Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Morsi's Last Decision?

Unrest in Egypt due to President Mohammed Morsi's power-grab nearly two weeks ago has finally culminated in what are the most violent protests Egypt has suffered since ex-President Hosni Mubarak was overthrown during the Arab Spring in 2011. Reporters on the ground in Cairo are reporting hundreds injured, with the crowds still rapidly growing as the sun goes down and darkness arrives. It is not difficult to imagine that by morning, the death toll could be rising, while leaders around the world scramble to figure out how to remediate the situation.

When I initially heard of Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood party being elected several months ago, I, like much of the Western world, was leery of the overbearing Islamic influence it would bring to a country that had quite literally fought to the death for a new era and a more modern state. Over time, however, I began to genuinely like President Morsi, and saw nothing of concern in the messages he put forth and the way he treated the Egyptian people. As I have written before, it is possible for terrorist organizations to reform themselves into viable and authentic political parties, and it quickly became apparent that this was what Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood intended to do in Egypt.

I am still of this mindset. Mohammed Morsi's power-grab was for the good of the Egyptian people: time and time again, the Egyptian legislature has been deadlocked when it comes to drafting up a new constitution, something the new Egyptian government cannot function without. As Americans, we are no strangers to the perils of partisan deadlock; therefore, it should be obvious why Morsi has decreed himself above the law until a new constitution is drafted. Without this hoarding of power, the Egyptians may very well never have the constitution they fought so hard to have passed.

The question now is whether Morsi's stubbornness will outlive the animosity of the Egyptian citizens, or vice versa. I am scared to think of what may happen in the coming days, should Morsi continue to refuse to back down. Egyptians are terrified of authoritarianism and will refuse to settle for it, and it would be no surprise if they rose up again in defiance of the Muslim Brotherhood, especially now backed by the likes of Mohamed El Baradei, Morsi's primary opponent, and others. Is hammering out the constitution worth the degradation and potential collapse of a nascent state? Morsi will need to seriously consider this. Because if Morsi decides not to renege on these powers he has granted himself, well-intentioned or not, it may be the last decision he makes as President of Egypt.

No comments:

Post a Comment