Skip to comments.Egypt's Islamists driven into the arms of an old enemy
Posted on 12/08/2012 6:48:11 PM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach
The posting of tanks outside the presidential palace yesterday morning raises an uncomfortable question for the future of Egypt: is the result of last year's revolution going to be just more military rule, under a light frosting of Islamist politics?
The new president, Mohammed Morsi, a senior figure in the Muslim Brotherhood, is the first Egyptian leader in modern times not to have come from the military. At the time of his slim victory in the presidential election - 51.7 per cent against 48.3 per cent for Ahmed Shafiq, a holdover from the Mubarak era - he seemed to incarnate the principle of civilian rule.
When he walked on to Tahrir Square to show himself to the revolutionaries, he was greeted with joy. Whatever qualms the crowds harboured in their hearts about being ruled by the Muslim Brotherhood's political offshoot, the Freedom and Justice Party, there was a feeling that civilians would at last be running Egypt.
In the course of this week, Mr Morsi has been forced to flee his presidential palace by angry crowds protesting at what they see as a power grab: a decree insulating his decisions from judicial oversight, followed by a rush to put a new constitution, drawn up by the Muslim Brotherhood and its Islamist allies, to a snap referendum in defiance of calls for a proper national debate.
As protesters gathered outside the presidential palace on Wednesday, Muslim Brotherhood supporters were despatched to "cleanse" the square and tear down the tents. Mr Morsi now has to shelter behind the barrels of tanks.
It all sounds tragically reminiscent of the Mubarak era, when the ruling party sent hired thugs to remove the revolutionaries from Tahrir Square. The difference, of course, is that at that time the army showed great tactical nous and made a show of siding with the people. Now, to all appearances, it is back defending the new status quo. The country is split, and predictions of civil war are mounting.
According to Ahmed El Sharif, a political science lecturer at the American University of Cairo, the new draft constitution to be put to referendum on December 15 is the work of the military, the Muslim Brotherhood and their ultra-traditionalist allies, the Salafists. It allows the army to continue to be "a state within a state".
This sounds surprising. It was Mr Morsi who forced the resignation of Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, the military junta that took power after the departure of Hosni Mubarak. That did indeed happen, but the generals did not need much arm-twisting to go back to the barracks. They had discovered that they were poorly equipped to rule in a hectic postrevolutionary situation. Governing ate away at the army's prestige.
The draft constitution shows that in return for going quietly, they have preserved many of their prerogatives.
The post of defence minister must be held by a military officer. The military's budget will be beyond parliamentary oversight, overseen instead by a national defence council that includes top military officers and members of the government. Military trials, that the Scaf had used to hand out summary justice to thousands of civilians, will not be abolished, but will be restricted to crimes that harm the military.
No doubt the military wanted more, but this seems a good crop of privileges to have enshrined in the constitution. Clearly, the military's instincts for self-preservation have not atrophied. But does that mean Egypt is headed for an era of military rule? Not necessarily, but if the politicians prove incapable, then the answer has to be yes.
Inside the Muslim Brotherhood Torture Chambers
Any time you have Muslims, you have control. Either by military, Mullahs or just a crazy pack of kill crazed animals.
The Muslims surely know this. I don’t know what their problem is with Morsi unless they just want someone else.
Under Islam Egypt will go back to the 10th century, women won’t be anything more than a place to deposit their sperm and raise more martyrs, or something to beat on when they are in the mood.
This is what they want, why they removed Mubarak.What is their complaint, If Morsi is killed another POS will take his place.
This does not bode well for Egypt.
The new president, Mohammed Morsi... was greeted with joy. Whatever qualms the crowds harboured in their hearts about being ruled by the Muslim Brotherhood's political offshoot, the Freedom and Justice Party, there was a feeling that civilians would at last be running Egypt... Morsi has been forced to flee his presidential palace by angry crowds protesting at what they see as a power grab: a decree insulating his decisions from judicial oversight, followed by a rush to put a new constitution, drawn up by the Muslim Brotherhood and its Islamist allies, to a snap referendum in defiance of calls for a proper national debate... now has to shelter behind the barrels of tanks.