Sunday, November 25, 2012

Egypt Power Grab, Morsi, Jihad, Supremacism

In Egypt, president’s power grab unites those who once battled over Mubarak

Egypt's Mursi to meet judges over 

power grab

Sun Nov 25, 2012 6:04pm EST

* Stocks plunge nearly 10 pct on Mursi decree

* Mursi to meet Supreme Judicial Council
* Activists camp for third day

By Tom Perry and Patrick Werr

CAIRO, Nov 26 (Reuters) - Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi will meet senior judges on Monday to try to ease a crisis over his seizure of new powers which has set off violent protests reminiscent of last year's revolution which brought him to power.

Egypt's stock market plunged on Sunday in its first day open since Mursi issued a decree late on Thursday temporarily widening his powers and shielding his decisions from judicial review, drawing accusations he was behaving like a new dictator.

More than 500 people have been injured in clashes between police and protesters worried Mursi's Muslim Brotherhood aims to dominate the post-Hosni Mubarak era after winning Egypt's first democratic parliamentary and presidential elections this year.

One Muslim Brotherhood member was killed and 60 people were hurt on Sunday in an attack on the main office of the Brotherhood in the Egyptian Nile Delta town of Damanhour, the website of the Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party said.

Egypt's highest judicial authority hinted at compromise to avert a further escalation, though Mursi's opponents want nothing less than the complete cancellation of a decree they see as a danger to democracy.

The Supreme Judicial Council said Mursi's decree should apply only to "sovereign matters", suggesting it did not reject the declaration outright, and called on judges and prosecutors, some of whom began a strike on Sunday, to return to work.

Mursi would meet the council on Monday, state media said.

Mursi's office repeated assurances that the measures would be temporary, and said he wanted dialogue with political groups to find "common ground" over what should go in Egypt's constitution, one of the issues at the heart of the crisis.

Hassan Nafaa, a professor of political science at Cairo University, saw an effort by the presidency and judiciary to resolve the crisis, but added their statements were "vague". "The situation is heading towards more trouble," he said.

Sunday's stock market fall of nearly 10 percent - halted only by automatic curbs - was the worst since the uprising that toppled Mubarak in February, 2011.

Images of protesters clashing with riot police and tear gas wafting through Cairo's Tahrir Square were an unsettling reminder of that uprising. Activists were camped in the square for a third day, blocking traffic with makeshift barricades. Nearby, riot police and protesters clashed intermittently.


Mursi's supporters and opponents plan big demonstrations on Tuesday that could be a trigger for more street violence.

"We are back to square one, politically, socially," said Mohamed Radwan of Pharos Securities, an Egyptian brokerage firm.

Mursi's decree marks an effort to consolidate his influence after he successfully sidelined Mubarak-era generals in August. It reflects his suspicions of a judiciary little reformed since the Mubarak era.

Issued just a day after Mursi received glowing tributes from Washington for his work brokering a deal to end eight days of violence between Israel and Hamas, the decree drew warnings from the West to uphold democracy. Washington has leverage because of billions of dollars it sends in annual military aid.

"The United States should be saying this is unacceptable," former presidential nominee John McCain, leading Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said on Fox News.

"We thank Mr. Mursi for his efforts in brokering the ceasefire with Hamas ... But this is not what the United States of America's taxpayers expect. Our dollars will be directly related to progress toward democracy."

descriptionThe Mursi administration has defended his decree as an effort to speed up reforms that will complete Egypt's democratic transformation. Yet leftists, liberals, socialists and others say it has exposed the autocratic impulses of a man once jailed by Mubarak.

"There is no room for dialogue when a dictator imposes the most oppressive, abhorrent measures and then says 'let us split the difference'," prominent opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei said on Saturday.


Investors had grown more confident in recent months that a legitimately elected government would help Egypt put its economic and political problems behind it. The stock market's main index had risen 35 percent since Mursi's victory. It closed on Sunday at its lowest level since July 31.

Political turmoil also raised the cost of government borrowing at a treasury bill auction on Sunday.

"Investors know that Mursi's decisions will not be accepted and that there will be clashes on the street," said Osama Mourad of Arab Financial Brokerage.

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More Islamic supremacism from jihad central command. Such delusion is necessary to fuel the hate, fury and genocidal aspirations of Islam.
senior Iranian commander says the victory of Palestinian resistance fighters in the eight-day war with Israel marks the second wave of Islamic awaking in the region.

Commander of Iran's volunteer Basij forces Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Naqdi on Friday hailed the unity among Palestinian factions and the contribution of other Muslim nations to end the Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip.

“Nations realized more than ever before that they need to come on to the stage and exhaust all their power and capacities,” Naqdi told a pro-Palestinian gathering in Tehran.

