The Egyptian Government’s December 25, 2013 classification of the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization resulted in heavy backlash when hundreds of members of the organization took to the streets of Cairo two days later in violent protest. The demonstrations began directly after Friday prayer, in response to the Muslim Brotherhood and affiliated organizations’ call for rallies against the interim government. Security forces were deployed throughout the city to disperse clashes, concentrating on areas that have seen greater Muslim Brotherhood activity such as Cairo’s Al-Azhar University campus. Students at the university threw stones at riot police and set fire to tree branches to offset the effects of tear gas. In Ismailia, security forces also attempted to neutralize conflict with tear gas bombs. Three people were killed across Egypt in the clashes, and over 250 pro-Muslim Brotherhood protesters were arrested.
Meanwhile in the villages of Talga and Hawamdia in the Sharqia governorate, citizens opposing the Muslim Brotherhood raided the homes of known members of the Islamist organization, and turned a number of the leaders in to the police. Clashes between the Muslim Brotherhood and security forces have occurred on an almost daily basis throughout Egypt since former President Morsi was unseated on July 3, 2013, and are projected to escalate in frequency and intensity in response to the state’s ban on the organization.