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Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi abruptly dismissed Egypt’s defense minister and other top generals over the weekend in an aggressive effort to remove a major brake on his own power.
Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi was formerly the most powerful official in Egypt and a major pillar of the former Mubarak regime. Morsi has now put himself in position to consolidate the Muslim Brotherhood’s control over Egypt.
In addition to sacking Tantawi, Morsi forced the resignation of the chief of staff of the army as well as the heads of the air force, navy, and air defense forces. This bold move amounts to a counter-coup against the “slow motion coup” that the military staged by stripping Egypt’s new parliament and presidency of most of their power shortly before the June presidential runoff election.
Morsi opportunistically exploited the army’s embarrassment over last week’s terrorist attacks by Islamist militants, which killed 16 Egyptian border guards in the Sinai. The decapitation of the top ranks of the armed forces allows Morsi to place his own candidates in key slots and reduce resistance to the radical political program of Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood.
Morsi’s Islamist-dominated government has also cracked down on Egypt’s media. State prosecutors recently announced that two Egyptian journalists will be put on trial for “insults” to the president.
“The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His messenger and strive to make mischief in the land is only this: that they should be murdered or crucified or their hands and their feet should be cut off…” (Koran 5:33). Making mischief in the land” is precisely what the secular media is being accused of, by constantly exposing the Muslim Brotherhood and prompting the people to protest.
Whether or not crucifixions actually occurred, which still remains unproven, the reality is that there are indeed some clerical voices within the country promoting this level of violence...