The debate over Egypt's "military coup": is it or isn't it?by Prospect Team / July 5, 2013 / Leave a comment
“Coup” is the four-letter word on everyone’s lips this morning.
The Muslim Brotherhood and its coalition of Islamist groups have called for their supporters to take to the streets to protest a “coup against legitimacy.”
Chief Justice of the Supreme Constitutional Court Adli Mansour has been installed as Egypt’s interim president. Mansour said the actions in Egypt had “corrected the path of its glorious revolution.”
Clashes between the Brotherhood and Morsi remained violent as of yesterday—a YouTube video appears to show a “peaceful” Brotherhood protestor being shot by the military.
The Brotherhood have been reassured that they will play a role in the country’s emerging democracy—but it’s uncertain whether they’ll accept the offer. As Shadi Hamid pointed out in The New York Times: “supporters of the Brotherhood will ask, with good reason, whether democracy still has anything to offer them.”
Washington has appealed for a quick return to democracy. The Obama adminstration’s reaction to the conflict hinges on how the events are defined: “It depends on whether you call this a coup,” Paul Wolfowitz, former U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense told the BBC’s Newsnight. For the US, the distinction has heavy legal and financial implications.
Syrian president Bashar al-Assad has taken the opportunity to reflect on his own strength of conviction against a Western “conspiracy.” In Syria, membership to the Brotherhood is punishable by death. Assad praises protests as the beginning of the end of “political Islam.” As Assad clings to power after a two year uprising and the body count approaches 100,000, he has offered his insights to the state newspaper, Al Thawra: “this is why from the beginning I said their project is a failure before it began and this is what made the Muslim Brotherhood’s experiment fall quickly because it is wrong, and what is built on a wrong principle will definitely fall.”