July 3, 2013

Egyptians Achieve Goal of Ousting Morsi, But What Comes Next For The Young Revolutionary Country?

Millions of Egyptians celebrated when they heard the news that President Morsi was removed from power by the military. Photo Source: Amr Nabil/AP.

The rapid changes that are taking place in Egypt remind the world that being democratically elected means very little if the new leader disowns the opinions and values of the majority of the people, blocks opposition voices from entering the government, and rams through an unpopular agenda against an unwilling public.

If the Egyptian people had remained patient and sat on their asses for a few more years to wait out Morsi's term then the country would've slid further down the road of bitter division and economic paralysis under the Muslim Brotherhood's watch.

Instead of watching their country go down in flames, they responded quickly to the political crisis that Morsi's own actions created and went out into the streets to demand a change in leadership.

The army respected the popular will and threw its weight against Morsi, but there is no guarantee that it will keep doing so, especially if its own interests and status is threatened by further protests in the weeks and months to come.

For Egypt's sake, let's hope that there are visionary and wise leaders in the Egyptian military who recognize that the time of military rule has come and gone and that the Egyptian people want something different.   

Samer S. Shehata writes in the New York Times in an article called, "In Egypt, Democrats vs. Liberals":
Fair elections have improved the Brotherhood’s campaign skills. But it hasn’t fully committed to pluralism or to equal rights for minorities. It participates in democracy, but doesn’t want to share power.

Many in the opposition, on the other hand, believe fiercely in minority rights, personal freedoms, civil liberties and electoral coalition-building — as long as the elections keep Islamists out of power. In other words, they are liberal without being democrats; they are clamoring fervently for Mr. Morsi’s ouster and want the military to intervene. But they have proved themselves woefully unequipped to organize voters. Though my heart is with their democratic goals, I must admit that their commitment to democratic principles runs skin deep.

So today, Egypt faces a disturbing paradox: an ostensibly democratic movement is calling on the military, which produced six decades of autocrats, to oust a democratically elected president — all in the name of setting the country, once again, on a path to democracy.