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

UN Ambassador Power Highlights Plight of Women Prisoners

She launches the 'Free the 20' campaign, aimed at profiling women being deprived of their freedom around the world More

Satellite Launch Sparks Spectacular Light Show

A slight delay in a satellite launch lit up the Florida sky early this morning More

Fleeing IS Killings in Syria, Family Reaches Bavaria

Exhausted, scared and under-nourished, Khalil and Maha's tale mirrors those of thousands of refugees from war-torn countries who have left their homes in the hopes of finding a better life More

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.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs