The tempers were high, with Brotherhood members angrily accusing opponents of being ‘‘feloul’’ — remnants of Mubarak’s regime — or of having their minds poisoned by liberal media.
Outside a polling station in the village of Sheikh Fadl, one resident complained about Islamists to an Associated Press journalist.
‘‘Look no one in this village read the constitution ... I can read and write, but I don’t understand the constitution and I couldn’t decide whether to say or no,’’ Said Abdel-Moneim, a driver, said.
‘‘But here the Brotherhood knocks doors and brings people out,’’ he said, ‘‘and if someone says no, he gets beaten up.’’
A Brotherhood member who overheard him protested — and the two quickly fell into a fistfight, kicking each other and throwing punches.
An old man in white robe and scarf around his head yelled, ‘‘All this is the account of the people the simple people. The farmer is ignored.’’
‘‘The prices are high for fertilizers. The (land) costs tripled and revenues dropped,’’ he shouted, saying he was furious at the Brotherhood — but also adding a criticism of the opposition. ‘‘The educated and the elite are doing nothing but protests ... people here are tired and sick.’’
Islam Abdullah, a young voter, complained people follow whatever choice well-known clerics bless.
‘‘People here believe the religious scholars. Most of the people didn’t know what to say until Mohammed Hassan came out and said yes. It was over,’’ he said, referring to a prominent Salafi cleric.
He was interrupted by a passing Brotherhood member. ‘‘This is not true. Don’t talk about things you don’t know,’’ he yelled — and another fistfight broke out.
‘‘Everyone who said no is a feloul,’’ said another Brotherhood member near the polls, Sayed Zedan.
In nearby Mandara, a man with the long beard of an ultraconservative complained about the Brotherhood as he watched voters arriving in minibuses.
‘‘We have tried the Muslim Brotherhood in every possible way and they never lived up to their promise,’’ said Mohammed Ali, a history teacher who belongs to the political party of the Gamaa Islamiya, once a violent extremist group.
‘‘They know how to strike the right tone. They tell people that Christians don’t want the constitution because they are against Shariah and that Muslims must defend it,’’ he said. ‘‘People tend to believe those in power.’’