Thursday, June 28, 2012

Is Egypt's New President the Real Deal?

Egypt's new president to pick woman, Christian VPs
Cairo (CNN) -- Egypt's first ever democratically elected president, Mohamed Morsi, will make history in another way: by appointing a woman as vice president, his policy adviser told CNN.

He will also choose another vice president who is Christian, Ahmed Deif said.

The news came as the man Morsi beat for the presidency, Ahmed Shafik, left Egypt on a trip to Abu Dhabi, and as Cairo's administrative court overturned a rule that allowed the military to arrest people without a warrant.

"For the first time in Egyptian history -- not just modern but in all Egyptian history -- a woman will take that position," Deif told CNN's Christiane Amanpour on Monday, referring to one of the vice presidency slots. "And it's not just a vice president who will represent a certain agenda and sect, but a vice president who is powerful and empowered, and will be taking care of critical advising within the presidential Cabinet."

Although Morsi has previously argued for banning women from the presidency, he said before the election that as president he would stand for women's rights.

"The role of women in Egyptian society is clear," Morsi told Amanpour through a translator weeks before the runoff election. "Women's rights are equal to men. Women have complete rights, just like men. There shouldn't be any kind of distinction between Egyptians except that is based on the constitution and the law."

The Islamist figure, a Muslim Brotherhood leader, also promised to ensure rights of minorities.

Egypt "definitely" will not be an "Islamic Republic," Deif said Monday. [...]

Is it just window dressing, or will it be substantial? Only time will tell.

I don't expect miracles, and all politics has a certain amount of posturing. But I would really like to believe that it's true, for real, and that Egypt can solve it's difficulties. I've posted in the past about the Muslim Brotherhood's history, and it wasn't nice. Yet I've been told, and have read, that the modern Muslim Brotherhood is different; that they have evolved into something better.

I really hope that's true. We shall see. Actions speak louder than words.

Also see:

Omar Sharif and other Arabs in a changing world

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