Iran: Commentary Speculates on Founding of `Salafist Dictatorship` in Egypt
Mardom Salari Online
Monday, December 3, 2012
A protester in a Pharaoh headdress holds up a placard during a demonstration on Tahrir Square in Cairo November 30, 2012. Thousands of Egyptians protested against President Mohamed Mursi on Friday after an Islamist-led assembly raced through approval of a new constitution in a bid to end a crisis over the Islamist leader`s newly expanded powers. The banner reads, "No to a dictator. Mursi is to Egypt as Hitler was to Germany. Too much authority and power lead to corruption". REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany
Commentary by Ali Vadaye` titled "Concern About a War Between [Egyptian President Muhammad] Mursi`s Supporters and Opponents and a Coup D`état by Supporters of Mubarak: The Fire of a Power Struggle in the Land of the Pharaohs."
The Nile is tumultuous again. In the alleys of Cairo there are rumors, and one can see the worries in the eyes of politicians and the people of the land of the Pharaohs. Is a new dictator emerging where Salafis have the last word?! Are the hidden hands of the US disrupting the political scene in Egypt?! Who wants to hijack Egypt`s revolution?! What will happen to Egypt`s shaky economy?!
The people of Egypt deposed Hosni Mubarak in the Arab Spring, or Islamic Awakening. Despite the continued presence of key figures from the past regime, Mohammad Morsi became the president of Egypt in an almost democratic election, competing with the candidate of former regime supporters.
From the start of his presidency, Morsi has taken meaningful actions. Immediately after his victory he went to Saudi Arabia to show his loyalty to the Godfather of previous dictators of Egypt. Even though at that time they said there were historical reasons for Al-Saud`s support for the Brotherhood, under the surface, Morsi`s actions became suspect for many. It was after this trip that the US Secretary of State went to Cairo and met with the yet-to-be-determined cabinet. Those who had hopes of Egypt becoming independent were amazed, and from that day the banner of opposition was raised against Morsi. In the view of this group, the US, the provider of the $1.1 billion financial aid that goes mostly to Egypt`s military, which suppressed and killed protestors during their revolution, must not have such influence in Egypt`s developments. Of course this group`s opposition to the Muslim Brotherhood began when the Brotherhood stayed silent during the protests to the Egyptian army`s crackdowns and supporters of the former dictatorship after the victory of the revolution.
Concurrent with this new line-up against the Brotherhood in Egypt, The Washington Times wrote that the US Congress has designated a committee to investigate the $50 million gift to Mohammad Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood when the second round of the presidential election in Egypt was still ahead. Frank Wolf, the congressman from Virginia, claimed that senior security officials in the US have disclosed that Barack Obama and the Secretary of State are to be blamed in this case. This member of Congress claimed that, in return for this help from the Obama administration, the Muslim Brotherhood has promised to honor the previous regime`s international and regional agreements including the Camp David Accords. In the course of three years, three levels of power have emerged in Egypt: supporters of the previous regime and Hosni Mubarak`s loyalists who are mostly in the military; the Salafis or the Brotherhood, which has taken control of the government; and liberal and leftist groups who are against the policies of the government.
The Shock of Absolute Authority
After playing a crucial role in negotiating a ceasefire between the Zionist regime and Hamas, Morsi shocked Egypt! On Thursday with the announcement of the president`s absolute authority even over the judicial system, he created such a shock in Egypt that waves of protests followed. Mr Morsi`s decree states that, until new parliamentary elections in Egypt, no institution has the right to violate the president`s decrees. On Thursday afternoon, Yaser Ali, the president`s spokesman, said that the parliament and the committee to write the constitution are in the Islamists` hands and that they cannot be dissolved. He announced that the president has the authority to make any decision to protect the January 2011 revolution. He added: "Until the writing of the new constitution, the views, decisions, and laws issued by the president are final and cannot be subject to referendum." This, in fact, means that the president`s decisions are higher than the decisions of any judicial institution. Based on the Egyptian president`s new authorities, no one can file a complaint with the judiciary against his decisions.
The president of Egypt also dismissed the prosecutor general and appointed a new one. He took the appointment of Egypt`s prosecutor general totally in his own hands. To defend this new law, Morsi said to his supporters that he is guiding Egypt toward "freedom and democracy." The president of Egypt continued: "Opponents do not worry me at all. On the contrary, I want a strong and real opposition." He said some supporters of Egypt`s previous regime are using the judiciary to advance their goals. He said he will reveal the identity of these people. In a sudden move. Samir Marqas, the Christian adviser to the Egyptian president, resigned and said: "I decided to resign because the president and other officials did not tell me about these decisions. I found out through the media."
But should Morsi`s resistance to the remaining power of the Mubarak regime involve so much chaos and tension?!
In the face of the Egyptian president`s order, the Supreme Judicial Council of Egypt also issued a statement: "The decisions made by the president are unprecedented and undermine the independence of the judiciary power and judges in the country." The council said it is sorry for these orders by Mohammad Morsi and asked him to rescind them. The French News Agency reported that judges in Alexandria said on Saturday that they will go on strike indefinitely to protest the new powers that the president has given himself. Mohammad Ezzat Ajweh, chairman of Egypt`s Judges Club, said in a statement: "The Judges Club in Alexandria decided to suspend all work in courts and prosecutor offices in Alexandria and Bahira until the end of the constitutional crisis." The Bahira province is close to Alexandria.
Meanwhile, Mohamed ElBarade`i, Morsi`s famous opponent, has been accused of plots against the government. ElBarade`i, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, described the president as "the new Pharaoh." He wrote on his Twitter page: "Today Morsi grabbed all power structures. What we are seeing today in suppression of protestors is an ugly and inappropriate act that takes the mask off the faces of some officials." He called police actions barbaric and added: "These activities show that the oppressive regime of Hosni Mubarak is alive and well and ruling the country."
At the same time, Egypt`s national groups met at the center for the democratic and social party and issued a statement calling for the establishment of Egypt`s rescue front to manage the crisis developing in the country. Hamdin Sabahi, Mohamed ElBarade`i, Amr Mousa, Al-Seyyed Al-Badawi, Mohammad Abul-Qar, and George Eshaq are among the principal members of this committee. Hamdin Sabahi said that, until Morsi`s recent constitutional announcement is canceled, there will be no talks with the president of Egypt. Sabahi also said the new decisions by Morsi undermine freedom and the rule of law in Egypt.
After talking to different figures, in an interview with Reuters and the Associated Press, ElBarade`i said that, when a dictator acts in the most unjust and ugly manner and then says let us resolve our differences, there is no place for negotiation. ElBarade`i, who is expected to become the coordinator for a national opposition party, said Morsi`s announcement made the shaky transition to democracy more difficult and there is need for action to stop the "cycle of violence."
According to reports by Egyptian government sources, Mohamed ElBarade`i, the former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, and two other Egyptian politicians have been accused of plots against the president. In a complaint filed against Mohamed ElBarade`i, Hamed Sadiq, an Egyptian lawyer, has accused him, the chairman of Egypt`s Constitution party; Seyyed Badawi, head of the Wafd party; and Hamdin Sabahi, the independent candidate in the first round of the presidential election, of plotting against the president of the country with the help of foreign agents.
In the complaint these three people are accused of coordinating and planning to create tension inside the country by first leaving the Constitution Council and encouraging others to leave in order to set the stage for toppling the country`s political system and defeating the 25 January revolution. The text of the complaint refers to suspect meetings at the headquarters of the Wafd party and compares the headquarters to a den of spies for the Zionist regime. The complaint asks for the issuance of an order to prevent the accused from leaving the country. Confrontation Between Supporters and Opponents of Morsi Groups and parties opposed to the government in Egypt have called for widespread demonstrations on Tuesday protesting Morsi`s decision. The Al-Dastour party, Al-Wafd, Egyptian Free Front, Democratic Egypt, National Movement, and the April 6 Youth Movement are major groups calling for the Tuesday demonstrations. Abdul Mon`em Abu Al-Fotuh, one of the most important supporters of political Islam who could have been a liaison between Islamists and civil forces, has supported the protestors at Tahrir Square. Meanwhile, according to Egypt`s official news agency (MENA), the Muslim Brotherhood has announced that it will hold a "one million march" on Tuesday in one of Cairo`s squares. The concurrence of the two demonstrations will turn Cairo into a wartorn city. Supporters of Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood, and the Salafi party Al-Nour have kept themselves away from the Tahrir Square protestors and are in favor of the president`s decision. By coming to the presidential Heliopolis palace, they wanted to declare their appreciation for the president`s decision.
Following the dictatorial decree by Morsi, on Friday thousands of protestors showed their anger by coming to Tahrir Square and setting fire to the offices of the Muslim Brotherhood in several cities, including Alexandria, Port Sa`id, and Isma`ilieh. After Friday prayers, protestors demonstrated in several Cairo neighborhoods with Amr Mousa, the former presidential candidate, and Mohamed ElBarade`i joining them. The slogans of the protestors became harsher. According to The Associated Press on Friday protestors were shouting: "Mubarak, tell Morsi that a prison cell is waiting for him after the presidential seat" and "go, go you are like Mubarak; say who elected you in the revolution?" and "the people want to topple the system." This last one is the same slogan they were chanting against Mubarak in the 18 days during the revolution. Mubarak was sentenced to life in prison and is being kept in a jail south of Cairo because he was convicted of ordering the killing of protestors during the revolution.
