Re: Egypt, Morsi assumes sweeping new powers
Egypt: Al Khamissi, U.S. and EU must stop Morsi's coup
Writer, West supports him but he is now at war with country(ANSAmed) - ROME, DECEMBER 6 - The United States and Europe must express their opposition to Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi's 'coup d'etat', renowned novelist Khaled Al Khamissi, known for his best-seller Taxi which was translated into several languages, told ANSAmed in an interview. ''The United States and Europe, which supported Morsi, must send him a clear message: that they oppose a coup d'etat like the one he is carrying out'', he said.
The writer did not mince words in condemning the responsibility of the West in the direction Egypt has taken in the last few months with the latest institutional measures passed by President Mohamed Morsi and the bloody street clashes between his supporters and opponents.
The United States in particular, he stressed in the interview with ANSAmed, have great responsibilities in supporting the president who rose from the ranks of the Muslim Brotherhood. His election has been the point of arrival, he observed, of a transition entrusted to the army which has been ''disastrous'' for Egypt. In the last few months Morsi has carried out a ''coup d'etat'' against the other state powers and rival political forces, the novelist said. Together with the Muslim Brothers ''he has gathered all powers in his hands and caused a real battle in the country's streets'', said Al Khamissi. ''The regime has lost all legitimacy and the situation in the past few days has led to a true clash with the Egyptian people''. A clash which led to seven deaths last night as well as gestures like the one carried out by a Muslim Brotherhood activist who claimed from his home in Cairo, where he was getting ready to go to a demonstration, that he cut the ear of an opponent.
Asked what he thought about signs of opening from Morsi's entourage to the opposition's demands, the novelist who represented the feelings of a regular man in Cairo before the revolution in Taxi, said: ''We don't want words, we want facts.
Morsi had already promised that there would be a new constitution shared by all but this has not happened''.
Though Morsi won Egypt's first free presidential election, the writer said ''this idea of vote should be reconsidered''.
''I did not vote, like many others, because we could not accept to be forced to choose between a candidate of the Muslim Brotherhood and a man like Shafik, from the old Mubarak regime'', he noted. Those who voted for Morsi did so because they did not want Shafik or to have the 'money' which the Muslim Brotherood could guarantee them, he continued.
But now Europe and the United States cannot stand and watch and 'have to talk clearly. Dialogue with other political parties must resume for a peaceful transition and for a new Constitution of everybody'.
- 05/08/2013 16:59
Morsi appoints nine Islamists to key ministries
The controversial decision is met with criticism, including from the president's Salafist allies. Justice, Economy and Finance ministries are among the departments reshuffled. For the first time, the Ministry of Antiquities will be run by an expert in Islamic culture, and by not an archaeologist. Journalist André Azzam talks about the first effects of the Islamisation of government. Ordinary Egyptians increasingly hate Morsi.
Cairo (AsiaNews) - Justice, culture, economy and religion are key areas now under the direct or indirect control of the Muslim Brotherhood. Yesterday, President Mohamed Morsi presented the members of his new cabinet, giving nine ministries to figures affiliated with the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), including Finance, Investment, Justice and Culture. Hisham Kandil, a technocrat, remains prime minister. The new ministers were sworn in at the presidential palace.
The cabinet shuffle has proven controversial though. Pro-democracy parties and secularist groups view the new cabinet as further proof of the Muslim Brotherhood consolidating its hold on power. Unexpectedly, several pro-government Salafist MPs also criticised the president's action, calling it a partisan cabinet with a technocratic veneer.
In an interview with AsiaNews, Egyptian journalist André Azzam said that the president chose the new cabinet members for their loyalty, not their abilities. "He wants to change the country," he said, "but until now has only been able to boost hatred against himself among ordinary Egyptians."
