Egypt Erupts

P. David Hornik is a freelance writer and translator living in Beersheva and author of the book Choosing Life in Israel. 


morsiprotestsapSunday marked Mohamed Morsi’s first anniversary as president of Egypt. By evening it was clear—if there had been any doubt left—that he had little to celebrate.

Already on Saturday, amid mounting violence, Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood had had to whisk him away to safety amid reports that protesters planned to march on his presidential palace. At least eight people, including a young American man, had already been killed in demonstrations. Offices of the Brotherhood’s political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party, had been set on fire in the cities of Alexandria and Dakahlia.

The opponents of the Islamist regime claimed to have gathered 22 million signatures on a petition to oust Morsi—almost double the 13 million who had voted for him a year earlier. These opponents are an unlikely coalition of (relative) liberals, supporters of the previous regime of Hosni Mubarak, and even more extreme Islamists of a Salafist bent. All are united—for now—only by an iron determination to topple Morsi and his regime.

That regime, in the eyes of the protest movement, is responsible for Egypt’s ongoing economic deterioration that includes mounting inflation, wide-scale unemployment, a steep drop in tourism, shortages of basic commodities, plummeting foreign investment, and dwindling cash reserves. Accompanying the acute economic crisis is a breakdown in social order with the police rendered impotent, rampant crime in the streets, and minorities like Christians and Shiites suffering severe persecution.

The protesters also charge the regime with subverting Egypt’s political institutions. The parliament was disbanded a year ago, and early in June the Senate was declared unlawful. The Brotherhood, say its opponents, has imposed its own Islamist constitution on the country, stacked government with its supporters, and generally betrayed its supposedly democratic mandate while miserably mismanaging the country.

The crisis intensified on Sunday. During the day one person was killed and close to thirty injured when Morsi supporters and opponents clashed in the city of Bani Suef, south of Cairo. Troops and armored vehicles were deployed in Cairo and army helicopters flew above the city. Fears of violence were reportedly prompting many people to try and flee the country, with 60,000 leaving it via Cairo International Airport since Friday.

The key question was whether, as the heat of the day subsided toward evening, the protesters indeed had enough support to bring vast numbers of people into the streets. By early evening it was clear that the answer was affirmative as hundreds of thousands materialized in Cairo’s Tahrir Square and in cities throughout the country. The Tahrir Square protesters used the same chant—“The people want the fall of the regime!”—that was heard there two and a half years ago in the anti-Mubarak revolt. A much smaller group of Islamist supporters of Morsi, reportedly around 10,000, gathered around a mosque near the presidential palace.

By late Sunday evening there were reports of about 175 people injured in protests throughout the country. The Brotherhood said its Cairo headquarters had been attacked by protesters firing shotguns and throwing Molotov cocktails and rocks. The initial impression, then, is that the protest has real backing and energy and the regime would be wrong to count on it fizzling out.

A key issue is the role of the army. Earlier in the week the chief of staff, Gen. Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, had warned that the army would intervene if things got out of control. Having been removed from power a year ago by Morsi, after having ruled the country for the year and a half since Mubarak’s fall, the military establishment is considered resentful toward the regime but cognizant of the fact that Washington, as Israeli commentator Boaz Bismuth puts it, “supports the elected president, even if it is Morsi. The military, however, can force Morsi to make concessions.”

The coming days will tell to what extent the regime is in trouble; but Sunday’s events can hardly leave it sanguine. It would be encouraging to think most Egyptians now realize the mistake of hastily deposing the lesser evil, Mubarak, and in effect clearing the path for the considerably greater evil of Morsi and his Islamists. Confronted, though, by yet another Middle Eastern spectacle of roiling violence, with Salafists constituting one faction of the rebels, even relative optimism has to be cautious.

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  • UCSPanther

    So much for the Morsi Regime being the start of a new era for Egypt.

  • Bamaguje

    From Mubarak to Morsi – from frypan to fire.

    • WhiteHunter

      From Pahlavi to Khomeini…all in the cause of human rights, of course.

      • Hktony

        from clinton to bush to obama.

  • wildjew

    “Since Mubarak’s fall, the military establishment is considered resentful toward the regime but cognizant of the fact that Washington (i.e., Barack Hussein Obama), as Israeli commentator Boaz Bismuth puts it, “supports the elected president, even if it is Morsi….”

    That’s right because Obama knows elections have consequences for the stupid and the non-stupid voter-citizens alike.

    • DebRollin

      These regimes win by dumbing people down, and buying them off, giving them food stamps, cell phones, voting rights, healthcare, and education, yet they don’t work for it or pay taxes, deception….taqiyya, is their biggest tool.

      • wildjew

        True. Still, I know otherwise educated people who are working for a living and who voted for and support Barack Obama. They think Obama is doing the best he can under the circumstances with the (as one Obama-supporter put it) the “bucket of sh-t Bush” left him. What explains that? Obama could not be sustained by the “moocher” class alone. There is a broad base of support among the American public. How do you explain it? Does it not bode ill for America’s future?

        • DebRollin

          Yes, they are educated from a book, but lack good common sense and the ability to discern truth. Those who conform to the pattern of the world, are often showing selfishness and corruption. Many are on the Roman road to wrath. Romans 12:2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. This has been true throughout history. Many will not see the truth until it is too late.

    • DebRollin

      Some of the Egyptian military were visiting companies in the US and if you talk to them, they are extremely displeased with Morsi’s leadership…

  • bj affordable

    May the ancient power of the Pharaohs curse the Muslim Brotherhood!

