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Posts Tagged ‘Mohammad Morsi

‘None of Morsi’s failures justified a coup’

Whom are you willing to believe? On the hard facts of how many died and how many were injured last week in Egypt?
The Moslem Brotherhood claim 200 killed by snipers on the head and chest, and over 1,000 injured around Egypt.
The various media increase the numbers gradually, from 27, to 53, to 77… just not to disturb the peaceful transition into hell.
Egypt is slowly but surely sliding into civil war, thanks to the army getting involved directly into political matters.
Egypt is a divided nation now and the ousted Moslem Brotherhood are not about to relinquish their legal and legitimate rights to govern “democratically”.
At the instigation of the USA, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf Emirates and Kuwait are injecting $12 billion in Egypt and the IMF is about to saturate the finances with over $5 bn… just to keep the image of a stable Egypt holding up.
Political negotiation is a must, and” Former” President Mohammad Morsi will eventually be reinstated for another year, after a fresh parliamentary election….
Former President Mohammad Morsi’s abilities to govern a country in transition did not help Egypt’s already huge list of problems. However, his party’s faults hardly justified the kind of coup that took place, Middle East blogger Karl Sharro told RT.

That is despite Morsi’s lack of understanding of how to properly mix religion and politics.  And how to avoid marginalizing a large segment of Egypt’s population.

Interview published on RT this July 12, 2013
RT: The overthrow of Morsi has been called a coup, but clearly he had massive popular support, so is that strictly the term to be used here?

Karl Sharro: Absolutely. We have to look not only at popular presence on the street, but at procedure. The army was  involved: tanks and armored personnel carriers were driven around, and the leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood were arrested –   including the president. There is no other way to describe this than a coup. So I think that needs to be made very clear.

RT:
The Muslim Brotherhood keeps saying ‘resist the army’;   they are calling for peaceful revolt, but we live in the real  world. Every time this happens there is bloodshed.

KS: Unfortunately this is the kind of situation where the  military had, in its reaction to the popular uprising, contrived  to create. But let’s remember what the real interest here is.  It’s not the continuation of the democratic revolution. The  military stepping in and effectively carrying out this coup is to stop the spread of the January popular uprising.

Aand in my book, that would include people taking power and resorting to a democratic process. What we saw there is exactly the opposite,  which is canceling the results of democratic elections.
RT: What would you say were the failings of Morsi’s  term in power? We talked about the economy and what went wrong,  but it wasn’t just that.

KS: There was a host of failures. I don’t want to give the  impression that I’m a supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood: I’m  usually critical both, of the role of religion that they brought  into politics and of their lack of competence in administering  the country and managing the transition towards democracy,  reviving the economy and the sectarian language they’ve used  consistently.

There is a huge host of problems and a lack of  ability for President Morsi to step up and represent the entire  Egyptian population – the people that voted and represented him –   and the other camp as well. So I think there are huge failings, none of which justify a military coup against him

RT: And religion was one of the key parts that went  wrong for him, no?
KS: Yes, absolutely. I think that alienated both people  like Christians and secularists, but also Muslim people who don’t  think religion should be brought into politics in such a crass  manner. But at the end of the day, the Muslim Brotherhood was  elected with people knowing who they were. And not only did they  win the presidential elections – with the help, of course, of  people from other political affiliations – but they also won the  parliamentary election, the results of which were canceled and  the parliament was also annulled and disbanded.

There’s a host of  grievances, and they reflect on that period in the Egyptian  transition when there wasn’t a single authority that was in  control. But having said that, Egypt should have been given the  chance to transition towards a more democratic future, and carry  out the process and for the Muslim Brotherhood to be kicked out  of office by resorting to that democratic process – not by  military means.    

