Why the Revolt Against Morsi Doesn’t Surprise Me

Posted: July 3, 2013 in Politics and Leadership, Reflections, Social Activism
Tags: , , , , , ,

A few years ago in January 2011, the people of Egypt began a mass movement for their freedom and for true democracy in their nation. The movement, the growing number of protests, and the backing of the military led to the ousting of Hosni Mubarak. Afterwards the military took control until a government of, for, and by the people could be set up.

In June of 2012, Mohammad Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood was elected to the Egyptian presidency. In hindsight, many said that Morsi was elected because his Muslim Brotherhood was better organized than other, newer political parties that wanted progressive reforms for the country. Almost as soon as Morsi took office, he took steps to solidify his power, passing a decree in November of 2012 that would allow for Morsi’s actions to be free of any judicial action, as well as imposing harsh Islamist policies on the nation.

Another dictator had been brought into power. But I wasn’t surprised. Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood had stated as such that they were anti-Zionist, pro-Islamist policies, and wanted a government with Islam at the center. Excuse me, but it’s very hard to have a true democracy with religion at the center of it, and the Muslim Brotherhood’s policies go against most of what Egypt wanted: more freedoms, including freedom of speech; women’s rights; protections for Coptic Christians; and more government accountability, among other things.

But when Morsi created trumped-up charges against a TV comedian often compared to Jon Stewart for criticizing Morsi and went back on a number of promises he made, particularly on those of free speech and government accountability, people noticed. And this is a country that has gotten used to fighting back against their government, even when faced with death.

So now demonstrations have taken hold of the country, the military is (quite wisely) backing the protesters, and Morsi has been given an ultimatum to leave office either by choice or by force. Of course Morsi has said he won’t leave office, saying that he was elected democratically and “will protect his legitimacy with his life”.

It’s when people in power say stuff like that you know they’ve gotten too big for their proverbial britches and need a reality check. Of course, with Morsi’s supporters, particularly those in the Muslim Brotherhood, saying they would gladly become martyrs to protect Morsi’s presidency, it looks like that reality check may take a while to come. And if the military does oust Morsi, the country’s first democratically elected president, things could be explosive in ways we have no way of predicting.

But whatever happens, I have no doubt that it won’t lead to a democracy similar to the United States (and to compare the US as stable when it comes to Egypt is saying something). Egypt is one of those countries that is still experimenting and trying to become a real democracy while power-hungry politicians try and secure themselves a large slice of the pie. If anything, what will result from all this will be a shaky leadership, and I doubt that whoever is in charge will learn from the lessons of Mubarak and Morsi.

But hey, let’s wait and see. I’ve been known to be wrong on occasion. We’ll just have to wait and see.

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