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Egypt’s Morsi Seizes Dictatorial Power

Posted by Steve Markowitz on November 28, 2012

Democratization was an unlikely outcome of the so-called Arab Spring in Egypt.  When tens of thousands then protested and rioted in Tahrir Square, Progressives worldwide cheered while dreaming of a Western-style democracy to replace the country’s dictator, American ally Hosni Mubarak.  With any understanding of history and the Middle East, that outcome was nothing but a dream.

Those with more realistic expectations realized that the Muslim Brotherhood, a radical Islamic movement, would ultimately gain control of Egypt as a result of the revolution that ousted Mubarak.  While secular Egyptians were unprepared for a change in power, the Muslim Brotherhood was organized and ready to fill the vacuum.  Its former leader, Mohamed Morsi, was elected Egypt’s president and has now shown his autocratic and radical Islamist roots.

While a new Egyptian constitution is being crafted, it is being done so by Morsi allies intent on inflicting Islamic law in the document.  On Friday, Morsi took the next step towards dictatorship when by presidential edict he seized additional unchecked authority by placing himself above judicial review with the authority to replace public prosecutors at will.  In addition, Morsi has removed legal appeals for some “crimes”.  Typical of autocrats when seizing power, Morsi claimed to have taken the action to protect democracy.  However, his true intent comes through when he said: “God’s will and elections made me the captain of this ship.”

Reaction in Egypt to Morsi’s power grab was swift and violent.  Thousands are again protesting in Tahrir Square, with some placing blame the United States.  However, this time the Progressive Western press is giving little attention to the protests.  It is again evident that news coverage has become subservient to political views.

The Obama Administration was swift in supporting the Tahrir Square protesters when they were against Mubarak.  So far it’s reaction to Morsi’s undemocratic actions have been muted with State Department spokesperson, Victoria Nuland, saying: “The current constitutional vacuum in Egypt can only be resolved by the adoption of a constitution that includes checks and balances, and respects fundamental freedoms, individual rights and the rule of law consistent with Egypt’s international commitments.”

The Muslim Brotherhood’s creed statement is: “Allah is our objective; the Quran is our law, the Prophet is our leader; Jihad is our way; and death for the sake of Allah is the highest of our aspirations.”  That does not leave much wiggle room for a constitution and makes the US State Department’s statement border on infantile.


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