15 August, 2013


Perhaps because of its size, Egypt seems to have replaced Syria in the consciousness of the West, even though the death toll in Syria is far greater and UN inspectors are going down there to investigate claims that both sides may have used chemical weapons.

Estimates of the Death toll in the latest violence in Cairo and Alexandria vary widely: the Muslim Brotherhood says thousands, the regime some 500. But it is clearly bad. The question before us is similar to that in Syria: what should we do?

The first thing is to call a spade a spade. Calling what is going on 'events' or 'regime change' is to ignore the facts. The elected government was rounded up by the military and replaced with one of their own. the military is funded at least in part by America so this is a Western-funded military coup.

That isn't to say that Mr Morsi hasn't deserved his fate. A coup can be justified if it is for the benefit of the people. Morsi lied in his electoral promises, fiddled the constitutional negotiations to suit his sharia based ideas, and put religious fervour ahead of the welfare of his people. Morsi was Egypt's first attempt at government after its Arab Spring, and it was a botched one.

What can happen now? The Army-backed government must present a new constitution to Egyptians, a secular one permitting all kinds of worship (10% of Egyptians are Christian) and it must conduct open elections on this. All we can do is tell them that we regard the present arrangement as transitional.

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