The Finance portfolio went to Fayyad Abdel-Moneim, a specialist in Islamic finance and a member of the Freedom and Justice Party. Yehia Hamed, the new Investment minister, is a prominent Brotherhood member. Ahmed Suleiman, who is close to the Islamist movement, gets the Justice Ministry, replacing Ahmed Mekky, who criticised the president's plan to reform the justice system, and retire 13,000 judges, including the presidents of the Supreme Court and the Constitutional Court
According to Azzam, the Muslim Brotherhood plans to take over culture as well, gradually. In fact, Morsi appointed Ahmed Eissa Ahmed, an expert on Islamic and Coptic culture, as minister of Antiquities. This goes against the long-established practice of appointing internationally recognised intellectuals and archaeological experts to the department.
"The story that is being written is an old one," Azzam said. "Like in other places, the Muslim Brotherhood wants to places its members everywhere, especially in government, in order to rule even if they should lose political support."
In recent months, Morsi's changes are having their first disruptive effects. The most striking example is the resignation of Mazhar Shaheen, the imam of Omar Makram Mosque on Tahrir Square.
He was a leading figure in the Arab Spring of 2011 and was well liked by the Protestant community with whom he had close ties of friendship. However, he was forced out of office last month by an order of the Religious Affairs Ministry.
Shaheen was removed against the wishes of Ahmed al-Tayeb, grand imam of Al-Azhar, who has always been critical of President Morsi and the Islamist establishment.
In recent months, the grand imam and other members of al-Azhar University have also come under attack in the media over alleged food poisoning of 500 students at the Islamic institution. (S.C.)
Egypt: Morsi's new governors increase tensions w.opposition
Seven from Brotherhood, one ex Gamaa Islamiya appointed(ANSAmed) - CAIRO, JUNE 17 - Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi on Sunday appointed 17 new provincial governors, including seven members of his Muslim Brotherhood.
He also appointed Adel Assad el-Khayat, a member of the political arm of ex-Islamic militant group Gamaa Islamiya, which fought an insurgency war against deposed president Hosni Mubarak. In 1997, Gamaa Islamiya claimed responsibility for what became known as the Luxor massacre: in the ancient southern city of Luxor, a main tourist site, 58 tourists and four Egyptians were killed. Tourist companies have called a strike tomorrow to protest the appointment of el-Khayat, who has been arrested several times for his political leanings, according to tourist guide union leader Wael Ibrahim. Another six army generals and police officers have been appointed to areas of unrest such as Port Said and Ismailia, where violent clashes took place at the beginning of the year. The seven Brotherhood appointments are ''a challenge to the people'' and a sign Morsi is stepping up confrontation ahead of the one-year anniversary of his presidency on June 30, according to opposition front spokesperson Khaled Daoud. ''Instead of sending signals of detente, the Brotherhood adds fuel to the fire. The proof is that protests have already erupted in several governorates'', Daoud told ANSAmed. The liberal and secular Egyptian opposition has called for mass demonstrations against the country's first Brotherhood president on June 30. The opposition Tamarod (''rebel'' in Arabic) campaign has gathered 15 million signatures demanding early presidential elections, or 1.8 million more than the votes Morsi received. The Egyptian president would gain 30% of the vote if elections were held today, while another 50% of respondents said they would not reconfirm him in office, according to a survey by the Egyptian Center for Public Opinion Research.
- 06/18/2013 13:05
EGYPT - ISLAM
Islamists' long reach over Egypt as suspected terrorist is appointed Luxor governor
President Morsi appoints 17 new provincial governors. Seven are from the ranks of the Muslim Brotherhood. Protests break out in Luxor, Ismailia, Gharbiya and Menoufiya, Mubarak's birthplace. 'The Rebels' pro-democracy movement "collects 13 million signatures to undercut Morsi's legitimacy.
Cairo (AsiaNews) - The fear that his actions might lose him legitimacy among Egyptian has prompted President Mohamed Morsi to speed up the process of "Islamisation" of government institutions. On 16 June, , the Muslim Brotherhood leader signed a presidential decree appointing 17 new provincial governors.
