(Photo from Friday’s clashes via The Daily News Egypt)
- Egypt court orders release of Mubarak in killing protesters case
- Egypt detains Salafist accused of torching Wafd Party HQ
- Minister of Information sexually harasses reporter:
- Mubarak’s court appearance stuns Egypt
- Budget deficit to near LE2 bln in 2013/14 fiscal year
- Central Security Forces break up April 6 sit in
- Defense Minister El-Sisi to testify in documents destruction trial
- Egypt to buy $500-$600 mn of extra fuel this summer: Oil minister
- IMF concludes visit to Egypt without a loan deal
- Egyptian policeman killed by Sinai gunmen
- Egypt’s 2012 jobless rate rose to 12.7% amid economic woes –
- wheat farmers hit hard by diesel price hikes
- Military finds car smuggling tunnel in Rafah
- Egypt may be forced to “muddle through” without IMF
- Mubarak and sons imprisoned pending ‘presidential palaces investigations’
- Muslim Brotherhood publishes book on Morsi’s achievement
- Retrial of Mubarak to reopen 11 May
- Mubarak transferred to prison hospital
- Court slams PM Qandil with suspended prison sentence
- Egyptian delegation heads to Washington for IMF, and World Bank meeting
- Jihadist group claims rocket attacks on Israeli resort
- Turkey to give Egypt rest of $2 bln loan within 2 months
- Egyptian Information Minister faces sexual harassment accusation
- Egypt resilient despite IMF team leaving
- IMF chief says back to the drawing board on Egypt talks
- Kerry: Egyptian army plays ‘significant role’ in ensuring domestic stability
- Leaked IMF report saying Egyptian economy in bad state: reserves depleted
- Mubarak returns to Egypt’s Tora Prison
- Main liberal opposition bloc facing split over boycott of parliamentary election –
- Justice ministry blasts planned Friday rally for ‘purge‘ of Egypt judiciary
- Bassem Youssef included in the Time100 most influential people list —
- Egypt warned Israel of rocket attack, Israeli paper reports
- Egypt worried over potential negative impact of Ethiopian dam
- Brotherhood‘s Friday demonstrations
- Street battles in Cairo leave dozens injured after Islamist protest
- Egypt rushes to update reform plan to match IMF expectations
- IMF: Qatar aid to Egypt no substitute for the IMF’s plan
- Egypt committed to fair distribution of Nile water
- Mubarak stays in detention despite second release order
- Morsi says new cabinet reshuffle ‘soon’
- Russia snubs Morsi’s $2bn loan request
- Court postpones trial of 26 suspected Islamist militants
- Russia says Egypt asks for help with gas supplies to Europe
- Central Bank: Qatar’s promised $3 bn in aid not yet received
- Prosecutor general to challenge court decision to release Mubarak
- 39 detained in Friday’s clashes
- Justice minister Ahmed Mekki resigns: Judicial sources
- Seven alleged Black Bloc members arrested in Egypt
- IMF chief says determined to reach loan deal with Egypt
- Supreme administrative court upholds ruling to suspend elections
A Few Thoughts
My grandmother had a solution for any of her kids’ health issues; Castor oil, known as a laxative, it was ideal__ in her opinion__ to “purge” toxins out of the body. It seems that the Brotherhood’s magical solution to Egypt’s problems is a political version of Castor oil.
The Myth of purging:
Over the last few weeks, there has been rising rhetoric from the Muslim Brotherhood about the “purging” of Egypt’s justice system. As one Brotherhood affiliate has explained to me, it is like a detox recipe that could be uncomfortable but essential for the revolution to prevail. It sounds logical; particularly, as the Brotherhood views some judges as manipulative and trying to undermine the new Islamists leadership. However, regardless of whether the Brotherhood is right or wrong in their assessment of their opponents within Egypt’s judiciary, there are other aspects that make the entire concept of a “purge” closer to a flawed myth.
First, perception: There are deeper routes to the current antipathy between Islamists and judges; the judiciary, as well as police and army, have been a no-go profession for the Islamists since 1954, which is precisely why the Brotherhood flooded other specialties such as medicine and engineering. The judiciary was not just an elitist profession but also is, in the Brotherhood’s eyes, dominated by leftist Nasserites, who naturally reject political Islam. For most Islamists, a judge like Tahany el-Gibali is the perfect example of a snobbish elitist and a woman, too, which amounts to a double crime. This background should be considered to understand why the Brotherhood was always suspicious of every Supreme Court’s verdict. Islamists always fail to separate their perception from rational judgment, which is precisely why they easily embrace conspiracy theories.
