Nov 25, 2012

Political Polarization in Egypt

The recent military flare up in Gaza between Hamas and the Israeli military forces led to the killings of more than 160 Palestinians and more than 1,200 injuries. Adding to the devastation was the destruction of homes and public and economic facilities. President Morsi of Egypt played an important mediator role between the feuding parties, which led to a truce and a ceasefire.

President Morsi gained recognition from the U.S. government and other western powers for his efforts. Right after this achievement, President Morsi committed a political blunder by issuing constitutional decrees granting himself unlimited political power and preventing any legal possibility of interfering in any decision he makes. He also froze Egypt’s Higher Constitutional Court and promised to reorganize it after the ratification of a new constitution and the election of a new parliament. Furthermore, he ordered a new trial for all previous officials, including Hosni Mubarak and the top ranking officials who were set free by Egyptian courts.

Morsi also gave political immunity from outside interference to Maglis al-Shura and the constitutional committee. Both are dominated by a majority membership from the Muslim Brotherhood. He also appointed a new public prosecutor to replace Mubarak’s appointment of Mahmoud. Abdel Meguid

These actions were condemned by the Egyptian Judicial Council and considered an interference with the independence of the Egyptian judicial system. Some judges in various Egyptian governorates have declared publicly that they will not preside in courts in protest of President Morsi’s decisions. In the meantime, the Egyptian public prosecutor Mahmoud Abed al-Megid whom Morsi removed will challenge the legality of the president’s decision.

President Morsi accused high-ranking officials in the judicial system of not performing their official functions, including the Egyptian general prosecutor. The rationale used by President Morsi is that the official decree he made is to ensure the protection of the revolution from the followers of the previous regime. He referred to the dangers of the revolution due to the slow progress being made in the economic sector because frequent protests scare foreign investors.

The rationale used by President Morsi as a justification for the official decree he issued was rejected by nearly all-secular political parties, whose numbers exceed 26 groups. They accused the president of trying to create a dictatorship and pave the way for the Muslim Brotherhood to dominate Egyptian society. President Morsi’s political agenda has contributed to the political polarization of Egypt.

President Morsi’s political actions enhanced protests that have been calling on Morsi to resign even before he issued the new decrees. In addition, nearly all secular political parties and groups have joined the young protestors in Tahrir Square, rejecting Morsi’s political agenda and continuing the call for his resignation.

The headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood in Alexandria, Port Said and Ismailia and other headquarters were attacked by protestors. In the meantime, the followers of the Muslim Brotherhood organized their followers in front of the presidential palace in support of President Morsi’s decisions. They also called for protests to take place on November 27th in support of the president.

Let me conclude by pointing out that President Morsi’s political decision has exceeded his legal authority. Such decrees should have been left to the future elected Egyptian parliament to deal with.

Finally, it is important to point out, as I did in several previous posts, that the Muslim Brotherhood and their political arm, “The Freedom and Justice Party”, have been following a strategy based on lies and deception from the beginning of the Egyptian Revolution. Their intentions and political strategy have begun to appear to the Egyptian public. At the end, they will be the losers.

Nov 17, 2012

Religious fanaticism is a Byproduct of ignorance

On November 13, 2012, Mr. W. Al-Ibrashi on Dream TV Channel hosted controversial Islamic Sheikh Morgan, who was among the followers of Bin Laden in Afghanistan. Sheikh Morgan has been threatening to destroy Egyptian antiquities such as the Sphinx and the Pyramids. He is under the illusion that such antiquities are being worshipped, something that is in violation of Islamic beliefs. Sheikh Morgan is a fanatic ignorant and dangerous person, not only for Egypt but also for world stability, by his own admission. He was involved in the destruction of the largest Buddha statue in Afghanistan, so he says. It is of interest to notice that during the talk on Al-Ibrashi’s program, none of the participants raised the possibility that the destruction of the Buddha statue in Afghanistan led to the ugly violence that has been taking place against the Muslim minority by Buddhists in Myanmar.

It is also amazing that such an extremist and ignorant man like Sheikh Murjan is left to issue threats against Egyptian antiquities. This person should be prosecuted and put behind bars, because he has already created fears that will impact the Egyptian tourist industry. Tourism is the major source of revenue for Egypt, which has already been negatively impacted by the lack of security during the past 18 months. Sheikh Morgan is a dangerous person to be left free and if President Mursi’s government is afraid to prosecute him, then he should be sent to Myanmar and I am sure he will be tried there for the offenses he committed against their beliefs.

It is interesting to notice here that the day following the airing to this program, the channel Dream was taken off the air!!!!!