Protests Engulf Egypt After Presidential Decree

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Nov. 23 2012 1:34 PM

Clashes Erupt in Egypt Amid Protests Against Presidential Decree

Protesters demonstrating against Egypt's President Mohamed Morsi run from tear gas fired by Egyptian riot police during clashes in Cairo's Tahrir Square

Photo by AHMED MAHMOUD/AFP/Getty Images

The sharp divisions in Egyptian society became starkly evident Friday, when clashes broke out in Cairo and several cities across the country after President Mohamed Morsi took on sweeping new powers that essentially put him above the law. Opponents reportedly set fire to several Muslim Brotherhood offices and opponents and supporters attacked each other with stones, injuring at least 15 people, according to the Associated Press. Meanwhile, police fired tear gas at protesters who had gathered in Tahrir Square, the symbol of the 2011 uprising against Hosni Mubarak.

The protesters depicted Morsi as the new Mubarak, saying he had launched a “constitutional coup” and given himself dictatorial powers. Morsi defended his new powers, saying that they were necessary to protect the transition to democracy and overcome a stalemate. “But the unexpected breadth of the powers he seized raised immediate fears that he might become a new strongman,” details the New York Times. Morsi’s power-grab comes as the Egyptian president is receiving praise from different corners of the world for playing a key role in mediating the cease-fire between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. But this new development is bound to worry key allies, including the United States and the European Union, notes Reuters.


Among other thngs, Morsi’s decree ordes a retrial of Mubarak and security officials accused of killing demonstrators during the 2011 revolution, reports the Guardian. It also declares that all of Morsi’s decisions are immune from legal challenges until a new parliament is elected. The AP takes a detailed look at the decree here.

Thousands of Morsi supporters gathered outside the presidential palace in Cairo Friday to express support for the president and to hear him defend the decree, reports Al Jazeera. “I will never be against any Egyptians because we are all together and we need to give momentum to freedom and democracy and the transfer,” Morsi said. "I don't want to have all the powers...but if I see my nation in danger, I will do and I will act. I must."

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.



Talking White

Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth.

Hong Kong’s Protesters Are Ridiculously Polite. That’s What Scares Beijing So Much.

The One Fact About Ebola That Should Calm You: It Spreads Slowly

Natasha Lyonne Is Coming to the Live Culture Gabfest. Are You?

A Jaw-Dropping Political Ad Aimed at Young Women, Apparently

The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 4:05 PM Today in GOP Outreach to Women: You Broads Like Wedding Dresses, Right?

Operation Backbone

How White Boy Rick, a legendary Detroit cocaine dealer, helped the FBI uncover brazen police corruption.


How Even an Old Hipster Can Age Gracefully

On their new albums, Leonard Cohen, Robert Plant, and Loudon Wainwright III show three ways.

Tattoo Parlors Have Become a Great Investment

This Gargantuan Wind Farm in Wyoming Would Be the Hoover Dam of the 21st Century

Oct. 1 2014 8:34 AM This Gargantuan Wind Farm in Wyoming Would Be the Hoover Dam of the 21st Century To undertake a massively ambitious energy project, you don’t need the government anymore.
  News & Politics
Oct. 2 2014 11:01 AM It Wasn’t a Secret A 2013 inspector general report detailed all of the Secret Service’s problems. Nobody cared.
Business Insider
Oct. 2 2014 11:16 AM Some McDonald's Monopoly Properties Matter More
The Vault
Oct. 2 2014 11:07 AM Mapping 1890 Manhattan's Crazy-Quilt of Immigrant Neighborhoods
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 5:11 PM Celebrity Feminist Identification Has Reached Peak Meaninglessness
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 1 2014 3:24 PM Revelry (and Business) at Mohonk Photos and highlights from Slate’s annual retreat.
Brow Beat
Oct. 2 2014 10:36 AM How Bad Will Adam Sandler’s Netflix Movies Be?
Future Tense
Oct. 2 2014 11:01 AM Surge Pricing Is Not Price Gouging
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Oct. 2 2014 9:49 AM In Medicine We Trust Should we worry that so many of the doctors treating Ebola in Africa are missionaries?
Sports Nut
Oct. 1 2014 5:19 PM Bunt-a-Palooza! How bad was the Kansas City Royals’ bunt-all-the-time strategy in the American League wild-card game?