RT: What should the Muslim Brotherhood do now? The interim  government is saying there will be new elections and a new  parliament early next year. Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood are  saying they don’t want anything to do with that. But should they  get in on it while they still can?
KS: That’s a tactical decision that at the end of the day  will be up to them. But what we have to look at is that by  participating in that process they would be legitimizing this  sort of coup, which is something we’ve seen already when Western  governments – America and Europe – lectured us for a long time  about the merits of democracy.

You can’t legitimize that as the  Muslim Brotherhood and I think a form of boycotting might be the  tactical choice, but that will be done down the road, in the  realm of details, because nobody can say conclusively there  wouldn’t be some kind of deals to bring the Muslim Brotherhood  back in one shape or another, because the military doesn’t want  to be in the front row leading the country, so it will seek to  cover itself and bring some sort of civilian legitimacy to it.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT

Egypt is turmoil: And Obama goes golfing, and Kerry goes fishing?

Truth about Egypt slips out: New York Times shocker

Have you noticed the silence, the casual indifference, of the Obama administration since the Egyptian army shoved President Mohammad Morsi from office in a military coup that gets bloodier by the day?
That is what you are supposed to notice. Barack Obama goes golfing as Cairo descends into violence. Secretary of State John Kerry goes sailing in Nantucket. Neither has anything of importance to say about the events in Egypt — the chaos engulfing the nation.
We’re just bystanders, and those poor Egyptians — we hope they can sort themselves out. These guys play a pretty fair hand a lot of the time, but they have overplayed this one.
Anyone who thinks the U.S. is not complicit up to its eyebrows in the Egyptian army’s unlawful coup needs a refresher in our history.
Enlarge David Brooks, Thomas Friedman   (Credit: AP/Nam Y. Huh/Zsolt Szigetvary/Reuters/Carlo Allegri)
It is now common currency to say that Morsi, who served just a year after he was legitimately elected in June 2012, failed some kind of democracy test. He did no such thing.
There was a test, but the failure belongs to Washington. (Not a failure, but a decision to fail the Moslem Brotherhood experience)
The US professes to like democracies all over the planet, but it cannot yet abide one that may not reflect America’s will. I have not written anything new just now.
Just in some of our lifetimes we have Italy’s elections in 1948 (corrupted) and many, many Japanese elections — generations of them. Then there’s the nastier stuff: Mossadegh in Iran, Arbenz in Guatemala, Lumumba in Congo, Sukarno in Indonesia, Allende in Chili, and so on.
But to say it is an old story is precisely what is so disturbing, not to say disgraceful, about the coup in Egypt and America’s part in it.
The Arab world (a quarter of which abides in Egypt) is struggling toward a kind of democracy that will arise from Islamic culture and civilization.
This is why the Arab Spring, as it commenced in early 2011, remains so promising. One embraces the prospect of something new. Morsi made a thousand mistakes.
There was political immaturity (hardly surprising after three decades of U.S.-backed dictators), there was the seeking of partisan advantage, there was sectarian exclusion, there was the defensiveness and overcompensating of the Muslim Brotherhood, Morsi’s party, after long years of persecution.
Egypt’s first properly elected government was bound to be something of a dog’s dinner, as the English say.
But search as one may, there is nothing on the list that warranted a military coup. And this accounts for the cat-ate-the-canary bit the Obama administration is asking us to accept.
What Washington truly does not want is an elected Islamic government, and this is written all over what the Obama administration has just taken part in.
There is nothing so honorable as a statement of policy — Where is Edward Snowden now that we really need him? — but there are footprints galore. There is the nomenclature, for instance. When is a coup not a coup? When it is against U.S. law to support one, and when the White House and Congress want to continue sending $1.5 billion in aid to the Egyptian military.
