It has been a year since Mohamed Morsi became President of Egypt. Egyptians are not happily celebrating that anniversary. Yesterday the Christian Science Monitor reported that as large crowds protested in Cairo, a small crowd attacked the headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood.
The article reports:
A Brotherhood spokesman, Gehad El Haddad, said on Twitter that a group of “thugs” was attacking the headquarters, and said two police captains left their posts protecting the headquarters to join the attack. No eyewitnesses reported seeing police engage in the attack. But Morsi has struggled to bring the security forces, long used for suppressing the Muslim Brotherhood, under his control. The police’s refusal to protect the Brotherhood headquarters and other Brotherhood offices are a telling sign.
The Muslim Brotherhood was founded in Egypt in 1928 by Hassan al Banna. Hassan al Banna was killed in 1949 by Egyptian security services. A ban on Muslim Brotherhood activities was lifted in 1951. In 1952, the Muslim Brotherhood worked with Gamal Abdel Nasser and some young officers who overthrew King Farouk. Nassar began a crackdown on the Brotherhood in 1954, and much of the organization left Egypt and began operating worldwide. In the past, when Egypt had a leadership crisis, the military took control, and whomever they supported took power. However, President Morsi quickly moved to prevent that from happening.
This move essentially transfers power away from the military and strengthens the power of the President and the Parliament. The Parliament that was elected in Egypt was largely fundamentalist Islamists who support Sharia Law. Taking control of the military breaks down the last barrier to Sharia Law and to Egypt becoming what Iran became after the 1979 revolution there. The next step will be the official breaking of the treaty with Israel (which will only happen when Egypt feels that it has gotten all the U. S. foreign aid money it is going to get).
By taking power away from the military, President Morsi consolidated his power within Egypt. However, the people who began the revolution in 2011 were not all supporters of Sharia Law. Many of them wanted democracy. Democracy does not mean one election and then tyranny. Because it has become evident that President Morsi is steering Egypt toward being a caliphate, many of the people who originally wanted a change in government do not like the change they got.
It remains to be seen whether or not Morsi will hold power. The Muslim Brotherhood is very powerful and is not above using force to maintain power. It would be wonderful to see freedom come to Egypt, but I seriously doubt that will be the way this ends.