Opinion - EGYPT NARRATIVES: A Brief Critique of the Reasons Advanced to Justify the Egyptian Military Coup of July 2013
This paper has been written exclusively for The Cordoba Foundation
I expect people reading this to be quite busy and so I will forego the usual essay style and use a point format. As a preamble, there are two arguments I will not make. I will not argue that the President’s first year in office was mistake-free. There were many and the President alluded to some during his most recent speech before the coup. The second argument I will not make is that the coup has no popular support. Without a doubt, there is significant resentment among a considerable portion of the Egyptian population towards the President. Nevertheless, neither of those considerations – mistakes and alienating part of the electorate – constitutes reasonable grounds (if ever such an adjective could be used) for a military coup.
Coup apologists are using a number of accusations to justify the coup.
a. Egyptians lack the “basic mental ingredients” for democracy
b. President Morsy was not inclusive during his year in government and was unable to unite the country. But for the military coup, the country would have descended into chaos and civil war.
c. The President, and the Muslim Brotherhood, were intent on building an “illiberal” democracy, one where there was voting, but were human rights including freedom of speech and express as well as women rights are limited.
d. The economy was imploding due to the poor management of the country and the Army had to intervene.
e. This was not a coup. This was a popular uprising and the army merely supported the people a la February 11, 2011.
I will not distinguish (a) above with a response. The remainder of those arguments, even if there is some truth to them, is entirely without merit as a justification for a military coup that derails the democratic transition of the country.
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