Mohamed Morsi “chooses infamy”

Egypt_peril

Egypt in peril? Taken from a previous Economist cover

 

Sober analysis of the past week’s events in Egypt from The Economist.

It makes the point that the country’s draft constitution – which will now go to a referendum in mid-December – lacks legitimacy as a result of being rushed through the constituent assembly this week.

There is also criticism of the manner in which Morsi has emasculated the judiciary through the recent presidential decree.

While sparing no rebuke for the nation’s judges – who the magazine says have “petulantly” obstructed the president over the past six months – the piece argues that by “declaring himself above any law, [Morsi] raised the spectre of a return to dictatorship”.

An authoritative precis of the current crisis.

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Morsi’s power grab should be no surprise

Muslim Brotherhood supporters and relatives carry the body of 15-year-old Islam Massoud during his funeral in the Egyptian town of Damanhour (photo by REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih)

 

Here is a neat dissection of the current political mess in Egypt, by blogger Nervana Mahmoud.

Published at Al-monitor.com, Mahmoud argues that the crisis was “an inevitable outcome in a country that is still seduced by selfish politics that aim for dominance rather than unity”.

She pushes the point that the Muslim Brotherhood’s modus operandi is partly a result of decades of oppression under successive regimes. Mohamed Morsi, she adds, sees Egypt as a “malfunctioning machine that must be restored back to its factory settings with Islamic instruction”.

Offering a four point analysis of the Brotherhood’s political failings, Mahmoud contends that “pragmatism” and “ambiguity” are used as tools to advance the group’s Islamic agenda.

Many might argue that the Brotherhood is not alone in this. Surely the Tories or Labour in the UK – or their American, European or any other counterparts – are just as capable of exploiting political elusiveness in their search for power? Is it fair to lambast the Brothers on this score?

A nice offering on the debate about what is making the Muslim Brothers tick.

 

 

Is the US repeating its mistakes in Egypt?

Mohamed Morsi and Hillary Clinton during a recent meeting

 

More thoughts on Morsi’s power grab last week, this time from The Big Pharaoh blog.

The post ruminates over America’s influence on Morsi, and asks whether the president felt he could get away with his decree because of the lavish praise heaped on him by Washington following the Gaza ceasefire.

 

 

VIDEO: Clashes in northern Egypt

 

A worrying clip from Damanhur, a town in northern Egypt close to Alexandria.

It shows fighting on Saturday between members of the Muslim Brotherhood and anti-Morsi protesters which followed the Egyptian president’s constitutional decree last week.

One boy was killed and many more injured during the violence.

A second man was confirmed dead yesterday following the rioting which hit Cairo last week and spread throughout the country after Morsi’s announcement.

Egyptians are hoping Damanhur is not a sign of more cataclysmic divisions ahead.

Psychology of a dictatorship

Liberty Leading the People - a bare-breasted depiction you probably won't find at Muslim Brotherhood HQ

Liberty Leading the People – a bare-breasted depiction you probably won’t find at the headquarters of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood

 

The outsider’s perspective on the crisis enveloping Egypt – from my occasional drinking buddy Koert Debeuf.

He raises the twin spectres of Lenin and and the Jacobins in reference to the problems faced by Mohamed Morsi.

I’m pretty sure we’re not there quite yet, but DeBeuf nevertheless has some interesting points to make about life inside the political goldfish bowl.

“When the IDF shoots people, it’s to make us safer” – Israel’s media bias

Yonatan Mendel has attacked press standards in the Israeli media

 

Very interesting, snappily-written article from the London Review of Books.

Israeli journalist Yonatan Mendel explores what he believes is the unwitting, anti-Palestinian bias which pervades the Israeli press.

He also details his own experience of trying to land a reporting job at Ma’ariv, a leading Israeli newspaper.

“At my interview the boss asked how I could possibly be objective,” he writes. “I had spent too much time with Palestinians; I was bound to be biased in their favour. I didn’t get the job.”

Thoughtful writing.

Spice Bazaar reopens after a year long hiatus

 

Spice Bazaar is back again – but with a slight difference.

After a year long break, this site will now attempt to collate some of the most interesting news and writing currently shaping the Middle East.

I hope it will serve as a useful window onto an endlessly fascinating region.