Monday, June 24, 2024
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Egypt burning

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After winning plaudits from the West about brokering a ceasefire between Hamas and Israelis in the Gaza strip, Egyptian President Mohammad Morsi has gone into a deep crisis. His attempt to cut the military and the judiciary down to size, a la former Pakistani President Pervez Musharaff several years ago, has triggered the agitation. Islamic backers of the President have vowed vengeance for the killing of two of their own. At the same time, a large number of his opponents marched on his palace. Morsi added fuel to the fire making a fiery speech denouncing his opponents and refusing to call off a referendum on a draft Constitution drawn up by his allies. The Opposition has rejected the offer of talks on the crisis. With street fighting going on, Egypt has been burning for over three weeks.

Each side foresees the shape of things to come in the present battle. The Opposition is slamming Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood for taking the country towards a dictatorship. And the Opposition is being accused of trying to use the streets to undo the Brotherhood’s victories in the past two years. The Opposition has been described as tools of the ousted leader Hosni Mubarak who represented a decadent and un-Islamic order in Egypt. The Opposition has set its face against a Constitution that would bring in Islamic law. The protesting crowd in Cairo said that they would redeem Islam with blood and soul. The Arab Spring has evidently turned into a winter of discontent in Egypt crushing the hopes raised in Tahrir Square. The situation had been anticipated. Hosni Mubarak was a tyrant and dictator for decades and his ouster was the will of the people. But it had also been feared that the Brotherhood would seize power changing the secular face of Egypt. That has happened to the disillusionment of the secular, democratic world.

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