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I Told You So, Part 2 (Democracy, Muslim Brotherhood Style, Part 2)

The Real Mohammed Mor­si Emerges

Hamas Sol­diers Salut­ing (Pales­tin­ian Mus­lim Broth­er­hood)

COMMENT: Egypt­ian pres­i­dent Mohammed Mor­si [Mur­si in some translit­er­a­tions] has issued a decree, essen­tial­ly mak­ing him a total­i­tar­i­an ruler in the opin­ion of for­mer sup­port­ers such as Mohamed ElBa­radei (for­mer head of the IAEA.)

The Mus­lim Broth­er­hood offices in Egypt have been burned by out­raged cit­i­zens.

We have dis­cussed the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood at length and in detail for many years. Far from being the “mod­er­ate” orga­ni­za­tion some ana­lysts have tabbed it, it is an Islam­ic fas­cist orga­ni­za­tion dat­ing back to the pre-World War II peri­od.

The Broth­er­hood’s pres­i­dent is demon­strat­ing the true nature of the orga­ni­za­tion, as well as that of the orga­ni­za­tion.

Just such a devel­op­ment was pre­dict­ed here dur­ing the so-called “Arab Spring.” Mursi/Morsi is cement­ing the agen­da we pre­dict­ed would mate­ri­al­ize.

An exam­i­na­tion of the char­ter, behav­ior and mil­i­tary cadre of Hamas, the Broth­er­hood’s Pales­tin­ian branch, offers a quick insight into the nature of the orga­ni­za­tion.

 

(Pho­to cred­it at upper right, independentsentinel.com)

“Egyp­t’s Pres­i­dent Mur­si Assumes Sweep­ing Pow­ers”; BBC; 11/22/2012.

EXCERPT: Egyp­t’s Pres­i­dent Mohammed Mur­si has issued a dec­la­ra­tion ban­ning chal­lenges to his decrees, laws and deci­sions.

The dec­la­ra­tion also says no court can dis­solve the con­stituent assem­bly, which is draw­ing up a new con­sti­tu­tion.

Pres­i­dent Mur­si also sacked the chief pros­e­cu­tor and ordered the re-tri­al of peo­ple accused of attack­ing pro­test­ers when ex-Pres­i­dent Mubarak held office.

Egypt­ian oppo­si­tion leader Mohammed ElBa­radei accused Mr Mur­si of act­ing like a “new pharaoh”. . . .

. . . But Mr ElBa­radei said the decree effec­tive­ly placed the pres­i­dent above the law.

“Mur­si today usurped all state pow­ers and appoint­ed him­self Egyp­t’s new pharaoh. A major blow to the rev­o­lu­tion that could have dire con­se­quences,” the Nobel Peace Prize win­ner wrote on his Twit­ter account.

The vice-pres­i­dent of the Supreme Con­sti­tu­tion­al Court, Tahani al-Gebali, told the Span­ish news agency Efe that Mr Mur­si was now an “ille­git­i­mate pres­i­dent”.

The Egypt­ian Judges’ Club has called an extra­or­di­nary meet­ing to dis­cuss Mr Mur­si’s deci­sion. “The state of law is at stake,” the asso­ci­a­tion said in a pub­lic state­ment.

Mean­while Heba Morayef, the Egypt direc­tor for Human Rights Watch, said that while the coun­try need­ed judi­cial reform, “grant­i­ng the pres­i­dent absolute pow­er and immu­ni­ty is not the way to do it”.

Discussion

16 comments for “I Told You So, Part 2 (Democracy, Muslim Brotherhood Style, Part 2)”

  1. What are the domes­tic U.S. polit­i­cal impli­ca­tions (i.e., what is the obvi­ous “blame nar­ra­tive” that will become con­ven­tion­al wis­dom)?

    What hap­pens when this spreads to the oth­er Arab Spring nations? What will be the sto­ry­line in the U.S. when there’s a “North African Mus­lim Broth­er­hood Alliance”?

    Put this togeth­er with the pre­dictable next eco­nom­ic crisis/collapse due to the cur­rent U.S. elec­toral win­ners fail­ing to pros­e­cute any Wall Street crim­i­nals, fail­ing to leg­is­late reform, and fail­ing to chal­lenge the berserk nar­ra­tive that “Big Gov­ern­ment Debt” caused the 2008 eco­nom­ic cri­sis and not pri­vate sec­tor debt.

    Put this togeth­er with anoth­er Suez Canal shut­down or glee­ful Likud mil­i­tary tantrum (wait a minute, that’s already here).

    Does it seem out of the ques­tion that the 2012 elec­tion results were a set-up?

    Will it seem obvi­ous when Democ­rats are blamed for the pend­ing dis­as­ter?

    Posted by R. Wilson | November 23, 2012, 11:22 pm
  2. I won­der what all was dis­cussed and agreed to between Mor­si and the for­eign diplo­mats ear­li­er in the week sup­pos­ed­ly deal­ing with the “cease fire”, and will we ever know?

    Posted by LarryFW | November 23, 2012, 11:22 pm
  3. A key point is that the MB also serves as a reli­able proxy for US impe­ri­al­ism in the region.

    http://wsws.org/articles/2012/nov2012/gaza-n24.shtml:

    Mur­si and the Broth­er­hood are just as reliant on the US as the deposed regime of Hos­ni Mubarak, and their inter­na­tion­al con­nec­tions have an addi­tion­al advan­tage for Wash­ing­ton and Tel Aviv. The Ennah­da Move­ment, or Renais­sance Par­ty, anoth­er Broth­er­hood off­shoot, now gov­erns post-Ben Ali Tunisia. The Jus­tice and Devel­op­ment Par­ty, formed by the Broth­er­hood, is now the sec­ond par­ty in the US-installed Libyan regime. In Syr­ia also, the Broth­er­hood is con­sid­ered a gen­er­al­ly reli­able US proxy with­in the oppo­si­tion move­ment against Assad. Lit­tle won­der that Netanyahu described his work­ing rela­tion­ship with Wash­ing­ton and Cairo as “a great achieve­ment for Israeli pol­i­cy and region­al sta­bil­i­ty.”

