CAIRO – Egypt's stock index fell by nearly 10 percent Sunday in the first trading since President Mohammed Morsi issued decrees to assume sweeping new powers, while a 15-year-old boy was killed in an attack on the Muslim Brotherhood's headquarters and police in central Cairo fired tear gas at protesters.
"Sweeping new powers"?
He effectively declared himself Pharaoh, which is of course what dictators do. Just like Mubarak did, if you remember.
The judiciary is understandably unimpressed with this move, and so is the Egyptian stock market, which immediately dropped 10%.
Of course this begs the question of what an asset is worth when the King can steal it?
The obvious answer, of course, is zero.
The concept of a secular government seems to elude all of the nations in that part of the world. Even Israel calls itself The Jewish State, which of course is utterly inconsistent with a secular, religion-blind government that respects all religious paths as a matter of conscience but gives neither fear or favor to any of them.
We don't do such a great job here in this country either, despite the formal statement in our Bill of Rights that such adherence is verboten. It's still common to hear politicians appeal to a Christian God; while many of us (your author included) do believe in same, that's not the point -- the point is that I can't know if I'm right and neither can anyone else (that's why it's called "faith" folks!) and none of us will until we're dead, at which point it's a bit late to change your mind.
The problem with using faith as justification for a government's decisions is that it places review of those decisions beyond the boundaries of the people making them. That's always bad, as review and debate are an inherent part of good government.
It would be nice to believe that the governments of the Middle East could figure this out on their own, but sadly history since WWII (and well before that) demonstrates that we're simply ignorant -- or worse -- if we believe that helping one group to depose another will lead to that laudable outcome.
Indeed, history shows that the vast majority of the time when you have an uprising, whether it be formally called a "Revolution" or otherwise, you get a result that looks much more like Hitler or Pol Pot than you do George Washington.
For those who pine for such a thing, whether it be there or here, this is the latest object lesson in what usually comes about when that path is chosen.
Where We Are, Where We're Heading (2013) - The annual 2013 Ticker
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