Normative democracy based on the rule of property law. Turkey light. That seems to be the template to be adopted. According to the Financial Times, the debt market is stabilizing and the stock market in Cairo is rising slowly. Egypt doesn’t have foreign reserves to back the currency and markets, but they do have an army that has shown no remorse or conscience in fracturing protestors skulls and beating individuals senseless as the need arises. Politically, No one wants to be stuck in the middle so the tendency is to polarize to secularism or Islamic law in all its glorious and inglorious variants. In any event, civil liberties appear to remain stuck at a premium, spinning its wheels either in the mud on the Nile or the sands of the Sinai. Maybe its just endemic to the Islamic nations to have thirty odd years of relative stability followed by jarring adjustments, shocks to the system,before resuming a traditional cycle. Time will tell.
(see link at end) …In the series of extraordinary events since early February 2011, Mohamed Morsi’s electoral victory is rivaled only by the fall of Hosni Mubarak. It seems that more than eight decades after Hassan al Banna founded the Muslim Brotherhood, the Egyptian presidency — heretofore the exclusive province of the military establishment — is now in the hands of the Islamists. Yet for all of the celebrating in downtown Cairo, could the pandemonium in Tahrir Square be premature? …
…To be sure, the Officers preferred Ahmed Shafiq to Morsi. The former prime minister’s late May surge was no doubt the result of a broad effort among the remnants of the old regime, the intelligence services, and the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) to revive the networks of the National Democratic Party. Yet, in the end, Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi and the rest of the military leadership determined that fixing the results in favor of Shafiq was too risky. The results that the head of the Supreme Presidential Election Commission, Farouk Sultan, announced on Sunday afternoon were precisely the results that both the press and the Brotherhood reported almost immediately after the elections. To throw the election to Shafiq, who clearly lost by almost a million votes, would have produced an outpouring of anger and possible violence that the military must have concluded it could not control. It did not matter, though. Declaring Shafiq the winner despite the results was wholly unnecessary due to what the military clearly believes is its ace: the June 17 constitutional declaration….Read More:http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2012/al-monitor/egypt-military-turns-to-turkish.html
But is all this maneuvering just Egyptian army preparation for war with Israel? Sudan and Libya being side shows and morale boosters, the use of live ammunition on other than the local civilian population. After all, the entirety of the weapons funneled into Gaza are all condoned and abetted by the Egyptian army that controls Sinai. Its a war by proxy, and it can be plausibly argued that Mubarak was a cruel enemy of Israel in this regard, and little will change with the new regime. Except this is not 1973: Egypt has better weaponry and a stronger army and their construction of underground bunkers in the Sinai that can accommodate mass soldiers is against the Peace Agreement. In effect, its war preparations in which they still see, as in Nasser’s time, that Israel is but a settlement in the Middle East.
…The timing of the decree, just as polls closed on the second day of the second round of elections, suggests that the military’s action was improvised. As if sometime on Sunday afternoon, one of the officers turned to another and asked with alarm, “What if Morsi wins?” It was anything but ad hoc, however. Shortly after the fall of Mubarak, Field Marshal Tantawi asked for a translation of Turkey’s 1982 constitution, which both endows Turkish officers with wide-ranging powers to police the political arena and curtails the power of civilian leaders. In the June 17 decree, the military hedged against a Morsi victory by approximating the tutelary role the Turkish military enjoyed until recently. As a result, President Morsi does not control the budget; has no foreign policy, defense, or national security function; and has been stripped of the president’s duty as commander-in-chief of the armed forces, meaning he has no control over military personnel. In addition, having dissolved parliament in a move that has no legal basis, the SCAF now also functions as Egypt’s legislature. Finally, the military will be able to veto articles of a new constitution. So, for example, if the drafters of the new constitution include civilian control and parliamentary oversight of the armed forces, Field Marshal Tantawi can object, force the Constituent Assembly to review the article, and, if necessary, bring it to the Supreme Constitutional Court. Although in the abstract, the military has set out a clear procedure for adjudicating disputes over the draft constitution, the Officers clearly expect past patterns of civil-military relations to hold sway….Read More:http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2012/al-monitor/egypt-military-turns-to-turkish.html
The military’s June 17th constitutional declaration was predicated on a combination of the Officers’ historic role in the political system, implicit threats, and the assumption that many Egyptians who fear the Brotherhood will support the SCAF’s bid to reinforce its autonomy. It may not work out as planned, however. President-elect Morsi is pushing back already. While paying homage to the Egyptian armed forces, his camp has already declared that they do not recognize the dissolution of the parliament or the legality of the military’s decree. During the heady moments of Sunday’s celebrations in Tahrir Square, the Brotherhood vowed that Morsi would take the oath of office before the People’s Assembly. Morsi’s supporters, the revolutionaries of the April 6th Movement, and others have vowed not to leave Tahrir Square until the actual handover of power scheduled for J
1st, recognizing it as their only leverage to hold SCAF accountable. They are also gearing up for a battle to defeat the constitutional declaration.Read More:http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2012/al-monitor/egypt-military-turns-to-turkish.html
If we go back to Maimonides, the Rambam, there was was little praise in his writings for Islam or Muslims, other than at least it was monotheism, and could help spread the belief in one god. Not that Christianity did not fall under the same parameters to Maimonides, but his analysis of Islam, perhaps because of his proximity seemed more cutting:Ramban was chased out of Andalusia and his books burnt, and the Yemen Jews were being persecuted leading him to term Mohamed a psychopath, that Islam was theologically corrupt, and to boot had taken the Jewish torah and rewritten it to suit its own needs. That, plus, the Exodus from Egypt, plus the Six Day War, ….that’s a lot of pent up revenge waiting to be stoked.
The only thing Rambam appreciated, it appears, were the Muslim neo-Aristotelians such as Alfarabi who were able to integrate reason to revelation in a coherent manner, but this line of thinking was ultimately discarded into the scrap heap. So much for the Golden Age? Maybe its time to dust them off and review.