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Égypt-actus
Égypt-actus
revue de presse sur l'actualité culturelle, archéologique, politique et sociale de l'Égypte
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Can Egypt’s Elite Plug Its Growing Credibility Gap

Can Egypt’s Elite Plug Its Growing Credibility Gap | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it
In the past, a growing gap between what Egypt’s governing elites delivered and the population’s legitimate aspirations would have been addressed by imposing further repression. The new Egypt will not allow this. The empowerment of ordinary Egyptians has fundamentally changed things. Egypt’s political elites do not have unlimited time, and current economic trends are making the need to act increasingly urgent. 

Facing a turbulent political situation and recurrent street protests, Egypt’s political elite would be well advised to focus on the economic implications of the current turmoil, whether they are in government or in opposition. Doing so would lead them to recognize seven compelling reasons why a more collaborative approach to solving Egypt’s problems is in the country’s collective interest, as well as in their own individual interests.

 

First, if the social and political disorder persists, Egypt’s economy will end up with crippling inflation, severe balance-of-payments problems, and a budgetary crisis. The risk of a vicious, self-reinforcing downward spiral would rise sharply.

 

More on: http://www.economywatch.com/economy-business-and-finance-news/can-egypts-elite-plug-its-growing-credibility-gap-mohamed-el-erian.08-02.html

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Double Take 'Toons: Egypt in Turmoil

Double Take 'Toons: Egypt in Turmoil | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

Two years after the fall of Hosni Mubarak's regime, Egypt is suffering from economic instability and political strife.

Emad Hajjaj wonders whether the country's hard-won freedoms can survive, while Luojie isn't sure that President Mohamed Morsi is equal to Egypt's problems.

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Egypt's relative calm not expected to last for long - People's Daily Online

Egypt's relative calm not expected to last for long - People's Daily Online | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

Egyptis now relatively and " cautiously" calm and may witness tumult in the following months after tens of people were killed and several hundreds others injured in clashes between security forces and protesters over the past few days, observers said.

Although Egypt looks calm with its public squares being quiet and traffic returning to normal, some analysts believe that it is "a calm before the storm."

"Although the situation looks stable, it is not stable for real, " Saeed Sadeq, a political sociology professor at the American University in Cairo, told Xinhua, citing the overwhelming protests across the country, the political tension dividing the Egyptian society as well as the economic recession.

"The year of 2013 will be tumultuous in Egypt," Sadeq warned.

On Saturday, the National Salvation Front (NSF), Egypt's main opposition bloc which had earlier agreed to participate in the national dialogue sponsored by President Mohamed Morsi, said it " completely sides with the people's calls to topple the authoritarian regime and the Muslim Brotherhood's control."

The NSF also said that it would not engage in the dialogue unless the recent bloodshed is stopped and investigated as the opposition was infuriated by a video of a protester being beaten up by central security forces' truncheons and accused Morsi of ordering a harsh crackdown on demonstrators.

Observers believe the withdrawal of the NSF has negatively affected its popularity.

 

Egypt-actus's insight:

A recent survey showed that over 80 percent of the Egyptians are unhappy with the NSF," said Ahmed Qandil, a political expert at al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies.

"Egyptians now mistrust the political scene in general," Qandil told Xinhua, "So both the state leadership and the opposition must resort to talks to resolve the outstanding issues and boost their popularity."

Some protesters attempted Monday to break into police stations in Gharbiya governorate's city of Tanta, some 80 km away from the capital Cairo, over the death of a political activist.

Egypt's relative calm may not last for long, Qandil concluded, adding that "It all depends on the willingness of rival political forces to engage in real dialogue and reach consensus. Otherwise, bloody scene could be seen once again."


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Taking stock of Egypt’s revolution

Taking stock of Egypt’s revolution | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

Two years after the fall of Hosni Mubarak, the shifting political situation in Egypt remains unsettled. DW sorts through the chaos and answers questions about the most important developments in the country.

What does the current state of emergency mean for Egyptians?

After riots that left dozens dead, Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi declared a temporary state of emergency in a number of cities in January 2013. For many Egyptians, the emergency measures bring back memories of former president Hosni Mubarak. Mubarak assumed power in 1981 after the assassination of his predecessor, Anwar El Sadat, and consolidated power with the help of emergency legislation that was continually extended up until the end of May 2012 - long after he stepped down.

A state of emergency, which the constitution allows in the event of war or catastrophe, restricts civil rights and simultaneously increases the power of security forces. They can, for example, arrest any "suspicious person" without needing grounds for doing so. Both of Mubarak's predecessors, Gamal Abdel Nasser and Anwar El Sadat, also declared states of emergency to ensure their own positions of power.

How much power does Mohammed Morsi have?

When Mohammed Morsi assumed the office of the Egyptian presidency in June 2012, his authority was still unclear. The new constitution had yet to be prepared. The interim constitution that was valid between March 2011 and December 2012 was shaped in large part by Egypt's Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF); in the process, the military secured sole supreme command over Egyptian security forces.

 

The new Egyptian constitution, which has been in effect since December 26, 2012, also provided the military a degree of independence from the government. The constitution is frequently criticized as "Islamist," because hardly any views of liberal, secular and leftist groups are represented in the document. However, it passed a popular referendum and designated the authority of the president.

In reality, Morsi's political reach goes far beyond the powers formally entrusted to him in the office of the president. He is able to leverage his power through the Muslim Brotherhood, which has tremendous influence throughout Egypt. Morsi was a member of the group up until he became president. Many observers presume that Morsi's political decisions were an attempt to help his former party achieve a majority in parliament. (...)

