News / Middle East

    Did Morsi Ouster Save or Destroy Egypt’s Democracy?

    Did Morsi Ouster, Army Takeover Save or Destroy Egypt’s Democracy?i
    X
    August 29, 2013 8:11 PM
    While the West frets over the Egyptian military’s seizure of power and condemns the violent suppression of protesters, the response within Egypt is more ambiguous. Many of the nation's intellectuals see those actions not as an attack on democracy, but as the best chance to save it. In Cairo, VOA's Al Pessin sought out advocates on either side of the argument.
    Al Pessin
    While the West frets over the Egyptian military’s seizure of power and condemns the violent suppression of protesters, the response within Egypt is more ambiguous. Many of the nation's intellectuals see those actions not as an attack on democracy, but as the best chance to save it. Others are not so sure.

    After several days of massive protests against the elected president, Mohamed Morsi, the military removed him on July 3 in what is widely seen as a coup d’etat. But not everyone in Egypt calls it that way.
     
    “Here in Egypt we don't call it a coup,” said professor Saad Eddin Ibrahim, an award-winning Egyptian fighter for democracy and a supporter of the revolution two-and-a-half years ago against Hosni Mubarak. Mubarak imprisoned him three times.

    "This is more commonly a term used by the Muslim Brothers and by Western media," said Ibrahim.
     
    Rania al-Malky, a liberal Egyptian commentator and online newspaper publisher, sees it differently.
     
    "First, I just want to call things by their names. This was a military coup," she insisted.
     
    But that is a minority view among Egyptian intellectuals.

    "The military did the only thing they could. It is the people who really went up in arms and it was the army that was trying to catch up with them - the unprecedented number of people who took onto the streets, 30 million," Ibrahim pointed out.
     
    Again, al-Malky differed.

    "There's this big illusion that 30 million people came out on June 30, and that's a huge, huge, huge illusion. It's a big, big lie. And it was orchestrated by the army," said she.
     
    Al-Malky acknowledges there were several million anti-Morsi protesters, but she says they wanted early elections, not a military takeover.
     
    So, was the military rescuing the country from a Muslim Brotherhood-dominated government with an unpopular Islamist agenda? Or did the generals use the protesters to legitimize a power grab?
     
    Both sides answer in stark terms.
     
    "The one single demand was to combat terrorism.  And the Muslim Brothers were labeled as a source of the rising terrorism in the country," said Ibrahim.
     
    "This is the biggest joke. You can't vilify what you don't like. You can't turn your political enemy into a terrorist so you can get rid of them," argued al-Malky.
     
    But that’s exactly what the military and its supporters are doing - claiming “terrorism” to justify the takeover and the killing of hundreds of protesters.
     
    Rania al-Malky draws some grim conclusions.
     
    "If this is not a loss of moral compass, I just don't know what would be. Of course, the Arab Spring is over as far as Egypt is concerned. It's all going to be back to square one.  It's going to be the sham democracy, so-called democracy, we had under Mubarak." Said al-Malky.
     
    Saad Eddin Ibrahim sees the danger but believes Egypt has a new protection against it.
     
    "The whole country is mobilized now. And therefore no tyranny could hope to emerge or prevail in this country," he said.
     
    That is the gamble Egypt has taken, with intelligent people insisting either that it is a sure thing or a losing proposition.

    You May Like

    Vietnam Mulls Tough Measures for ‘Misbehaving’ Chinese Tourists

    Move comes after footage surfaced online of Chinese travelers harassing a banana hawker in Da Nang

    Pakistan Social Media Star's Honor Killing Fuels Debate

    Qandeel Baloch's murder puts spotlight on deadly tradition and other mistreatment of women

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Godwin from: Nigeria
    August 31, 2013 1:30 PM
    It's always women speaking for the Muslim Brotherhood, and it's always women bearing the brunt of islamist maladministration, confiscation of freedoms and subjugation. Muslim Brotherhood represented one thing in Egypt and everywhere: a setback, a return to the Stone Age barbarism, a clog in the wheel of progress. The ouster truly saved Egypt, the damage Morsi did to the country in his one year maladministration of the country is unquantifiable. No country can afford the enormity of setback the Muslim brotherhood wanted to unleash on Egypt except Somalia, Pakistan, Iran and Saudi Arabia, and no organization would wish that on itself except al qaida, the taliban, boko haram and hezbollah, all of which want a return to the Stone Age and prehistoric barbarism of antiquity.

    by: Mohamed Mohsen from: Egypt
    August 30, 2013 6:50 AM
    I wish you do a poll how much Ms Al Malky represent, as she represents a small minority that share her view. When you compare two ideas in the street I hope you do a fair one by stating polls that support each view, the reader will think there an equal weight for each view.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Borderi
    X
    July 22, 2016 12:30 AM
    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.
    Video

    Video Number of Syrian Refugees Arriving in US Jumps

    The United States is committed to resettling 85,000 refugees from around the world by October. Of that number, 10,000 will come from Syria and already some 4,000 Syrian refugees have arrived in the United States, many of them settling in the state of Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports from Chicago, their arrival is not the end of a difficult journey to find peace and stability.
    Video

    Video Rio’s Trams Await Olympic Tourists

    Over the past century, many cities around the world replaced electric trams, prone to breakdowns and backups, with faster and more spacious buses. But for some reason restored antique trams are a huge tourist attraction. So it’s no wonder the authorities in Rio de Janeiro are busy restoring their city’s old tram line ahead of the Summer Olympic Games. VOA’ George Putic reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora