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Morsi uses emergency laws he once decried as dictatorial

28 January 2013

The emergency law has returned to Egypt less than two years after Hosni Mubarak was ousted from power, when Mohammed Morsi reintroduced it to curb unrest which claimed 33 lives over the weekend. It is a remarkable move given that the law epitomised much of what was wrong with Mubarak’s administration and fuelled the anger against him. Provisions in the law allow police to detain suspects indefinitely, often with little evidence; subvert constitutional rights; and curb press freedoms. Mubarak used these laws throughout his thirty year rule.

The Muslim Brotherhood is sensitive to accusations of authoritarianism despite Morsi frequently revealing his proclivity for repression. He has already pushed through an Islamist constitution which leaves minorities exposed and fails to provide adequate protections for both freedom of expression and religion.

Now, Morsi insists, the emergency law will only operate for thirty days and only in those cities which experienced violence over the weekend (Port Said, Suez, and Ismailiya). Yet, it is a significant departure from his pre-election position when Morsi described the emergency law as inherently dictatorial, offering a vivid illustration of just how far the ideals of Egyptian revolutionaries have been degraded.

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  • Victor Southern

    Gives the lie to the old proverb that Africa always produces something new. Here we see the same old conflicts that appear through almost all of the continent – the battles for absolute power and control of the cash, the patronage.

    We all knew that the Arab Spring would bring a winter of discontent with one hideous ruler replacing the old one.

    We had some ripe old bastards in charge who mainly stopped their young zealots from troubling us in the West. the new ones will have no such control and no such scruples.

  • Daniel Maris

    Well, if this be the case, then I think, Shiraz, you need to explain why you are so keen for the Islamists to succeed in Syria. But I’ve never known you to explain anything in response to posts, so…who knows why you are so keen on Islamists succeeding if they behave like this.

  • Augustus

    So it’s back to (Tahrir) square one. not surprising since with great expectations and disappointments comes great anger. Many Egyptians are beginning to realize that it was completely unrealistic to
    expect all of Egyptian society’s problems to be resolved in the bat of an eye,
    or by replacing Mubarak with Morsi; that it was unrealistic to expect that
    millions of new jobs would suddenly become available out of nowhere, that
    poverty would be eradicated, that the tourists and foreign investors would
    return to Egypt and put the country on a new path. The events in Egypt coincided with the culmination of Israel’s elections, and it might be a lesson to them to ponder the fact that despite their intense criticism of Israel’s government, the fact remains that in Israel it is the
    citizens who determine their own fate through democratic elections, and
    governments are replaced by orderly votes at the polls, not by violent, bloody,
    never-ending revolutions, where democracy plays almost no part at all in either military dictatorship, or religious theocracy.

    • MaxSceptic

      But they have the true faith and that is all that counts. It will place meat and bread on their table, clothe their many children and fuel their stoves. Surely it will: the Holy Book says so and if it doesn’t come to pass, then that’s the fault of the infidel West and the Jews. (And why doesn’t this comment system have paragraph breaks?)

  • Noa

    “…offering a vivid illustration of just how far the ideals of Egyptian revolutionaries have been degraded.”

    Since the start of the so-called Arab Spring posters here have commented that the eventual conclusion would probably be a militant Islamic government, inherently totalitarian and hostile to the West.
    That has been borne out. So we should not now be surprised that Islamic dictatorship looks very much like its secular predecessor, only worse.

    • telemaque

      The predecessor bought American weapons to oppress his people for backhanders to key henchmen
      This regime may not be friendly to Obama and Cameron but it is not corrupt

      • Colonel Mustard

        Telemaque – rhymes with cack.

      • Noa


      • Curnonsky

        Obama is presently showering Morsi with advanced fighter aircraft, tanks and money.

  • telemaque

    Just watch how the right will take this to beat up on the freedom and Islamist agenda in general

    • Colonel Mustard

      But only after your pre-emptive soundbite beat up of the right.

      “freedom and Islamist agenda” is an odd combination, even for a very odd and peculiar character like you. And I see that you have re-invented your pseudonym. Troll troubles with your multiple personalities again?

    • MaxSceptic

      Not all all. We all know that the vast majority of Egyptians are poor, under-educated and under-employed and are mostly religiously devout and very ‘traditional’. Anyone who expected the Arab Spring (in Egypt or elsewhere in MENA) to bring about liberal democracy with full rights for women and minorities must have been high on wishful-thinking.

      • telemaque

        Nonetheless the Telegraph is already on to it.

        “It is not only the anti-government protesters in Egypt’s Tahrir Square who should be concerned about President Mohammed Morsi’s audacious power grab. Mr Morsi’s claim at the weekend that “God’s will and elections made me the captain of this ship” has echoes of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini’s claim during the 1979 Iranian revolution that his mission to overthrow the Shah enjoyed divine guidance.”

        • Daniel Maris

          Well thanks to the Telegraph for pointing out just what a dangerous religious loon this Morsi guy is (not that we didn’t know it before). The USA should withdraw all subventions to Egypt and see what happens.

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