The April 6 revolutionary movement, which had an active role in the revolution, was very visible in the demonstrations by carrying banners with the pictures of martyrs of the revolution. These demonstrators set up tents in Tahrir Square and said they will not leave until Morsi cancels his decree. Al-Mesri Al-Youm , a widely circulated Egyptian newspaper, described the Friday demonstrations in its headline as "The 23 November Intifada." On the other hand, The Freedom and Justice newspaper, an organ of the Freedom and Justice party, the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood, wrote in its headline: "The people approved the president`s decree."
On Saturday, the judges, including those in Alexandria, went on strike to protest this decree, while thousands more Egyptians came to Tahrir Square to force Morsi to retreat. To scatter the protestors, security forces resorted to force in the square and injured hundreds of people. The police used tear gas to scatter protestors in Tahrir Square. According to The French News Agency, clashes between opposition forces and the police continued on the sixth day at Mohammad Mahmoud Street near Tahrir Square, and police used tear gas extensively on the demonstrators. Tens of people were overcome with tear gas, and 227 people were injured in clashes between demonstrators and security forces.
(Description of Source: Tehran Mardom Salari Online in Persian -- Website of pro-reform daily, organ of the Democracy or Mardom Salari Party, managed by Majles Deputy Mostafa Kavakebian; www.mardomsalari.com)
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Iran Editorial Criticizes Egyptian `Dictatorship`, American `Occupation`, Israel
Jomhuri-ye Eslami Online
Saturday, December 1, 2012
An anti-Mursi protester chants anti-government slogans at Tahrir Square in Cairo November 30, 2012. An Islamist-led assembly raced through approval of a new constitution for Egypt on Friday to end a crisis over President Mohamed Mursi`s newly expanded powers, but opponents responded with another rally in Cairo against the Islamist leader. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany
Unattributed editorial: "Political Analysis of the Week"
In the name of God, the compassionate, the merciful
This week, the shadow of sadness and grief weighed heavily on the hearts of this nation and the melody of Ashura made the streets and cities of Iran desolate. The skies also broke in tears and divine blessings descended on the mourners of Hoseyn (peace be upon him). Last week, we put behind the period of Ashura, which had been entwined with the heartrending grief of the capture of the Karbala caravans and the physical aggression against the innocent and pure Ahl-ul Bayt (REFERENCE to the Prophet Mohammed`s descendants); a caravan that left the plains of Nineveh, bearing the harrowing knowledge of the martyrdom of Imam Hoseyn, (pbuh) 18 of the young men of Bani Hashem, and tens of his devoted followers, and headed to Kufah and the land of Levant, in chains and great suffering. God`s unending blessings on the heroine of Karbala and the messenger of the Ashura uprising, Hazrat-e Zeynab (Imam Ali`s daughter and the Prophet Mohammad`s granddaughter) who bore the agony of the priosners` caravan, firm and majestic as a mountain and had it not been for her patience and dignity, the events of Karbala would have been buried in history.
Over the past week, on the anniversary of the memorable martyrdoms of the Ashura movement, the people of Iran also mourned Zayn ol-Abedin Imam Ali Ibn-e Al-Hoseyn (the fourth Imam and son of Imam Huseyn). At the height of illness and grieving the events of Karbala, Imam Zayn ol-Abedin bore the pain of captivity and continued with the line of Imamate and guidance after Imam Hoseyn`s martyrdom. While narrating the Ashura uprising, he confronted misguided beliefs and heresy; an Imam who was a narrator of Ashura and Ghadir and rooted this event in history, thereby joining it to the fate of the savior of mankind and the avenger of the blood of the oppressed (REFERENCE to the 12th Shiite Imam).
These days, the adoption of hurried decisions in the field of economy, in addition to ineffective and unconsidered instructions, have broken the economy`s back. In recent months, Iran`s economy has experienced a trend of mistaken decisions by politicians, consequences of which have created a crisis in the country`s economy and unfortunately, nobody is prepared to accept the responsibility for these crises and lack of proper measures. There are numerous approvals and communiques that have been issued firmly on one day and canceled or breached the next. These kinds of inexpert decisions indicate that the country`s economic decisions are being taken by a group of amateurs who are not acquainted with the alphabet of the economy and management . In addition to all the economic damage that has been inflicted, this has meant that a particular kind of distrust and reluctance is governing those who are active in the country`s production sector and one after another, factories are facing recession. What the country needs under the current circumstances is calculated and specialist decisions, using the experience of experts, and for individuals to refrain from behaviors that exclude the larger picture. These can reduce the error factor in decision making and preserve social assets.
