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1-15 July 2013            21 Shaban – 5 Ramazan 1434 Hijri

Note: Using editorials as an indicator, this series presents views, understanding and attitude of the Urdu periodicals in India towards various developments concerning the Middle East.  The  selection  of  an  item  does  not  mean  the  endorsement  or concurrence with their accuracy or views. Editor, MEI@ND

The Siasat Daily (The Politics Daily), Hyderabad
Editorial, 2 July 2013, Tuesday
1. Rebellion against Government in Egypt
Egypt is again on the boil. The protesters are demanding for Morsi’s resignation. Demands for another round of elections within a year can disrupt the ongoing reforms. The Muslim Brotherhood had promised to strive for a stable democratic government and a peaceful Egypt but the gap between governance and people’s aspiration has led to another round of unrest among the masses. The Islamist-led government of Egypt has either failed in providing an inclusive roadmap for development or has been forced to face the current situation. There is certainly some force working towards destabilising the Muslim countries. The powerful Egyptian military also seems to be completely under foreign influence. Hosni Mubarak’s exit has filled the people, particularly the youth, with hope for a better life and opportunities but the failure of the Islamist government in resolving the problems of unemployment and economic problems has led to the fast waning of confidence laid on them. The military has issued an ultimatum of 48 hours to respond to the demands of the protesters or else it warned that it would be forced to intervene. If this leads to peace and stability it will be a good step but it is impossible to have a peaceful Egypt in the current situation with tensions running high on all sides and the huge build-up and mobilisation against the government. The situation has worsened with skirmishes between supporters of Morsi and the opposition. Internal chaos in not good for any country and the reports that opposition protestors have barged into the Muslim Brotherhood’s headquarters and vandalised its office indicates the deteriorating conditions. If a ruling party cannot protect its own headquarters then how can one expect it to run the country? Five ministers have resigned from Morsi’s cabinet showing the growing lack of confidence in his leadership. This turn of affairs is a threat to Egyptian national security. Egypt may be a target of conspiracy to destabilise the Muslim world. It is important for the Egyptian leadership to instil faith among its people and take immediate steps to prevent the country from falling off the brink. It is indeed sad that a section in Egypt is urging for the overthrow of an elected government and is calling for military intervention. Yet, it would be wrong to see the statement issued by the military as a rebellion and preparation for coup and one should be restrained in jumping to conclusions. The Freedom and Justice Party has rightly pointed out that there is no need for the opposition to collect signatures for ousting an elected government. The groups which are instigating the people to indulge in violence and force the government to resign should be stopped immediately and all groups and organisations should be restrained from acting against the constitution. The need of the hour is that the government and opposition groups have to enter into negotiations and develop a road-map for putting Egypt on the path of development. It is important to prevent the spilling out of internal disputes and communal flare-ups have to be stopped to keep Egypt from falling into a civil-war. The government should also understand that the people’s voice is the most important aspect of democratic governance and must act accordingly. It is time that the saner people with commitment towards the development of Egypt come forward and work according to the people’s aspirations.

Hindustan Express (Daily Hindustan Express), New Delhi
Editorial, 4 July 2013, Thursday
2. Morsi in Trouble
Egypt is again facing political turmoil. The opposition groups in Egypt are continuously protesting against the government, demanding Morsi’s resignation. Though Morsi has maintained that since he has come to power through a transparent electoral process, it is his duty to uphold the due process of law guaranteed in the constitution. On the other hand, the protests are spiralling and the demand for his resignation has gained momentum. It was expected that with the exit of Hosni Mubarak as a result of the Arab Spring, Egypt would see a people’s government but since Mohammed Morsi coming into power, Egypt has only witnessed partisan mobilisation. In fact, the irony is that the military is not ready to tolerate an elected civilian Islamist government. The duration of Morsi’s rule had been full of unrest with various conspiracies to oust him from power. It has also come to light that the opposition is in touch with the military leadership and are urging them to intervene and take up the mantle of government in its hand. It seems the plan is to oust Morsi and form a group of civilian opposition leaders to work as a mask for military rule.

The 48-hour ultimatum to the government issued by the military after the opposition groups announced their plan for civil disobedience further strengthens the idea that the military is planning a coup. Though Morsi has rejected the ultimatum, reports coming from Cairo suggest that he is fast losing his grip on power. He faces multiple challenges; there are secular liberals on the one hand, whilst the military is also sulking with anger against the Muslim Brotherhood on the other. Thirdly, there are external forces, particularly the US and Israel that do not want an Islamist government to take strong root in Egypt. That is why they have provided moral support to the opposition groups.

It would be difficult for Morsi to continue in power in the emerging circumstances, more importantly because even like-minded groups and individuals have left him alone at this juncture. A number of ministers have already resigned and others are also waiting in the wings to put in their papers. Since one cannot disagree that Morsi tried his best to have a moderate stance and develop inclusive governance, it is ironical that none of the opposition groups put their faith in him and tried to destabilise the government from time to time. The number of common people amongst the protestors is lesser as compared to the people who have vested interests in the ouster of Morsi. There are international hands working against his government. It seems a major challenge for Morsi to continue; it is likely that power will be handed over to the military though all doors for a negotiated settlement have not yet been closed.