So Egypt has not had a coup, somehow — never mind that the law is being broken. Americans are actually invited to accept this, and many do. It makes you think P.T. Barnum had it right all along. Now you have to listen to Obama.
Here is all Obama has had to say since Morsi’s July 3 exit: Egypt’s army should move “quickly and responsibly” to restore “full authority back to a democratically elected civilian government as soon as possible.” (Lately, Morsi should be set free…) Can you believe it?
Not “the Morsi government,” which of course was civilian and democratically elected, but “a government.” You see where the White House is headed on this? Hacks like me call minute-to-minute accounts of events “tick-tocks,” and the New York Times did one from Cairo in its edition last Sunday, four days after Morsi’s ouster.
I wonder if the commissars are upset. Buried in the details is a plain and simple re-creation of the moments during which Washington gave the Egyptian army authorization to move against its government. I read it, shocked by the momentary honesty in the coverage, and said, “This is a mistake that will not be repeated,” and it has not been.
We ought not get started on the journalism, except that we already have. The media’s cooperation in mystifying the perfectly obvious is not short of stunning, and much or most of the blame must fall, sorry to say, to the Times.
Here is a Times correspondent publishing on July 5: “But the flurry of White House meetings and phone calls served to underscore the lack of leverage the U.S. has over Egypt, once a crucial strategic ally in the Middle East but lately just another headache.” How do these people hold their heads up? It is entirely a historical.
The media reported Hosni Mubarak’s fall the same way two years ago — as if the U.S. had just realized its 20-year client was in office. We must treat the man to the history text of his choosing. Now we read that the Morsi government and the Muslim Brotherhood are making “claims to legitimacy” (the Times, July 8).
This kind of phrasing is handled like radioactive material at the Times. (I know; I once worked there.) There are no accidents. This is part of how the U.S. intends to Not legitimize a legitimate government. There is nothing personal in this, but we have to end with a consideration of the shockingly bigoted column David Brooks published in the July 5 Times.
Morsi, you see, represented democratic process, which I had always thought was a pretty good thing. But no, we must judge leaders on the basis of “substance,” which is to say their values, and they have to match ours. That is how it works. Morsi came up short on substance. He had the values wrong. These kind of people need to be “investigated” before they are elected. (By whom is not noted.) You see, people holding Islamic beliefs are not capable of governing themselves. Egypt, for that matter, “lacks even the basic mental ingredients” to swing a democratic transition. Breathtaking.
In all probability I would not like Morsi personally. But I am for Morsi. I am for his Brothers. They represent the best thing the Arab Spring has yet achieved — the start of an essential process — and the U.S. had no business tearing it down, especially in so underhanded a fashion.
(I strongly doubt it that Egypt army would have fomented the coup if the people refused to go out on mass to demonstrate their displeasure over the Moslem Brotherhood experience and brand of democracy. The US would have not dared this time around to order a military coup without the acquiesce of the Egyptian people)
Note 2: Patrick Smith is the author of “Time No Longer: Americans After the American Century” was the International Herald Tribune’s bureau chief in Hong Kong and then Tokyo from 1985 to 1992.
During this time he also wrote “Letter from Tokyo” for the New Yorker. He is the author of four previous books and has contributed frequently to the New York Times, the Nation, the Washington Quarterly, and other publications.                            More Patrick L. Smith.            
Amnesty International: Egypt’s constitution limits fundamental freedoms and ignores the rights of women
 
