Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi’s supporters, background, clash with opponents, foreground, outside the presidential palace, in Cairo, Egypt, Wednesday, December 5, 2012. Wednesday’s clashes began when thousands of Islamist supporters of Morsi descended on the area around the palace where some 300 of his opponents were staging a sit-in. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar) Cairo, Egypt The clashes spread outside of Cairo, erupting in Alexandria and Mahalla. The offices of the Muslim Brotherhood were set ablaze in Suez and Ismailia. The street battles marked a major escalation in the crisis that erupted on November 22, when President Morsi, who hails from the Muslim Brotherhood, issued a constitutional declaration that granted him near absolute powers and placed him beyond the review of any court until the ratification of a new constitution. The decree united Morsi’s fractured non-Islamist opposition and sparked some of the largest street demonstrations in Egypt since the … [Read more...] about Street Fights Rock Cairo as Supporters and Foes of Morsi Clash over Constitution
Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal, left, meets with Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi at the Presidential Palace in Cairo, Sunday, November 18, 2012. About 500 Egyptian activists have crossed into Gaza to deliver medical supplies and show support for Palestinians facing an Israeli offensive (AP Photo/Egyptian Presidency). Rafah, Egypt Morsi—who hails from the Muslim Brotherhood—quickly withdrew Egypt’s ambassador to Israel, called for an emergency meeting of the Arab League and ordered Egypt’s representative at the United Nations to call for a meeting at the Security Council. The withdrawal of Egypt’s ambassador is not unprecedented; former President Hosni Mubarak did the same in 2000 in protest of Israel’s vicious response to the second Palestinian intifada. What did mark a departure from Mubarak-era policies was Morsi’s decision to send in his prime minister, Hisham Qandil, for a three-hour visit to Gaza on Friday. Standing beside Hamas Prime … [Read more...] about Mohamed Morsi in the Middle
Just over one year ago, on June 29, Mohammed Morsi chose Tahrir Square to deliver his first address as president-elect of Egypt. Tens of thousands gathered in Tahrir, jubilant at the news. The incessant drone of vuvuzelas mixed with a cacophony of drums, whistles and cheering, as the sky lit up with fireworks and green lasers. “Morsi’s gone and we are finally taking a step forward,” said a man named Shady, 38, who lives across the city but came to join the celebrations. “I don’t see this as a military coup,” he added. “The army is not trying to take control. The people are the source of all legitimacy and they took the power away from the president.” That a popular revolt facilitated Morsi’s ouster is undeniable. But it has also solidified the military’s role as the final arbiter of power in Egypt. Following the June 30 protests, SCAF leaders gave Morsi a forty-eight-hour window to resolve the mounting political crisis. It … [Read more...] about What Led to Morsi’s Fall—and What Comes Next?
The Egyptian court that sentenced former Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi to death this week may have done more than commit a human-rights violation. It may have condemned Egypt to years of violence and more decades of economic stagnation. Support for the Muslim Brotherhood, which Morsi led, probably has fallen to about a fifth of Egyptians, but that is a very large minority to nurse a grudge against the system. Bombings and violence have returned to Egypt’s Luxor tourist destination, which last witnessed a major attack in 1997. The US government appears now to have made its peace with Egypt’s military junta, satisfied that the holding of phony presidential “elections” in 2014, won by a general, has removed the stigma of the 2013 coup. Arms and aid shipments are back to normal, and the rise of ISIL has made the military regime useful to the West. Morsi squeaked to victory in the June 2012 presidential elections against Ahmed Shafik, a former Air Force general … [Read more...] about Is the Death Sentence on Egypt’s Morsi a Death Sentence on Egypt?
