Egyptian military’s pact with Islamists

EGYPT-POLITICS-UNREST-DEMOBy Amir Taheri:

Sometime next week, Egypt’s military-run government will publish the “first draft” of a new constitution to replace the one worked out by the government of the ousted President Mohamed Morsi.

The coup that returned the military to power after a year-long interval was presented as an attempt to prevent the Muslim Brotherhood from imposing an Islamist dictatorship with a constitutional facade. Highlighted were two articles in the Morsi constitution that identified the Islamic sharia as the source of legislation in Egypt and gave Al-Azhar, the official seminary, a virtual veto on certain issues.

The crowds that for weeks filled Tahrir Square called on the army to intervene to save the nation from a burgeoning sharia-based ­dictatorship. Well, when the new draft constitution — written by a 50-man committee appointed by the military — is published, the Tahrir Square crowds are likely to be disappointed. The two controversial articles will still be there, albeit under different numbers and with slight changes in terminology.

“Egyptians want to retain their Islamic identity,” says Kamal Halbawi, a former Brotherhood member who co-chaired the army-appointed drafting committee with Amr Moussa, a former foreign minister during the earlier military governments.

Thus Islamists, including the Salafist Nour ( Light) Party sponsored by Saudi Arabia will have no reason to be unhappy with the proposed draft.

The difference this time is that the new constitution also gives the military what the text drafted by Morsi denied it. The armed forces will get recognition for their “special status” and given a virtual veto on key aspects of security, foreign and even economic policies.

The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, the junta formed after Hosni Mubarak’s ouster, will be recognized as a constitutionally sanctioned state organ with “special responsibilities and prerogatives,” including the appointment of the defense minister and the supervision of the military budget, which will be spared public submission to the parliament.

Put brutally, the proposed draft constitution is a pact between a section of the military led by Gen. Abdul-Fattah al-Sisi and a section of the Islamic movement spearheaded by Salafists.

The faction led by Sisi represents a segment of the officers’ corps reluctant to abandon a system under which the army acted as a state within the state and seized control of perhaps 20 percent of the national economy. As always during the past 100 years, the military is using a pseudo-nationalistic discourse full of xenophobic shibboleths.

The Salafist faction hopes to seize the opportunity of its collaboration with the military to build its position within the Islamist constituency. With the Muslim Brotherhood banned and most of its leaders under arrest, the Salafists hope to seduce some of their followers, especially with the help of a deluge of Saudi money.

However, even when they add their respective bases of support, the Sisi faction of the military and the Salafist faction do not represent more than a third of the Egyptian electorate.

Read more at NYP

 

 

 

Morsi Constitution Modification will Sabotage Pro-Democracy Efforts

20121213_morsi_yelling_-_LARGEby ASHRAF RAMELAH:

Adly Mansour, Egypt’s Interim President, has chosen to begin Egypt’s conversion to democracy by reinstating and modifying ousted President Morsi’s controversial 2012 Islamic Shariah constitution. Finalized just five months ago and widely rejected by Egyptians (more than 70 percent) but somehow approved through a referendum vote, this dream-come-true for Islamists was the leading cause of Morsi’s overthrow.

Remember as well that a historic verdict by Egypt’s judiciary dismissed the constitutional assembly working on the 2012 constitution draft because the assembly was dominated by Muslim Brotherhood and Salafi mainly interested in a religious agenda.

This time around, there is no debate that Egypt must have a new constitution before elections are held. This is a good sign. However, using Morsi’s constitution indicates that religionists and possibly terrorists are already at the table. Compromises at this level to please Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, Salafis, and jihadists show a disregard of the commitment to honor the Egyptian goals of liberty, equality, and human rights.

Building on a foundation of religious bias, sex discrimination and denigration of human rights is a rejection of liberty and equality and obstructs democracy

The 2012 constitution is based upon the supremacy of Egypt’s majority religion and its penetrating influence of the daily life and livelihood of citizens. Religious mandates by clerics turned into civil law and enforced by the police negate freedom and individual rights, the basic precepts of democracy. So why start with Morsi’s constitution?

Repeating SCAF’s same mistake

The miraculous second chance Egypt has now to do it right means that leaders right now must abstain from doing what SCAF did after the overthrow of Mubarak. SCAF listened to Islamist factions; some, like the Muslim Brotherhood, covering up their real views with democratic slogans, and some, like Salafi, directing anti-democratic religionist concepts to become part of the democratic process.

Please do not burden us, Mr. Mansour, with any wasteful pursuits brought about by compromises with political-religious factions. This particular task is above religious politics. Egyptians have suffered immeasurably to create this path for democracy in Egypt. Egyptian citizens are not power-seekers like those who seek to adulterate freedom’s first principles in the construction of a democratic constitution.

Best for no faiths to take part — no religious representatives in Egypt’s new constitutional assembly for a fresh start

Egyptian Interim President Adly Mansour would be wise to start from scratch the process of writing a democratic constitution bringing together pro-democracy Tamarud representatives and others interested in realizing the objectives of their freedom-seeking goals without adverse influences.

The religious in Egypt will be equally free to worship once a secular constitution with democratic freedoms is put in place. This should happen as soon as possible.

Read more: Family Security Matters

 

Rebels at the Gates: Egypt rebounds again

By

Remember Remember the 4th of December when the president of Egypt flees for his life from the Palace backdoors guarded by his motorcade and armed guards. We have witnessed the first incumbent and elected president in modern day Egyptian history flees the scene and his palace after just 6 months of his election. Egyptians once more rise again and prove to the whole world that they will not stand idle in face of creating new modern day fascism in Egypt.

Protest outside Egypt Presidential Palace

Protest outside Egypt Presidential Palace

Remember Remember the 5th of December when the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamists hordes attacked the peaceful encampment around the palace and bashed women and men indiscriminately with machetes, sticks and firearms. The massacre that shocked the nation turned the peaceful Cairo’s neighbourhood of Heliopolis into a battle zone for the first time in its 100 year’s history.

Remember Remember the 7th of December when the freedom fighters of Egypt rallied again in most Egyptian cities to protest against Morsi’s dictatorial regime and his Islamists militias and made sure their voices are heard against the voices of fascism and tyranny.

Remember Remember the 25th of December when the news of the approval of a new illegitimate constitution is approved and a day that witnessed Egypt entering the year 2013 with a constitution befitting a small European medieval kingdom.

Morsi’s assault against the Egyptian state:

Morsi’s regime has caused a path of destruction in Egypt which descended into unprecedented state of chaos that was hardly been witnessed in its modern history and here is in short a summary of his misdeeds:

1-Since he was sworn in, Morsi has applied a gloves-are-off tactic against anyone or any entity that he or his obscure Muslim Brotherhood group deem threatening to their plans for full control of the Egyptian state. Morsi started by the army commanders and devised the most theatrical of maneuvers to oust SCAF from the scene and capitalized on the murder of 16 innocent Egyptian soldiers and blamed it entirely on the army commanders despite evidence leads that among the assailants are those who he already pardoned by presidential decree just days before the attack from prison sentences and his allies Hamas in Gaza knows their whereabouts and their identities.

Morsi capitalized on the devastating incident and ousted both Field Marshall Tantawi and Deputy Anan in a constitutional declaration that overrides the one SCAF have issued prior to the announcement of the Presidential elections results. He overturned the same declaration he was sworn in upon and ironically this move was applauded naively by the many figures of the opposition. The same opposition that gullibly believed that Morsi is attempting to oust any form of military intervention in the political spectrum and they supported that move while what was Morsi really attempting was consolidating his power as it will be explained further.

2-The second assault was on the judiciary system in the form of a new edict (Constitutional declaration) through which Morsi unconstitutionally appointing a new General Attorney Mostafa Talaat and ousted illegitimately the former one Adbel Mageed Mahmoud in a feat that was never done in the history of Egyptian Judiciary system yet he still possess the audacity to claim that he is keen on the separation of powers on one hand and on the other hand destroying the fabric of the Egyptian Judiciary system and the prestigious Egyptian Constitutional Court. Morsi himself accused members of the Constitutional court of plotting against him despite the fact that without their approval of presidential elections’ results he won’t be in the position he is now.

3-The third assault was on the Media starting by shutting down several networks Like Dream TV and El Faraeen owned by anchor Tawfik Okasha.At the same down Curbing down the freedom of expression became the popular sport for the Presidential office that started to sue newspapers for criticizing the president. It is becoming a popular sport of the Muslim Brotherhood and their allies figure to wage verbal wars on all the opposition and label them as heretics, atheists and infidels for criticizing the Islamists. At the same time witch hunting almost every liberal media anchor on the scene by lawsuits and verbal defamation and occasionally physical violence.

4-  Breaking his election campaign promise. Morsi insisted on keeping the controversial Islamist dominated constitution writing committee and despite the resignations from all opposition figures and the Christian churches, he insisted on going forward through the referendum to avoid an expected constitutional court ruling against this illegitimate committee. For the first time in history a committee that were given 2 months to discuss the constitution decided to wrap it all up in 48 hours and present it to the president to order a new referendum within two weeks.

Egypt protest

5-For the first time in Egyptian Modern history the approved new constitution imposes a new reality and identity on the Egyptian state and threatens to turn the Egyptian national state into an Islamic state foregoing all the basic principles of nationhood and Egyptian national pride that ruled Egypt for thousands of years. By enacting this new constitution Morsi list of unfulfilled election campaign promises’ receives a new addition, whereby he promised to reshuffle and reselect a new balance constitution writing commission which he ignored to do and in fact it was his Islamists alliance who wrote the entire constitution. This constitution is the most divisive, anti-human rights and sectarian constitution ever written in Egypt’s modern history and it definitely fails to protect personal freedoms and the rights of Christians and other minorities.

6-Meanwhile, the Sinai Peninsula is in total chaos since Morsi took power. Islamist militants are dominating villages and towns in the North of Sinai and the army efforts in that area are curbed by the tight relation between Hamas and the President’s own Muslim Brotherhood being their franchise in Gaza. Weapons and other goods are still smuggled daily from and to Gaza with Hamas controlling these tunnels across the border. Aside from the rampage caused by the Militants which resulted in the Killing of 16 Egyptian soldier in one terrorist attack in August, the same militant groups are terrorizing the Christians in North of Sinai and many families had to evacuate their homes in fear for their lives. On Morsi’s watch Egypt is losing grip on its own territories as a result of political maneuvers by the current regime. Shouldn’t the nation take further steps in protecting its own territory, Egypt will lose grip eventually on Sinai and it will turn into an uncontrollable territory like Waziristan in Pakistan.

Read more at WSN

 is a freelance Journalist and Egyptian Businessman. Egyptian nationalist with Libertarian capitalist views. Middle East and world news analyst.

See also:

Egypt’s Only Hope: Freedom Fighters by Ashraf Ramelah, founder and president of Voice of the Copts, a human rights  organization drawing attention to the suffering of Coptic Christians in Egypt and educating as to the chilling effect of Sharia (Islamic law).   

Muslim Brotherhood anti-army coup in Cairo – Tanks move up to Israel border

DEBKAfile Special Report August 12, 2012

Having gained control of the Egyptian parliament, government and presidency, the Muslim Brotherhood has made itself the unchallenged ruler of Egypt. Demoting the heads of the military leaves the MB in control of the biggest army in the Arab world.

Two months after assuming the presidency, the Muslim Brotherhood’s President Mohamed Morsi swept away the powerful pro-American Supreme Military Council heads ruling Egypt since Hosni Mubarak’s overthrow. Sunday. Aug. 12, he fired the Egyptian Defense Minister, Field Marshal Mohamed Tantawi, the Egyptian chief of staff Gen. Hafez Sami Annan and three more generals and appointed Field Marshall Abd al-Fatah Sissi defense minister and Gen. Sidki Sobhi chief of staff in their place. The three generals also sacked were Air Force chief Rezza Abd al-Megid, Navy commander Mahab Muhamed Mamish and Air Defense chief Abd Al-Aziz Muhamed Seif. President Morsi also annulled the law amendments endowing the military with broad powers. debkafile reports: Field Marshal Tantawi and Gen. Annan were regarded as the last major impediments to the Muslim Brotherhood’s complete takeover of Egypt. Morsi’s action has cast Egypt’s military caste out into uncertain territory with regard to its future status in government.

Morsi’s actions in the last month have aroused serious concern in the United States and Israel. His coup Sunday will give them more unsavory food for thought. They will not have missed the sudden arrival of Egyptian army M-60 tanks (made in the US) right up to the Israeli border of Sinai while the new appointments were announced in Cairo.

It is still not yet clear whether the Israeli government and army were caught off guard or gave permission for this extreme exception to the demilitarized clauses of their 1979 peace treaty. However, last week, the Egyptian president said that treaty clauses not deemed beneficial to Egyptian interests by the new regime would have to go. Israel did not respond to this statement.

In another new departure, he appointed a former senior judge Mohamed Mahmud Makki vice president, a new office in Egyptian government.  debkafile was the only publication to report that the Muslim Brotherhood and Morsi were exploiting the terrorist attack in Sinai to rid Cairo of the pro-Western military control of the Egyptian government. debkafile was the only publication to report that the Muslim Brotherhood and Morsi were exploiting the terrorist attack in Sinai to rid Cairo of the pro-Western military control of the Egyptian government. A faster worker, Morsi has achieved this in exactly seven days.

 

Egypt’s Real Ruler: Mohamed Tantawi

by Daniel Pipes and Cynthia Farahat

What does it mean that Mohamed Morsi is president of Egypt? Speaking for the American consensus, Bret Stephens recently argued in the Wall Street Journal against the consolation that the Muslim Brotherhood’s victory “is merely symbolic, since the army still has the guns.” He concluded that “Egypt is lost.”

We shall argue to the contrary: the election was not just symbolic but illusory, and Egypt’s future remains very much in play.

Morsi is not the most powerful politician in Egypt or the commander in chief. Arguably, he does not even run the Muslim Brotherhood. His job is undefined. The military could brush him aside. For the first time since 1954, Egypt’s president is a secondary figure, assigned the functionary role long associated with its prime ministers.

A picture of Morsi and Tantawi reveals the terms of their relationship: Not only is Tantawi sitting on the right side, where prior Egyptian presidents (Nasser, Sadat, Mubarak) ritualistically sat when hosting a visitor, but their meeting took place in the Ministry of Defense, not in the presidential palace, which protocol would normally require.

Mohamed Tantawi is the real ruler of Egypt. Chairman of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), Field Marshall, and Minister of Defense, he serves not only as the commander in chief but also as effective head of all three Egypt’s governmental branches. Tantawi is an autocrat with near-absolute powers. As chief representative of the military junta that has been ruling Egypt since February 2011, his mission is to extend the junta’s rule indefinitely into the future, thereby assuring officers their perquisites and privileges.

SCAF exploits the Muslim Brotherhood and other proxies as its civilian fronts, a role they are happy to play, by permitting Islamists to garner an outsized percentage of the parliamentary vote, then to win the presidency. During the suspicious week-long delay before the presidential votes were announced, SCAF met with the Muslim Brotherhood’s real leader, Khairat El-Shater, and reached a deal whereby Morsi became president but SCAF still governs.

To understand SCAF’s power, note three actions it took in conjunction with the presidential elections:

Imposition of martial law: On June 13, the Justice Minister authorized the General Intelligence Services and military police to arrest civilians at will and incarcerate them for six months if they express any form of written or artist opposition against SCAF, the police, or their Islamist proxies, while protesting these same institutions on the streets can lead to life in prison.

Dissolution of parliament: On the grounds that the parliamentary elections of Nov. 2011-Jan. 2012, breached the constitution (which prohibits party candidates to run for “individual” seats), the Supreme Administrative Court ruled them invalid in February 2012. On June 14, the SCAF-controlled Supreme Constitutional Court confirmed this decision and dissolved parliament. In retrospect, it appears that SCAF, which oversaw those elections, intentionally allowed Islamists to break the law so as to have an excuse at will to dissolve Egypt’s fraudulent parliament.

Establish the premise for martial law: SCAF issued a constitutional declaration on June 17 that formalized its intention to prolong the military’s 60-year-old rule. Article 53/2 states that, in the face of internal unrest, “the president can issue a decision to direct the armed forces – with the approval of SCAF - to maintain security and defend public properties.” The basis for a complete military takeover could hardly be more baldly asserted; Morsi’s plan to reconvene the dissolved parliament could justify such an action.

Read more

The Brotherhood’s Bait and Switch

By Frank Gaffney, Jr. via The Center For Security Policy

Egypt’s newly elected president, Mohammed Morsi, says he will be a “leader for all Egyptians.”  That sounds a lot like the sorts of lies his fellow Muslim Brothers have been telling for months, only to renege on them when they can.  We ignore the true character and ambitions of the Brotherhood – in Egypt, elsewhere in the Mideast, in the wider world and here – at our extreme peril.

In fact, the Brothers’ bait-and-switch gambits are standard operating procedure for their secretive organization.  After all, from the Muslim Brotherhood’s inception in Egypt in 1928, it has been a revolutionary organization committed to the imposition worldwide of a totalitarian, supremacist Islamic doctrine they call shariah.

