Egyptian Courts Ban Muslim Brotherhood Activities

According to experts, banning the activities of the Egyptian political party the Muslim Brotherhood will only increase the tensions between pro and anti Mohammed Morsi supporters. Egyptian courts have banned all the activities of the political group, which might threaten the presence of Islamists in the Egyptian political system.

Experts said that this was a crucial blow to the Muslim Brotherhood and both supporters and opposition to the group might view the move with conflicting interpretations. To supporters and the political group itself, experts said that they might see it as the return of their condition during the dictatorship of Hosni Mubarak, who banned all the activities of the Muslim Brotherhood.

However, analysts also said that the Brotherhood also brought itself to its demise because it could have persuaded Mohammed Morsi to step down from office voluntarily, thus avoiding the great civil unrest in the country. Their hesitation to accept other social and political forces, namely in writing the Egyptian constitution that began the entire situation, had brought them to this state.

The military and state government also played a great negative role in the crisis. Ousting the president and declaring co-political party members as terrorists who threaten national security urges the people to view the Egyptian military as having their own agenda.

Egypt Military Assault Kills Several Sinai Militants

A coordinated advance by the Egyptian military had left several Sinai militants killed in the northern Sinai Peninsula. At least nine militants were killed. The Egyptian military lost two soldiers during the skirmish.

The assault is part of a military operation that would hunt down Sinai militants responsible for the attacks in the region since former Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak’s deposition in 2011. According to military officials, some of the Sinai militants belong from an al-Qaeda group that intends to establish an Islamic region in Northern Sinai.

Increased activities from these militant groups continue as the Egyptian military deposed President Mohammed Morsi from office. Many Sinai locals said that armored trucks and vehicles with militant men have moved around the villages.

Military officials said that they aim to clear the region of militants. Army spokesman Col. Ahmed Mohammed Ali confirmed the kill of nine militants. A great number of suspected militants were caught. Those who escaped fled into the mountainous areas in central Sinai.

In the last two months, the Egyptian military had destroyed many underground tunnels that served as the passageway of the militants, which they use as a smuggling network for resources, weapons and people.

However, many people said that the Egyptian military might also have a hidden agenda. Many anonymous residents admitted to local reporters that the military also attacked some civilians and pro-government locals.

Adly Mansour Delivers His First Public Speech

Egyptian Interim President Adly Mansour first addressed the public with his speech Thursday saying that he intends to protect Egypt from unnamed groups who aim to cause chaos in the country. He said that justice will be done for Egypt, including those who intend to cause unnecessary violence.

President Mansour gave his address to Egypt before the Muslim Brotherhood’s promise of protests on Friday could come to pass. Egypt’s military, who overtook Egyptian President Mohammed Morsy for failing to provide fairly for the Egyptians, was deeply concerned with post-coup violence in the country. They have issued a warning for groups that intend to cause unrest during the Muslim Brotherhood’s protests.

Mansour said in his speech that Egypt was going through a “transformative phase” where its political decisions will swerve it towards success or the failure intended by radical groups as they continue their violent activities in the country.

The Interim President reassured the country that he and the government were committed to ensuring security all over the country and that they will not be “shaken” by political and terrorist factions to “preserve the revolution”.

However, the Muslim Brotherhood and other pro-Morsi parties do not recognize Adly Mansour as the Interim President. Many continue to believe that the military intends to retake the government using Mansour as the representative of Egyptian Military Chief Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi.

Muslim Brotherhood and Other Rival Groups Reject Timetable

Interim President Adly Mansour’s proposed timetable was vehemently rejected by the Muslim Brotherhood and the NSF or National Salvation Front because would set Egypt back to where it started years ago.

On Tuesday, the transitional administration placed Hazem el-Beblawi as its Prime Minister and appointed liberal opposition chief and Nobel Peace laureate Mohammed el-Baradei as vice president for foreign relations.

The Brotherhood dismissed the transition timetable because it would take Egypt back to zero; the country’s state after Hosni Mubarak stepped down.

The timetable was published after the army opened fire on people outside the elite Republican Guard’s headquarters in Cairo on Monday.

The timetable indicated holding parliamentary elections by 2014, five months to amend the current draft constitution on hold because of Egyptian President Morsy’s arrest, its ratification and then parliamentary elections. The process indicates that it would need 210 days to put up constitution and government.

The NSF complained that it was not consulted when the charter was made and in a statement, said that it also rejected the constitutional decree.

