As Egypt's democratically elected president, one would hope that Mohamed Morsi would have a finger on the pulse of the Egyptian people. Unfortunately, he's looking more and more out of touch. An online campaign has begun, with typical good Egyptian humour, to nominate Morsi to win a trip to space -- a place where Egyptians hope he might gain some perspective on his role in Egypt's earthly troubles.
In terms of the Arab Spring, Egypt is the most evolved nation. Syria is still mired in phase one; Libya is in phase three. But if the constitution is indeed accepted by the populace. Egypt will have made it to phase six -- it will have effectively completed its transition to democracy. Egypt presents the most significant storyline of the Arab Spring because it offers us the best view of what the future might look like in the Middle East. And what exactly is that?
Since Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi announced his constitutional decree on Nov. 22, there has been dramatic unrest in Cairo. My favourite tweet from an Egyptian activist over the weekend sums up the intense uncertainty many are feeling: "if you are not confused about Egypt, then you are not paying enough attention."
There is a civil discussion that is transparent and being debated publicly in Egypt. That is a case for celebration after decades of an autocracy. Nevertheless, there has been too much conversation on the role of Islam and not enough on the prerogatives of political powers. Not to belittle the problems, here are some of the issues of current debate.
The stage was set at Boca Raton's Lynn University. The desk dusted, chairs put in place and zingers primed and ready for volleying. Oh, and it was supposed to be about Foreign Policy. Right? Well it kind of was. Kind of. According to Romney, American grade school teachers are part of American foreign policy. Confused? Wait, there's more...
The film the Innocence of Muslims has recently been thrust into the spotlight and has played the willing role of firestarter to what can be seen as a tinderbox which harbours the sensitive feelings of my Muslim brothers and sisters. You, my dear Muslim brothers and sisters, fell for it. You have played right into the hands of this hate-monger filmmaker and into the hands of his bigoted friends who view Muslims as "crazy," "intolerant," "violent" all in the same breath. And thanks to you we have handed them another high profile example. On a big fat shiny platter.
Ransacking the Israeli embassy with the mobs looking on is good fun; moving anti-missile defenses and tanks into Sinai, contrary to the peace agreement with Israel, is a good promenade, but throwing the gloves down and mixing it up with the Israelis would be an insane and catastrophic error. A rematch now would not only be a mano-a-mano fought by Egypt with sullen and reluctant forces, defeat would mean the complete disappearance of that country as a contestant for Arab leadership.
On July 20, an Egyptian T.V. show prank where famous Egyptian actors believed they were being interviewed by a German T.V. station, turned into mayhem when they were told they were being interviewed on an Israeli network. This should serve as an ominous warning about the prevailing hateful sentiments Egyptian Arabs hold for Jews.
During Ramadan, a time for focus and introspection, Michelle Bachmann and her posse are testing me. Big time. She believes that members of the Muslim Brotherhood have infiltrated the U.S. government -- and she's calling them out in public. In today's ballooning and increasingly influential social media landscape, sure sticks and stones can break bones, but a correctly phrased Google search can be even more devastating.
Any value, even one as dear to us as democracy, still demands scrutiny. It must be remembered that this principle has functioned so well within Western democracies because other standards co-existed with this principle to ensure that the value of democracy would not be hijacked to serve another cause.
Even after the Arab Spring, it is too early to tell what Egypt's fate will be. But if there's one thing to be said, it's that military intervention in the form of Ahmed Shafik winning the election might actually save the country. The other presidential option is the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, a ruthless organization which supported the Nazis, and seeks to suppress democracy in the Middle East.
On June 7, 2005, Peter Lewin, a little known doctor and scientist, died all-too-young.Though a pediatrician by trade, he was a pioneer in the field of paleopathology, a field that employs modern medical investigative techniques to unlock secrets within human remains. A pediatrician trusted by his patients, few knew that this kind and genteel man with an old world charm hid an Indiana Jones persona...
One of the great myths perpetuated by the media is that Israel stands alone, isolated in the international arena. On the domestic front here in Canada, members of our municipal, provincial, and federal political parties have proudly declared that they are Israel's BFFs. Indeed, much of the same is expected next week when Israeli President Shimon Peres arrives here in Canada.