A draft constitution approved by Egypt’s Constituent Assembly falls well short of protecting human rights and, in particular, ignores the rights of women, restricts freedom of expression in the name of protecting religion, and allows for the military trial of civilians, Amnesty International said.
 
Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Deputy Middle East and North Africa Director at Amnesty International, posted on Nov.30, 2012 under “Egypt’s new constitution limits fundamental freedoms and ignores the rights of women”
 
Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui said: “This document, and the manner in which it has been adopted, will come as an enormous disappointment to many of the Egyptians who took to the streets to oust Hosni Mubarak and demand their rights.
The process of drafting the constitution was flawed from the outset, and has become increasingly unrepresentative. We urge President Morsi to put the drafting and referendum process back on the right path, one that includes all sectors of society, which respects the rule of law – including the vital role of an independent judiciary – and results in a constitution that enshrines human rights, equality and dignity for all”
President Morsi's decree overriding judicial authority has sparked widespread protest

President Morsi’s decree overriding judicial authority has sparked widespread protest

© Matic Zorm

“Freedom of religion is limited to Islam, Christianity and Judaism, potentially excluding the right to worship to other religious minorities such as Baha’is and Shi’a Muslims.

The constitution fails to provide for the supremacy of International Law over national law, raising concerns about Egypt’s commitment to human rights treaties to which it is a state party.

The document fails to fully guarantee economic, social and cultural rights, such as protection against forced evictions – it also tolerates child labour.

Paradoxically, demands for dignity and social justice were at the heart of the “25 January Revolution”.

Amnesty International has expressed concern that the assembly – widely boycotted by opposition political parties and Christian churches – is not truly representative of Egyptian society. The body is dominated by Freedom and Justice Party (Moslem Brotherhood) and the Nour Party (Jihadist wahhabi). At the outset, the assembly only included seven women and their numbers have since dwindled.

Opposition political parties have withdrawn their members from the assembly, as have Christian churches, in protest at the assembly’s make-up and decisions.

They have voiced a number of concerns, including the lack of representation of young people, of a variety political parties, and the role of Shari’a law has played – including in respect of women’s rights.

The assembly also faced criticism for not doing enough to enshrine the right to adequate housing – a key concern for the estimated 12 million Egyptians living in slums.

A decree issued last week by President Morsi gave the Constituent Assembly an additional 2 months to complete its work. However on Wednesday the body announced that it would finalize the text in a day. Yesterday, the draft was rushed through a plenary session of the assembly, with no time for real debate or objections from the members.

Hadj Sahraoui said:

“The new constitution will guide all Egyptian institutions and it should set out the vision for the new Egypt – one based on human rights and the rule of law: a document which is the ultimate guarantor against abuse. The constitution must guarantee the rights of all Egyptians, not just the majority.”

“But the approved draft comes nowhere near this. Provisions that purport to protect rights mask new restrictions, including on criticism of religion. Women, who were barely represented in the assembly, have the most to lose from a constitution which ignores their aspirations, and blocks the path to equality between men and women. It is appalling that virtually the only references to women relate to the home and family.”

When asked about the lack of women’s rights in the draft constitution yesterday in a state television interview, President Morsi said women were citizens like all others. The President’s position mirrors the approach of the Constituent Assembly in ignoring the rights of women.

The vote to approve the constitution came ahead of a 2 December ruling on the assembly’s legitimacy by the Supreme Constitutional Court, which was widely expected to order the body’s dissolution.

President Morsi’s decree, which was announced on 22 November, prevents any judicial body from dissolving the assembly.

The decree, which also removed the Public Prosecutor, granted the president sweeping powers and stopped the courts from challenging his decisions, has sparked widespread anger and protests in Egypt.

Opposition groups plan to march to the presidential palace today (Friday), while the Muslim Brotherhood has called for a protest to support the President on Saturday.

The draft constitution now passes to a national referendum which must take place within 15 days. Any such referendum would require supervision by judges but Egypt’s Judges Club, an independent network of judges numbering some 9,500 members, has announced that its members will not take part.

Judges throughout the country are striking in protest at President Morsi’s decree, which they see as a threat to their independence.

“Instead of marking a return to order and the rule of law, the adopted text of the constitution has plunged Egypt into even greater chaos and deadlock,” said Hadj Sahraoui.