Egypt-actus's insight:

Can Egypt reclaim leadership of the Arab world?

Cairowas long considered the center of the Arab world. But in the past two decades, the economic and political influence of the Gulf monarchies has grown at the expense of Egypt, the Arab world's most populous nation with 80 million people. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has attracted investors and guest workers from all over the world and has turned Dubai into a modern metropolis, where many Egyptians work as well.

Qatarhas used its wealth from gas and oil extraction to make a name for itself in the world. For example, the television network Al Jazeera - which has become the leading media outlet in the Arab world - is considered by some observers to be an arm of Qatari foreign policy. In addition, the emir of Qatar has become something of a regional conflict mediator in recent years, a role once played by Egypt. Saudi Arabia, meanwhile, has bought a certain amount of economic and political influence in Egypt by lending Cairo financial support.

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ÉGYPTE • Amr Al-Shobaki : “Le pire est devant nous”

ÉGYPTE • Amr Al-Shobaki : “Le pire est devant nous” | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

Editorialiste réputé du quotidien Al-Masri Al-Youm, enseignant en sciences politiques et député réformateur, Amr Al-Shobaki revient sur les émeutes qui agitent le nord du pays et dispense quelques conseils au président Morsi.

Que dites-vous de la vague de colère qui déferle sur l’Egypte ?
Amr Al-Shobaki Il faut distinguer deux choses. D’une part, il y a la colère qui s’exprime dans la rue depuis le 25 janvier, date du deuxième anniversaire de la révolution, contre le pouvoir actuel des Frères musulmans. Des centaines de milliers de personnes ont manifesté pacifiquement ce jour-là leur refus de voir les Frères musulmans se mettre au-dessus des institutions. Leurs demandes sont claires et légitimes. D’autre part, il y a les scènes de violence auxquelles on assiste à Port-Saïd, à Suez et à Alexandrie. Je les condamne totalement. Est-il acceptable qu’à Port-Saïd plus de 30 personnes meurent, la plupart dans la fleur de l’âge, à la suite de la condamnation à mort de 21 personnes, dont beaucoup sont des baltaguiat [voyous] notoires ou ont de graves antécédents ?

Comment le gouvernement aurait-il dû traiter cette crise à Port-Saïd ? Il aurait dû expliquer qu’il ne s’agissait pas de s’en prendre à la ville – car les citoyens, là-bas, ont l’impression d’être visés collectivement. C’est ce qui explique leurs réflexes tribaux et le fait qu’ils fassent bloc autour des coupables. Il aurait fallu qu’ils comprennent que la justice a condamné des voyous, des voyous qui ne sont pas spécifiques à Port-Saïd.

Et qu’en est-il des violences à Suez ?
A Suez, les gens ont l’impression de ne pas être entendus par les Frères musulmans, qui n’ont en effet de considération que pour leur propre confrérie et pour leur “famille”. [Le président Morsi fait souvent référence, dans ses discours, à “[sa] famille et tribu”, afin de créer un sentiment de proximité avec les Egyptiens.] Cette attitude rappelle celle de l’ancien régime. C’est tout à fait normal de la part d’un exécutif dont les fils sont tirés en coulisses par l’organisation des Frères musulmans, une organisation qui défend ses propres intérêts et non ceux du peuple égyptien.

Le chaos risque-t-il de s’étendre à d’autres régions du pays ?
Malheureusement, la violence risque d’aller croissant et d’atteindre d’autres régions.

L’armée pourrait-elle intervenir en faveur d’un camp ou d’un autre ?
Premièrement, l’armée ne doit pas se comporter comme elle l’a fait pendant la période de transition. Ensuite, je pense qu’elle n’interviendra que pour protéger les installations vitales, pas pour prendre parti.

Que se passera-t-il en cas d’affrontements entre citoyens et partisans des Frères musulmans ?
Il y a déjà eu des affrontements entre partisans des Frères et révolutionnaires devant la présidence de la République [en novembre dernier]. Si cela devait se reproduire, l’armée ne pourrait “malheureusement” pas intervenir. Le régime actuel doit se rendre compte qu’en cas de poursuite de la violence il ne pourra pas régler le problème en ayant recours à l’armée. Il faudra au contraire qu’il trouve d’urgence une issue politique.

Que pensez-vous de la façon qu’a le ministère de l’Intérieur de gérer la situation ?
L’Intérieur est en mode autodéfense. Les policiers ne se laisseront plus utiliser par quelque régime que ce soit pour affronter le peuple. Or, à Port-Saïd par exemple, où des habitants ont attaqué une prison et tué 2 policiers, on a désormais affaire à une vendetta entre policiers et criminels. Cela n’a plus rien à voir avec la politique des Frères musulmans.

Comment voyez-vous l’avenir ?
L’Egypte va au-devant d’une énorme crise et le pire est à venir.

Quelle est la solution ?
Les Frères doivent réviser leur politique en profondeur. Il faut reprendre à la base les fondements sur lesquels repose le régime actuel. Cela ne peut se faire qu’en révisant les articles controversés de la Constitution, en mettant un terme à la politique des Frères, qui consiste à établir leur domination sur tous les rouages de l’Etat, et en mettant en règle le statut de la confrérie [association qui fonctionne toujours comme une organisation secrète, aucune régularisation de sa situation n’ayant eu lieu depuis la révolution].






