The Muslim Brotherhood: A “glorified soup kitchen with Hitler powers”


Is Mohamed Morsi morphing into a dictator?


Egypt has a complicated past when it comes to the Nazis.

When the British were fighting to keep Rommel from seizing the Suez Canal – and with it their gateway to India – many Egyptians were praying for a German victory.

Understandably, their enemy’s enemy was a welcome friend – even if he did have a dodgy moustache and some  questionable views on race relations.

In this article on the current political mess, Cairo-based reporter Sarah Carr argues that Mohamed Morsi has now acquired “Hitler powers” following his recent presidential decree.

A personalised account of her thoughts on the situation, she says Morsi’s recent actions have made her agonise over whether she was right to vote for him in the summer run-off.

“The thought that I may have contributed to voting in this avuncular yet megalomaniac individual backed up by an army of devotees is an uncomfortable feeling to say the least,” she says. “And the word “Ermächtigungsgesetz” (a law passed in 1933 that made Hitler a dictator) keeps flashing before my eyes.”

Hopefully any similarities between Morsi and Hitler will prove to be short-lived.

There has been plenty of speculation about the direction in which Egypt is heading, but the road to Nuremburg is perhaps not the most desirable.




Egypt’s biggest satirist on why he still considers himself an outsider


A few clips from an interview with Bassem Youssef, the Egyptian talk show host who is often – perhaps too often – compared to American comedian Jon Stewart.

Youssef found fame after the Egyptian uprising when he posted a series of amateur skits on YouTube which eventually attracted millions of viewers.

He is currently in the process of launching a new series of his hit show Al Bernameg – but despite the fame he has achieved across the Middle East, he remains a wonderfully humble man.


Mohamed Morsi “chooses infamy”


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.

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, 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.

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