The Muslim Brotherhood movement will not be holding a rally Tuesday across Egypt in support of President Mohamed Morsi, who is trying to face down a nationwide backlash against a controversial decree that grants him extensive new powers.
The call for protest came after Egypt's top judges publicly condemned the leader's new powers, calling Thursday's decree a "ferocious attack on Egyptian justice." After several hours of emergency talks, the Judges Club called for the suspension of work in all courts and prosecution administrations.
Since last Thursday, protesters against the new decrees have massed in the streets of Cairo, accusing Morsi of becoming a “new Mubarak." The decades-old regime of former was overthrown by the Jan. 25 revolution that began nearly two years ago in iconic Tahrir Square.
Four young Egyptians were killed over the weekend, including one in Cairo, and hundreds were injured in the Nile Delta region when an anti-Morsi mob tried to storm the local offices of the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Meanwhile, Morsi has met with the country’s top judges to reassure them that last Thursday's decree granting him sweeping powers is temporary and limited only to sovereignty-related issues.
Some political figures say Morsi has hijacked the revolution and has been unable to achieve its goals. Others, in particular secular opponents, accuse him of having become modern-day pharaoh by assuming wide-ranging legislative power.
Also Tuesday, clashes erupted between Egyptian security forces and demonstrators in Cairo, with security forces using tear gas canisters against protesters.
According to local news sites and tweets from the scene, clashes briefly erupted on streets surrounding the square earlier today. A group moving toward the American Embassy was reportedly pushed back, using armored vehicles and tear gas. A local website, Tahrir News, said a number of protestors threw stones at the riot police.
According to BBC and Reuters, schools, universities and workplaces, were closed in the anticipation of protests.
On the edge of Tahrir square, teenagers threw rocks at police who responded with tear gas, reporters said.
Demonstrations have also been called in several Egyptian provinces, including Alexandria on the Mediterranean, in the Nile Delta and in central Egypt.
In the city of Mahalla, northwest of Cairo, at least 50 people were injured, according to Al Jazeera, in ongoing violence between pro- and anti-Morsi protesters.
In related news, White House spokesman Jay Carney said that President Obama has raised concerns about decisions and declarations made Nov. 22 and is calling for calm in Egypt, urging the nation to peacefully resolve differences over its constitutional impasse.
Recent reports indicate a large number of victims. Some sources estimated the number between 60 to 90 injuries. Clashes are continuing. At the same time, most press reports expect the escalation to rise in Egypt, the more Morsi determines not to retreat.
Egyptian people know that the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamic movements in general did not have a role at the beginning of the popular revolution, but few days later the demonstrators started to notice the presence of Muslim Brotherhood among them. No one knows how the revolution turned into almost an Islamic revolution. As a result of that, the Islamic brotherhood owned a position which they never dreamed of since their foundation in the 1930s.
I think that Morsi, by challenging people's desire, will lose a lot. At the same time, he would have better called for the people referendum to give him absolute powers. Apparently there is a special agenda relating to Muslim Brotherhood, which Morsi wants to apply, knowing in advance that the people will not approve it. Therefore, he preferred Benito Mussolini's approach in order to implement his plan.
The Muslim Brotherhood, be it in Egypt, Morocco or Gaza, lives a life full of secrets. There are no clarifications regarding the sources of funds or the political decisions. What I understand from Morsi's decision is that he is the owner of Egypt, and the Egyptian people are only slaves for Morsi. At the same time, I am very concerned about Egypt's future.
There is still disagreement on a new constitution for Egypt. That means from the vantage point of Morsi that wide powers will remain with him until a new constitution is issued. From here, we understand that the new constitution will probably not be issued at all, to keep Morsi enjoying his unlimited powers. Most Egyptians confirm that Morsi did not provide Egypt with any achievements up to now for him to take all these powers.
Egypt still living in chaos. God only knows when and how it will end, but apparently the Egyptian people are moving toward a new spring better than the previous one. Morsi made it one of Egypt's worse seasons, even worse than the time of the British occupation, as many Egyptians say.
The proper solution that I see is for Morsi to retreat his decision and restore respect to the judiciary. He should also work to preserve the security and prosperity of Egypt, and not to focus all his attention and energy on judging the Mubarak regime. If Morsi discovered more corruption in the Mubarak era, this will not be something of great use to the Egyptian people