 

 

 

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All sides must meet to end Egypt violence - ElBaradei

All sides must meet to end Egypt violence - ElBaradei | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

Opposition politician Mohamed El Baradei said Egypt needed an urgent meeting between the president, other ruling officials, Islamist groups and the opposition to agree steps to end a wave of violence that has killed more than 50 people.

 

"We need an immediate meeting between the president, defence and interior ministers, the ruling party, the Salafis and the National Salvation Front to take urgent steps to halt the violence and start serious dialogue," ElBaradei wrote on his Twitter account.

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Washington casts wary eye at Muslim Brotherhood; foreign aid threatened

Washington casts wary eye at Muslim Brotherhood; foreign aid threatened | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

President Barack Obama begins his second term straining to maintain a good relationship with Egypt, an important U.S. ally whose president is a conservative Islamist walking a fine line between acting as a moderate peace broker and keeping his Muslim Brotherhood party happy with anti-American rhetoric.

The White House last summer had hoped to smooth over some of the traditional tensions between Washington and the Brotherhood, a party rooted in opposition to Israel and the U.S., when Egypt overthrew dictator Hosni Mubarak and picked Mohammed Morsi as its first democratically elected leader.

But a spate of recent steps — from Brotherhood-led attacks on protesters, to vague protestations of women's freedoms in the nation's new constitution, to revelations of old comments by Morsi referring to Jews as "bloodsuckers" and "pigs" — have raised alarm among senior U.S. officials and threatens $1 billion in American aid to Egypt.(...)

The White House has little interest in picking a fight with the Muslim Brotherhood, which has grown in size and stature across the region since the Arab Spring revolts. (...)

 

When Egyptians elected Morsi, he offered words of moderation, brokered a cease-fire between Israelis and Palestinians in Gaza and bore down on terrorist dens in the Sinai Peninsula.

The Morsi-led government is "a new administration and they're obviously having growing pains," said a senior Obama administration official who agreed to speak on condition of anonymity so he could discuss the diplomatic relationship more candidly.(...)

 

The White House is increasingly concerned about the direction the Brotherhood is taking Egypt: "It's not just about majority rule," the administration official said. "There are democratic principles that we continue to support."(...)

 

 

Egypt-actus's insight:

Despite its misgivings about Morsi, the White House still is pushing Congress for the funding, acknowledging thatEgypt's downfall all but certainly would roil the already turbulent Mideast andNorth Africa.

 

He added: "The biggest fear on the part of the (Obama) administration is a political breakdown inEgypt. They are worried that a collapse in the Egyptian state would be destabilizing on the region, and might allow the flow of arms and fighters among more radical movements in the region — especially in trouble spots like Sinai and Gaza."(..)

 

But Washingtonremains wary of Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood, "who come from a very conservative viewpoint with issues that are very important toAmerica," said Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (…)

 

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Brotherhood Struggles to Exert Political Power in Egypt

Brotherhood Struggles to Exert Political Power in Egypt | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

 When President Mohamed Morsi and his allies in the Muslim Brotherhood pushed through a new constitution last month, liberals feared it would enable them to put an Islamist stamp on the Egyptian state, in part by purging nearly half the judges on the Supreme Constitutional Court.

But those warnings are turning out to be premature, at the very least, as the court itself made clear last week at its opening session, its first meeting under the new charter.

The president of the court sneered with disdain at a lawyer for the Muslim Brotherhood trying to address the reconfigured bench, stripped of 7 of its 18 members. “As if you left a court to be spoken of like this!” Judge Maher el-Beheiry snapped. He had already declared that the court, perceived as an enemy of the Islamists, “can never forget” the Brotherhood’s protests against it during the constitutional debate.

In the two years since the ouster of Hosni Mubarak, Mr. Morsi and the Islamists have trounced their political opposition again and again at the polls and have accumulated unrivaled political power.

But Judge Beheiry’s rebuke was a vivid reminder that their political victories have not yet translated into real power over the Egyptian bureaucracy. Mr. Morsi still appears to exercise little day-to-day authority over the judiciary, the police, the military and the state-run news media. (...)

Although Mr. Morsi has the legitimacy of a democratic election, he has inherited the still-intact remnants of Mr. Mubarak’s authoritarian state, built on fear, loyalty and patronage, and much of it permeated by a deep distrust of the Islamists.

Mr. Morsi and his allies are now only beginning to attempt to exert some control over the body of the state that would allow him to put in effect a social, economic and political program. And his ultimate success, or failure, will help decide some of the most pivotal questions concerning Egypt’s future, for better or worse.

Egypt-actus's insight:

On the one hand, the bureaucracy’s resistance could prevent the Islamists from consolidating their power, imposing their ideology, or, as some liberals say they fear, building a new dictatorship. But the failure to exert control could also prolong vexing social problems, like the collapse of public security because of the withdrawal of the police.

The analysts say that Mr. Morsi is clearly working to install networks of allies over key parts of the state. He has named Brotherhood members as governors in 7 out of 28 provinces. In a recent cabinet shake-up, he named another Brotherhood member as minister of local development, who under the new Constitution could have new powers over day-to-day local government.

His Islamist allies in the legislature named at least 11 fellow Islamists, including at least 3 ultraconservatives, to the 27 seats on the newly empowered National Council for Human Rights. The Constitution and other new rules give it the authority to regulate election observers, investigate human rights violations and act as a public ombudsman.

But Mr. Morsi’s attempts to consolidate his power have often yielded equivocal results. He finally persuaded Egypt’s top generals to relinquish their authority over the civilian government last August. But in December, the Islamist-backed Constitution granted the generals broad immunity and autonomy from civilian control, in an apparent quid pro quo. (....)

