More power to you, ladies, but I hope you’re packing mace under your headscarves:
The demonstrations in Cairo and across the country come after days of rival protests by supporters and opponents of Morsi, who is expected to call a quickfire referendum on Saturday on the new draft constitution in order to hurry it through before Egypt’s supreme constitutional court can dissolve the assembly that drafted it.
The draft has been criticised for its ambiguous language on civil liberties, women’s and minority rights and freedom of expression, as well as its concentration on enshrining sharia law as the basis for legislation. It also protects army privileges that Morsi’s opponents want revoked, including the ability to try civilians in military courts.
This is also a warning, they claim, of what may happen across the Middle East. The era of the Muslim Brotherhood appears to have arrived. President Obama has hailed the Brotherhood’s President Mohammed Morsi as a pragmatist who helped end the Gaza crisis. Egyptians here think the Brotherhood has conned Washington, just like it conned them.
“President Obama is supporting a terrorist,” a man told me amid chants of “Leave! Leave!” in Tahrir Square and “Down, down with the rule of the Muslim Brotherhood’s spiritual leader.” Before, it was “Down, down with Mubarak.”
President Obama said Mubarak “had to go”, yet has said nothing about Morsi’s pyramid putsch. In fact, Morsi made his move immediately after telling Hamass to surrender and declare victory—at our urging. Draw your own conclusions (I have).
But the reporter above was right to ask one of the women about the vote. Roughly two-thirds of the Egyptian electorate supported the Muslim Brotherhood or even-more-Islamist parties. I’m surprised you’ve been allowed to protest this long, and fear you’re on borrowed time. Ask Lara Logan and other female reporters what happens when peaceful protests turn nasty.