In Alexandria, Egypt, thousands of Islamists fought with opponents on Friday prior to a vote for the constitution of the country. In the city, a Mediterranean port, the two sides threw stones at each other. This led police to fire tear gas and to separate the two sides as much as they could, according to the Associated Press.
The clash exploded between the two sides, Muslim Brotherhood members and Salafis against younger protestors on the other side. In Alexandria, Islamists called for a rally outside of the Qaed Ibrahim mosque.
Streets that led to the mosque were closed by security guards as thousands of people gathered for what they described as “the million-man rally to defend clerics and mosques.” Among the chants were “God is Great,” and warned, “with blood and soul, we redeem Islam.”
On Saturday, the referendum on the constitution should be finished, with voting in 17 of Egypt’s 27 provinces remaining. Last Saturday, voting was held in 10 provinces, including Alexandria and Cairo.
Following the voting last week, opposition and rights groups filed complaints of voting violations. The turnout was very low, at 32 percent, and unofficial results from the polls showed Islamists’ ‘yes’ vote receiving 56 percent of ballots.
The country has been split into two parties with the draft of the constitution. The one group is the Muslim Brotherhood, from where President Mohammed Morsi is from. They are joined by Salafi and other members of other former Jihadist groups. The other party is the opposition, which is headed by the National Salvation Front.