Apparently, President Obama has a compatriot at heart in Egypt’s new president Mohammad Morsi. Don’t like what the nation’s judges rule? Just issue an executive order and ignore the constitution. On Sunday, Morsi ordered Egypt’s Islamist-dominated parliament back in session—boldly defying the nation’s Supreme Court and the military leaders who enforced the order.
On June 14, the Supreme Court ruled that one third of the members of the lower house had been elected unlawfully—that they had been elected to seats that were reserved for secular and minority religious groups. The interim military rulers subsequently dissolved the lower house.
A few days later, Morsi was elected president. And now, one of his first moves is to annul the court’s decree and order lawmakers (most of whom are members of his party, or other ultra-conservative Islamists) back to work.
Can he legally do that? Probably not. But who can stop him?
Morsi’s move was a direct challenge to the former military rulers. It shows his strength. But more importantly, it shows the direction Morsi wants to take Egypt—away from the more secular constitution and into a fundamentalist Islamic future.
Astoundingly, America doesn’t seem concerned. Morsi’s defiance of the courts and Egypt’s constitution comes just days before a high-profile visit by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Morsi has little reason to fear. The moment America decided to embrace the “Arab Spring” and push former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak from power, it was consigned to dealing with Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood.
But it is actually worse than that. America is embracing Morsi.
If America was truly interested in supporting parties that are committed to nonviolence and the way to peace, it never would have worked to overthrow Hosni Mubarak in the first place.
Egypt’s Anwar Sadat and Hosni Mubarak administrations have done more than any other Muslim regimes to work toward real peace. Neither were perfect men, but they both risked their lives for their beliefs—and actions—that actually brought peace to a region. In fact, Anwar Sadat was assassinated by terrorists with links to Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood (and Iran) for making peace with Israel. Isn’t peacemaking the ultimate nonviolence? After Sadat’s death, Mubarak upheld the peace treaty that was the foundation for the last 30-plus years of peace.
But Egypt’s new President Mohammed Morsi embodies the total opposite of what Anwar Sadat and Hosni Mubarak stood for. And if people understood history, that would scare them.
Morsi is also a 9/11 “Truther” who doesn’t believe terrorists blew up the World Trade Towers, but that it was some sort of U.S. government conspiracy.
This is America’s new ally. This is the man whom America helped put in power.