    Posted by stu | November 24, 2012, 11:32 am
  4. @Stu–

    An impor­tant point to grasp here is that out­dat­ed, cliched terms such as “U.S. impe­ri­al­ism” serve to obscure the impor­tant real­i­ties.

    The transna­tion­al cor­po­ra­tions are the ben­e­fi­cia­ries, as well as the Under­ground Reich.

    The U.S. as such was com­plete­ly co-opt­ed by these ele­ments long ago.

    The Unit­ed States and democ­ra­cy itself will be among the casu­al­ties here.

    Do take the time to review the descrip­tions to the shows about the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood Spring. FTR #‘s 734-739.

    I nailed this one, if I do say so myself. Giv­en their ide­ol­o­gized, stereo­typed think­ing and report­ing, it does­n’t sur­prise me that wsws would fail to under­stand this.

    Best,

    Dave

    Posted by Dave Emory | November 24, 2012, 1:08 pm
  5. @R. Wil­son–

    As I not­ed in the “Mus­lim Broth­er­hood Spring” series, this, ulti­mate­ly, will prove dis­as­trous for Oba­ma and the U.S.

    As for as the Likud folks, I have no use for them and have cit­ed their fas­cist her­itage and nature repeat­ed­ly.

    One should not fail to note, how­ev­er, that this is an Under­ground Reich show, with the Likud­niks and Netanyahu bound on the wheel.

    When a coun­try is sub­ject­ed to artillery bom­bard­ment, only a comatose nation­al leader would fail to respond.

    I fault Israel for not freez­ing the set­tle­ments, per­ma­nent­ly, not for shoot­ing back. Return­ing fire is inevitable and, BTW, just what Hamas wants. It’s also just what the Pales­tin­ian lob­by in this coun­try wants–Amy No-Damn-Good­man and all the rest of the front-run­ning Nazi apol­o­gists in the so-called pro­gres­sive sec­tor.

    They were orgias­tic in their sup­port of the “Mus­lim Broth­er­hood Spring.”

    What Hamas REALLY want­ed was a ground inva­sion with as many civil­ian casu­al­ties as pos­si­ble. Thank­ful­ly, that was avert­ed, at least for now.

    Nev­er for­get the Hamas char­ter, the best insight into the nature of the MB that I can think of.

    The only ben­e­fi­cia­ries of this will be the Under­ground Reich and the transna­tion­al cor­po­ra­tions, which plan on using the Islamists as proxy army to gain con­trol of the fos­sil fuels-rich areas of Rus­sia and Chi­na.

    Break­ing up those coun­tries, as well as India and, yes, the U.S. are on the long-term agen­da.

    Only large, pow­er­ful coun­tries have the capac­i­ty to resist the transna­tion­al cor­po­ra­tions and the Under­ground Reich.

    If they can’t con­trol the U.S., they will want it bro­ken into small­er, man­age­able enti­ties.

    Divide and con­quer.

    Stay tuned.

    Best,

    Dave

    Posted by Dave Emory | November 24, 2012, 1:42 pm
  6. Dave, spot on as ever.

    The rela­tion­ship in ele­ments of west­ern intel­li­gence with Mus­lim Broth­er­hood, KLA, Ustashe etc etc, effec­tive­ly means we switched sides to the Axis after 1991.

    It won’t work. Clin­ton will be left with some seri­ous egg on her face as the Broth­er­hood con­tin­ues to con­sol­i­date it’s dic­ta­to­r­i­al caliphate. The west­ern allies will look like a bunch of inept and clue­less idiots, much as they did claim­ing the 9/11/2012 attacks were because of a Youtube video.

    When you con­sid­er that CIA now active­ly dis­cour­age offi­cers recruit­ing their own agents in the field, instead rely­ing on ‘friend­lies’ and walk-ins, its easy to see why intel­li­gence would be use­less. Much of it is being piped through US chan­nels direct­ly from the Ger­man BND. Fun­ny that.

    Posted by GW | November 24, 2012, 6:38 pm
  7. Some­thing to con­sid­er regard­ing Mor­si’s pow­er grab: Just a few days before Mor­si’s decree, two dozen mem­bers of the lib­er­al fac­tion of the con­sti­tu­tion­al pan­el that was tasked with draw­ing up the new con­sti­tu­tion pulled out of the pan­el. This fol­lowed the pull­out of Eypt­ian church­es from the pan­el a few days ear­li­er. The pri­ma­ry cause for the pull­out appears to be the inclu­sion of Salafist-backed lan­guage that appears to enable the utra-rad­i­cals to impose their own inter­pre­ta­tions of Shari­iah law. An advi­so­ry body that was appoint­ed to the pan­el by Mor­si to address com­plaints of the non-Islamists also pulled out of the pan­el. It was that bad. In oth­er words, this overt pow­er grab by Mor­si fol­lowed a stealth pow­er grab by the Islamists on the con­sti­tu­tion­al pan­el.

    When Plan A for sub­ju­gat­ing soci­ety does­n’t work there’s always Plan B:

    Finan­cial Times
    Novem­ber 18, 2012 6:19 pm
    Egypt lib­er­als with­draw from con­sti­tu­tion com­mit­tee

    By Heba Saleh in Cairo

    Two dozen lib­er­al mem­bers of the pan­el draft­ing the Egypt­ian con­sti­tu­tion pulled out on Sun­day, charg­ing that the Islamist-dom­i­nat­ed body was rush­ing the process and ignor­ing their sug­ges­tions and con­cerns.

