Friday, July 12, 2013

Egypt: the coup's defenders

6/7 Hostility towards the Muslim Brotherhood certainly runs deep in Egyptian society, not only in the political classes (Amr Moussa and "respected international figures" like Mohamed ElBaradei), but also among intellectuals, all joining in the chorus, "this was not a coup".

Novelist Alaa-Al-Aswany defends the coup on the grounds that the opposition gathered more than 22 million signatures calling for Morsi to step down, whereas only 15 million voted for Morsi as president. He also justifies the arrest of  Muslim Brotherhood leaders, saying they are accused of calling for violence (BBCWS, Newshour, 21:51).  It seems their hatred of islamism is greater than their love of democracy.

This 12-year-old boy, in a much-linked video, complains that there are only 7 women in the consituent assembly, 6 of whom are islamists.

Well, that's because the islamist parties did well in parliamentary elections and the parliament elected a large part of the consituent assembly. Whatever the criticism of the process of drafting (or revising) the consitution, do we really think it is better that this be done by people appointed, effectively, by the army?

He says that the constitution says that women are equal to men, except in matters that contradict islamic law, but islamic law allows men to discipline their wives: 'I can't beat my wive up and almost kill her and then tell you this is "discipline".

This is a delicate matter, but the secularists position seems to be that there are some fundamental values (their values) that just have to be written into the constitution (of course, they are my values as well and there are some values, such as freedom of expression and assembly without which democracy is meaningless). The secularist 'liberals' often say that islamists take their positions from God or their religion, so there is no arguing with them, but here it is the secularists who seem to be claiming their values as absolute.

This is an uncomfortable position for 'liberals' to be in, which may explain their contortions of language and sheer denial of reality. It seems that their bluff has been called by the islamists who took part in the process of democracy over the last 2 years. That's just a working hypothesis.

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7/7 Egyptian presidency denies ElBaradei is to be PM following opposition from al Nour (BBC WS).

Exclusive interview with Amr Moussa - video -  The former Secretary-General of the Arab League tells Channel 4 News that deposed former president Mohammed Morsi is "not under arrest but in a safe place".

 Updated: 16 July 2013

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