Over the last few weeks dramatic events have occurred in Egypt with rapid succession that give them the same breathless, highly excited quality in some measure evident at Tehrir Square at the height of the anti-Mubarak regime uprising.
Only a couple of weeks back the Supreme Court quashed the parliamentry elections that had brought in a large number of Muslim Brotherhood and other like-minded candidates. The Supreme Court decision was widely seen as a desperate move by a largely liberal judicial establishment to stem the rising tide of Islamism.
This move was also seen by a sizeable section of Egyptians and other fellow Arabs as a move to keep Islamists out of power to please the US, European Union and Israel.
Soon after that the Brotherhood’s Mohamed Morsi won the presidential election, the Brotherhood winning 51 percent of the polled vote against 49 percent of the secular and liberal groups.
As the judiciary undermined the parliamentry poll winners, the military duly cut the wings of the new president by taking away his most important powers before allowing him to take charge.
Yet another dramatic turn came in the struggle for power between the traditional centres of power on one hand and democratically elected public representatives on the other on July 10 when President Morsi called a session of the dissolved Parliament and the disqualified MPs. That gesture of democratic defiance has heightened tensions once again. This is a dangerous moment for the country, which is being watched by Israel, EU and the United States. These powers would like to see destabilisation in the biggest Arab country, which also happens to be the craddle of Islamism.
Over the years and decades the Brotherhood has mellowed with experience and distanced itself from some of the extreme positions the early leaders took in the 20s and 30s of the last century. Today it is part of the democratic world.
Let us hope that President Morsi, the disqualified MPs, the military and the judiciary would finally be able to reconcile their differences and allow the newly established democracy to grow roots. g