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Father pleads with Morsi to halt 'torture' of detained son

Father pleads with Morsi to halt 'torture' of detained son | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

Egyptian father demands President Mohamed Morsi open torture investigation and apply 'human rights mentioned in constitution' to his detained son and other prisoners

Egypt-actus's insight:

Sayed Ahmed, a resident of Upper Egypt's Bani Sweif, said his son can barely move after suffering severe disciplinary measures in Cairo's Tora Prison, adding that the accused, who is in his 30s, sleeps on bare wet floor with no covers.

"Where are the human rights mentioned in the constitution which we voted for (in December)?" he said in the letter sent to Morsi.

"These rights are supposed to protect even prisoners who are serving sentences ... My son hasn't been convicted yet," he added.

The son, Ahmed, who is accused of killing a neighbor, has been denied visits and not even allowed to leave the cell, the father said.

Tora Prison, however, made an exception for his parents last week after his mother pleaded for a visit.

According to Ahram Arabic news website, Ahmed is being punished after a prison guard found LE200 on him.

Detainees and prisoners are not allowed to keep banknotes inside the prison.

Tens of torture cases in Egypt have been reported by NGOs since Morsi came to power in June 2012.

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L’Égypte deviendra-t-elle un État totalitaire ?

L’Égypte deviendra-t-elle un État totalitaire ? | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

Les Frères musulmans ont fait un pas de géant en avant dans la consolidation de leur pouvoir en Égypte par le passage réussi de la nouvelle constitution rédigée par 64 pour cent d’entre ceux qui ont voté. Viennent ensuite les élections législatives dans deux mois à travers desquelles la Fraternité reprendra le contrôle du pouvoir législatif. Dans l'intervalle, elle a empli la haute chambre du Parlement, appelée le Conseil de la Choura, avec ses propres membres qui auront le pouvoir de légiférer jusqu'à ce que la nouvelle chambre basse soit élue.

 

Le Président Mohammed Morsi a déjà avec succès réussi à faire la paix avec la puissante armée égyptienne et à la décapiter. La nouvelle constitution lui a donné le pouvoir de purger la Cour suprême constitutionnelle en réduisant sa taille de 18 à 11 membres. Le Président du Syndicat des avocats, Sameh Achour, a indiqué le but: « Il s’agit de plans monopolistiques. La Fraternité veut contrôler tous les aspects de l’État ».

 

Autrement dit, ceci sera un coup de balai!

 

Pourquoi s’inquiéter ? La démocratie islamiste n’est pas seulement une étape sur la voie de la démocratie telle qu’elle est comprise en Occident ? N’est-ce pas pour cela que les États-Unis soutiennent l’Égypte, et que l’Administration américaine a courtisé les Frères musulmans depuis que le Président Barack Obama a fait asseoir ses membres, au premier rang lors de son célèbre discours au Caire en 2009 ? N’est-ce pas une partie du Printemps arabe ?

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Garvan Walshe: Make aid to Egypt conditional on credible observers for this month’s elections

(...) “Turkish model.” It is, rather like the “Turkish vice,” If in Victorian times it was thought that the Ottoman court had an unusually permissive attitude to homosexuality, in modern Turkey there are supposed to exist impeccably democratic and moderate Islamists, who marry strict religious dogma with fidelity to parliamentary institutions and the rule of law.

In the early stages of Egypt’s revolution, the Muslim Brotherhood let it be known that it understood the need for moderation. That while it had been allowed more space by the Mubarak regime than competing political forces, it realised it did not really represent as broad a swathe of Egyptian society as its electoral strength would suggest.  It wouldn’t contest more than a quarter of the seats. But then a quarter became a third, a third a “majority,” and eventually the majority expanded to include every seat for which it could muster a candidate.

And since then Mohammed Morsi, the Brotherhood’s backup president (the movement’s first choice having been excluded on a technicality) has seized every opportunity to increase his, and his movement’s, power. There was the terrorist attack in the Sinai, after which he dismissed top generals. The constitutional convention, originally planned to be broadly representative of Egypt, rammed through Islamist doctrine, its work accelerated by a (metaphorical) guillotine. We shouldn’t forget, as well, that Morsi only won very narrowly against Ahmed Shafik, an unpopular apparatchik of the old regime, in a run-off generated from a field winnowed by a farcical catalogue of abstruse disqualifications. (...)

Morsi understands very well that political power goes to the man that controls the processes of its exercise, but he appears to have forgotten that however disciplined and hierarchical the Muslim Brotherhood itself may be, Egypt is considerably more difficult to control. Each of his previous power grabs worked because the opposition was divided or demoralised. Thinking his international cover secure, having taken credit for Hamas’s ceasefire last December, he executed what in Latin America is called an autogolpe, or self-coup, by means of a decree eliminating all constitutional checks on his power.  After intense protests this time he backed down. (...)

Egypt-actus's insight:

A consolidated Brotherhood regime would remind us far more of the bureaucratic centralism of a Soviet Party-state (what emerges should Morsi’s grip slip and the Army attempt to reimpose military rule is another matter entirely).(...)

But unlike the Soviet Union, Egypt needs the outside world. It needs investment and continued aid from the US and European Union. Morsi himself still craves international status. Egypt’s institutions, weak though they are, still retain some structure and independence. The next crunch point will be the parliamentary elections in three weeks. Aid, and respectability, should come with conditions, and in particular a credible international observer mission to prevent electoral fraud. It’s too late for the opposition to win, but not too late to create conditions where they can fight another day.

 

 

More on:http://conservativehome.blogs.com/thecolumnists/2013/02/garvan-walshe-make-aid-to-egypt-conditional-on-credible-observers-for-this-months-elections-.html

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Articles: Obama's Egyptian Dilemma

Articles: Obama's Egyptian Dilemma | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

At the same time that the Obama administration has decided to provideEgyptwith the most sophisticated varieties of American weaponry, mass protests against the increasingly dictatorial regime of Mohamed Morsi reached a magnitude that threatens the very foundations of the Egyptian statehood. This shocking dichotomy raises questions as to why the most important leader in the world and the supreme commander of the most powerful armed force is so confused and so helpless while facing the challenges of radical Islam.

It's very likely that President Obama's views of Islam-related problems is based on his childhood experience inIndonesia. Undoubtedly, those impressions have created an image that the majority of Muslims are good people. This is absolutely correct. As far as the radical Islamists are concerned, however, Mr. Obama's attitude is mistaken. What is even worse is that it impacted in a negative way his strategic thinking and the practical conduct of his policy.

For President Obama, the term "radical Islam" is a kind of taboo -- for the first four years of his term, he didn't master the courage to pronounce it even once. Instead, he prefers to define the adherents of radical Islam simply as "terrorists." The problem here is that terror is a method used by the enemy but not its name... Given this ignorance or arrogance, it is a small wonder that the president and his secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, were not able to develop an effective strategy towards radical Islam in general and towards Egypt in particular.

Consequently, theUnited States' foreign policy regarding a fanatical and dedicated enemy bent on the destruction of everything that makes life worth living has been seriously crippled. Even more, the actions of the current administration are facilitating the growth of the poisonous seeds of radical Islam.

The first ray of hope for an ambitious and hard-core Muslim Brotherhood leader by the name of Mohamed Morsi to assume that his hour had struck emerged when it became clear that theUnited Stateshas thrown its loyal ally, Hosni Mubarak, under the bus.

 

In July of 2011 Secretary Hillary Clinton made a statement to the effect that theUnited States was recognizing the Muslim Brotherhood as a legitimate participant in Egyptian political life. In practice, this meant that theUnited States was ready to recognize a Muslim Brotherhood government inEgypt provided that Mohamed Morsi won the election.

Secretary Clinton's declaration was a fatal mistake. All the Department of State had to do was to issue a declaration making it abundantly clear that theUnited States would respect the right of the people ofEgypt to choose a government of its liking. At the same time however, this statement should have left no doubt thatWashington wouldn't offer any assistance to a tyrannical government that was about to violate the human rights and political freedom of women and minorities. Such an American strategy would have brought a victory to Morsi's rival, Ahmed Shafiq -- a popular and intelligent general with solid secular credentials.

Egypt-actus's insight:

Once in power, Morsi's very first step was to tighten the knot of the cord that President Obama had placed around his own wrists by making clear his belief in the legitimacy of the Muslim Brotherhood. Very soon, however, theGazaconflict broke out. In the middle of the bloody duel between Hamas' missiles and the Israeli bombings, Morsi sent his prime minister, Hesham Qandi, toGaza. Qandi gave inspirational and highly provocative speeches encouraging the continuation of Hamas attacks onIsrael.

At the same time, the Egyptian President was busy building a completely different image on behalf of President Obama, who had sent his secretary of state toCairo, all the way from distantBurma. Upon reaching the capital ofEgypt, the jet-lagged Secretary of State received Morsi's assurances that Hamas was ready to stop shooting missiles intoIsrael...

This was an excellent strategic move by Morsi, bestowing as it did the status of complete master of the situation inGaza. With his help, the attacks onIsraelwould be stopped. But if some kind of pressure on theUnited States and Israelis desired, then the missiles will fly.

Perhaps dizzy from so much brilliance, Morsi committed one very important mistake. Assuming that the ground for the dreamt-of Islamo-totalitarian eternity he had prepared forEgyptwas ready, the new President of Egypt rushed to proclaim absolutist power over the country. The new dictator was in such a precious hurry to Islamize Egypt that he immediately imposed a constitution suspiciously similar to the Iranian one.

 

This decisive step proved to be premature. The young opponents of the authoritarian regime of President Mubarak once again filledTahrir Square, demanding this time the resignation of the impatient totalitarian by the name of Mohamed Morsi.

An interesting difference emerged between the current demonstrations and the turmoil that brought down President Mubarak. When historicTahrir Squarewas filled with angry demonstrators against Mubarak, the Department of State decided to undercut him by proscribing to the embattled statesman any violent response and demanding release of political prisoners. (By the way, one of the released "victims of the repressive regime of Mubarak" was an individual currently detained for his participation in theBenghazimurders.)

Events now envelopingTahrir Squarerepresent a huge dilemma to the Obama administration. The problem is that the anti-Morsi demonstrations are of such a magnitude that at one point the new dictator was chased out of his palace, which upon his return he transformed into a fortress surrounded with barbed wire and tanks. (...)

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Egypt's great risk of collapse

Egypt's great risk of collapse | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

The mass demonstrations and violence in Egypt during the past week may look a little like the revolution that erupted two years ago — but they are utterly different.

The principal protagonists in the streets are mostly not common citizens seeking an end to dictatorship but gangs of hooligans, angry and restless youth, remnants of the former regime’s security forces and a brutal and corrupt police force that answers to no authority other than itself. As Egypt’s defense minister correctly put it Tuesday, at stake is not the overthrow of a regime, but the collapse of the state into anarchy.

