As concern grows within Egypt and abroad that the Muslim Brotherhood (emblem in illustration) is seeking for itself the same concentration of power which it once denounced when it was wielded by former President Hosni Mubarak, the handful of dissident voices within the new constitutional committee are resigning in protest.
The Islamist Muslim Brotherhood has been steadily gaining political might in Egypt ever since last year’s “Arab Spring” swept aside the old regime. Mubarak’s government had ruled Egypt for nearly 30 years, and thus the speed with which Islamists are consolidating their power has surprised some observers. Among those who are the least surprised are members of Egypt’s long-suffering Coptic Christian minority. The Copts have endured savage persecution at the hands of Egypt’s Muslim majority for generations; what has changed in the past year is that their plight often receives even less international attention than previously, perhaps because it does not conform to the prevailing presumption of the beneficent intentions of the Islamist architects of the revolution in Egypt.
With parliament firmly in the hands of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party and the even more extremist Salafist Al-Nour Party, the steps that Islamists have taken to solidify their role in shaping the "new Egypt" are hardly surprising. Recently, an Islamist was placed in charge of the commission that has been tasked with writing a new constitution for Egypt, and even before the commission’s work can begin, the Freedom and Justice Party has broken its promise regarding the selection of a new Egyptian President.
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