The Siasat Daily (The Politics Daily), Hyderabad
Editorial, 6 July 2013, Saturday
3. Changing Situation in Egypt
The political situation in Egypt has taken a new turn; the elected government has been ousted by the military. The Constitution has been suspended and a new interim president has been appointed. The ouster of Hosni Mubarak in 2011 and the Muslim Brotherhood’s coming into power through the electoral process had raised hope for democratic governance and the fulfilment of people’s aspirations. The newly elected government had also received international support and goodwill. The Egyptian military had also reposed its faith on the newly-elected leader. Gradually, it was expected, that things would start to move in a better direction; contrary to expectations a kind of unrest started brewing amongst the people. People started to come back to the streets to register their protest. Tahrir Square again became a centre for opposition build-up against the government. The military also committed its loyalty to the people who were again back on the streets demanding better governance. The build-up of protests against the government reached a level where the military had to issue an ultimatum to the government to take control and improve the situation within two-days or leave. The military acted once it became clear that the government was in no mood to act and Morsi was forcefully removed and a new interim government was appointed. People have been celebrating again but nobody has any road-map for the future.

It is evident that the movement to oust Morsi was started because people were not satisfied with his performance. There were inhibitions in some quarters that the Muslim Brotherhood was trying to usurp power and consolidate its already dominant political position using unfair means. It has also come to light that the people were angry at the American support being provided to the newly-elected government. What angered them was that the Obama administration was blindly extending support to Morsi rather than making it conditional to the Egyptian people’s aspirations. The people are now looking up to the military to provide relief to the struggling masses. It is not clear as to what extent can the interim government fulfil the people’s aspirations and continue to enjoy their support though the military will also be under the pressure of people’s expectations.

The new developments, particularly the ouster of an elected president, cannot be a healthy precedent for democracy in Egypt. A mob or a group of protesters cannot replace due process of law and the ethos of democracy. In a democracy everything follows a due process and it cannot be usurped. Morsi was an elected president and had come to power through the ballot. The move to remove him and influencing due process through protests cannot be justified. The new developments are equally problematic for Egypt as well as the international community. The US is also in a spot of bother; it cannot afford to support the removal of an elected government and simultaneously does not want to be going against the popular will. Nevertheless, the onus is now on the new Egyptian leadership to develop a roadmap for restoring order in the country and putting it back on the path of development.
Dawat Online (Invitation), New Delhi
Editorial, 13 July 2013, Saturday
4. What is going on in Egypt?
The recent developments in Egypt have raised a lot of questions instead of providing answers to existing ones. Everyone is feeling a sense of wonder about the current events and future developments. It is also evident that the situation is fast getting out of control. The most important question is—can the method of removal of an elected government be justified on Western principles? There is a sense of disbelief at the international level whereby the powers that be are finding it difficult to find a term to define the events because that would directly affect their future course of action. It is also difficult to justify the incident in legal terms. It was as important to stabilise the democratic process in Egypt as it was to start the process. Moreover, can the removal of Morsi be justified within the Western frameworks for change of government? When Egypt was sizzling with protests against Mubarak, the US and Europe had voiced their concern for upholding democracy. Whatever problems one can point out as far as the Morsi government is concerned, they cannot be justified as reasons for his removal. There had been precedents of much larger protest movements that were not used to justify the removal of an elected government. There have been protests against issues such as corruption, economic problems, etc but they did not become a justification for removal of an elected government anywhere in the world. Then, why so in Egypt?

It is argued that Morsi was acting in an authoritarian manner. There have been such precedents when an elected government has acted against popular will—were they not authoritarian? It is being said that the team-Morsi lacked vision, experience and the abilities to deal with the problems facing Egypt, but can this be a justification for military take-over? The military should have tried to co-ordinate with the government to find solutions. There is more to the events, particularly because on the one hand the West is confused about how to react to the developments, whilst the Arab countries of the Gulf are excited about the developments. The way Arab Gulf countries have welcomed the replacement of Morsi and their subsequent pouring in of financial aid raises questions about their interests in the replacement of Morsi. The West is not sure and is refraining from taking a clear position. On the other hand, Turkey is the only country which has taken a clear position and has condemned the military take-over as a coup. Nevertheless, the Justice and Development Party should also reflect and introspect on the entire incident.

Compiled and Translated by Md. Muddassir Quamar

Md. Muddassir Quamar is a Doctoral Candidate at the School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.  Email

As part of its editorial policy, the MEI@ND standardizes spelling and date formats to make the text uniformly accessible and stylistically consistent. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views/positions of the MEI@ND. Editor, MEI@ND: P R Kumaraswamy.