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This is not a coup!
Observation on the ousting of Egyptian President Mursi, first drafted on July 5, published on July 31, 2013

Even weeks after the exit of the Mursi government in
Egypt, international observers continue to be divided over
whether to call the toppling of Mr. Mursi
a coup d’état or not. Noah denkt™ never thought it was. And here are
our reasons to take this position:

  • Public order was at a point of collapse by the time the military stepped in and stripped Mr. Mursi off the
    powers of his office. Just witness the huge increase of numbers of sexual assaults that happened in the
    weeks running up to his ousting. These numbers were exorbitant even for Egyptian standards. And it was
    clear that the situation had become untenable and it was on the security forces to do something about

  • It is due to Mr. Mursi’s stewardship of the Presidency that public order had gotten to a point of collapse.
    After all, he had not only created outrage among opposition forces, no, he had also lost the support of
    constitutional institutions such as the judiciary (see: and
    the military.

  • Those who call the military intervention a coup d’ état argue that Mr. Mursi had a clear democratic
    mandate to exercise power ( a 51% majority in pretty fair and democratic presidential elections, plus repeated
    majorities later on among Egyptian voters). And they continue to argue that it was, hence, on the opposition to
    accept defeat and respect the will of the Egyptian people. The truth however is that the democratic
    opposition in Egypt did just that, - at least initially. In fact, the opposition did not question the legitimacy of
    Mursi’s electoral win. It did respect his oath of office ceremony. It accepted the changes he brought
    about at the helm of the military. And it worked with him in the preparation of the parliamentary elections.
    Things only started to get out of hand when it became clear that Mr. Mursi himself intended to tamper
    with the very spirit of democracy by issuing questionable presidential decrees (In particular, the one that
    proclaims that “no authority can revoke presidential decisions”.) In other words, it is unfair to accuse the
    opposition of being in breach of legality when it is the former President himself that has violated the spirit
    of rule of law to begin with.
  • Obviously, the upheavals in Egypt are the result of an entrenched fight for the civic soul of that country
    after the end of several decades of army dictatorship. In this process, it is quite natural that governments
    would come and go in a phase of relative instability until the key controversies in the pertaining society
    have been put to rest. It is therefore not at all unreasonable to presume that all parties involved in this
    revolution would be quite willing to use the very same  arguments that their opponents currently wage
    against them if it were expedient for them to do so. In that respect, the Muslim Brotherhood’s outrage
    about the supposed illegality of Mr. Mursi’s ousting has little to do with concerns of legality and legitimacy
    as such. Instead it is just a rhetorical twist to camouflage the true power interests that lie behind the
    proffered arguments. After all, it can hardly be denied that the Muslim Brotherhood’s prior defence of
    Western democratic values has been less than enthusiastic.

  • And finally, a classic military coup d’état implies that the military strongmen who initiates the coup then
    seizes power and rules afterwards in an authoritarian manner. This is clearly not the case in Egypt. In
    fact, power has been handed over to a civilian interim president who is now preparing the ground for new
    democratic elections.

Conclusion: In the end, all this coup d’état talk in Egypt does not get to the heart of the problem which that
country is being faced with. After all, it cannot be denied that the current unrest in Egypt is ultimately due to the
unresolved gap that lies between traditional cultural views of Islam and the Western notions of equality and
individual liberty. It is hard to see, however, how this gap can be peacefully closed
if it isn’t being debated in an
open, rational and unprejudiced manner. Unfortunately, political Islam itself doesn’t have a great track record of
discussing itself in a cool,  calm and collected way with those who do not share their core beliefs. It would be
wonderful if that could change.
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appropriate or suitable for him. And to leave no doubt as to what this means we urge our user to also note our extended

coup d'etat in Egypt, legality of Mursi's ousting, popular uprising in Egypt, democracy in Egypt, democracy
and Political Islam,
sustainable democracy in Egypt, Mursi's presidency, outrage over Mursi's
presidency, Mursi's lack of democratic spirit
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