Archive for the ‘revolution’ Tag

Quote of the Day   Leave a comment


FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN HOST:

But, first, here’s my take. Let me tell you what worries me most about the events in Egypt. The greatest blow to Islamic terrorism in recent years came not from the killing of Osama bin Laden in his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, but rather from the Arab Spring.

When millions of Arabs went out into the streets in protest against their dictators, the world saw that they were asking for freedom and justice, not an Islamic state.

Indeed, perhaps the sharpest blow to the jihadi world view was to see Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, the largest Islamist organization in the Arab world, join the 2011 mass demonstrations in Tahrir Square to ask for elections, not Sharia law.

The leader of al-Qaeda, Ayman Zawahiri, an Egyptian, certainly saw the danger and he denounced the Brotherhood for participating in the democratic process.

Now, Morsy’s government, a disaster in many dimensions, was almost certain to be roundly defeated in the upcoming parliamentary elections. Had it failed politically, electorally and democratically, that would have been a huge boost for the forces of liberalism and reform in the Arab world. It would have sent the signal that political Islam may be a heartwarming, romantic idea, but it is utterly unsuited to governing; that mullahs can preach, but they cannot manage an economy.

Instead, the great danger of what has happened in Egypt is that followers of the Muslim Brotherhood will once again become victims, gaining in stature as they are jailed, persecuted and excluded. And some of them will decide that democracy is a dead end.

The most important debate in Egypt since the July 3 ouster of the democratic government is taking place behind closed doors and on websites and chat rooms, and it revolves around this question: How will followers of political Islam respond to the Brotherhood’s ouster?

For decades there has been a dispute among these groups on whether to embrace democracy or work through underground means and methods. The Brotherhood has renounced violence for some 40 years ago and chose to work though social and political organization since then, pressing for democratic change.

This stance was actively criticized and opposed by the many of the more extreme Islamist groups in Egypt and beyond, like al-Qaeda which advocated violent struggle as the only way forward. These groups now feel vindicated.

Somalia’s al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Shabab movement weighed in with a series of tweets. Yes, it has a Twitter account. They went like this, “When will the Muslim Brotherhood wake up from their deep slumber and realize the futility of their efforts at instituting change?”

And, “It’s time for the Brotherhood to revise its policies, adjust its priorities and turn to the one and the only solution for change, “Jihad.”

In Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood ruled terribly, even unconstitutionally. Were I an Egyptian, I would never vote for the party, but it did win at the polls three times.

It won in the parliamentary elections, in the presidential election and then in its referendum for the new constitution, which passed with 64 percent of the vote.

And what came of all that? Well, last year a judge dissolved the lower house of parliament, and now the constitution has been suspended and the former president is in jail.

Egypt does have a second chance. The military has done some things right since the coup, quickly scheduling elections and the drafting of a new constitution.

But the central challenge it faces is to bring the forces of political Islam, the Muslim Brotherhood, back into the political process. Remember that they still represent millions and millions of Egyptians. The Muslim Brotherhood has to be allowed to compete in elections at every level otherwise Egypt will be neither democratic nor even stable in the foreseeable future.

http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1307/14/fzgps.01.html

Quote of the Day   Leave a comment

Fareed Zakaria “But first, here’s my take.

The events in Egypt over the last week have been fascinating, but, also, a bit bewildering. Most of us don’t quite know what to make of them. Is what happened there a good thing or a bad thing?

So, let’s start with some basic facts. The government that was deposed in Egypt was an elected government. Mohamed Morsy’s Freedom and Justice Party won the presidential elections, the parliamentary elections and a referendum to approve a new Egyptian Constitution.

So, there’s no getting around it, this was the party that represented the wishes of the Egyptian people as expressed through the ballot box three times.

On the other hand, the government ruled in an arbitrary and high- handed manner and, in many, many cases, violated human rights and outlawed its political opponents.

President Morsy announced that his decrees were above judicial scrutiny. He banned members of the previous ruling party from participating in politics for 10 years. He did little about the attacks on Egypt’s Christian minority. The Muslim Brotherhood, of which Morsy had been a lifelong member, had promised not even to seek the presidency or even a parliamentary majority and it reneged on both pledges creating this new Freedom and Justice Party as a facade.

In 1997, I wrote an essay describing the rise of what I called. “illiberal democracies,” elected governments that were abusing individual rights and freedoms. The Morsy government is a textbook example of such a regime.

But it is important to note that the post-Morsy in Egypt, the current government, does not look like one that is upholding liberty in any sense either.

Indeed, the more the arrests and the crackdowns continue, it looks like the old Mubarak military complex crowned once more over the ashes of democracy.

This has been Egypt’s and the Arab world’s tragedy. These lands are caught between repressive dictatorships on the one hand and illiberal democracies on the other. And from this vicious cycle, there does not seem much space for genuine liberty to break out.

So what should the United States do to help the cause of freedom and stability in Egypt? Well, a suspension of U.S. aid right now would plunge an already bankrupt country into deeper chaos.

But Washington should announce that it will continue its aid for a limited period, say two months, while it determines whether the new government is, in fact, moving to restore genuine democracy in Egypt.

Specifically, it should ask for three things. The end to arbitrary arrests of the Muslim Brotherhood or any groups or people for political opposition. Also, the end of the crackdown on the media in all forms.

The writing of a new constitution through a process that includes all major voices in Egyptian life, the scheduling of parliamentary and presidential elections in which everyone can participate, including and most especially the Muslim Brotherhood.

If these conditions are not met, than Washington will have no alternative than to recognize the reality that this is not the restoration of democracy nor a path to moderation and inclusion, this is a pretty old-fashioned military coup and it should be treated as such.

If you’d like to take a look at that 1997 essay, “The Rise of Illiberal Democracy,” it’s up on our website, cnn.com/fareed. It still holds up pretty well.”

http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1307/07/fzgps.01.html

Quote of the Day   Leave a comment

Back at the presidential palace in Heliopolis, Morsi supporters slam Tahrir protesters for, they say, “opposing the revolution.”

“We fully support our president’s decisions. Why do they want judicial powers to prevail while the judiciary needs to be completely purged?,” asks Mariam El-Shafei, a member of the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party who bought her two children to the demonstration.

“People who are in Tahrir now, like former tourism minister Mounir Fakhry Abdel-Nour, are the ones who wanted the military to remain in power and preside over the constitution. Those in Tahrir do not have principles, they’re opposing for the sake of opposition, but we are defending our country, our revolution. I can’t say I’m not worried that Egyptians are dividing but we assure them we, here, are not merely perusing our own interests.”

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/58968/Egypt/Politics-/Live-updates-Rival-protests-erupt-across-Egypt.aspx

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

Protesters in Egypt have set fire to Muslim Brotherhood offices in several cities, according to state TV.

They were demonstrating against President Mohammed Mursi’s decision to grant himself sweeping new powers

His decree states, among other things, that the president’s decisions cannot be revoked by any authority – including the judiciary.

Rival rallies have been held across the country by supporters and opponents of Mr Mursi.

Offices of the president’s Muslim Brotherhood party were reportedly attacked in the cities of Port Said and Ismailia. Earlier reports of an attack on the office in Suez were denied.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-20458148

Posted November 23, 2012 by tmusicfan in Politics, Quote of the Day

Tagged with , ,