Egypt: Update on the situation: The First “Friday Bloody Friday”
As expected, we didn’t have to wait for long for MB’s reaction to the military coup d’etat. On Friday, Morsi’s supporters and members of the MB organization and movement started their protest cycle, which so far has been a mix of civil disobedience and active marches and protests. The reaction of the military, as expected, was repression, and casualties have been reported.
Moreover, yesterday the military junta shutdown 3 pro-MB TV channels and Al-Jazeera’s direct fed from Cairo, thus banning the popular news channel from providing any live footage of the demonstrations.
However, in the age of the Internet, there are many ways and means to circumvent these bans that belong to another age. Quickly last night, the MB organization started broadcasting live on the Internet, thus creating an alternative news source that is not subjected to military censorship. The YarmoukTV has been broadcasting and covering live all the pro-Morsi protests and initiatives.
Meanwhile, the old Mubarek clan and its coercive branch, the military, are back in power just hours after the coup was conducted and Morsi was deposed. The New York Times reports that the remnants of Egypt’s old government reasserted themselves on Thursday within hours of the military coup that deposed the country’s first freely elected president, and began a widespread crackdown on Morsi’s supporters and the top echelon of the MB organization. The legal justification for these arrests is at best fictional, and at worse purely dictatorial, and reminds us of the old days of Mubarek’s regime. As David Kirkpatrick reports for the NYT, ” The actions [taken by the military] provided the first indications of what Egypt’s new political order could look like after Mohamed Morsi.” –i.e., a repressive political order.
The BBC (Arabic) reports that among the MB leaders that the military arrested yesterday–under the charges of “instigation to violence”, a charge so vague that is nothing but a cover for pure military oppression–are: Muhammad Badie, General Adviser of the MB movement; his top aid and second in command; his predecessor at the same post; Saad al-Katatni, the former Speaker of the Lower House of Parliament; and about 300 members of the MB
To add oil to the already burning fire, the NYT reports today that Mohamed ElBaradei, a Nobel Peace Prize winner in 2005 and the replacement of the ousted Morsi at the head of the new executive, along with many prominent liberals have lobbied western powers for the necessity of ousting Morsi and conducting a coup. We do not know yet if ElBaradei received the green light for the military coup from these Western powers, but what we do know is that this information reinforces the rumors that have been floating for the last 2 months that western powers (read, the US and Israel) have been conspiring to depose Morsi, the first democratically elected president from an Islamist party. Whether ElBaradei receiced the blessing of these western powers or not is not important. What is important is that this information adds legitimacy and credence to the narrative of the radical wing of the MB and the Islamist movement in general that western powers would never allow for an Islamist to be the president of a major Muslim country as strategically important as Egypt. Moreover, this only undermines the legitimacy of the military coup and any future government post-Morsi, and erodes the credibility and patriotism of the liberals and their political parties in Egypt. I would even go further and argue that all of the aforementioned consequences of this so-called conspiracy against Morsi are not important; what’s, however, is that this information will only energize the radical and undermine the moderate of the MB movement.
Finally, the first pictures of the crackdown on the MB and the violence in Egypt started to surface. I will post as many pictures as possible, not to add oil on a burning fire, but to inform.
Top Picture: Michigan University Football Stadium, Capacity 114,000 people
Bottom Picture: Tahrir Square, Capacity 20 million people, if you believe it
Large Pro-Morsi rallies across several cities
First civilian casualty of today’s clashes
Pictures taken by Jeremy Bowen today, BBnews Reporter
Source to keep yourself informed on the situation in Egypt:
Jeremy Bowen, BBCnews reporter, twitter fed: https://twitter.com/BowenBBC
Al-YarmukTV, MB news channel on the web: http://www.justin.tv/yarmouktv#/w/6060095584/3
BBC, Arabic: http://www.bbc.co.uk/arabic/middleeast/
New York Times, Middle East page: http://www.nytimes.com/pages/world/middleeast/index.html
Articles worth reading:
Robert Fisk, The Independent: When is a military coup not a military coup? When it happens in Egypt, apparently
David D. Kirkpatrick, NYT: Crackdown on Morsi Backers Deepens Divide in Egypt
David D. Kirkpatrick, NYT: Prominent Egyptian Liberal Says He Sought West’s Support for Uprising
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