The unattractiveness of that brutally repressive agenda to non-Muslims and even many Muslims, has forced the group to operate largely in the shadows.  It wages a stealthy, pre-violent “civilization jihad” to advance its goals until circumstances are ripe for conquest via violent jihadism.

In the hope of attenuating the military’s opposition to the Muslim Brotherhood  rise, the latter has utilized myriad subterfuges.  In previous rounds of elections, the Brotherhood promised that it would not seek a parliamentary majority.  Then, it did.  It promised not to run a candidate for president.  Then, it actually ran two of them.

As its power grew, the Brotherhood cynically abandoned others in the opposition in the hope of cutting deals with the junta that ruled Egypt following the overthrow of long-time U.S. ally, Hosni Mubarak: the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF).  When the SCAF cracked down on the eve of the second round of the presidential election, however, the Brothers were back in Tahrir Square making nice with those unlikely to fare well under shariah – Christians, secular liberals and women to whom   Morsi’s soothing words are obviously intended to appeal.

Another Brotherhood bait-and-switch was laid bare in a Wall Street Journal interview with the Brotherhood’s formidable deputy supreme guide, Khairat Al Shater.  As Matthew Kaminski put it “If the Muslim Brotherhood came to power, Mr. Al Shater would be in charge.”  In other words, Morsi is a puppet for the leader of an outfit described by Kaminski as “a closed, rigidly hierarchical and disciplined quasi-Trotskyite organization.”

Khairat Al Shater revealed one more gambit in his interview with the Journal.  Mr. Kaminski quoted him as saying that “the priority is ‘a close partnership’ with the U.S. which the [Brotherhood] expects to help it unlock credit markets and gain international legitimacy.”

The Muslim Brotherhood appears to have a most willing partner for such purposes in President Obama and his administration.  On the occasion of Mr. Obama’s first “outreach to the Muslim world” speech at Cairo’s al-Azhar University in June 2009, he insisted that Brotherhood operatives be in the audience.  He threw Mubarak under the bus within a few days of demonstrations erupting in Tahrir Square and elsewhere in Egypt (instark contrast to his indifference to far larger and longer-running ones inIran).

What is more, since the first “Arab Spring” uprisings in February 2011, Team Obama has engaged with the Brotherhood extensively – both here and in the region – and signaled its willingness to do so in government.  Notably, in April 2012, after the Brotherhood dominated parliamentary elections, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton ordered the transfer of $1.5 billion in a lump-sum, no-strings-attached grant to Egypt.

The best hope for those who legitimately fear the Muslim Brotherhood and its unwavering – if only intermittently acknowledged – determination to impose shariah in Egypt may be for the military there to continue to resist pressure to yield power to theMuslim Brotherhood.

Unfortunately, that pressure will be immense.  It will emanate from, among others, the Obama administration.  Team Obama’s support for the Brotherhood has become more and more aggressive, and reckless.  In the process, it is empowering not only the most serious enemy of any hope for freedom in the Middle East, but avowed enemies of this country, as well.

The next shoe to drop in that regard may be a decision by President Obama to agree to a demand from Egyptian Islamists to free one oftheir most dangerous leaders, Omar Abdul Rahman, the notorious “Blind Sheikh” who ordered the first attack on the World Trade Center in 1993.  That unrepentant terrorist subsequently tried to use his attorney, Lynne Stewart, to communicate from federal prison an order to his followers to conduct still further, murderous jihadist acts.

Abdul Rahman’s return to Cairo – a jihadist triumph that would likely make the Islamists’ rapture at the return of Ayatollah Khomeini to Iran in 1979 pale by comparison – has been urged most recently during high-level meetings in Washington by Hani Nour Eldin.  Eldin is a member of the Blind Sheikh’s designated terrorist organization, Gama’a al-Islamiyya.  An incredulous House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Peter King (R-NY) has written HomelandSecurity Secretary Janet Napolitano asking why such a dangerous individual was granted a visa by the Obama administration and for her position on the release Abdul Rahman.

Subterfuge, subversion and sedition in the name of shariah are the tradecraft of the Muslim Brotherhood.  Team Obama’s enabling of the Brothers’ ascendancy in Egypt and its embrace of their operatives and those of other Islamist organizations in this country (see http://www.MuslimBrotherhoodinAmerica.com) is, if not actually illegal, certainly dangerous in the extreme.