Tags: Middle East | Israel | Arab Spring | Egypt | Morsi | democracy | Obama

Obama Stance on Egypt Helps Islamists

Friday, 17 Aug 2012 11:31 AM

By Tawfik Hamid


After the removal of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, the Obama administration released several statements supporting ‘democracy’ in Egypt.

One of the basic foundations of democracy is the “Rule of Law.” But the recent decision of President Morsi to cancel the constitutional declaration of the country is nothing if not undemocratic —and one of the most flagrant affronts to democracy in Egypt since the start of the revolution.

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Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi drinks coffee upon his arrival for summit in Mecca on Tuesday
(Getty Images)
This decision not only shatters the current constitutional declaration of the country, but it also contradicts the basic principles of democracy and separation of powers.

Under the constitutional declaration, Morsy would not have the right to change or remove military leaders. Nor would he have the right to control all legislative powers.

Morsi has now consolidated both legislative and law enforcement powers in his hands.

This is not much different — if not worse than — the situation during the Mubarak era when he was heavily criticized by pro-democracy activists for controlling all the powers of the country.

The question that must be raised is why pro-democracy champions of the Obama administration — the same people who were very critical of the military for delaying the democratic process in Egypt — did not utter a single word about the recent decision of Morsi to disrespect the rule of law, take more power for himself, and break the constitutional declaration of the country.

Morsi’s decision delegitimizes his presidency since he broke the oath that he gave before the supreme constitutional court to respect Egyptian law and its constitution.

The balance of powers that existed prior to Morsi’s recent decision was beneficial to the country. It diluted the power of the Islamists with secular powers.

This acted as the sole guarantee that if a revolution erupted against the Islamists, the secular military would be able to side with the population and protect them.

Sadly, this is no longer the case since the new law enforcement and military leaders selected by Morsi are known to be far more Islamic than secular.

If the people of Egypt revolt against the Islamists, as many are planning to do on Aug 24 — the pro-Islamic leaders of police and military who are appointed by Morsi are likely to support the Islamic president against his own civilian population.

Additionally, the recent decisions of the Islamist government in Egypt to replace the former secular leaders of the official newspapers with Islamists has been followed by the suppression of articles written by well-known secular writers such as Youssof Al-Queed and Abla Elrewini, who of whom have dared to criticize the Islamist president.

The danger here is that if the people of Egypt reject Islamist rule their voices will be muted and the Islamist regime is likely to go unchecked by the mainstream media of the country.

Pressure on the privately owned non-Islamist media is also mounting.
The recent decision by Morsi is anti-democratic and will not only bestow upon him absolute power, it will also deprive the people of a vital mechanism to be heard and possibly remove Islamists from power.

The Obama administration needs to explain why it has remained silent about Morsi, who has broken the law and flaunts the basic rules of democracy.

Would the Obama administration also have remained silent if the Egyptian military broke the law and removed Morsi from power?

Dr. Tawfik Hamid is the author of "Inside Jihad: Understanding and Confronting Radical Islam." Read more reports from Tawfik Hamid — Click Here Now.


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