Martyrdom is not democracy in action!

I’m growing alarmed as the hours tick down on the ultimatum issued by Egypt’s military.

President Morsi has been calling for meetings with the opposition for weeks, but the opposition has boycotted any meetings.  One of the opposition leaders (there are many and that’s what makes this so complicated), Mohamed ElBaradei, has refused to talk with Morsi and has been calling for his resignation.

Now that the military’s ultimatum has been issued, President Morsi is in a corner and the opposition has no incentive to negotiate with him. They just need to watch the clock tick down.

I have given President Morsi my two cents, for what it’s worth.  My advice is to minimize violence as much as possible.

Unfortunately, the Freedom and Justice Party — the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood — has issued press reports that are very troublesome.

The FJP is most determined to protect the homeland’s stability and security, to stop the shedding of Egyptian blood. It finds that cleansing Egypt of these thugs and effectively facing up to these vandals is the only way to protect the homeland and its security and stability. It assures that it will give all it can to achieve this.

The FJP exhorts all honorable, fair-minded members of all political parties and national groups and movements to face up to those criminal acts and stand as one in the face of this threat to the homeland and its stability.

I find this message alarming because “cleansing thugs” sounds like eliminating the opposition (by violent means?) rather than working with the opposition.

Israel’s MK Avigdor Liberman recently made the same claim about “cleansing Gaza” of Hamas.

The Bangkok Post reported that a “senior leader of the Muslim Brotherhood called on its supporters to be ready to sacrifice their lives to prevent an army takeover.”

“Seeking martyrdom to prevent this coup is what we can offer to the previous martyrs of the revolution,” Mohamed al-Beltagui said in a statement on Tuesday.

He was referring to the more than 800 people killed during the 2011 uprising that ousted veteran strongman Hosni Mubarak.

An Egyptian interviewed on NPR yesterday, a Morsi supporter, said he wants an Islamist nation, not a secular nation as the opposition proposes, and so there can’t be any compromise.  It’s either one or the other he said, and he was willing to fight to see his vision fulfilled.

NO – NO – NO!  This is NOT democracy in action, these are extremists calling for violence, cloaking their demands as a defense of electoral politics.

The situation in Egypt today reminds me of Al Gore’s defeat in 2000 when he saw his election “win” snatched from him by the shenanigans in Florida and then the US Supreme Court.  I was angry; really, really pissed.  I voted for Al Gore.  I wanted Al Gore to be President, and so did the majority of Americans, I’m sure of it.  When he conceded the election to Bush, I was pissed at Gore!!   But no one called for violence or martyrdom.

Mohamed Morsi’s supporters are pissed.  They say he was fairly elected, and he should be allowed to fulfill his term of office.  In a functioning democracy, the people don’t sweep out one president and replace him with another every time they aren’t happy with his performance.

True!

But Egypt doesn’t have a functioning democracy … yet.

And Egypt doesn’t have a constitution that establishes a process for impeachment … yet.

And Egypt doesn’t have a history of political parties working together … yet.

Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood and their supporters have to respond to the reality that exists today, not to the democracy that they might wish existed in Egypt.

Calling for martyrdom is NOT democracy, it is extreme fanaticism.  If Morsi believes that suicide or murder is the path towards electoral legitimacy, then he’s a very dangerous man and all Egyptians should be very, very worried.

I hope he will renounce these calls for martyrdom soon and very clearly, but apparently he is ready to give his life too.

Martyrdom is not democracy in action!

President Mohamed Morsi

President Mohamed Morsi

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Filed under Egypt, Elections, People

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