America criticized for attitude on Egypt's Morsy
By Betsy Hiel
Published: Friday, Nov. 30, 2012, 5:47 p.m.
CAIRO — Some Egyptian liberals accuse Washington of provoking a weeklong political crisis here by backing President Mohamed Morsy and his ruling Muslim Brotherhood.
America is “breeding a monster that they will not be able to control,” said Fatima Metwali, a protester in the capital's Tahrir Square.
The Obama administration has been seen as complimentary of Morsy, particularly in its praise of him for helping broker a cease-fire between Israel and the Palestinians.
Protests and clashes with police erupted last week after Morsy assumed near-absolute power.
On Friday, a constitutional assembly dominated by the Brotherhood approved a document that will be put to a referendum within weeks.
Morsy has threatened to retain his sweeping powers if it is rejected.
Liberal Egyptians and Western human rights advocates say the new constitution restricts individual liberties and increases religious influence.
The Brotherhood has called for pro-Morsy marches on Saturday.
A growing number of Egyptians accuse the Obama administration of backing Morsy and refusing to condemn his actions.
“The people hate the Muslim Brotherhood; they have no popularity, and (the future) will be lost for the Americans,” said protester Mona Demerdash.
Muhammed Own, 29, a businessman in Tahrir Square, called Morsy a “devil's advocate.”
“Look at how the constitution is being written and sold to the people,” Own said. “If people say yes to his constitution, he will give up his new powers. If people say no, he keeps them.
“We are choosing between two very bad things.”
Protesters have vowed to remain in Tahrir Square, as many did during the 2011 uprising that ousted dictator Hosni Mubarak. They have attracted support from some of Egypt's leading political and cultural figures.
Tarek Heggy, a liberal author and petroleum strategist, said he joined the Tahrir Square protest to help in “recovering Egypt” from the Brotherhood.
He described the unrest as a “snowball” gathering downhill momentum.
“I am confident we are in a revolt,” said Heggy. “Anything related to this constitution, for me, is poisoned.”
Heggy predicts Egypt “will recover eventually, but a price will be paid.”
Own said Morsy's power grab threatens Egypt's flat-lined economy. He likened the situation to “driving a car with no brakes (and) a brick wall is right in front of us.”
Nebal Osman, waving Egyptian flags in the square with her three daughters, said: “We are all Muslim, but we don't want Morsy.”
Nearby, young protesters sang: “Morsy is finished, he has lost his way. The revolution has returned, take a picture, Morsy.”
Magdi Negm, 59, stood watching with his daughter. He said Morsy has divided the country, adding: “(We) must be worried ... that there could be blood.”
Anonymous, the international computer hacking group, threatened to wage cyber attacks on Brotherhood websites. The Brotherhood's Twitter account conceded it is under “heavy cyber attacks, silencing us in the name of ‘defending democracy.'”
Betsy Hiel is the Tribune-Review'sforeign correspondent. Email herat firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Analysis: Kesler remains on Penguins’ radar as Shero looks bring back ‘Big 3’ formula
- ‘Un-American’? That’s Harry Reid, the Senate’s lowly smear artist
- Starkey: Steelers know when to say goodbye
- Pirates’ big risk with pitch-heavy draft focus might soon pay off
- Ex-Colts executive Polian: Approach free agency with caution
- With so many needs, Steelers can ill afford to miss in draft
- Penguins GM Shero’s deadline deals: Addition by subtraction
- Expats renounce citizenship over U.S. tax hassles
- Air force chief: Malaysia jet may have turned back
- SUV flips onto its side on Parkway East
- Penguins minor league report: Defenseman Dumoulin optimistic for home stretch