence as Egypt transitions from an Islamist-led government after a military overthrow.
Authorities in the country said that they are still looking for the suspects behind the Monday attacks.
Doctor Hala el-Sarnagawy, a Brotherhood supporter, said she was sure the blame would fall to the group.
On Monday, she circled the satellite station in her car and stopped to talk to journalists who had gathered to look at the damage done by the RPG.
“You should write the truth, that the Muslim Brotherhood did not do this,” she said. “They are trying to create the image that we are terrorists, they are trying to make these lies about us.”
She said that she did not know who was behind the attacks, adding that they could have been faked or staged.
“They are trying to turn Egyptians against each other,” she said.
She insisted that it would not work, and that she was not afraid of telling people that she remained a Brotherhood supporter.
But at the morgue, having just helped prepare the body of her cousin for burial, Faloun was not so sure.
“Some people, they are convinced to hate the Brotherhood. Maybe it is fear, I do not know. But yes, now I am afraid a little in the street,” she said.