Monday, November 26, 2012

Egyptian President Morsy's Intentions Maybe Well-Intentioned But Egyptians Need to Monitor Him Closely

Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy  is to meet with members of Egypt's highest judicial body, which has slammed his recent decree slashing judges' authority as being an unprecedented attack on the rights of Egyptians. 

Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy
 If I were an Egyptian citizen, I would be very concerned about Mohamed Morsy ’s recent grab of additional presidential powers.  

This move by Morsy was described as temporary until a new Constitution has been formed.  Intellectually, it is easy to understand Morsy ’s reasoning.  As is likely former Mubarak supporters are probably hoping  this new fledgling democracy fails.  

With an entrenched Egyptian bureaucracy with some loyalties to Mubarak in the country’s judiciary and military, Morsy has a job ahead of himself.  

But his mistake, which could have been easily rectified with open dialogue with his opposition, was to assume he had the national mandate to seize complete control of the national judiciary system.

The track record for any new Middle Eastern democracy remaining a democracy is tenuous at the very least let alone a democracy reliant upon the Quran.  (Like Muslim extremists, there are Christian extremists who wave the Bible around to justify oppression of those who have views different than their own. )

The women and non-Muslims residents of Egypt should be very concerned if Morsy is talking about redesigning a nation based on Shariah laws.  My gut feeling, when Mubarak was ousted, most citizens were not looking for a nation closely resembling Iran.

However, if Morsy is being sincere  that his seizing more powers is temporary, it could be a much-needed remedy to assure that there is real progress in drawing up the new framework of the new Egyptian democracy. 

A new Egyptian constitution should allow for incorporation of diverse ideas and hopefully keeps organized religion and clerics out of the picture.

The real concern would be if Morsy does not relinquish his powers at the end of the 6 months when a new constitution has been drawn up.  Running a nation with no opposition could be a bit intoxicating to even the United Stated educated Morsy.

As evidenced with the protests in the street, the citizens may correctly smell a dictatorship brewing again and correctly so the population is letting Morsy and his followers know that direction is unacceptable.  
North American and European democracies on a whole guarantee freedom of expression and allow for religious diversity.   These nations do not have state religions.  By no means perfect, these democracies have had their difficulties and scandals, but on a whole the human rights of the citizens of these nations are protected.

Perhaps what may prevent religious extremists running Egypt is that Egypt is already a modern nation with an educated and much more diverse population.  When Mubarak was ousted and the recent protests, the Egyptians have demonstrated that they do not wish to go to the extremes of other Middle Eastern nations.

Regardless what Morsy decides to do in the next few days----active vigilance by the Egyptian population will likely need to continue to assure that another Mubarak let alone a Muslim  type regime would ever emerge.

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