The standoff between Egypt’s ruling Muslim Brotherhood and the country’s liberals and judiciary captures the main headlines of all major dailies on Sunday.
“Egypt boils: A million-man protest, clashes, burning of Brotherhood headquarters and a deepening of the polarization,” reads the headline of London-based daily Al-Quds Al-Arabi, reporting that slogans in favor of “toppling the regime” have returned to Tahrir Square in downtown Cairo.
“The Egyptian revolution is in danger,” cries editor-in-chief Abdel Bari Atwan in his op-ed.
‘One cannot help but be shocked along with the Egyptians… at what Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood has done. The president has given himself authorities which no leader has had since Pharaoh’
“The Egyptian revolution has come under threat and its great accomplishments in uniting the Egyptian people are facing a dangerous test. Stability, which is sorely needed to overcome the economic crisis is tottering,” writes Atwan.
“Egypt is currently divided between two warring camps. The first, Islamic in nature, includes the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafi stream allied with it. The second, characterized by secularism, comprises liberals, nationalists, leftists and Copts, and hides in its midst supporters of the former dictatorial regime.”
“Egypt:Tthe judges go on strike until the annulment of the constitutional declaration,” reads the headline of liberal London-based daily Al-Hayat, which claims that the judges have decided on a strike after prospects for a political solution have failed.
Two giant protests were called for Tuesday by liberals and by the Muslim Brotherhood, reports the daily, and fears exists that firearms may be used in them. Al-Hayat places the blame for the quick escalation on the Muslim Brotherhood, “which chose to confront its rivals on the streets.”
A-Sharq Al-Awsat, a Saudi-owned daily which consistently opposed the Muslim Brotherhood, seizes the opportunity to lash out at the Islamist movement once again, taking a sarcastic blow at the Egyptian electoral choice while its at it.
“One cannot help but be shocked along with the Egyptians… at what Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood has done,” writes editor-in-chief Tareq Homayed. “The president has given himself authorities which no leader has had since Pharaoh. As though the shocked people expected a democratic regime like that of the US or Europe from the Muslim Brotherhood.”
Egyptian press is equally dramatic about the political crisis.
“A street war is looming,” reads the main headline of independent daily Al-Masry Al-Youm, which gives prominence to the judges’ claims against the government. The daily quotes “a source close to Morsi” claiming that the Egyptian president will not back down from his constitutional declaration giving him sweeping powers over the country’s judiciary. The source tells the daily that the president has taken the drastic measure temporarily, until the new constitution is drafted within months “to safeguard [the constituent assembly] from disbandment.”
‘The Egyptian revolution has come under threat and its great accomplishments in uniting the Egyptian people are facing a dangerous test. Stability, which is sorely needed to overcome the economic crisis is tottering,’ writes Atwan
“He [President Morsi] realizes that economic development cannot be achieved without political stability,” the source tells Al-Masry Al-Youm.
Liberal Egyptian daily Al-Watan quotes opposition leader and former IAEA chief Mohammed El-Baradei as saying that he had called for the drafting of a constitution before the parliamentary elections last year “in order to avoid riots like the ones we are witnessing now.”
Egyptian daily A-Shorouk quotes some of the slogans chanted during Saturday’s protest in Tahrir Square, including “the revolution continues,” “we will repeat this generation after generation: Morsi loves Israel,” “sit-in, sit-in, until the regime falls.”
“Egypt is unable to become a post-revolutionary state,” writes Al-Hayat columnist Khaled Dakhil.
Political division is a main characteristic of the Arab world, writes Dakhil, as was demonstrated following the American invasion of Iraq in the First Gulf War in 1990. Now, following the Arab Spring, division is back.
“Today the region is under the dominance of religious thought, both Sunni and Shiite, Christian and Muslim. Division has begun to send its offshoots by defining positions and expressing them. Belonging to a religious or secular stream defines the position and point of view. Therefore, positions are ready and prepared in advance.”