Egypt’s Islamist government and its secular opposition, though polarized into warring camps in recent months, have a common interest in putting an end to the chaos before it consumes the country.

The question is whether leaders on both sides can set aside the overreaching agendas and uncompromising tactics that have brought them to this emergency.

President Mohammed Morsi, who won a two-round democratic election last year, has considerably more legitimacy and popular support than did former ruler Hosni Mubarak. But he and his Freedom and Justice Party, backed by the Muslim Brotherhood, have helped create the crisis by adopting some of the former regime’s tactics. Mr. Morsi has smeared reasonable opponents as criminals, tried to intimidate the press and used autocratic methods to force through his agenda.

The swelling unrest last month has its roots in the mass protests Mr. Morsi provoked last year by suspending the judiciary in order to complete a new constitution.

Opposition leaders, who range from former followers of Mr. Mubarak or his nationalist predecessor, Gamal Abdel Nasser, to liberal democrats and Christians, also have much to answer for.

Egypt-actus's insight:

Having lost two elections and a referendum to Islamic forces in the past year, many appear reluctant to play by democratic rules. Some have demanded political capitulation by Mr. Morsi as the price of accepting the government’s offer of dialogue; others openly seek the overthrow of the new regime.

The weakness and intransigence of both sides have empowered anarchic forces such as the police, unreformed since the fall of the Mubarak regime, hooligans and unemployed young men, who in the past week have battled one another in Cairo and cities along the Suez Canal, killing scores.

Meanwhile, the army, also outside the regime’s control, deliberates over whether to restore order, seize power for itself or remain on the sidelines.

Fortunately, there were signs this week that the politicians were beginning to see the imperative of coming together.

Opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei reversed his rejection of negotiations and called for a dialogue among his secular National Salvation Front, the Morsi government, Islamist parties outside the government and the military.

On Thursday the front met with the Muslim Brotherhood and agreed to oppose violence. There is much more to discuss, including possible changes to the constitution and a law governing upcoming parliamentary elections.

A new, national unity government is a worthy, if long-shot, goal. But above all, Egypt’s leaders must agree on restoring order.

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Egypt: A Difficult Learning Curve (Analysis)

Egypt: A Difficult Learning Curve (Analysis) | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

Entering its second year, the uprising that brought down President Mubarak is still trying to define itself. Would it evolve into full-fledged revolution with ALL the risks involved? Or will it be a parenthesis between two military regimes?

Judging by events of the past weekEgyptmay appear to be bracing for a giant revolutionary leap into the unknown. Footage of hooded youths in street battles against the security forces, with burning vehicles in the background, depicted scenes of urban guerrilla. Groups using the Black Bloc brand name have been on hand to add colour, recalling anarchist violence inEuropein the 1960s.

However, the possibility of the second option, that of a new military-dominated regime, also looks serious if only thanks to General Abdul-Fattah al-Sissi’s musings on his Facebook page. (...)

I think a third option may be possible and, hopefully, more likely.Egyptis neither moving towards revolution nor a new military dictatorship.

The rioters, including Black Bloc, have nothing positive to offer the Egyptian people. As for the military, they would do well to find other subjects to play with on their Facebook page.

Of the three options available, the third one, building the institutions of a pluralist state is hardest to achieve. It requires patience and imagination on the part of President Muhammad Mursi and those of his opponents who take  a longer view of things.

Mursi must never forget that he is president of all Egyptians and as such must bear even with those who challenge him with street riots. In the past week or so, however, he has overreacted, triggering the reflex of the old regime by calling in the army. Imposing he state of emergency was a mistake, not only because it reminded people of the bad old days but because it exposed his government’s nervousness.

Facing opponents who want to provoke him, Mursi’s best bet was not to be provoked. Mursi, however, played into the hands of the party of provocation.

The party of provocation is divided into two camps.

One wants to pull the nation’s politics into the streets and provoke the Muslim Brotherhood into urban guerrilla. It would then use such an event as the excuse to call on the military to “save the nation from annihilation” as suggested on General al-Sissi’s Facebook page.

A second camp hopes to turn the “street” into a counter-weight to a presidency backed by the Brotherhood’s shadowy underground networks.

In both cases, the politics of provocation could bring nothing but misery forEgypt. The last thingEgyptwants is another military dictatorship. Also, putting the “street” in the driving seat could preventEgyptfrom dealing with its problems in a serious manner.

Egypt-actus's insight:

Contrary to al-Sissi’s claim, street riots do not threaten the survival of the state. The general should also know that “differences concerning the management of the country” are normal in any civlised society.

Mursi and his government do not have a monopoly on wisdom and patriotism and should be challenged where and when necessary. However, the opposition also needs to review its copy. Right now, we have a great deal of dissent but little real opposition in Egypt.

Dissent means rejecting the options offered by the power in place without subjecting them to critical analysis and offering alternatives. (....) In the politics of dissent those in charge of government are judged by intentions attributed to them (...). Opposition is something different. Real opposition is capable of indicating both what it does not like and what it does want. More importantly, it judges those in charge not on the basis of assumed intentions but concrete acts.

 

Thus, Mursi should be judged not by what he might do but by what he has done and is doing. In virtually all circumstances, governments and oppositions learn from one another and modulate their respective strategies accordingly.