    Their with­draw­al came a day after Egypt­ian church­es pulled out of the com­mit­tee, say­ing that the draft con­sti­tu­tion did not reflect a nation­al con­sen­sus or Egypt’s plu­ral­is­tic iden­ti­ty.

    “Things can’t go on like this,” said Amr Mous­sa, for­mer sec­re­tary-gen­er­al of the Arab League and among those who with­drew. “The con­sti­tu­tion should be for all of Egypt, not just for a group or a par­tic­u­lar par­ty. We see that it is flawed, but there is still a pos­si­bil­i­ty of fix­ing the prob­lems.”

    The walk­out was prompt­ed by the most con­tentious of the pro­posed con­sti­tu­tion­al arti­cles which was insert­ed at the insis­tence of Salafis, hard line Islamists who want the char­ter to lay the ground for a speedy and lit­er­al imple­men­ta­tion of their inter­pre­ta­tion of Islam­ic law.

    Although pre­vi­ous Egypt­ian con­sti­tu­tions have stip­u­lat­ed that the “prin­ci­ples” of sharia (Islam­ic law) were the “main source” of leg­is­la­tion, the new arti­cle attempts to define the word “prin­ci­ples” in a way which crit­ics say could ush­er in more reli­gion in gov­er­nance and open the way for ultra­con­ser­v­a­tives to push for their own par­tic­u­lar inter­pre­ta­tions of Islam­ic law.

    “We reached a dead end,” said Wahid Abdel Meguid, one of the lib­er­als who with­drew. “We object­ed to con­cepts which [reflect] Tal­iban or Wah­habi [think­ing].

    Pope Tawadros II, the Cop­tic Patri­arch who was installed on Sun­day, described the dis­put­ed arti­cle in a BBC inter­view as “cat­a­stroph­ic”, say­ing it would ush­er in the “oppo­site” of a mod­ern state.

    Those that pulled out of the com­mit­tee includ­ed mem­bers of an advi­so­ry body appoint­ed by the pres­i­dent to address com­plaints that the pan­el was too Islamist and failed to reflect the diver­si­ty of Egypt­ian soci­ety.

    The con­sti­tu­tion­al assem­bly can press on with its work, but the group’s depar­ture will under­mine claims that the char­ter will embody a social con­sen­sus.

    ...

    Also note that it looks like one of Mor­si’s new pow­ers includes retroac­tive­ly declared decrees. Mohammed “Dr. Who” Mor­si, Egyp­t’s new Time Lord:

    Time
    After the Pow­er-Play in Egypt: Morsy and the Islamists Vs. Every­one Else

    By Ashraf Khalil­Nov. 24, 2012

    Fri­day afternoon’s broad­cast of the Jazeera Ara­bic news chan­nel pre­sent­ed a tableau that might well encap­su­late the state of mod­ern Egypt. On one side of the split screen, Pres­i­dent Mohammed Morsy spoke before thou­sands of cheer­ing sup­port­ers out­side the pres­i­den­tial palace. “Don’t be wor­ried,” he said, stand­ing in front a back­drop of soar­ing birds. “Let’s move togeth­er into a new phase.”

    Mean­while, the oth­er half of the screen showed tear gas can­is­ters arc­ing into the ranks of the thou­sands of pro­test­ers in Tahrir Square demon­strat­ing against Morsy and chant­i­ng many of the same slo­gans they chant­ed against Hos­ni Mubarak near­ly two years ear­li­er.

    The lat­est flash­point in Egypt’s ter­mi­nal­ly messy post-rev­o­lu­tion­ary peri­od was Morsy’s stun­ning Thanks­giv­ing night con­sti­tu­tion­al decree that grant­ed him­self sweep­ing and unchecked author­i­ty for the next sev­er­al months and great­ly lim­it­ed the pow­ers of Egypt’s judi­cia­ry. Accord­ing to the decree, Egypt’s judges no longer have the pow­er to dis­solve the con­stituent assembly–effectively killing an in-progress court case that could have dis­band­ed the body draft­ing the new con­sti­tu­tion. That con­stituent assem­bly, via the decree, now has an extra two months to fin­ish its work, poten­tial­ly extend­ing the process into ear­ly 2013 and sub­se­quent par­lia­men­tary elec­tions into the spring. Pub­lic Pros­e­cu­tor Abdel Meguid Mah­moud, who Morsy tried and failed to fire ear­li­er this year, is final­ly out via the retroac­tive cre­ation of term lim­its on his time in pow­er.

    Most dis­turbing­ly, the decree states that any pres­i­den­tial deci­sions made since Morsy took office in June and until there is a new elect­ed par­lia­ment and an approved con­sti­tu­tion, “are final and bind­ing and can­not be appealed by any way or to any enti­ty.”

    It also includes the fol­low­ing sim­ple, yet omi­nous, arti­cle: “The Pres­i­dent may take the nec­es­sary actions and mea­sures to pro­tect the coun­try and the goals of the rev­o­lu­tion.”

    ...

    And you have to just love the rea­son Mor­si gives for grant­i­ng him­self “any actions nec­es­sary to pro­tect the coun­try and the goals of the rev­o­lu­tion”. He just needs six months of unchecked pow­er to clean out the infes­ta­tion of “wee­vils”. Because, as his­to­ry teach­es us, there’s noth­ing to wor­ry about when a lead­ers grants him­self dic­ta­to­r­i­al pow­ers to purge the nation of any “ene­mies of the state”.

    Isn’t theo­crat­ic fas­cism fun?