Second, suggested solution: The problem with a “purge” lies in its collectiveness; without setting professional standards for independent investigation, a purge will be like a blind trimming process that would produce more harm than good.
Third, the definition of “good”: Rather than replacing non-professionals with professionals, the Muslim Brotherhood would rather replace anti-Muslim Brotherhood with pro-Muslim Brotherhood. Any disagreement would be viewed as siding with the “enemy,” even Judge Mekki, who stood by the Brotherhood since day one, has recently annoyed the Brotherhood because he rejected the “purge.” Ironically, the Muslim Brotherhood has previously praised the judiciary for its “professional” supervision of Egypt’s presidential election.
Within the above context came Friday’s “demonstrations,” which were called by the Muslim Brotherhood, and other Islamist groups (although avoided by others like Salafi Nour party and Aboul Fetouh’s strong party). Regardless, whether a purge is the right course of action or not, the demonstrations were another miscalculated move by the Brotherhood:
– They behaved like an opposition movement that expresses “demands,” instead of a ruling party that take actions, and then call supporters to endorse them.
– The emerged videos, and photos of Brotherhood’s supporters wielding machetes and guns during the clashes, have stripped the Brotherhood from their alleged moral superiority. The group that once accused their opponents of “thuggery,” has decided to respond with an equal level of violence.
So was violence a goal? Probably yes, mainly to drain the anger of the young Islamists youth and to justify future decisions by Morsi (for example, arresting opposition figures and Christians, and charging them of organizing the violence). The rhetoric against Christians has increased recently; currently, there is a Christian militia hashtag on Twitter (in Arabic), under which many Islamists are piling sickening accusations against Egyptian Christians and opposition figures, whom in their eyes are traitors, just like the Copts.
How long can Egypt tolerate this ongoing violence? Should we expect a coup d’état soon? I agree with Florence Gaub that it depends on capacity and opportunity. Morsi’s miscalculated moves provide increased opportunity for the military, but I still stand with my early prediction: that the military cannot save Egypt. One of the false assumptions that are prevailing among many Egyptians is that the current “balance of hate” would ultimately lead to consensus at some future stage. Highly unlikely, as the balance of hate is not coupled with a balance of power, or influence, as the weak divided opposition has fewer cards to play. That is why Egypt could continue sliding from weakness to a failed state, which would ultimately deem the country ungovernable, even if the mighty army finally decided to stop dithering and send tanks to the streets of Cairo.
Egypt is not too big to fail; it is, in fact, too big to save, which is a tragedy in itself. But what is more tragic is how the main players, particularly the Brotherhood, have opted to ignore this fact.
Vision and political will:
The Muslim Brotherhood is lacking the vision and political will to save Egypt from its demise, and its leadership is failing to be true democrats. Moreover, the group, for many reasons, is not in a position that can enable its leadership to be complete autocrats.
The next few weeks are crucial to see whether the Brotherhood will persevere and “purge” the judiciary and police, or Friday’s violence would force them to backtrack. It is difficult to read the minds of the big names inside the Supreme Guide office of the Brotherhood, (met on Saturday to discuss the violence), however, it is also difficult to imagine that the current status quo could continue for much longer; something has to give. The question still remains, can the Brotherhood successfully sideline their opponents?
Today, Justice Minister Mikki has resigned, another alarming sign that the “purge” may start soon. Interestingly, the Brotherhood web site (Ikhwanweb) has announced today that Shura council will discuss discuss proposed amendments to the Judicial authority bill, tomorrow (Monday, April 22). Interestingly, a report claims that Army General Mamdouh Shahin was trying to persuade Mekki not to resign. If true, then it is another indication that the army is trying to contain the trouble, and not escalate it.
If the Shura council approved the proposed amendments of the Judiciary bills, it could include forced early retirement of many anti-Brotherhood judges, but I doubt that they will go without a fight.
- State of denial Ursula Lindsey
- Is it too soon for a book on Morsi’s accomplishments? Marya Hannun
- Countdown to coup d’état in Egypt? Florence Gaub
- Is there no other alternative to the Muslim Brotherhood? Farid Zahran
- Morsi’s presidency ten months later: A serious of miscalculated decisions Mokhtar awad
- The Egyptian revolution Essay written by late President Nasser in 1955 for Foreign Affairs
- At desert monastery, Egypt’s monks join new Christian assertiveness in face of Islamist power
Finally, here are Jayson Casper‘s prayers for Egypt.