The Muslim Brotherhood said on Wednesday that it refuses to attend reconciliation meetings called for by the interim president, Adly Mansour. The Islamic movement has based its decision on the belief that the meetings are being facilitated by an illegal party subject to the whims of the army. The Grand Shaikh of Al-Azhar and other senior officials have signalled their agreement to attend such talks.
According to a senior member of the Freedom and Justice Party, dialogue with the people who carried out a coup is "impossible". Ahmed Diyab told Al Jazeera, "How can a dialogue be established under live fire and the shooting of peaceful protesters?"
When accepting the invitation and urging others to attend the meeting, a spokesman for Al-Azhar University denied reports that Grand Shaikh Ahmed Al-Tayyip had said that what has happened in Egypt was not a coup. However, the shaikh did provide religious cover to General Al-Sisi and his fellow coup plotters by standing with them alongside Coptic Pope Tawadrus. Nevertheless, Shaikh Al-Tayyip called on the media and politicians not to exploit Al-Azhar for political purposes.
The Muslim Brotherhood denounced the killing of pro-Morsi protesters and vowed to continue the protests against "the thieves who stole the January 25 Revolution" from the people.
"Such thieves," said a Brotherhood spokesman, "want to take the country back to death, torture, detention, destruction, corruption, autocracy, robbery, servility and dependence."