So much for that ‘Arab Spring’.
Egyptian Islamists, who control the recently elected parliament, are on track to consolidate their hold over politics after the selection of a panel that will draft the country’s new constitution.
They will have a large majority on the panel according to a final list published on Sunday, a day after parliament elected its members during a session which witnessed the withdrawal of parliamentarians representing liberal and leftist forces.
The panel was chosen at a meeting of the upper and lower chambers in parliament which is itself dominated by Freedom and Justice, the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood, and by Nour, an ultraconservative Islamist party.
Last week parliament voted that half the members of the panel should come from within its ranks – a move which was criticised by secular groups who fear that the constitution will reflect Islamist preferences rather than the broad range of opinion in Egyptian society. Six women and six Christians are on the list, but more than two-thirds of the members represent Islamists, according to local media.
The constitution is intended to provide a blueprint for the political order after former President Hosni Mubarak was removed from power by a popular uprising 13 months ago.
Not that the lib/left faction is any better, but this pretty much spells the end of any real reform in Eqypt.
And they want control of the military:
Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood-led parliament began drawing up a no-confidence motion against the military-appointed government Thursday, further escalating the Islamists’ increasingly public power struggle with the country’s ruling generals.
The extremists in Tunisia rear their ugly heads.
Thousands of Tunisian Islamists took to the streets on Sunday to step up their demands for the creation of an Islamic state in one of the most secular Arab nations.
About 8,000 conservative Salafi Islamists filled the capital’s Habib Bourguiba Avenue, a focal point of the 2011 revolution that sparked uprisings across the Arab world.
Waving black flags, they shouted slogans demanding that Islamic law, or sharia, be defined as the main source of legislation in Tunisia’s new constitution.
“This is not a show of force, but they should know that we can mobilize hundreds of thousands on the streets if they refuse the application of sharia,” said a young man who gave his name as Abu Jihad.
“We are in a Muslim country, so the talk about Islam in the constitution should not be feared.”
While Islamists did not play a prominent role in the 2011 uprising, a struggle over the role of religion in government has since polarized politics in Tunisia.
A constituent assembly elected in October, in the first vote after the revolution ousted secular President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, has about a year to hash out a new constitution.
I was enthused at first when I saw the uprisings spread across the Middle East/North African region. But that quickly dissipated when muslim zealots jumped at the chance to cement Sharia into government dictatorship. There simply isn’t enough grassroots opposition to the continuation of Islamic domination in that particular part of the world. It’s not in their DNA.
- Calls for Islamic State in “moderate” Tunisia: “the people want a Caliphate” (atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com)
- Islamist will chair panel that’s writing Egypt’s constitution (stripes.com)
- We will insist on applying Sharia in Egypt, Islamist MP says (creepingsharia.wordpress.com)