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Tuesday, November 06, 2012

In Egypt, Morsi And The Muslim Brotherhood Find The Arab Spring May Not Be Dead Yet

Zvi Mazel, a former Israeli ambassador to Romania, Sweden and Egypt, writes that despite dispatching their opposition in the military, Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood faces unexpected opposition from the media:
Having conquered parliament, the constituent assembly and the presidency in less than a year, the Muslim Brotherhood thought Egypt was theirs.

They may have been a little hasty. Forces long kept dormant by the Hosni Mubarak regime are waking up.

Independent media is criticizing the government on a daily basis, and government-owned newspapers sometimes follow suit.

Egyptians are no longer afraid, and take to the streets to express their dissatisfaction and demand changes.

It seems as if no Friday goes by without a demonstration on iconic Tahrir Square, and similar protests are held throughout the country.
Among the issues that have raised the anger of Egyptians is the fact that instead of addressing the crushing economic and social problems facing the country, the focus was first placed on figuring out how best to impose Shari’a laws. On top of that were accusations of corruption and lewd conduct against some members of parliament.

The fact that Morsi is facing some opposition should not be surprising, considering that in the election he only about 25% of the vote -- and since the election, Morsi has done nothing to gain Egypt's confidence.

Mazel notes
  • It took Morsi more than a month to appoint a rather uninspiring prime minister who in turn appointed ministers lacking the power for reforms
  • The government has yet to come to an agreement with the International Monetary Fund to get a much-needed loan
  • Morsi has failed thus far to keep promises he made during the elections
  • Morsi has not even fulfilled his objectives for his first 100 days in office.
Read the whole thing.

We were told -- incorrectly -- that being in power would be a moderating influence on Hamas and would even temper Hizbollah.

But while the indication so far is that the Muslim Brotherhood is more wary than moderated, the existence of an opposition, and one that is willing to speak out --such as during a mass protest on October 19 where Egyptians proclaimed "Egypt does not belong to the Muslim Brotherhood" -- may yet provide a legitimate counter-force and offer a warning to the Islamists that it may not be that easy to co-opt the Arab Spring after all.

Here's hoping.


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