With pro- and anti-Mohammed Morsi protestors clashing for the second week in Cairo, Egypt, the country is on the brink of a potentially explosive situation, and President Morsi is using ever increasing authoritarian tactics, including threatening the use of military force. While President Obama and the much-vaunted international community are hypocritically silent to this power-grab, an Islamist prison state is forming in front of our very eyes.
In the last month, Morsi has managed to broker a cease-fire between Israel and the Palestinians, order that he rule “temporarily” by decree, and push a Sharia-based constitution through the legislature despite serious opposition from minority parties.
For more than a week, both supporters and opponents of Morsi have gathered in Tahrir Square in response to these maneuvers. With tensions already high, violence has continued to escalate. The latest tally by the Associated Press (AP) reports that at least six people have been killed and 700 injured.
Police and military are being routinely dispatched to break up the two sides. Now, some are worried that Morsi will use the increased tensions as an excuse to use the military to put down opponents of his Muslim Brotherhood-led government.
According to an AP report, Morsi has begun to demonize his opposition as enemies of the new democracy, accusing protestors of being loyalists to the regime of Hosni Mubarak, Egypt’s long-time ruler prior to Morsi. Morsi “vowed he would never tolerate anyone working for the overthrow of his ‘legitimate’ government.”
The AP also reported that the military was being deployed to threaten protestors with a show of force.
The Egyptian army deployed tanks and gave both supporters and opponents of Mohammed Morsi a deadline to leave the area outside the presidential palace Thursday following fierce street battles that left five people dead and more than 600 injured in the worst outbreak of violence between the two sides since the Islamist leader’s election.
Buoyed by his ability to close a deal between the Palestinians and the Israelis and with the green light from the feckless international community, Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood have become emboldened and are evidently not afraid to flex their muscles. The Brotherhood is tantalizingly close to achieving its goal of instituting an Islamist state in Egypt and will not let anything impede it at this critical juncture.
It was Hosni Mubarak’s violent response to the uprising in Egypt in February 2011 that caused the United States to cut his cord. In that uprising, Mubarak was accused of sending in military with shoot to kill orders to squelch demonstrations against him. While none of the reports out of Cairo have yet replicated this scene, the potential for government-sponsored violence is in the air and the tense situation is ripe for exploitation.
Sadly, the loss of life already suffered by pro-freedom protesters may very well be in vain. Protestors, while fierce, have as of yet only managed to attract several tens of thousands of people in Cairo, where the Brotherhood enjoys widespread support, as do other hardline Islamists. While President Obama and the rest of the world cannot be bothered to utter a word of condemnation against the death of democracy in Egypt, the current opposition movement is only destined to whither and die on the vine.
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