CAIRO — Egypt's official news agency says the newly elected Islamist president will be sworn in Saturday before a high court. Traditionally the president is sworn in before parliament, but the legislature was dissolved by order of the Supreme Constitutional Court, which invalidated parliamentary elections. Therefore, Mohammed Morsi will be sworn in by that court, which features judges appointed by ousted President Hosni Mubarak. The official MENA news agency on Thursday quoted court vice president Maher Sami as saying Morsi would be sworn in before the body's 18 judges. Morsi ran for president as the candidate of the Muslim Brotherhood, which dominated the dissolved parliament and pressed for the house to be reinstated to swear him in. Morsi was declared winner of the runoff election on Sunday. Join the Conversation: … [Read more...] about Egypt’s Islamist president-elect Mohammed Morsi to be sworn in Saturday
Egypt’s newly-elected Islamist president was sworn in Saturday — and sent mixed signals about the future of his nation’s relationship with Israel. Mohammed Morsi became Egypt’s first democratically-elected president and the Arab world’s first Islamist head of state, which has alarmed many Israelis. During his inaugural address, he said Egypt would honor its international relationships, a subtle signal that he would abide by the 1979 Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty. However, he also vowed to support “legitimate rights” of Palestinians, a pledge that could escalate tensions in an already unstable region. Morsi’s own country is still rife with turmoil, despite the election. Egypt’s military was the power behind deposed leader Hosni Mubarak and has shown little willingness to accommodate Morsi’s rise. Against his wishes, Morsi was forced to take the oath of office before a court of judges appointed by Mubarak … [Read more...] about Morsi sworn in as Egypt’s prez, vows to support ‘legitimate rights’ of Palestinians
CAIRO — Egypt's Islamist president ordered the retirement of the defense minister and chief of staff on Sunday and made the boldest move so far to seize back powers that the military stripped from his office right before he took over. It was not immediately clear whether President Mohammed Morsi's surprise decisions had the military's blessing. But the appointment of outgoing Defense Minister Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi and Chief of Staff Gen. Sami Annan as presidential advisers suggested that the nation's top two soldiers may have agreed, perhaps reluctantly, in advance. Morsi awarded them two of the country's highest honors. Adding to the sweeping changes in the military leadership, the president also ordered the retirement of the commanders of the navy, air defense and air force, but named two of them to senior positions. He appointed a senior judge, Mahmoud Mekki, as vice president. Mekki is a pro-reform judge who publicly spoke against election fraud during Hosni … [Read more...] about Egypt’s newly elected Muslim Brotherhood President Morsi retires defense minister Tantawi
CAIRO — An Egyptian criminal court on Tuesday sentenced ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi to 20 years in prison on charges linked to the killing of protesters in 2012, the first verdict to be issued against the country’s first freely elected leader. The conviction, which can be appealed, and muted Islamist reaction following it underscore the dramatic downfall of Morsi and Egypt’s once-powerful Muslim Brotherhood group. However, Morsi escaped receiving a death sentence in the case, which Islamists derided as a “farce.” Morsi and the Brotherhood swiftly rose to power in elections after autocrat Hosni Mubarak’s 2011 ouster, only to find themselves imprisoned a year later when millions protested against them for abusing power and the military overthrew the government. But as Mubarak and members of his government increasingly find themselves acquitted of criminal charges, Morsi and the Brotherhood are at the receiving end of heavy-handed … [Read more...] about Mohammed Morsi gets 20 years in prison for deadly 2012 Egyptian protests
CAIRO - An Egyptian court sentenced ousted President Mohammed Morsi and over 100 others to death Saturday over a mass prison break during the 2011 uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak and later brought Islamists to power for the first time in Egypt. As is customary in passing capital punishment, Judge Shaaban el-Shami referred his death sentence on Morsi and others to the nation's top Muslim theologian, or mufti, for his non-binding opinion. El-Shami set June 2 for the next hearing. Morsi, Egypt's first freely elected leader, was ousted by the military in July 2013 following days of mass street protests by Egyptians demanding that he be removed because of his divisive policies. Morsi's successor, Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, was the military chief at the time and led the ouster. El-Sissi ran for president last year and won the vote in a landslide. Also sentenced to death with Morsi in the prison break case were 105 defendants, most of them were tried and convicted in absentia. They … [Read more...] about Egyptian court sentences ousted President Mohammed Morsi to death
CAIRO — An Egyptian court on Tuesday confirmed a death sentence handed to ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi over a mass prison break during the 2011 uprising that eventually brought him to power. Morsi, Egypt's first freely elected president, was in the courtroom in a glass-covered cage, with mesh wires over it. He listened to the verdict with a slight smile but did not say anything. The ruling was read out by judge Shaaban al-Shami after he consulted with Egypt's Mufti, a religious authority affiliated with the judiciary, as required by law in cases involving capital punishment. "The court panel has unanimously agreed that there is no room for leniency or mercy for the defendants," al-Shami, who presides over a panel of three, said before confirming the death sentence. The Mufti's opinions are not binding, and the ruling will automatically be referred to Egypt's highest appeals court. The judge also confirmed death sentences for five other jailed leading … [Read more...] about Egyptian court confirms death sentence for ousted president Mohammed Morsi, 5 Muslim Brotherhood members