Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Long Live the Revolution

 Egyptian Progress

The hot air expended by President Obama's to express thanks and congratulations to President Morsi of Egypt for his stirling work at achieving a cease fire in Gaza had barely dissipated when the same said Egyptian president awarded himself dictatorial powers.  Nice one, Mohammed.

There are two ways the West will respond to this inevitable lurch toward totalitarianism in Egypt.  The first will be to "Mubarakise" Morsi.  The West has had common cause with tyrants and authoritarian dictators in the Middle East for well nigh a hundred years.  It has "overlooked" one or two lapses of niceties in places like Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Egypt so long as these dictators helped advance the global aspirations of Western ideological zealots in their vain attempt to lead the world to salvation.  Consequently, we expect Western nations to agree that President Morsi is a helpful and constructive leader who can be an ally in bringing peace and stability to the Middle East.

The second response will be to see betrayal in Morsi's abrupt termination of Egypt's move towards democracy.
  Morsi will be seen as letting the side down, of turning his back on democracy, limited government, and human rights.  So we expect a few muted protests from the folk at Amnesty International and similar entities.

Both responses are misguided and foolish.  In the first place, let's be clear about what Morsi has done, as summarised by a piece in Al Jazeera:

Egypt's Morsi assumes wide powers

President issues declaration sacking prosecutor general and giving himself judicial powers on top of legislative ones. 

Egypt's President Mohamed Morsi has issued a declaration giving himself sweeping powers that cannot be challenged by any authority.  The decree, which also dismissed Egypt's prosecutor general, prompted  opposition figure Mohamed ElBaradei to accuse Morsi of usurping authority and becoming a "new pharoah".

"The president can issue any decision or measure to protect the revolution," according to a decree read out on television by Yasser Ali, presidential spokesman. . . .

". . .  there are those who are very concerned that this means that the president is overreaching his authority," Al Jazeera's Greste said."Remember that the parliament has been dissolved and that Morsi effectively made these decisions unilaterally. There can be no debate about this. This is now the law." 

Al Jazeera's Sherine Tadros, also reporting from Cairo, said that rights groups in Egypt are concerned to see that Morsi "has given himself extraordinary powers".  "Remember, he already had presidential powers, but also legislative powers ... and now he's given himself judicial powers. Also, another provision says that until there's a new parliament elected, his decisions will  be final and can't be challenged by any authority," she said. . . .

Hassan Nafaa, professor of political science at Cairo University, told Al Jazeera that Morsi "is erecting himself as an absolute monarch".  "He didn't consult with anybody from the opposition, so he has taken all these decisions alone, without any consultation. The problem is not about the content of the decisions itself, but about the way it was taken," he said. 
The second issue is to underscore that Morsi is a member of the Muslim Brotherhood--he and his party represent a policy of making Egypt an Islamic theocratic nation, a partial restoration of the Caliphate--a global Islamic empire.  Morsi represents not extremist Islam, but ordinary, mainstream political Islam.

The essence of Islamic belief and practice in all areas of life is Submission to Allah--a state into which society must enter willingly and voluntarily or via compulsion or force.  Islam has no church; it only has state power which is why it can co-exist quite well in lands ruled by Islamic military dictators.  There is no separation of church and state in Islam.  There is no doctrine of limited government, separation of powers, or a government of law and subject to law.  There is no concept of popular suffrage.  The essence of Islamic society is submission to Allah, which means submission to the authorities.  If you are an Islamic female you are a sub-human being that must submit to one's husband, who in turn must submit to his clan chief or local ruler who in turn must submit to the sultan, or the House of Saud, or the Ayatollah or whatever.

Morsi's actions, then, far from surprising are thoroughly consistent with Islam.  He is removing by fiat, by dictat, every locus of power and government that opposes him and his rule.  Allah wills it so.  Gone is the parliament and popular suffrage.  Gone is a judiciary independent of the president. He alone is left.

Plenty of non-Muslim Brotherhood folk have reacted to Morsi's dictats.  They have taken to the streets.  But either they will be crushed, or Egypt will disintegrate, or the army will once again seize control.  Allah's minions, like Sauron, cannot share power.  There can only be the Sultan (in whatever form) and cliques or factions vying for influence and control over him.

Egypt is being thoroughly Islamic and entirely consistent. 

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