SODOM & GOMORRAH: The surprise, of course, belongs solely to Western press. Students of the old science of politics are simply vindicated by recent developments in Egypt.
Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi shocked many at home and abroad when he seized new powers. Violent protests were launched that reminded commentators of last year’s revolution. Mursi issued a decree last Thursday which shielded any of his decisions from judicial review and prompted accusations that he was assuming dictatorial powers.
Over 500 people have been injures in clashes between police and protesters. Some fear that Mursi’s Islamic Brotherhood is attempting to assert full powers over Egypt since they won the democratic elections this year.
Egyptian courts have expressed some reservations, but instead of outright condemning Mursi’s recent power grab they have simply hinted at a compromise while calling people back to government work for business as usual. The judges say that the judges and prosecutors who went on strike after the declaration should come back to work and that they did not outright reject Mursi’s declaration.
None of this is horribly surprising. Democracy, in its purest form, is about the power of a majority over any number of minorities. The fact that the Islamic Brotherhood is taking advantage of its majority status is a sign that Egypt has embraced and understood democracy completely.