An opposition that pushes politics towards violence is bound to end up facing violence from the state. Conversely, a government using violence against opponents sows the seeds of violence against itself. An intellectually lazy government breeds an opposition that is equally lazy intellectually. Birds of the same feather not only fly together but, in politics at least, also fight one another.

Unleashing the police to bludgeon demonstrators into silence is a sign of intellectual laziness on the part of Mursi’s government. At the same time, setting dustbins on fire, to the chagrin of the zabbaleen in Cairo, exposes dissidents who cannot offer credible opposition to Mursi’s fragile government.

Mursi and "street" dissidents are in the same boat. If the boots return to the presidential palace both Mursi and the Black Bloc could share the same dungeon. If on the other hand, Egyptian cities are turned into battlegrounds for rival armed bands there would be no place for Mursi, who is not a street-fighter, and the opportunist politicians who are trying to surf to power on a wave of "street" anger.

 

New Egypt is on a learning curve. Both Mursi and those of his opponents who want a democraticEgyptmust take a deep breath. Mursi should learn to behave like a president rather than a party leader. His opponents should learn to behave like an opposition not a bunch of dissidents.

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Egypt Party To Launch Initiative On Resolving The Crisis

Egypt Party To Launch Initiative On Resolving The Crisis | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

The Egypt Party, headed by Dr Amr Khaled, decided to hold a conference on Thursday morning to announce a statement and the party's initiatives to save the Egyptian people and stop bloodshed. It also will declare its national road map to get out of the crisis that Egypt facing.

This came after the political office of Egypt Party held a meeting yesterday to discuss the current incidents and Port Said crisis, and to announce the party's situation of President Morsi's speech as well as the presidential institution, which didn't invite Amr Khaled for the national dialogue

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'You can't turn Egypt into a democracy overnight' (interview with Jan Techau,Director of think-tank Carnegie Europe )

'You can't turn Egypt into a democracy overnight' (interview with Jan Techau,Director of think-tank Carnegie Europe ) | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

Europeans can do little to help end violence in Egypt, says political analyst Jan Techau. But Mohammed Morsi will not want to create facts on the ground that would make a partnership with the EU impossible. (...)

 

Jan Techau: I think there's huge concern on behalf of the Europeans that this entire transition process can get out of hand and go in a distinctively wrong direction. There are lots of indicators that this may already be the case. But here in Brussels, the focus is on balance-thinking. Obviously the situation is not ideal, and obviously many people are greatly disappointed in Mohammed Morsi and in the way he's conducted affairs.

On the other hand, people here are quite realistic that you can't turn Egypt into a democracy overnight - after so many years of autocratic rule. So people are willing to cut the Egyptians some slack. They also understand the value of order that needs to be restored. But they're watching the situation very keenly in a very concerned way. (...)

 

A key role is played by the EU delegation, which is now an embassy really, that reports from Egypt and delivers an independent assessment of what's happening. All of this is currently being looked at. But the situation in Egypt is volatile and in flux. It's been difficult to exercise influence over Egypt after the end of Mubarak, and it's getting even more difficult now. (...)

 

The question is: What do you mean by involvement? The way the EU and the Europeans per se can influence the situation on the ground is very limited. One of the hallmarks of this revolutionary movement that brought Mohammed Morsi to power is that the people want their own decisions. They don't have an interest in getting outside powers involved very deeply. They're interested in trade; they're interested in development in the widest sense. Investment and agreements of that kind have been made between the Egyptians and the EU just recently. But the political influence you can have on the ground is very limited. Obviously, there's no military option.

 

In a situation of crisis, in particular, where the news is coming out on a minute by minute basis, it's very difficult to exercise a calming influence. In the end, Mohammed Morsi needs to manage the crisis in a way that leaves the door open to afterwards still talk to the Europeans, and not create facts on the ground that make him an impossible partner. I think the ball is very much in his court at the moment.(...)

Egypt-actus's insight:

I think the ball is mostly in Mohammed Morsi's court. The key in the kind of offer that Mohammed Morsi made is that he means it. It's important that he actually gives a real opening to these forces and does not just create some kind of a fig leaf, some kind of a token meeting that in the end is only there to calm down the masses.

 

Mohammed Morsi has not fully understood that the political situation in Egypt has changed in a way that you can't just restore autocratic rule under a different label, under the Muslim Brotherhood label. The situation has changed because of the revolution. More inclusion is needed. All kinds of people now have a voice. All of these people have to have a say. You will not get social peace in Egypt if you still think that you can talk to the people and it doesn't mean anything. This is the kind of learning curve that Mohammed Morsi is experiencing at the moment. The question is: How flexible can he be? Does he have it in himself to embrace the situation? Will his political allies let him? Ultimately only the Egyptians can answer these questions. Not us. (...)

 

Their [US & EU] influence is limited. The Europeans have a big economic force behind them. They have trade issues that the Egyptians are extremely interested in. The Europeans are also very strong at tourism and other factors, which the Egyptians bitterly need. That gives the Europeans some leverage. But that's more long-term political leverage than it is immediate crisis management leverage.

 

I don't think that any European leader can have much of an influence at this point. Nobody can pick up the phone and tell Mohammed Morsi how to do it. I think we can only take a long-term perspective. That is the trickiness of the issue: 95 percent of foreign policy consists of managing of things that happen on a daily basis. Only 5 percent is long-term. That's why much of the long-term outcome depends on crisis situations like this. So the immediate influence is very limited. The same goes for the Americans, who have a very strong military cooperation with Egypt. There, it's even more difficult to exercise influence because the role of the military in all of this is reduced. Mohammed Morsi is less dependent on them than Egypt's previous rulers were. He has his own mandate.