    • DebRollin

      It is beginning…the military in Egypt do not like the Brotherhood, or their dictatorial style. If one talks to this military one will find out their ideologies are different than the Brotherhood, they are for law and order and freedom.

    • Hktony

      islam itself is a curse. It will destroy itself in time.

  • logdon
  • Rosasolis

    It is now more than ever obvious that the election promises of Morsi for
    “Reform”, which was backed up by his corrupt friends in “The Brotherhood”,
    was nothing but a pack of lies. They have been supporting terrorists for years,
    and their real plan is to establish an Islamic Caliphate, not only in Egypt, but
    over the entire African Continent. First they plan to defeat the She-ites,
    (they are already active in Syria and even in Turkey), then their next step
    is the entire Middle-east.
    My heart goes out to the Copts, whose religion in Egypt is centuries older
    than the Islam. The daily suffering of these peaceful Christians who live in
    communities all over Egypt, has become unbearable!
    I hope that if all the millions of Egyptians can bring Morsi and his Brotherhood
    to fall, that several talented Coptic men and women will be able to form
    a new modern government, together will many other free-thinkers.

    • Mrs. pharaoh

      You are right about the Copts. smart, loving, peaceful people, the TRUE Egyptians!

      • Gee

        Just as anti-Semitic as their Muslim neighbors

        • Mrs. pharaoh

          Not the ones I know and I know a lot. Historically that may have been some what true in their diminutude, going a long to get a long whir their Muslim slave masters.

    • bj affordable

      Your last sentence is extremely hopeful at best. The chance of Copts forming a government in Egypt is fanciful, naive and about as likely as Obama flying to Mars wearing a lime-green negligee.

      • Rosasolis

        The Copts really could form a cohesion government
        together with
        free-thinkers such as teachers, students and military supporters.
        These people need every support they can get, in order to keep
        this great country (and others which are supported by
        The Brotherhood) from total collapse. A totally liberal,
        non-Islamitic government in Egypt would be greatly welcomed
        not only by millions of their citizens, but would bring hope to
        so many other countries in Africa, who are suffering greatly
        under the Sharia-Law and the horrors of the Jihad terrorists.
        Did you dream of Obama flying to Mars in a lime-green negligee?
        I had a dream of this guy dressed as an Imam in a huge
        Mosque, delivering a speech to terrorists and their supporters
        about corruption in the Western World, and about how the Jihad should lead to the Islamic Goal of World Domination, and
        enforcing the Sharia-Law upon the whole world.

  • montbrun

    To all those still believing that Obamba is a Christian, having been born and
    raised Muslim, allow me to remind them that the Koran advices the “faithful”
    to hide or deny their true faith whenever inconvenient or outright dangerous
    which I believe accounts for his approval of the millions for tne Brotherhood
    circumventing the House and his F16′s and Abrams tanks for Egypt….
    Now how does that grab you, Democraps…?????

    • Mrs. pharaoh

      You are spot on Montbrun!! We will see if some Democrates have the guts and conscience to care more about their country than their party. We know now Morsi was involved in Bengazi and Obama did NOTHING to protect his own. Sean Smith’s mother made it clear in an interview that her son was a bleeding heart liberal. Think Obama really cares about anyone, everyone is expendable to reach his agenda. This is what Hope & Change really looks like.

  • WhiteHunter

    There’s a new best seller that’s flying off the shelves: “How I Changed a Prosperous, Quiescent, Pro-U.S., Non-Threatening Arab Nation into a Violent, Impoverished, Unstable, Islamist, America-Hating Dictatorship in Two Years for Just $5 Billion,” by Barack Hussein Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton.

    • Feisty Hayseed

      I love it! Do I have your permission to share it with others in other venues?

      • WhiteHunter

        Yes, indeed, Feisty. Please do!

  • DebRollin

    Amazing, People in so many countries are saying, they are not going to put up with totalitarian regimes. One can see the coordinated efforts to place an Islamic Caliphate world wide, and people are rejecting it!

  • Gee

    Egypt is through. The Islamists have managed to destroy two of the three major sources of income – tourism and gas sales.

    With only the Suez Canal to finance 90 million people – it won’t work. Egypt will be the next Somalia for the exact same reason.

  • DOYOULOVEAMERICA

    Let these animals kill each other……

  • mtnhikerdude

    Finally some sanity in Egypt.. Morsi need not worry if his terrorist supporting regime is relieved of power . Obama will make Biden retire and give him the vice presidency.

  • Drakken

    Burn baby burn, let these muslims of whatever stripe and affiliation go to town on each other.

  • Guest

    I wish more Americans would protest the Muslim president in America.

    • pookieamos

      As I watched the protest earlier on FOX , I asked myself the same question . Do you suppose if we gathered 20 million signatures on a petition and had millions on the streets of Washington that Obama would resign ? Heck no, they’d probably bring out the military and firing squads!

  • William James Ward

    The good old military in Egypt will stop the unrest but how about
    the murder and persecution of Christians. We should stop sending
    money to Egypt as long as they continue their miserable record
    of allowing murder and mayhem. We shall see how this turns out
    but Obama is to blame for most of the problems…………William

  • DannyJeffrey

    I have a slightly different view on what is happening in Egypt.

    http://www.freedomrings1776.com/2013/07/egyptsorosthe-real-plan-is-far-worse.html#more