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | November 25, 2012, 6:53 pm
  8. So will there be a ‘sea of blood’ in Egypt if Mor­si does­n’t go a decree-spree short­ly? Because that’s sort of the impli­ca­tion com­ing from his spokesman:

    CBS/AP/ Novem­ber 26, 2012, 2:41 PM
    Mor­si stands by decrees, pro­long­ing show­down

    CAIRO Egypt­ian Pres­i­dent Moham­mad Mor­si told the nation’s top judges Mon­day that he act­ed with­in his rights when he issued a series of decrees giv­ing him sweep­ing pow­ers, accord­ing to his spokesman.

    That stand is like­ly to trig­ger a pro­longed show­down with the oppo­si­tion, which have already includ­ed days of vio­lent street protests.

    Spokesman Yass­er Ali told reporters that Mor­si assured the judges that the decrees, which put him above any kind of over­sight, includ­ing that of the courts, did not in any way “infringe” on the judi­cia­ry.

    ...

    Sec­u­lar and Chris­t­ian politi­cians have with­drawn from a 100-seat pan­el tasked with draft­ing the char­ter, in protest of what they call the hijack­ing of the process by Mor­si’s Islamist allies. They fear the Islamists would pro­duce a draft that infringes on the rights of lib­er­als, women and the minor­i­ty Chris­tians.

    The decree is being chal­lenged in an admin­is­tra­tive court by a group of activists and lawyers, with the first hear­ing set for Dec. 4, accord­ing to Reuters.

    Mor­si, an Islamist, accus­es Mubarak loy­al­ists in the judi­cia­ry of seek­ing to thwart the rev­o­lu­tion’s goals. His Thurs­day edicts bar the judi­cia­ry from dis­band­ing the con­sti­tu­tion­al assem­bly or par­lia­men­t’s upper house.

    The pres­i­dent, al-Sayyad added, would short­ly take deci­sions that would spare the nation a “pos­si­ble sea of blood.” He did not elab­o­rate.

    ...

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | November 26, 2012, 1:20 pm
  9. So we just learned the lat­est MB plan to dif­fuse the cri­sis: ram the new draft con­sti­tu­tion through the con­sti­tu­tion pan­el by the end of the day:

    Egypt assem­bly seeks to wrap up con­sti­tu­tion

    By Tamim Elyan and Yas­mine Saleh

    CAIRO | Wed Nov 28, 2012 1:42pm EST

    (Reuters) — The assem­bly writ­ing Egyp­t’s con­sti­tu­tion said it could wrap up a final draft lat­er on Wednes­day, a move the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood sees as a way out of a cri­sis over a decree by Pres­i­dent Mohamed Mur­si that pro­test­ers say gives him dic­ta­to­r­i­al pow­ers.

    But as Mur­si’s oppo­nents staged a sixth day of protests in Tahrir Square, crit­ics said the Islamist-dom­i­nat­ed assem­bly’s bid to fin­ish the con­sti­tu­tion quick­ly could make mat­ters worse.

    Two peo­ple have been killed and hun­dreds injured in coun­try­wide protest set off by Mur­si’s decree.

    The Broth­er­hood hopes to end the cri­sis by replac­ing Mur­si’s con­tro­ver­sial decree with an entire­ly new con­sti­tu­tion that would need to be approved in a pop­u­lar ref­er­en­dum, a Broth­er­hood offi­cial told Reuters.

    It is a gam­ble based on the Islamists’ belief that they can mobi­lize enough vot­ers to win the ref­er­en­dum: they have won all elec­tions held since Hos­ni Mubarak was top­pled from pow­er.

    But the move seemed like­ly to deep­en divi­sions that are being exposed in the street.

    ...

    The con­sti­tu­tion is one of the main rea­sons Mur­si is at log­ger­heads with non-Islamist oppo­nents. They are boy­cotting the 100-mem­ber con­sti­tu­tion­al assem­bly, say­ing the Islamists have tried to impose their vision for Egyp­t’s future.

    ...

    Yep, that should solve every­thing.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | November 28, 2012, 11:38 am
  10. U.N. vote on Pales­tin­ian sta­tus a set­back for U.S., Israel — Paul Richter, LA Times 11/30/12 — Sec­re­tary of State Hillary Rod­ham Clin­ton said the Unit­ed Nations had made an “unfor­tu­nate and coun­ter­pro­duc­tive deci­sion” that placed “new obsta­cles in the path of peace.”

    Israeli Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Netanyahu angri­ly denounced Abbas’ speech as “defam­a­to­ry and ven­omous.”

    “Some­one who wants peace does not talk in such a man­ner,” Netanyahu’s office said in a state­ment. “The way to peace between Jerusalem and Ramal­lah is in direct nego­ti­a­tions, with­out pre­con­di­tions, and not in one-sided U.N. deci­sions. By going to the U.N., the Pales­tini­ans have vio­lat­ed the agree­ments with Israel and Israel will act accord­ing­ly.”

    Posted by kando | November 29, 2012, 9:40 pm
  11. Ah that’s a relief: Mor­si just denounced a preach­er try­ing to pull a “The Prophet had vast pow­er so why should­n’t Mor­si?” argu­ment. I think a cer­tain counter-rev­o­lu­tion­ary Islamist pow­er-grab just avoid­ed divine­ly lev­i­tat­ing over the shark:

    Egypt draft con­sti­tu­tion sparks mass protest
    AYA BATRAWY, Asso­ci­at­ed Press, By AYA BATRAWY and MAGGIE MICHAEL, Asso­ci­at­ed Press
    Updat­ed 7:30 a.m., Fri­day, Novem­ber 30, 2012

    CAIRO (AP) — More than 100,000 pro­test­ers took the streets in Egypt vow­ing to stop a draft con­sti­tu­tion that Islamist allies of Pres­i­dent Mohammed Mor­si approved ear­ly Fri­day in a rushed, all-night ses­sion with­out the par­tic­i­pa­tion of lib­er­als and Chris­tians.

