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Links 05 July 2013

Roger Cohen in New York Times: Political Islam Fails Egypt’s Test:

    “Morsi misread the Arab Spring. The uprising that ended decades of dictatorship and led to Egypt’s first free and fair presidential election last year was about the right to that vote. But at a deeper level it was about personal empowerment, a demand to join the modern world, and live in an open society under the rule of law rather than the rule of despotic whim. …
    “Instead, Morsi placed himself above judicial review last November, railroaded through a flawed Constitution, allowed Brotherhood thugs to beat up liberal opponents, installed cronies at the Information Ministry, increased blasphemy prosecutions, surrendered to a siege mentality, lost control of a crumbling economy and presided over growing sectarian violence. For the Brotherhood, the pre-eminent Islamist movement in the region, the sudden shift from hounded outlaw to power in the pivotal nation of the Arab world proved a bridge too far. …
    “This was Morsi’s core failure. He succumbed to Islamic authoritarianism in a nation whose revolution was diverse and demanded inclusiveness. The lesson for the region is critical. …
    “‘The rejection went far beyond the liberal community,’ [Heba] Morayef [director of Human Rights Watch in Cairo] said. ‘The vast majority of the women at the demonstrations were veiled. Practicing Muslims, non-Westernized Egyptians, were saying no to political Islam and religious authoritarianism. We have never seen anything like this in the Arab world.’”

David Denger in BagNews: Scenes Before the Toppling of a Government (Once Again) — great photos, insightful commentary.

Mark Levine on Facebook:

    “At what point does justifying the military’s actions by declaring there to be ‘exceptional circumstances’ as Beradei and other Tamarod leaders have said, become mere excuses for authoritarian and undemocratic actions against one’s political opponents who have not committed any crime? I personally fear — and this is something that people like Heba Morayef of HRW Egypt have been warning in the last 48 hours — that the military is putting the revolutionaries in a situation where they are forced to support actions that will come back to haunt them severely in the near future.
    “Is not the final battle of the revolution still to be fought — that between revolutionary forces and the military and the deep state? Can there be any real transition to democracy, never mind ‘freedom, dignity and social justice’ without a systematic and wholesale transformation of Egypt’s political economy towards the kind of sustainable and downwardly redistributive model (in terms of wealth, resources and political power) that is an anathema to the global neoliberal order, never mind the existing Egyptian elite? … What would happen if Beradei spoke honestly to the Egyptian people about the military and the deep state and the existing political economy from his new position of power and demanded their tranformation? Would the tens of millions in the streets this week support him? Would the military allow itself to be declawed and its power severely curtailed? Will the elite willingly allow a new system to emerge that would channel a significant share of their wealth and power away from them?
    “Ultimately, is what we’ve just seen still not the warm-up for an even bloodier and more monumental fight?”

Comments

Comment from adel
Time: July 5, 2013, 12:55

According to Morsi’s “flawed constitution”, the army did exactly what constitution ask it to do

Morsi days ago was accused by court for corporate with foreign organization which led to death of Egyptians citizens (referring to his escape from jail by help of Hasam)

According to constitution and laws, any official or governor accused by such charges must immediately striped of power

Comment from Marcel Côté
Time: July 5, 2013, 13:52

I had no idea that Morsi was ever in prison, but it turns out it’s true! — for two days (January 28–30) during the revolution of 2011. According to Wikipedia, Reuters said that it was “relatives of the prisoners” who let them out, and The Guardian said it was “armed gangs.” (Of course, Morsi should never have been a politcial prisoner in the first place. It’s only because he was a risk to Mubarak’s dictatorship that he was locked up in those days.)

Wikipedia goes on: “Mohamed Morsi…telephoned Al Jazeera to announce to state authorities that he and 34 of his prison inmates were released from the prison by a group of approximately 100 unknown people and that the prison guards and officials were nowhere to be found. Morsi…asked the host of Aljazeera to help them find the state official who could help them with their next move. Morsi shouted: we will not flee, we are present here and need someone to tell us what to do.”

It’s also true that a judge in the Sinai recently named “members of Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood” as conspirators with Hamas in the attack on the prison that freed Morsi. This is the first I’d heard of that (thanks Adel!) but I looked it up, and sure enough it’s true — here’s the AP report and here’s the one from Al Jazeera. However, according to these reports, Morsi was not named directly, himself, as a conspirator. And even if he was, wouldn’t he have to be proven guilty before being removed from office?

Finally, the fact that in all the reporting I’ve read about Wednesday’s revolution or coup (depending on your point of view), this is the first I’ve heard about this, shows that it’s hardly the biggest thing on people’s minds. Do you really think those millions marching on June 30 were thinking, “My God, I just learned that Morsi conspired with Hamas to get out of prison in 2011. He absolutely cannot be our president a minute longer!”

No, it’s best not to use this so-called “conspiracy” as an excuse, because if you like Morsi it’s a worthless excuse, and even if you don’t like him there are much better reasons to want to see him go!

Comment from adel
Time: July 5, 2013, 14:25

no, the people has marched because of many reasons, the court rule was not one of them, I pointed to justify “coup” from legal point of view, “flawed constitution” is flawed for a reason, it doesn’t say the governor need to be guilty first.

however, reasons people marched for is… murder of several admins of Facebook pages that was publishing news/etc not in favor of Morsi/MB, the arrest of first revolution icons, lack of gas, water and electricity, MB took more loans in one year than what Mubarak took in 30 years, basically MB made everyone (include Salafi) their enemy,

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