Egyptian Islamists vow to challenge military, call for renewed protests

Various unions, organizations and political groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood and the April 6th movement, and have called for mass demonstrations throughout Egypt to protest against the ruling military council’s power grab. In addition to encouraging protests throughout the country, the Brotherhood also declared they would challenge the military’s power via political negotiations and in ...

AFP/Getty Images
AFP/Getty Images
AFP/Getty Images

Various unions, organizations and political groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood and the April 6th movement, and have called for mass demonstrations throughout Egypt to protest against the ruling military council's power grab. In addition to encouraging protests throughout the country, the Brotherhood also declared they would challenge the military's power via political negotiations and in the courts. The military's consolidation of legislative authority came as Egyptian news media and the Muslim Brotherhood declared their candidate, Mohamed Morsi, the winner of the runoff presidential election held this weekend. However, Morsi's opponent, Ahmed Shafiq, has not conceded, as official results are expected on Thursday. The ruling military council dissolved the Islamist-dominated Parliament; issued a constitutional addendum that grants the military wide legislative power and much of the executive authority; and recently announced that it will reconvene the National Defense Council, which assembles during emergencies. A member of the military ruling council Maj. General Mohamed el-Assar said that the military will hand over power to the president on July 1. But Fatema AbouZeid, media coordinator for Morsi's campaign said "it's very clear that Scaf and other institutions of the state are determined to stand in the way of what we're trying to achieve, and we won't accept this any more. Egypt will not go back to the old regime through any means, legal or illegal."  

Syria

The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has reported violent clashes between rebels and Syrian troops near the Syrian-Turkish border, in the village of Khiryet al-Jouz. Clashes continue in Homs and Dera'a provinces. In addition, three civilians were killed by Syrian troops who raided the al-Joura neighborhood of Deir Izzor. The observatory reports that a pipeline which passes through the town of al-Qoura is on fire. Meanwhile, President Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin met on Monday at the Group of 20 Summit in Los Cabos, Mexico. According to President Obama, they agreed that violence needs to end in Syria and "that a political process has to be created to prevent civil war," but no conclusion was reached as to how this would be achieved or whether it would require easing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad out of power. Meanwhile, Russia is completing preparations to send two warships and a group of marines to its naval base at the Syrian port of Tartus to protect Russian citizens and evacuate materials from the base, if necessary. A cargo ship off the coast of Scotland is reportedly carrying Russian arms to Syria. As Western sanctions increasingly choke off Syrian resources, Lebanese groups are smuggling diesel fuel into Syria, according to analysts.

Various unions, organizations and political groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood and the April 6th movement, and have called for mass demonstrations throughout Egypt to protest against the ruling military council’s power grab. In addition to encouraging protests throughout the country, the Brotherhood also declared they would challenge the military’s power via political negotiations and in the courts. The military’s consolidation of legislative authority came as Egyptian news media and the Muslim Brotherhood declared their candidate, Mohamed Morsi, the winner of the runoff presidential election held this weekend. However, Morsi’s opponent, Ahmed Shafiq, has not conceded, as official results are expected on Thursday. The ruling military council dissolved the Islamist-dominated Parliament; issued a constitutional addendum that grants the military wide legislative power and much of the executive authority; and recently announced that it will reconvene the National Defense Council, which assembles during emergencies. A member of the military ruling council Maj. General Mohamed el-Assar said that the military will hand over power to the president on July 1. But Fatema AbouZeid, media coordinator for Morsi’s campaign said "it’s very clear that Scaf and other institutions of the state are determined to stand in the way of what we’re trying to achieve, and we won’t accept this any more. Egypt will not go back to the old regime through any means, legal or illegal."  

Syria

The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has reported violent clashes between rebels and Syrian troops near the Syrian-Turkish border, in the village of Khiryet al-Jouz. Clashes continue in Homs and Dera’a provinces. In addition, three civilians were killed by Syrian troops who raided the al-Joura neighborhood of Deir Izzor. The observatory reports that a pipeline which passes through the town of al-Qoura is on fire. Meanwhile, President Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin met on Monday at the Group of 20 Summit in Los Cabos, Mexico. According to President Obama, they agreed that violence needs to end in Syria and "that a political process has to be created to prevent civil war," but no conclusion was reached as to how this would be achieved or whether it would require easing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad out of power. Meanwhile, Russia is completing preparations to send two warships and a group of marines to its naval base at the Syrian port of Tartus to protect Russian citizens and evacuate materials from the base, if necessary. A cargo ship off the coast of Scotland is reportedly carrying Russian arms to Syria. As Western sanctions increasingly choke off Syrian resources, Lebanese groups are smuggling diesel fuel into Syria, according to analysts.

Headlines

  • The Kuwaiti government has suspended parliament for a month in efforts to diffuse tension between the cabinet and opposition lawmakers who want more power.
  • Talks have continued in Moscow between Iran and six world powers over the fate of Iran’s nuclear ambitions. Tehran’s lead negotiator, however, has objected to the P5+1 proposal.
  • A mosque in the West Bank was lit on fire and vandalized with pro-settlement graffiti.
  • Defense Minister Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud of Saudi Arabia was named the crown prince on Monday. He becomes the heir apparent to King Abdullah.

Arguments & Analysis

The Betrayal of Egypt’s Revolution‘ (Sara Khorshid, The New York Times)

"America could have sided with the Egyptian people if it had wanted to. But the question is whether the American government really has the will to see Egypt become a democracy. If the Obama administration genuinely supports the Egyptian people in their pursuit of freedom, then it should realize that democracy will take root only through the revolutionary path that started on the streets in January 2011 – not through the dubious ways of the Mubarak-appointed military council."

The Arab Spring’s Second Bloom‘ (J. Dana Stuster, The National Interest)

"But a second spring is in season in the Arab world. Despite the constitutional reforms, a new protest movement has taken to the streets in Morocco, motivated increasingly by "quality-of-life questions," according to Issandr El Amrani. This is not mutually exclusive with the motivations that spurred the political protests of early 2011, but the economic component of recent protests seems more and more evident. It is also happening in Algeria, where "high unemployment, inadequate housing, and a dearth of social services" have brought protesters (and state security forces) back into the streets. Jordan, which has mostly stayed aloof from the Arab Spring, has noted a marked increase in labor protests."

–By Jennifer Parker 

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