In depth 

Amnesty International’s concerns about the draft include:

  • The constitution makes no reference to international law obligations, and does not provide for the supremacy of international law over Egyptian legislation. Though Egypt is a state party to a number of international human rights treaties, including the International Covenants on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), and Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), and the Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), the constitution does not explicitly set out Egypt’s obligations under each provision of those treaties, or make them directly enforceable to all individuals under Egyptian law.
  • Article 33 states that citizens “are equal in public rights and duties and they shall not be discriminated against”. However, this article only protects Egyptian citizens, and not others such as refugees, asylum-seekers and migrants. A list of specific prohibited grounds, which included sex, religion and origin, was removed in the last draft, failing to mirror the non-exhaustive formulation contained in the International Covenants, as interpreted by the Human Rights Committee and Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
  • Amnesty International is particularly concerned that the constitution does not explicitly prohibit discrimination on the grounds of gender. Article 10 says that the state will work to strike a balance between the family duties of women and their work in society.
  • The organization is further concerned that Article 219, which defines the principles of Shari’a law as being the “fundamental rules of jurisprudence,” may impact on the rights of women, and may be used as a justification to uphold legislation which currently discriminates against women in respect of marriage, divorce and family life.
  • Article 2 establishes Shari’a law as the primary source of legislation.
  • Article 36 prohibits torture and other ill-treatment, including the use of “confessions” extracted under torture in criminal proceedings; however, Article 219 may allow for the imposition of corporal punishments that violate the prohibition of cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment.
  • Article 198 explicitly allows for the unfair trial of civilians before military courts – a provision apparently added at the insistence of the army representative in the assembly. Under the 17-month rule of the army from February 2011-June 2012, over 12,000 civilians were tried unfairly by military courts. The end of such trials had been a key rallying cry for protesters.
  • Amnesty International opposes the trials of civilians by military courts, which are fundamentally unfair and breach a number of fair trial safeguards, including the right to a fair and public hearing before a competent, independent and impartial tribunal established by law; the right to have adequate time to prepare a defense  the right to be defended by a lawyer of one’s choosing; and the right to appeal against conviction and sentence to a higher tribunal.
  • Article 43 restricts freedom of worship to “heavenly religions”, to adherents of Islam, Judaism and Christianity, and therefore leaves other religions and religious groups such as Baha’is felt without protection of freedom of worship.
  • Article 3 ties personal status laws to religious law. As regards religious minorities, only provides for Christians and Jews the right to regulate their religious affairs and spiritual leadership. It is also unclear the extent to which religious minorities such as Shi’a and others will be protected by the provision; in the past they have faced discrimination in their right to worship.
  • Article 44 prohibits “undermining or subjecting to prejudice all messengers and prophets.” Similar provisions have been used in Egyptian law to restrict freedom of expression, and under President Morsi, charges have been brought against a number of individuals for “defaming religion”.
  • Article 31 prohibits insulting and defaming any person, a provision which violates the right to freedom of expression and similarly provides for defamation to remain a criminal offence.
  • The two provisions seem to undermine Article 45, which guarantees freedom of expression and opinion, and violate Egypt’s obligation to uphold freedom of expression under Article 19 of the ICCPR.
  • The constitution does little to enshrine economic, social and cultural rights although demands for dignity and social justice featured prominently in the demands of protesters who toppled Hosni Mubarak.
  • Amnesty International is particularly concerned that Article 67, while it mentions the right to adequate housing, does not explicitly prohibit forced evictions. The organization has long documented such evictions in informal settlements, which are illegal under international human rights law.
  •  The constitution has also failed to protect the rights of children. It does not define a child as any person under 18 years of age, as provided for in the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), and does not protect children from early marriage.
  • Article 70 permits children who are still in primary education to work, as long as the work is “adequate for their age”. The article does not ensure children are protected from economic exploitation and from performing any work that is likely to be hazardous, as required by the CRC. The constitutional provisions also fail to comply with other treaties on children’s rights ratified by Egypt, including the Minimum Age Convention, and the Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention.
  • Note: Morsi rescinded his prior decree to grabbing all powers, but the opposition forces want the referendum on the constitution cancelled and for the constitution to be revised with all the concerned forces.

    So far a dozen demonstrators were killed and over 600 injured over the 2 week-long continual demonstrations in Tahrir Square.


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