    Anger at Mor­si even spilled over into a mosque where the Islamist pres­i­dent joined week­ly Fri­day prayers. In his ser­mon, the mosque’s preach­er com­pared Mor­si to Islam’s Prophet Muham­mad, say­ing the prophet had enjoyed vast pow­ers as leader, giv­ing a prece­dent for the same to hap­pen now.

    “No to tyran­ny!” con­gre­gants chant­ed, inter­rupt­ing the cler­ic. Mor­si took to the podi­um and told the wor­ship­pers that he too object­ed to the lan­guage of the sheik and that one-man rule con­tra­dicts Islam.

    ...

    Good thing Mor­si was in atten­dance and now all is well again. For instance, in addi­tion to the free­dom from con­sti­tu­tion­al pro­tec­tions for women, it looks like one of the many new free­doms tucked away in Mor­si’s con­sti­tu­tion is the free­dom from being insult­ed. At least humans can’t be insult­ed. Doc­u­ments, on the oth­er hand...

    Hey Egyp­t’s new con­sti­tu­tion! You are a fas­cist farce writ­ten by those that fear the Enlight­en­ment. Please go away.

    Ah, that free­dom of expres­sion felt good and demo­c­ra­t­ic. Yay democ­ra­cy:

    Egyp­t’s Islamists rush through new con­sti­tu­tion

    8:09AM EST Novem­ber 30. 2012 — CAIRO (AP) — Islamists on Thurs­day rushed to approve a draft con­sti­tu­tion for Egypt with­out the par­tic­i­pa­tion of lib­er­al and Chris­t­ian mem­bers, aim­ing to pre-empt a court rul­ing that could dis­solve their pan­el and fur­ther inflam­ing the clash between the oppo­si­tion and Pres­i­dent Mohammed Mor­si.

    The draft of the char­ter, meant to deter­mine a new polit­i­cal iden­ti­ty for Egypt after 60 years of rule by author­i­tar­i­an lead­ers, has an Islamist bent that rights experts say could lead to a say by Mus­lim cler­ics in leg­is­la­tion and restric­tions on free­dom of speech, wom­en’s rights and oth­er lib­er­ties.

    The lack of inclu­sion was obvi­ous in Thurs­day’s ses­sion of the assem­bly that has been writ­ing the doc­u­ment for months. Of the 85 mem­bers in atten­dance, there was not a sin­gle Chris­t­ian and only four women, all Islamists. Many of the men wore beards, the hall­mark of Mus­lim con­ser­v­a­tives. For weeks, lib­er­al, sec­u­lar and Chris­t­ian mem­bers, already a minor­i­ty on the 100-mem­ber pan­el, have been pulling out to protest what they call the Islamists’ hijack­ing of the process.

    Vot­ing had not been expect­ed for anoth­er two months. But the assem­bly, over­whelm­ing­ly made up of Mor­si’s allies, abrupt­ly moved it up in order to pass the draft before Egyp­t’s Supreme Con­sti­tu­tion­al Court rules on Sun­day on whether to dis­solve the pan­el.

    Mor­si is expect­ed to call for a ref­er­en­dum on the draft as ear­ly as mid-Decem­ber.

    “I am sad­dened to see this come out while Egypt is so divid­ed,” Egyp­t’s top reform leader, Nobel Peace lau­re­ate Mohammed ElBa­radei said, speak­ing on pri­vate Al-Nahar TV. But he pre­dict­ed the doc­u­ment would not last long. “It will be part of polit­i­cal folk­lore and will go to the garbage bin of his­to­ry.”

    A new oppo­si­tion bloc led by ElBa­radei and oth­er lib­er­als said the assem­bly had lost its legit­i­ma­cy.

    “It is try­ing to impose a con­sti­tu­tion monop­o­lized by one trend and is the fur­thest from nation­al con­sen­sus, pro­duced in a far­ci­cal way,” the Nation­al Sal­va­tion Front said in a state­ment, read by Waheed Abdel-Meguid, one of the assem­bly mem­bers who with­drew.

    ...

    Mor­si’s edicts aimed at pre­vent­ing the judi­cia­ry from dis­band­ing the con­sti­tu­tion-writ­ing pan­el. He barred courts out­right from doing so, then went fur­ther to bar judges from review­ing any of his own deci­sions. Con­fi­dent the assem­bly was pro­tect­ed, he gave it until Feb­ru­ary to iron out the sharp dif­fer­ences over the draft.

    But when the Con­sti­tu­tion­al Court defied his decree and said Wednes­day that it would rule on the pan­el’s legit­i­ma­cy, the date of the vote was imme­di­ate­ly moved up.

    Islamist mem­bers of the pan­el defend­ed the fast track­ing. Hus­sein Ibrahim of the Broth­er­hood said the draft reflect­ed thou­sands of hours of debate over the past six months, includ­ing input from lib­er­als before they with­drew.

    “Peo­ple want the con­sti­tu­tion because they want sta­bil­i­ty. Go to vil­lages, to poor­er areas, peo­ple want sta­bil­i­ty,” he said.

    ...

    One arti­cle that passed under­lined that the state will pro­tect “the true nature of the Egypt­ian fam­i­ly ... and pro­mote its morals and val­ues,” phras­ing that sug­gests state con­trol over the con­tents of such arts forms as books and films. The draft also con­tains no arti­cle specif­i­cal­ly estab­lish­ing equal­i­ty between men and women because of dis­putes over the phras­ing.

    As in past con­sti­tu­tions, the new draft says that the “prin­ci­ples of Islam­ic law” will be the basis of law.

