Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Democracy Activists in Egypt are backing the Military's crackdown on Islamists before vote on New Constitution

Egyptian pro-democracy activist Saad El Din Ibrahim once lobbied Washington foreign-policy makers and congressmen to cajole former President Hosni Mubarak into giving the Muslim Brotherhood a place in his country's political process.
Egyptian pro-democracy activist Saad El Din Ibrahim
But nearly five years and two Egyptian revolutions later, Mr. Ibrahim is back in Cairo and lending his star power to a new military-backed regime that has arrested thousands of Brotherhood members and killed more than a thousand more in bloody crackdowns since July 3, when Brotherhood-affiliated President Mohammed Morsi was deposed in a popularly backed coup. 
Mr. Ibrahim is among the many Egyptian activists who have turned against the Brotherhood throughout Egypt's three-year-long hobble toward democracy. Many of the country's most-outspoken democratic champions now support the new military-backed government.
An Egyptian woman holds a copy of the draft constitution
How widespread that support has grown will become clear this week when Egyptians vote on a new constitution that the country's new leaders are promoting as a referendum on the legitimacy of their rule. 
Mr. Ibrahim has even lent his support to the potential presidential candidacy of Gen. Abdel Fattah Al Sisi, the military leader who ousted Mr. Morsi.
"I have no regrets whatsoever," said the 75-year-old director of the Ibn Khaldun Center—which has backed democracy since he founded the group in 1988—of his advocacy for the once-powerful Islamist group he now opposes. "My perspective evolved." 
Gen. Sisi, who has broad popular support in Egypt, said on Saturday that if voters approve the charter in large numbers, he would run for president.
Read the rest of the story HERE.

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