Egypt After Morsi: No Peace Without Islamists in Government

 

15536705_0A new government, a transitional one, was inaugurated Tuesday in Cairo after the uprising that led the Egyptian military to oust Mohammed Morsi, an elected President. But, the Egyptian people are divided, and the rest of the world is still unsure about the future of Egypt. The institution of a transitional Egyptian government –three ladies, three Christians and younger people- appeased many of those who were frustrated under Morsi’s rule, but appears not to be enough to unify the country despite the new government’s platitudes. And there are continued uncertainties about financial aid from other nations.

The Tamarod, an Islamic movement meaning “Rebellion”, called for and started the protest that inspired the military to overthrow Morsi. The Muslim’s Brotherhood, which supports Morsi, has decided not to be part of the new government. Defiantly, they continue to refuse to negotiate.

“We don’t accept to meet with him (the US deputy Secretary of State William Burns currently visiting  Egypt) because the USA is backing the violence in the country,” said Eman el-Mahdy, member of Tamarod.

During his three-day visit to Cairo, Burns will participate in dialogue  with the new Egyptian government, but no meetings are planned with any Egyptian Islamist group.

Despite the fact that the Tamarod caused the fall of Morsi, the movement wants to refrain from government involvement,  and play the role of the watching dog. That means that the movement could call for new protests and destabilize the new government at any time. The Tamarod may decide to use Egypt’s poor living conditions as a control factor.

“We’ll remain vigilant concerning the corruption, say loudly the request of our people,” stated el-Mahdy.

The new Vice Prime Minister, Ziad Bahaa Eldin, told reporters that national reconciliation is among the priorities of his government which intends to provide security on Egyptian streets, ensure the security of businesses, and regulate public finances. But the reconciliation appears a distant goal, as extreme followers of Islam reject the new government.

In Egypt, those for and against Morsi, continuing their protests, have witnessed an increase in violence without the intervention of the army or police. Direct confrontation between opposing groups has been avoided up to thlis point. However, at least seven are dead, 250 have been injured, and more than 400 arrests were recorded when the two were protesting separately.

The Muslim Brotherhood, which continues to support Morsi, continues to be opposed to the new government and refuses to be part of it despite the attempts of the new Prime Minister, Hazem el-Beblaoui , who is seeking a  national reconciliation.

It is apparent that the women of Egypt are the most pleased about the changes. Three women have been integrated into the government. This is the first time in history that this country, which is considered the largest Islamist country in the world, has invited women into the ruling class. Women were the first to distance themselves after the Janury 2011 revolution that brought Morsi to power with the support of the Muslim Brotherhood. The regime moved towards being an Islamic extremist group,  as women were subjected to rape and violence as a result of the Islamic rulers enforcing the rule of ‘virginity.’

The new government has also attracted the sympathy of younger Egyptians. Several of the new ministers aids are comprised of younger Egyptian groups. Some young men see the new government as more liberal and believe that it will quickly respond to the economic crisis that the country faces, including a high level of unemployment. Young men make up a large number of the protesters, as they did during the uprising that led to the fall of Mubarack in January 2011. They continue to account for large numbers in the protests against Morsi.

Christians are also likely to be pleased with the changes in the government. Three members of the cabinet are reported to be of the Christian faith. Their fear of seeing Egypt becoming constitutionally Islamist is easing, now that Morsi has been deposed.

Islamists continue to reject the extended hand of the new government. To them, the new government is illegal because its existence is the result of a military coup.  They are opposed to any attempt, or accepting anything else, other than the “legitimate government”.

Both camps of Islamists are still calling for more protests. Many were opposed to Morsi’s rule, but continue to demand that the military free him.

Tamarod believes it has somehow been betrayed. Everything has been done according to what the movement had planned but they feel pushed aside.

No peace is in the immediate future, even though Egypt has received promises for financial support to help prevent  food shortages, a threat that was apparent to the international community.

 

Eddy Isango

 

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