September 21, 2017

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  • Op-ed: The Myth of Khaki Democracy

    Screen grab shows Defense Minister Abdel Fattah El Sisi who led the coup against ousted President Morsi on July 3.

    BY IAN BURUMA New York – Egypt and Thailand have little in common, except for one thing. In both countries, at different times, educated people who pride themselves on being democrats have ended up applauding military coups against elected governments. They had resisted oppressive military regimes for many years. But, in Thailand in 2006, as in Egypt last month, they were happy to see their political leaders ousted by force. This perversity is not without reason. The elected leaders in both countries, Thaksin Shinawatra in Thailand and Mohamed Morsi in Egypt, were good examples of illiberal democrats: they tended to…

    Op-ed:Tahrir Square: Rent-a-thug culture

    Screen grab from the Battle of the Camel (left) and another from footage taken during clashes between anti-and pro Morsi protesters.

    BY AMRO ALI It’s hard to imagine the above photos are two different events. Yet one took place at the turning point of the 18 day revolution, when pro-Mubarak thugs came out on Feb. 2, 2011 on horseback and camels to scare the protesters away, and the latter was on Friday, nowhere near the level of the Battle of the Camel, but disturbing enough. What they do have in common, besides the striking visual parallel, is citizen versus citizen, which has not happened at any time in between those two events. The backdrop to Friday’s case could not be any…

    Against Dictatorship 2.0

    A protester prays in Tahrir Square.

    BY AMRO ALI ​Subtlety is not a strong feature of the Egyptian landscape, whether you look at its overt religious piety, emphasis on a person’s title, the fragrance generously sprayed that heralds a person’s arrival from 15 meters away, the imposing pyramids, or Judge Farouk Sultan’s protracted defense of the “divinely-sanctioned” electoral commission before he could get around to just announcing the presidential winner. ​Yet the least subtle of any Egyptian agency has to be the league of “extraordinary” gentlemen — the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF). In seizing all branches of government, ripping up the constitution and…

    Our “nasty” revolution

    Egyptians have returned to Tahrir in protest at SCAF's addendum to the interim constitution which gives it broad powers.

    BY KHALIL AL-ANANI No matter who will be Egypt’s next president, the fact is that the military will wield power for years to come. So instead of wasting our energy in following a bogus transition, let’s celebrate our “nasty” and humiliating revolutionary spirit. Many of the so-called liberals and secularists have betrayed their liberal ethics and values by backing the military’s recent coup with the addendum to the constitutional decree. While they are fully aware of the consequences of such a coup, they chose to stand with the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF). Their panic from the Muslim…

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