 

So my feeling is that the Americans - just like the Europeans - are hoping that this crisis can get resolved in a somewhat decent way. And then, they hope, the more long-term political process can start again, in which we have a stronger influence and can play out the cards that we have. (...)

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Réactions: Tweets d'El-Baradei et El-Aswani

Réactions:  Tweets d'El-Baradei et El-Aswani | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

 

Dr. Mohamed El-Baradei, Président du Parti de « la Constitution » a déclaré sur son compte Twitter que tout dialogue avec le président Morsi à l'heure actuelle serait une perte de temps.

 

Le Président devrait avoir le courage de déclarer pleinement ses responsabilités, en tant que président du pays, dans l'escalade des événements actuels.

 

D'autre part,l’écrivain Alaa El-Aswani a également publié un tweet, dans lequel il considérait que l’acceptation de l’invitation au dialogue national, lancée par le Président Morsi, tout en gardant en vigueur la Constitution actuelle, était une trahison pour la Révolution.


 

(pour El-Aswani: http://onaeg.com/?p=545182-

 

-أكد الدكتور محمد البرادعي، رئيس حزب الدستور، أن اى حوار مع الرئيس محمد مرسي فى الوقت الحالي، سيكون مضيعة للوقت، ما لم يتحلى بالشجاعة الادبية، ويعلن مسئوليته الكاملة كرئيس للبلاد، عن تصاعد الاحداث الجارية

 

- أكد الدكتورعلاء الاسوانى، الاديب والروائي العالمي، ان قبول دعوة الرئيس محمد مرسي للحوار، فى ظل الابقاء على الدستور الحالي، هو خيانة للثورة

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Francoise Autier's comment, January 28, 2013 2:15 AM
je n aime pas baradei mais il a raison. ca ne sert a rien de parler avec Morsi. et c est trop tard, il a trop de sang sur les mains !!!!
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Les partis Nassérites fusionnent

Les partis Nassérites fusionnent | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

Les 4 partis “nassérites”, à savoir, “La Dignité”, “l’Arabe Démocratique Nassérite », « la Réconciliation Nationale » et «le Congrès Populaire Nassérite » ont déclaré leur fusion lors d’une conférence de presse. Le nouveau parti unique se nommera « Le Parti Nassérite Uni ».

 

Le fils du Président Nasser,Abdel Hakim Nasser, a commenté que les jeunes générations étaient le véritable espoir sur lequel se fonde ce nouveau parti.

 

 

 

نظمت الأحزاب الناصرية الأربعة بمصر، وهي "الكرامة" والحزب "العربي الديمقراطي الناصري" و"الوفاق القومي" و"المؤتمر الشعبي الناصري"، مؤتمرا صحافيا بنقابة التطبيقيين، لإعلان الاندماج الرسمي لها تحت مسمى "الحزب الناصري الموحد".

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Leave politics out of the mosque, says Salafi Dawah leader

Leave politics out of the mosque, says Salafi Dawah leader | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

Salafi Dawah vice president Saeed Abdel Azim called on sheikhs and preachers to leave politics out of the mosque.

"We have been busy during the last period with politics ... and we moved away from our core mission, which is call to God through mosques,” he said in his Friday sermon at Rahma Mosque in Giza.

Egypt-actus's insight:

"The basic principle is dawah (preaching).  Politics is only one branch of Sharia," Abdel Azim said, adding that preaching has to take precedence.

"We must renew the concept of preaching, as it is almost disappearing amid politics and satellite TV," said Abdel Azim. He called on preachers to be gentle and kind with people, and to focus on spreading Islam across the world, like the Vatican does with Catholocism.

Abdel Azim pointed out to the need to avoid partisanship, and called on preachers not to alienate people through severity and cruelty.

He attacked the opposition coalition the National Rescue Front for its attempts to "demolish the Islamic project."

"More than 50 political parties rallied under the [National] Rescue Front to thwart the Islamic project, and they publicly stated their goal. But it is not unlikely that these parties and political trends will disappear soon," he said.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm (Egypt independent)

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iReMMO : Islam et politique - Samedi 12 janvier 2013

iReMMO : Islam et politique - Samedi 12 janvier 2013 | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it
Egypt-actus's insight:
Université populaire Méditerranée & Moyen-Orient par Institut Iremmo,  

10h30 -12h30 : Quel rôle joue l’ « Islam » dans les révolutions arabes ?, avec Farhad Khosrokhavar, directeur d’études à l’EHESS et chercheur au Centre d’Analyse et d’Intervention Sociologiques. Auteur de The New Arab Revolution that shook the world (Paradigm Publishers, Boulder, London, 2012)

14h-16h : Pourquoi parle-t-on tant de Charia ?, avec Nathalie Bernard-Maugiron, Directrice de recherche à l’Institut de recherche pour le développement (IRD) 

16h-18h : Tour d’horizon de « l’islam politique » en Turquie, avec Hamit Bozarslan, directeur d’études à l’EHESS et auteur d’Histoire de la Turquie contemporaine (La Découverte, 2007).

 

Contact et inscription : universite-populaire@iremmo.org

Participation : 20 euros pour la journée (12 euros pour les étudiants et les demandeurs d’emploi).

Horaires : 
 Séance 1 : 10h30-12h30 
 Séance 2 : 14h-16h 
 Séance 3 : 16h-18h

Lieu : 5, rue Basse des Carmes - 75005 Paris (Métro : Maubert-Mutualité)

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