Turmoil in Egypt – Morsi aka Mubarak
By Dennis Loo (12/5/12)
Update: Egyptian troops have just declared the perimeter around the presidential palaces off-limits to protestors, giving them a deadline to disperrse.*
An AP report dated December 6, 2012 describes the major clashes occurring for the past week in Egypt over President Mohammed Morsi’s draft constitution and his declaration that he is not subject to oversight by Egypt’s judicial system. Hundreds of thousands have been in the streets, with Tahrir Square once again being the nerve center of that, with street fighting occurring between the Muslim Brotherhood and anti-Morsi protestors, the latter outraged over Morsi’s moves.
Four more Morsi advisors resigned today in protest over Morsi’s actions, bringing the total who have resigned to 6 out of 17 on his advisory council.
From the AP story:
The clashes outside the presidential palace in Cairo's Heliopolis district marked an escalation in the deepening crisis. It was the first time supporters of rival camps fought each other since last year's anti-Mubarak uprising, when the authoritarian leader's loyalists sent sword-wielding supporters on horses and camels into Cairo's Tahrir square in what became one of the uprising's bloodiest days.
The large scale and intensity of the fighting marked a milestone in Egypt's rapidly entrenched schism, pitting Morsi's Brotherhood and ultra-conservative Islamists in one camp, against liberals, leftists and Christians in the other.
Towards the end of the article, after violently attacking the anti-Morsi demonstrators, the story quotes the Islamists shouting: “The people demand the implementation of God's law!"
Then there’s this:
"I voted for Morsi to get rid of Hosni Mubarak. I now regret it," Nadia el-Shafie yelled at Brotherhood supporters on a side street.
"God is greater than you! Don't think this power or authority will add anything to you. God made this revolution, not you!" the tearful woman said as she was led away from the crowd of Islamists.
So this is interesting - the pro-Morsi Islamists are invoking the mantle of the people’s democratic actions as sanctifying the imposition of the most undemocratic laws conceivable: “The people demand the implementation of God's law!"
Not – clerics or other religious authorities/elites are demanding the implementation of God’s law.
No, it’s the people, the populace, the People who demand it. The Egyptian Revolution wasn’t even carried out by the people who took to the streets. No, God did that, not you! You thought it was you, but you were only the puppets being manipulated by God’s hand.
Why shout that it’s the people’s demand that God’s law be imposed unless by your saying that it’s the people doing it makes your demand more legitimate? After all, if it's "God's law" isn't that good enough? I mean, who's a higher authority than God?
If the people are demanding that God’s, not man’s, law be imposed over the people, then isn’t that like slaves insisting that they must be put under the laws imposed by their slave owners?
We the People democratically demand that we be subjected to the laws of God, not the laws of the People. This is how democratic we are – we democratically demand the suspension of democracy. And because we demand that so democratically, you must abide by it because we are demanding the cessation of democracy democratically.
It’s an indication of the contradictory strains within this unfinished revolution – democratic sentiment is so much part of the acceptable discourse in Egypt now that even those demanding the implementation of dictatorial measures and laws feel that they must couch that in the language of the people. This conflict also highlights the truth that revolutions cannot be made, advanced, or consolidated via elections. Elections don't change the fundamental relations of power and it takes mass upheaval and action to do that. That is the very meaning of the word revolution.
*Rather akin to HR 347 here in the US that bars anyone "knowingly" from being in or near a building or area where Secret Service agents are, thus, should they use the law in that fashion, giving the government the power to do the same thing that Morsi's doing in Egypt.