“The heroic nation of Lebanon and the Gaza Strip gallantly stood up and the people of Syria have well performed their obligation by their intelligence and maintaining the resistance front. Today it is the Egyptian people’s turn to complete the task, and they also have taken high steps,” he stated.

The commander said the ultimate defeat of the Israeli regime would depend on the alertness and further awakening in the West Bank and Jordan, urging the people there to play their “historical role” in the liberation of Palestine. 

Islamic Terrorists Bomb Egyptian-Gaza Border Base

Terrorists destroyed part of an Egyptian base at Rafiah, challenging Cairo’s control over the Sinai after the ceasefire with Israel.

By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu

Rafiah crossing: Egyptian Troops stand guard

Rafiah crossing: Egyptian Troops stand guard
Flash 90

Islamic terrorists destroyed part of an Egyptian security building at Rafiah Saturday night, challenging Cairo’s control over the Sinai after the ceasefire with Israel. No one was injured in the explosion at the base, under construction on the Egyptians side of Rafiah, the smuggling capital of Gaza.

The attack came 48 hours after Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi granted himself extensive new powers, which were challenged by Cairo's judiciary.

A separate explosion injured three people further south in the Sinai, where Egypt is building a facility to help it protect the pipeline that ships natural gas to Israel and Jordan. Terrorists have bombed the pipeline more than a dozen times the past two years in an effort to scuttle the agreement to sell gas to Israel.

Saturdays night’s bombing underlined Egypt’s difficulty in re-asserting control over the Sinai, where Hamas terrorists from Gaza, along with Bedouin allies and Al Qaeda-linked terrorist cells, have carved out regions of authority. They have staged increasingly frequent terrorist attacks on Israel. Several Israelis have been killed in the attacks.

Maintaining peace and quiet in the Sinai is a primary task for Egypt, experts said; the new government needs to prove to the United States, Israel, and Hamas that it can carry out its promise to protect Israel from terrorists.

Attacks from the Sinai could undermine the truce, moving the field of battle into the Sinai and eventually spreading back into Gaza, even if Hamas abides by the ceasefire that ended the eight-day Pillar of Defense counterterrorist operation.

Egypt clashes escalate over President Morsi's power grab

CAIROSupporters and opponents of Egypt's president on Sunday grew more entrenched in their potentially destabilizing battle over the Islamist leader's move to assume near absolute powers, with neither side appearing willing to back down as the stock market plunged amid the fresh turmoil.
The standoff poses one of the hardest tests for the nation's liberal and secular opposition since Hosni Mubarak's ouster nearly two years ago. Failure to sustain protests and eventually force Mohammed Morsi to loosen control could consign it to long-term irrelevance.
Clashes between the two sides spilled onto the streets for a third day since the president issued edicts that make him immune to oversight of any kind, including that of the courts.
A teenager was killed and at least 60 people were wounded when a group of anti-Morsi protesters tried to storm the local offices of the political arm of the president's Muslim Brotherhood in the Nile Delta city of Damanhoor, according to security officials.
It was the first reported death from the street battles that erupted across much of the nation on Friday, the day after Morsi's decrees were announced. The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media, identified the boy as 15-year-old Islam Hamdi Abdel-Maqsood.
The tensions also dealt a fresh blow to the economy, which has suffered due to the problems plaguing the Arab world's most populous nation since Mubarak's ouster.


Egypt's benchmark EGX30 stock index dropped 9.59 percentage points Sunday in the first trading session since Morsi issued his decrees. The losses were among the biggest since the turbulent days and weeks immediately after Mubarak's ouster in a popular uprising last year. The loss in the value of shares was estimated at close to $5 billion.

The judiciary, the main target of the edicts, has pushed back, calling the decrees a power grab and an "assault" on the branch's independence. Judges and prosecutors stayed away from many courts in Cairo and other cities on Sunday.
But the nation's highest judicial body, the Supreme Judiciary Council, watered down its opposition to the decrees on Sunday. It told judges and prosecutors to return to work and announced that its members would meet with Morsi on Monday to try to persuade him to restrict immunity to major state decisions like declaring war or martial law or breaking diplomatic relations with foreign nations.
Morsi supporters insist that the measures were necessary to prevent the courts, which already dissolved the elected lower house of parliament, from further holding up moves to stability by disbanding the assembly writing the new constitution, as judges were considering doing. Both the parliament and the constitutional assembly are dominated by Islamists. Morsi accuses Mubarak loyalists in the judiciary of seeking to thwart the revolution's goals and barred the judiciary from disbanding the constitutional assembly or parliament's upper house.
CBS Correspondent Holly Williams reports that Morsi said the new powers would only be temporary, and he'll relinquish them next year when Egyptians elect a new parliament and vote on a new constitution. Many Egyptians accept that.

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