Back in Tahrir Square

The Islamists in Egypt aren’t just taking all this nonsense about separation of powers lying down. Of course they’re not. They’re out on the street in a show of support for Morsi’s decision to declare himself above the law.

Egypt’s powerful Muslim Brotherhood called nationwide demonstrations Sunday in support of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi in his showdown with the judges over the path to a new constitution.

A new Islamist constitution, in which no rights will be allowed that are not compatible with Sharia.

The show of strength on the streets by the president’s supporters had the potential for triggering clashes with opponents of the sweeping new powers he assumed on Thursday who remained camped out in Cairo’s Tahrir Square.

Before dawn, the hardcore of liberal activists who spent the night in the iconic protest hub fought off an attempt by Morsi supporters to burn down the 30 or so tents they had erected in the square, witnesses said.

Ah. Not so much out in the street as burning down the enemy’s tents. A taste of what’s to come.

The protesters have the backing of all of Egypt’s leading secular politicians.

Former UN nuclear watchdog chief Mohamed ElBaradei, and former presidential candidates Hamdeen Sabbahi, Amr Mussa and Abdelmoneim Abul Futuh, said in a joint statement on Saturday that they would have no dialogue with Morsi until he rescinded his decree.

But they’re the minority. And secular. Their rights are not compatible with Sharia.



  1. says

    I’m afraid that the Arab world is not yet ready for democracy.

    Following some of the news, I heard the reports that the Egyptian judiciary were protesting that they were being shortchanged by Morsi’s action. Instead, they should have been protesting that people were being shortchanged of the checks and balances that a free judiciary provides.

    Too much of the Arab world still has medieval authoritarian hierarchical thinking in their veins.

  2. mildlymagnificent says

    I’m afraid that the Arab world is not yet ready for democracy.

    Well, the established democracies didn’t magically emerge and say “What a good idea!” I recall some historian or other pointing out the silliness of ‘bringing’ democracy to Iraq, or even to the former USSR countries. He pointed out, and it was a he, that beginning in Britain and moving outwards democracies grew in places that had centuries of the “rule of law” being reliable and respected. They weren’t always so and some constantly teeter under the pressure of corruption and the temptation to autocratic power.

    But until citizens are fairly confident about the reality of the benefits of administration and enforcement of power, their perceptions about government and how they can participate in it are not strong enough to deal with the concept of things like “loyal opposition” or compromise. Far too many people, even those in established democracies, think of it as the way to get what they want. And that’s not what democracy is about. It’s about getting people to participate in coming up with a government they can accept that they will live with. Nothing perfect or ideal or personal about it.

    Countries with corrupt and/or arbitrary administration of law and justice are not in the best place to implement democracy. It’s still the least worst of all the options available, but it’s not going to work very well where public servants and police are corrupt or appointed by nepotism or grossly underpaid and susceptible to bribery. And therefore every public servant, every regulation, every law is suspect in the eyes of the electorate.

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