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

Tired of Waiting, South Africans Demand Change ‘Now’

With chronic poverty and lack of basic services largely fueling recent xenophobic attacks, many in Rainbow Nation say it’s time for government to act More

Challenges Ahead for China's Development Plans in Pakistan

Planned $46 billion in energy and infrastructure investments in Pakistan are aimed at transforming the country into a regional hub for trade and investment More

'Forbidden City' Revisits Little Known Era of Asian-American Entertainment

Little-known chapter of entertainment history captured in 80s documentary is revisited in new digitally remastered format and book 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.
Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festivali
X
April 24, 2015 4:09 AM
Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Keeping Washington Airspace Safe Is Tall Order

Being the home of all three branches of the U.S. federal government makes Washington, D.C. the prime target for those who want to make their messages and ideas heard. Unfortunately, many of them choose to deliver them in unorthodox ways, including from the air, as a recent incident clearly showed involving a gyrocopter landing on the Capitol’s West Lawn. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.
Video

Video Hope, Prayer Enter Fight Against S. Africa Xenophobia

South Africa has been swept by disturbing attacks on foreign nationals. Some blame the attacks on a legacy of colonialism, while others say the economy is to blame. Whatever the cause, ordinary South Africans - and South African residents from around the world - say they're praying for the siege of violence to end. Anita Powell reports from Johannesburg.

VOA Blogs