    But a new arti­cle states that Egyp­t’s most respect­ed Islam­ic insti­tu­tion, Al-Azhar, must be con­sult­ed on any mat­ters relat­ed to Shari­ah, a mea­sure crit­ics fear will lead to over­sight of leg­is­la­tion by cler­ics.

    Anoth­er one seeks to define “prin­ci­ples” of Islam­ic law by say­ing it reflects the­o­log­i­cal doc­trines and tenets. The term “prin­ci­ples” had long been inten­tion­al­ly vague, and spec­i­fy­ing its bases could vast­ly expand the reach of Shari­ah in influ­enc­ing soci­ety.

    The draft also includes bans on “insult­ing or defam­ing all prophets and mes­sen­gers” or even “insult­ing humans” — broad lan­guage that ana­lysts warned could be used to crack down on many forms of speech.

    Prais­ing the draft, pan­el pres­i­dent Hos­sam al-Ghiryani, told mem­bers: “We will teach this con­sti­tu­tion to our sons.”

    ...

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | November 30, 2012, 10:28 am
  12. So it looks like Dec. 15 is the offi­cial date for pub­lic vote on the new con­sti­tu­tion. The sales pitch by the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood and Salafist allies appears to be “a vote for the con­sti­tu­tion is a vote for sta­bil­i­ty. One man/one ide­ol­o­gy rule is only need­ed until this nation­al emer­gency is over and then every­thing will be nice”. So only a new con­sti­tu­tion that per­ma­nent­ly enshrines the view of a par­tic­u­lar ide­ol­o­gy will lib­er­ate Egypt from its cur­rent peri­od of insta­bil­i­ty. It’s an inter­est­ing argu­ment at this point in Egyp­t’s rev­o­lu­tion in part because it’s pret­ty much the same argu­ment that Egyp­tians and the world heard for decades in order to jus­ti­fy the Mubarak regime (except with an Islamist/military role rever­sal).

    So in about two weeks we’re going to find out if that old, famil­iar “uncon­test­ed rule for peace and sta­bil­i­ty” argu­ment will work. Again:

    Egypt Islamists hur­ried­ly approve new con­sti­tu­tion
    By HAMZA HENDAWI and MAGGIE MICHAEL
    — Nov. 29 11:53 PM EST

    CAIRO (AP) — Islamists approved a draft con­sti­tu­tion for Egypt ear­ly Fri­day with­out the par­tic­i­pa­tion of lib­er­al and Chris­t­ian mem­bers, seek­ing to pre-empt a court rul­ing that could dis­solve their pan­el with a rushed, marathon vote that fur­ther inflames the clash between the oppo­si­tion and Pres­i­dent Mohammed Mor­si.

    ...

    Thurs­day’s vote esca­lates the already bruis­ing con­fronta­tion sparked last week when Mor­si gave him­self near absolute pow­ers by neu­tral­iz­ing the judi­cia­ry, the last branch of the state not in his hands. Mor­si banned the courts from dis­solv­ing the con­sti­tu­tion­al assem­bly or the upper house of par­lia­ment and from review­ing his own deci­sions.

    Speak­ing in an inter­view on state TV aired late Thurs­day, Mor­si defend­ed his edicts, say­ing they were a nec­es­sary “del­i­cate surgery” need­ed to get Egypt through a tran­si­tion­al peri­od and end insta­bil­i­ty he blamed on the lack of a con­sti­tu­tion.

    “The most impor­tant thing of this peri­od is that we fin­ish the con­sti­tu­tion, so that we have a par­lia­ment under the con­sti­tu­tion, elect­ed prop­er­ly, an inde­pen­dent judi­cia­ry, and a pres­i­dent who exe­cutes the law,” Mor­si said.

    ...

    Islamist mem­bers of the pan­el defend­ed the fast track­ing. Hus­sein Ibrahim of the Broth­er­hood said the draft reflect­ed six months of debate, includ­ing input from lib­er­als before they with­drew.

    “Peo­ple want the con­sti­tu­tion because they want sta­bil­i­ty. Go to vil­lages, to poor­er areas, peo­ple want sta­bil­i­ty,” he said.

    Over the past week, about 30 mem­bers have pulled out of the assem­bly, with main­ly Islamists brought in to replace some. As a result, every arti­cle passed over­whelm­ing­ly.

    ...

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | December 1, 2012, 7:16 pm
  13. I have been curi­ous about what pro­fes­sor Juan Cole would have to say. Ear­li­er this year he was cau­tious­ly opti­mistic about how far Mor­si could go. He’s still in that camp:

    “If you real­ly don’t like this con­sti­tu­tion, one effec­tive way of deal­ing with it is to orga­nize to ensure that more peo­ple vote against it than for it, and make it fail, forc­ing Mor­si back to the bar­gain­ing table. Stay­ing home and play­ing your gui­tar is not going to derail the Broth­er­hood march to pow­er.

    On the oth­er hand, Egyp­tians are not nec­es­sar­i­ly stuck with Morsi’s con­sti­tu­tion for­ev­er, even if it does pass on Decem­ber 15. Future par­lia­ments will be able to amend it. And, after all, oth­er demo­c­ra­t­ic coun­tries have abol­ished unwork­able con­sti­tu­tions after try­ing them out (the US orig­i­nal­ly had the Arti­cles of Con­fed­er­a­tion, wide­ly viewed as a fail­ure, which was super­seded by the 1789 con­sti­tu­tion). But unless the lib­er­als and the left­ists in Egypt get their act togeth­er and learn how to do Oba­ma-scale grass­roots polit­i­cal orga­niz­ing, they’ll nev­er get a major­i­ty in par­lia­ment or get this oppor­tu­ni­ty.”

    http://www.juancole.com/2012/12/egyptians-to-decide-on-fundamentalist-influenced-constitution-via-referendum.html

    I guess we’ll find out around Dec. 15...

    Posted by Swamp | December 2, 2012, 12:08 pm
  14. A chill­ing report on the vio­lence in Egypt yes­ter­day:

    Bloody clash­es around Egypt­ian Pres­i­den­tial palace
    By HasanAmin86 | Post­ed 18 hours ago

    CNN PRODUCER NOTE iRe­porter HasanAmin86 cap­tured these images of last night’s vio­lent clash­es between pro­test­ers for and against the Egypt­ian Pres­i­dent Mohamed Morsy and his gov­ern­ment. The first shot, he says, is of a pro-gov­ern­ment sup­port­er bran­dish­ing what appears to be a rifle and point­ing it towards anti-Morsy pro­test­ers. Oth­er images show pro­test­ers from both sides throw­ing stones and even Molo­tov cock­tails at each oth­er. He says he and his com­pan­ions were chased from the area by pro-Morsy sup­port­ers and forced to knock on the doors of near­by homes beg­ging peo­ple to take them in. “Under [oust­ed for­mer pres­i­dent Hos­ni] Mubarak it was the same,” he said. “He would send his thugs with knives and stones and molo­tov cock­tails [to protests]. It’s exact­ly the same bat­tle.” At present, he says, the army is sta­tioned out­side the palace and the streets are lit­tered with rub­ble from last night’s vio­lence.
    — sarah­browngb, CNN iRe­port pro­duc­er

    haunt­ed by Islam­ic fas­cist
    After the huge peace­ful protest yes­ter­day against Mor­si, today it turned to a bloody bat­tle between the pro­test­ers and Mor­si sup­port­ers (Islamists and Pro-Islamists main­ly)
    Islamists attacked the Sit-In, beat women, burn the tents and sleep­ing bags, extend­ed barbed wires,
    They swept the Sit-In, attacked the pro­test­ers, hunt­ing them down with bats and banch­es (they cut off the trees and throw­ing stones)
    They also used Rifle car­tridges, tear gas­es and knives, (Ahmed Doma-polit­i­cal activist and oppo­si­tion­ist) has been attacked by Islam­ic thugs, they stabbed him in the face with a knife which caused 15 stich­es wound.
    Islamists thugs beat the pro­test­ers who said No for Mor­si dic­ta­to­r­i­al decree, exact­ly what happed dur­ing the Egypt­ian rev­o­lu­tion, when Mubarak sent his thugs to attack the pro­test­ers in Tahrir Sq.
    Now,Morsi is a text­book Islam­ic fas­cist, who elim­i­nates the oppo­si­tion or unleash his thugs to attack them.
    It’s remark­able that no one of the police or the army involved in this bat­tle, it’s sus­pi­cious absence of secu­ri­ty forces in this crit­i­cal area (the pres­i­den­tial palace diam­e­ter.)
    Sit­u­a­tion in Egypt is get­ting ugli­er by time.
    Hasan Amin
    Cairo
    5-12-2012

    Unfor­tu­nate­ly, it’s look­ing like the vio­lence won’t be end­ing any­time soon:

    CBS/AP/ Decem­ber 6, 2012, 2:05 AM
    Egypt deploys tanks, troops to keep Pres­i­dent Mor­si’s friends and foes apart after dead­ly clash­es

    Updat­ed at 11:50 a.m. ET

    CAIRO The Egypt­ian army sealed off the pres­i­den­tial palace with barbed wire and armored vehi­cles Thurs­day as pro­test­ers defied a dead­line to vacate the area, press­ing for­ward with demands that Islamist leader Mohammed Mor­si rescind decrees giv­ing him­self near-absolute pow­er and with­draw a dis­put­ed draft con­sti­tu­tion.

    Inside the palace gates, Mor­si met with mem­bers of his Cab­i­net and mil­i­tary lead­ers to dis­cuss the expand­ing cri­sis after fierce street bat­tles in an upscale res­i­den­tial sub­urb of Cairo killed five peo­ple and left more than 600 injured in the worst out­break of vio­lence between the two sides since the Islamist lead­er’s elec­tion.

    ...

    Com­pound­ing Mor­si’s woes, four of his advis­ers resigned Wednes­day, join­ing two oth­er mem­bers of his 17-mem­ber advi­so­ry pan­el who have aban­doned him since the cri­sis began.

    Six tanks and two armored vehi­cles belong­ing to the Repub­li­can Guard, an elite unit tasked with pro­tect­ing the pres­i­dent and his palaces, were sta­tioned Thurs­day morn­ing at roads lead­ing to the palace in the upscale Cairo dis­trict of Heliopo­lis. The guard’s com­man­der, Maj. Gen. Mohammed Zaki, sought to assure Egyp­tians that his forces were not tak­ing sides.

    “They will not be a tool to crush pro­test­ers and no force will be used against Egyp­tians,” he said in com­ments car­ried by the offi­cial MENA news agency.

    ...

    The vio­lence began when the Broth­er­hood called on its mem­bers to head to the pres­i­den­tial palace against what a state­ment termed as attempts by the oppo­si­tion to impose its will by force. In response, thou­sands descend­ed on the area Wednes­day, chas­ing away some 300 oppo­si­tion pro­test­ers who had been stag­ing a peace­ful sit-in out­side the palace’s main gate since the night before. Clash­es lat­er ensued with the two sides using rocks, sticks and fire­bombs.

    ...

    Mor­si, mean­while, remains deter­mined to press for­ward with plans for a Dec. 15 con­sti­tu­tion­al ref­er­en­dum to pass the new char­ter. The oppo­si­tion, for its part, is refus­ing dia­logue unless Mor­si rescinds the decrees giv­ing him near unre­strict­ed pow­ers and shelves the con­tro­ver­sial draft con­sti­tu­tion, which the pres­i­den­t’s Islamist allies rushed through last week in a marathon, all-night ses­sion shown live on state TV.

    Mohamed ElBa­radei, a lead­ing oppo­si­tion reform advo­cate, said late Wednes­day that Mor­si’s rule was “no dif­fer­ent” than Mubarak’s.

    “In fact, it is per­haps even worse,” the Nobel Peace Prize lau­re­ate told a news con­fer­ence after he accused the pres­i­den­t’s sup­port­ers of a “vicious and delib­er­ate” attack on peace­ful demon­stra­tors out­side the palace.

    Wednes­day’s vio­lence also spread to oth­er cities, with at least two Broth­er­hood offices set ablaze out­side Cairo.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | December 6, 2012, 9:19 am
  15. It turns out that even in the midst of a con­sti­tu­tion­al cri­sis that threat­ens to unrav­el the coun­try the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood can still find the time to devel­op an unhealthy fix­a­tion with the gays. The par­al­lels between the MB and the GOP are noth­ing new but this is get­ting ridicu­lous:

    For­eign Pol­i­cy
    Egypt: The pres­i­den­t’s six hands
    Post­ed By Mohamed El Dahshan Mon­day, Decem­ber 10, 2012 — 3:57 PM

    The intractabil­i­ty of the prob­lem in Egypt is caused by the pres­ence of three, not two, par­ties to the cur­rent dis­pute.

    The first of these par­ties is the pro­test­ers: those demand­ing a civ­il state and a prop­er con­sti­tu­tion guar­an­tee­ing human rights for all, which the cur­rent draft does not. They are women and men, old and young, Chris­t­ian and Mus­lim, poor and rich.

    The sec­ond is the state, rep­re­sent­ed by the three-head­ed hydra of Mor­si, Badie, and Shater. Pres­i­dent Mohammed Mor­si is the pub­lic face of the beast. Mohammed Badie is the Broth­er­hood’s Supreme Guide, whose words address the mem­bers of the Broth­er­hood. Kairat al-Shater is the orga­ni­za­tion’s most pow­er­ful man and its most promi­nent strate­gist. The pan­ic of these three men intro­duced the third par­ty into the cur­rent dis­pute.

    This third par­ty is the hordes of Mus­lim Broth­er­hood sup­port­ers. They are columns of men — almost always men — who are bussed into Cairo from out­ly­ing neigh­bor­hoods and cities for use as the Broth­er­hood’s foot sol­diers. They serve as pro­test­ers at one moment, as hired guns at anoth­er. The rea­sons they so obe­di­ent­ly fol­low orders is twofold: First, the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood indoc­tri­na­tion method requires absolute faith in the group’s hier­ar­chi­cal lead­er­ship. Sec­ond, those in charge are force-feed­ing them with hatred of the pro­test­ers, and they are cor­re­spond­ing­ly con­vinced that those who oppose Mor­si’s deci­sions are in fact god­less hea­thens who are also paid for­eign agents who want to ruin Egypt and allow men to mar­ry men. (There’s a very strange fix­a­tion on the mat­ter of gay mat­ri­mo­ny with­in Mus­lim Broth­er­hood pro­pa­gan­da I find very puz­zling.)

    And this is where the prob­lem becomes intractable.

    The polit­i­cal dis­agree­ment, between the pro­test­ers and the gov­ern­ment, has been com­pound­ed by anoth­er: between the oppo­si­tion pro­test­ers and the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood foot sol­diers. For the lat­ter, though, the con­flict isn’t polit­i­cal — it’s reli­gious and moral.

    Hav­ing par­al­lel dis­agree­ments on two dif­fer­ent planes ensures the impos­si­bil­i­ty of reach­ing a mid­dle ground.

    ...

    Yes, Egypt must embrace fas­cist Islamism...in order to stop the for­eign gay mar­riage agen­da. Look out Tea Par­ty! You have some com­pe­ti­tion. And Jean-Luc, you should prob­a­bly just look the oth­er away.

    Now we need to find some­thing EXTRA mind-numb­ing­ly stu­pid to cleanse the men­tal palate....

    hmm­mm...

    Ahh­hh, here we go...

    Jus­tice Scalia defends com­par­ing laws against homo­sex­u­al­i­ty, mur­der
    By Justin Sink — 12/11/12 09:47 AM ET

    U.S. Supreme Court Jus­tice Antonin Scalia equat­ed homo­sex­u­al­i­ty and mur­der on Mon­day as he argued at a Prince­ton sem­i­nar that elect­ed bod­ies should be allowed to reg­u­late actions they see as immoral.

    “If we can­not have moral feel­ings against homo­sex­u­al­i­ty, can we have it against mur­der? Can we have it against oth­er things?” Scalia said, accord­ing to The Asso­ci­at­ed Press.

    The jus­tice’s com­ments are sure to draw atten­tion with the Supreme Court set to enter the debate over gay mar­riage in its com­ing term.

    Scalia was asked about con­tro­ver­sial com­ments he had made in the past that argued that the con­sti­tu­tion­al­i­ty of sub­jects like the death penal­ty, abor­tion or sodomy laws were all “easy” to decide by con­sid­er­ing the Con­sti­tu­tion as under­stood by its writ­ers.

    Scalia said that while he did not believe such hyper­bole was “nec­es­sary,” he did think it was “effec­tive” in for­ward­ing his argu­ment that leg­is­la­tures should be allowed to ban acts they believe to be immoral.

    ...

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | December 11, 2012, 9:22 am
  16. Posted by GW | December 11, 2012, 11:53 am

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