Security mayhem in Egypt following a court ruling condemning 21 Port Said soccer fans to death leads the news in Arab media on Sunday.
“‘Port Said massacre’ ruling ignites Egypt,” reads the headline of London-based daily Al-Hayat, which reports that the sentences have left both Cairo’s Al-Ahli fans (the victims) and the Port Said fans (the perpetrators) unsatisfied.
Protesters in Cairo burnt and plundered the soccer union building, while in Port Said, residents attempted to disrupt naval traffic in the Suez Canal, the daily reports.
“Egypt has experienced another bloody day yesterday,” reads the headline of Saudi-owned daily A-Sharq Al-Awsat, featuring a photo of Cairo’s soccer union building behind a thick gray plume of smoke.
The daily’s columnist Abdullah Al-Oteibi extrapolates from Egypt’s unrest to the entire Arab Spring in an op-ed titled “The stability of anarchy.”
“The most accurate description of what is happening in the Arab states of protests and intifadas is that they are experiencing a stage which may be described as ‘the stability of anarchy.’ Anarchy may be considered the main guiding factor to all behavior, irrespective of the various perspectives and [ideological] streams.”
Al-Jazeera, based in Qatar, displays footage of anti-government demonstrations across Egypt. The station’s coverage focuses on the government’s harsh warning to protesters not to harm public installations.
“The court ruled and anger exploded,” reads the headline of independent Egyptian daily Al-Masry Al-Youm. The father of a protester named Khaled Mustafa, 26, who was killed during Saturday’s demonstrations tells the daily that his son’s blood “is on the hands of Mohammed Morsi.”
The daily specifies the protests and damage caused in Cairo by the fan club of the Al-Ahli club, know as the Ultras.
Establishment daily Al-Ahram reports that the Ultras club is actually divided between supporters and opponents of the court ruling.
“Who is ruling Egypt?” wonders Al-Ahram columnist Muhammad Sabrin in an op-ed Sunday.
“Astonishingly, most Egyptians are searching for one address to answer all of the old and new questions: What has happened and what will happen and who is responsible? In their voyage to find answers, they believe that the father-president knows everything, controls everything and is the sole power with control over matters and answers… people have forgotten, or perhaps pretend to have forgotten, that Egypt is changing and that the last example of such a father-president — or Pharaoh – was arrested and is being tried for killing protesters, and he is now behind bars!”
Iraq simmers with Sunni protests, Kurdish dissatisfaction
Political and societal turbulence in Iraq continues to occupy the front pages of newspapers in the Arab world on Sunday.
“Political and security crisis in Iraq,” reads the headline in Al-Hayat, reporting that anti-government demonstrators — predominantly of the Sunni denomination — are talking about arming amid government accusations that al-Qaeda has penetrated their ranks.
According to Saudi-owned news website Elaph, demonstrators are charging the government of Shiite Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki with sending masked provocateurs into the demonstrations taking place in the predominantly Sunni province of Al-Anbar, in western Iraq.
According to the government, protesters raised black al-Qaeda flags during a demonstration in the city of Ramadi, the province capital, and have publicly admitted to belonging to al-Qaeda.
Meanwhile, the Kurds in northern Iraq are upset that the national budget approved last week ignored their basic demands.
A Kurdish source tells A-Sharq Al-Awsat on Sunday that the semi-autonomous region is mulling “economic independence” from Iraq’s central government.
The Kurdish grievances revolve around the revenues from oil produced in the region and a special budget given to the local armed forces, known as Peshmerga.
“In light of the continued hostility of the federal government toward the region’s government, creating dozens of problems and crises about every minor constitutional issue… the policy of the current government headed by Nejervan Barzani will aspire to more economic independence from the center.”
A statement published on Saturday by the Kurdish region’s president Masoud Barazani accused Maliki of “domineering and exclusion,” and of “creating crises and escalating tensions,” Al-Jazeera reports.