This week, on the occasion of Navy Day and the courage shown by the heroes of this force during the imposed war, the commander in chief of all branches (Ayatollah Khamene`i) met with the commander and officials of the Islamic Republic of Iran`s Navy and referring to the abilities of this force to achieve long-term objectives, he emphasized the Islamic Republic of Iran`s upper hand in the region`s developments and said: "The Islamic Republic of Iran`s regional policy has come closer to its goals and one of the reasons for the controversies that have happened against the Islamic Republic is the result of the successes that have been achieved so far."
This week, as far as foreign news topics are concerned, we shall review the latest developments in Egypt, the consequences of the war in Gaza and the US plan for continued occupation of Afghanistan
In Egypt, Cairo`s Tahrir Square is once again witness to widespread demonstrations by angry young Egyptians, scenes of which are reminiscent of the Egyptian people`s revolution against Mubarak`s regime. This time, young Egyptians and protesters are furious at Mohammed Morsi, the country`s new president. They have been chanting slogans against him and calling him a dictator. Demonstrations against Morsi began when in an unprecedented move, Morsi dismissed the Egyptian prosecutor general and issued a decree increasing his own authority, stipulating that no institution can prevent the execution of his orders. In an attempt to justify his move, Morsi described his action as being in line with stabilizing the revolution and the objectives of the Egyptian people`s movement. He added: "These actions are approved by the people of Egypt and it is what they want." However, many political groups have rejected Morsi`s claim and believe his goal to be increased control over government institutions and the achievement of monopolized power. Morsi`s opposition, including Mohammed Al-Barade`i, Egypt`s well-known political figure, have called him the "new Pharaoh" and the Egyptian judges` club have asked for his dismissal for breaching the Constitution. Protests against Morsi continue and so far there have been three victims and hundreds of people have been injured in skirmishes with Egyptian security forces.
Undoubtedly, regardless of any justifications, Morsi`s recent actions have been undertaken in line with creating a new dictatorship in Egypt. Once this process is firmly established in Egypt`s political arena, anybody who comes to power can implement his own wishes using similar justifications. The West`s approach to this issue, particularly the United States, is worthy of contemplation. The latter`s behavior has been such that the green light shown to Morsi is completely evident. Observers attribute the main reason for this concession by the United States to Morsi`s standpoints, particularly concerning the recent events in Gaza and disregard for the crimes committed by the Zionist regime.
This week, Ehud Barak, the Zionist regime`s minister for war announced that he is withdrawing from his position and the world of politics. This decision by the Zionist regime`s minister for war under the current circumstances leaves no doubt that it is connected with the Zionist regime`s failure in the war in Gaza and it must be considered the first aftershock after this defeat. Every time the Zionists have wanted to break the Palestinian people`s resistance, despite their so-called comprehensive measures, they have failed and have created a new disgrace for themselves as far as international public opinion is concerned. In the recent case, whatever the objective for the Zionist regime`s attack on Gaza, they were ultimately forced to submit to a ceasefire, despite claiming to have reached any significant achievement. During the Zionist army`s eight day aggression, the oppressed and defenseless people of Palestine, who have been under the Zionists` cowardly siege for seven years, refused to surrender to the Zionist regime`s inhumane wishes, in spite of having to undergo a great deal of hardship.
However, this must not mean that the weak performance of global communities, particularly that of Islamic governments, regarding the atrocities in Gaza, must be forgotten. In the recent war, the Zionist regime attacked the Palestinians ferociously and with all kinds of advanced weapons; Palestinians who have been under siege in an area covering 360 kmAsup 2. During this cowardly and unequal attack, 170 Palestinians were martyred and more than 1,000 people were injured. Tens of Palestinian homes were turned into rubble, without international communities attributing the least blame to the criminal leaders of the Zionist regime or the slightest protest being heard from Arab governments.
This week, the Americans announced that they intend to keep a number of their forces in Afghanistan beyond the date that had been determined for their forces` exit from this country, meaning 2014 (1393). According to these reports, 10,000 US soldiers will remain in Afghanistan to continue what US officials call the fight on terror although 12 years of US presence in Afghanistan has not led to any results in what the Americans call the fight on terror. It is natural that this policy will not lead to any results in the future either. The United States` objective from keeping its forces in Afghanistan is to continue its occupation of this country, to pursue colonialist policies, and to maintain Washington`s regional strategy. As it could be predicted from the very beginning, it is highly unlikely that the United States will simply let go of Afghanistan in view of all the heavy financial and military costs it has undertaken so far.
(Description of Source: Tehran Jomhuri-ye Eslami Online in Persian -- Website of conservative daily officially licensed to Supreme Leader Khamene`i, but aligned with Expediency Council Chairman Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani; www.jomhourieslami.com)
© Compiled and distributed by NTIS, US Dept. of Commerce. All rights reserved.