Monday, June 25, 2012

Security Forces Brace for Violence After Muslim Brotherhood Wins Egypt's Presidency

At the Los Angeles Times, "Muslim Brotherhood candidate wins Egyptian presidential vote." And here's the key section on the threat of violence:

The California-educated conservative Islamist will, at least in the short term, seek to calm critics in the U.S., Europe and Arab states in the Persian Gulf. Morsi has called Israelis "vampires" but has pledged that the Brotherhood is committed to Egypt's 1979 peace treaty with Israel that has become a cornerstone of efforts to ease tensions in the Middle East. What is uncertain is whether he is inclined to emulate the progressive, entrepreneurial Islam of Turkey or tilt toward a less Western leaning theocracy-based government.

Egyptian security forces braced for possible violence after Morsi, a political prisoner under Mubarak, was declared the winner. Fears arose that Shafik loyalists, including those with links to internal intelligence services, would attack Brotherhood members celebrating across the country.

Shouts of "Morsi! Morsi!" echoed out of the square and along the Nile where Egyptian flags flew from car windows and men wept in joy and disbelief.

"Defeating Ahmed Shafik is a defeat of Mubarak's regime," tweeted Khaled Ali, a labor lawyer and former presidential candidate. "The revolution continues."

Shafik's announced 48.3% of the vote, however, showed that voters remained as divided as the two candidates. Coptic Christians and others worry that the Brotherhood and the ultraconservative Salafis want to gradually impose a strict interpretation of sharia, or Islamic law, on the nation. Thousands of Copts left Egypt after the parliamentary elections, and those remaining, who make up about 10% of the population, stand behind the army.
More at the link.

And don't miss Barry Rubin's analysis, "Egypt: A Muslim Brotherhood President Does Not Prove That We Are All ‘Chimps’.