According to media reports, at least seven of them are affiliated with Egypt's main Islamist movement, including Ahmed El-Beili, the new governor of Gharbiya, and Ahmed Mohamed Shaarawi, his counterpart in Menoufiya, provinces in the Nile Delta region that are major constituencies for secular parties. Menoufiya is also the birthplace of former President Hosni Mubarak.
Public opinion has to worry however about the appointment of Adel Asaad El-Khayat as the new provincial governor of Luxor. He is a former leading member of the Gama'a al-Islamiya, a radical Islamist group implicated in a terrorist attack against the temple of Deir el-Bahri that claimed the lives of 58 foreign tourists.
Starting yesterday, hundreds of tour operators and employees in tourism, the province's main industry, are protesting in front of the governorate headquarters to demand the removal of the new governor, waving banners that say: "We do not want terrorists."
According to experts, Luxor is at risk. After the Muslim Brotherhood took power, the jewel of Egypt's archaeological tourism has become a ghost town.
What is more, members at the Gama'a al-Islamiya have threatened more than once to blow up statues and temples from Egypt's ancient civilisation, which they deem symbols of idolatry.
Demonstrations were also held in Ismailia against the new governor Hassan al-Hawy, as well as in Beheria, where Morsi appointed Osama Suleiman, the former secretary of the local branch of the Justice and Freedom party. According to some observers, this appointment is an attempt to provoke clashes in the city between pro-democracy activists and Islamists ahead of planned anti-Morsi protests scheduled for 30 June.
In Gharbiya, hundreds of people blocked the road that runs along the sea, chanting slogans against the Muslim Brotherhood.
Once upon a time, provincial governorships were "reserved" to members of the military or public security apparatus. With his latest move, Morsi now has placed 12 of the country's 27 provincial governatorates in the hands of his allies. In September 2012, he had already appointed five Islamist militants to the post of provincial governors.
The Salafist al-Nour party, the main ally of the president's Justice and Freedom party in the 2011 parliamentary elections, has criticised Morsi. For party secretary Shaaban Abdel Alim, the Muslim Brotherhood's reshuffle will increase conflicts among the population.
Meanwhile, a petition to force the president to resign is gathering momentum. Organised by a group calling itself 'The Rebels', the movement has brought together many of the leading figures from the 2011 Jasmine Revolution.
According to its latest figures, some 13 million Egyptians have already signed the petition. The goal is to reach 15 million before 30 June, anniversary of the disputed elections two years ago.
In order to nip the petition in the bud, the Muslim Brotherhood launched an appeal to all its members, inviting them to take to the streets in the coming weeks.
Police remain on alert for possible clashes between opposing factions.
New Luxor governor resigns after protests
(AGI) Cairo, June 23 - The new governor of Luxor, integralist Adel el Khayat, has resigned after protests. Anger came from the opposition and the tourist sector when the president appointed a man whose fundamentalist Jamaa group massacred 58 tourists in the city in 1997. Demonstrators had been blocking the governor's entrance to his office for several days.
Egypt: Luxor protests keep governorship up in the air
Former extremist might be transferred to another governorship(ANSAmed) - CAIRO, JUNE 21 - Protests are ongoing in Luxor against President Mohamed Morsi's governor-appointee Adel el-Khayat, a former member of the Gamaa Islamiya extremist movement that sought to oust deposed dictator Hosni Mubarak.
The appointee reportedly has decided not to show up in Luxor, where hundreds of protesters have vowed not to let him in to the city, until all sides agree on his nomination by Morsi four days ago.
In a bid to restore calm, Premier Hisham Qandil has suggested making el-Khayat governor of nearby Qena instead.
The opposition as well as Luxor locals and tourist operators hotly contested the nomination of el-Khayat, whose former movement shot to death then mutilated the bodies of 62 tourists, including many women and a child, in the grisly Luxor massacre of 1997.
International tour operators have threatened to cancel bookings to Luxor, the touristic jewel in Egypt's crown, and Egyptian Tourism Minister Hisham Zaazou has resigned over the ''grave losses'' to the sector caused by el-Khayat's appointment. The premier did not accept his resignation, local media reported.