Egypt’s military also issued a warning that the interim government is the legitimate government and anybody who would “endanger the people of the country” and who disrupts the transition process would face great consequences

Egypt’ Tourism Minister Resigns upon Adel Khayat’s Governor Appointment

Egypt’s tourism minister announced his wish to resign from his position following the appointment of a former ex-militant as the governor of Luxor. Adel Khayat’s appointment as governor roused protests from Luxor citizens. He was a member of the political wing Gamaa Islamiya, who claimed responsibility for killing 58 tourists in a 1997 attack.

However, Luxor Governor Khayat denied any role in the said attack. He promised to protect Egypt’s tourists in Luxor. The city was a usual spot for tourists, but because of the political instability in the country since 2011, Egypt’s tourist numbers have dropped greatly.

Dr. Hisham Zazou appointment of Khayat, said that his nomination will have great consequences on Egypt’s tourism. Prime Minister Hisham Qandil rejected Zazou’s resignation and said that the government will continue to review the details about Khayat and Zazou is to remain as tourism minister until then.

The president’s appointment of governors all over Egypt generally enraged the public as majority of these governors were from the Muslim Brotherhood where President Mohamed Morsi also belonged. The Muslim Brotherhood now control 13 of Egypt’s 27 governorships.

Protests continue against the governors, who found it difficult to enter their offices as protesters locked the gates and attacked escorts.

Reinstatement of Egypt’s top Prosecutor

A judicial battle was made known in Egypt due to the removal of a prosecutor which angered the judges in the court. The decision of President Morsi was described to be an attack of authority. The President was accused of getting power. A decree was made to grant him new powers. This decree had taken away the judicial powers. A lot of people in Egypt was angered and made a protest regarding the decree and the President’s hunger for power.

President Morci already had a series of problems when he started last 2012 after the incident that occurred in Egypt that ousted former Egyptian President Mubarak. Problems like the protests on pro-reforms and the issue regarding the judiciary. In addition, there were violence in the early days in January of this year after death sentence was imposed in Egypt. It was reported that the political growth has been so slow in Egypt. A report that was released by the news Agency in Egypt says that the President is now in Qatar to join the Arab League.

An Egyptian court has already cancelled the decision of the President to have a new Prosecutor General in the name of Talat Ibahim. When President Morsi removed Mr. Mahmoud, the judges were angered and they have ordered the reinstatement of the top prosecutor in Egypt. The incident in the judiciary has been going on for quite sometime. It was also reported that when the verdict of the appeal court is overturned, Mr. Ibrahim will be asked to resign and Mr. Mahmoud will go back to work.

19 Die as Hot Air Balloon Crashes in Egypt

A lot of tourists often visit Egypt for it can offer a lot of beautiful sites including the Pyramids and the old structure of Egyptian tombs. Many of the people travel to Egypt to study its artifacts and culture. There are so many places to visit in Egypt including the city of Luxor where we can see different temples of a Pharaoh or known as the Egyptian King. One of the famous tourist attractions in the city is the hot air balloon flights. The tourist gets to ride the hot air balloon and oversee the temples of Egypt.

There was an incident that occurred last Tuesday that involves tourists from Hong Kong, Hungary, Japan, France, and Britain. The said tourists were on board the hot air balloon for a trip to Egypt’s ancient city. Unfortunately, the hot air balloon caught fire before it could land. Some of the tourist passengers leaped and escape the flames but most of them did not make it. There were 20 people on the hot air balloon and 19 of them died after the hot air balloon crashed in a sugar cane field.

An ongoing investigation as to what caused the fire continued. Some of the farmer who witnessed the incident says that the passengers were on fire even if they tried to escape. The fire was all over their bodies. One victim was said to be pregnant. The bodies of the tourists were scattered in the field along with the remnants of the hot air balloon. The authorities who were there to rescue placed the remains of the victims in a bag. Some of the authorities say that it may be caused by the poor safety standard that was triggered by the unstable political system in the country.

Egypt’s Pope Tawadros II Criticism on Islamists

There has always been a conflict when it comes to talks about religion. It is somehow a common topic in the world. Everyone is entitled to choose their religion but there is always that tendency where a certain religion would be criticized. Religion has been a very sensitive topic especially for the people in the Middle East. Most of the misunderstandings that happen in different cities could somehow boil down to the clashing of different beliefs and religions. There is reason why dialogues are held to somehow talk about the religious differences.

In Egypt, there has been an ongoing tension on security because of the country’s leadership that has been tied to Islam. Not all of the residents in the country have Islam as their religion but most of the population is under an Islamist type of leadership. There are also a group of Christians in some of the communities in Egypt. Since Egypt is ruled by President Mohammed Morsi, who comes from an Islamic community, it is being feared the Islamist in the country would gain more power over everything in Egypt.

An interview to Pope Tawadros II from the Associated Press last Tuesday detailed how the Pope described the leadership of the country’s top leader and a criticism that was divulge during the interview. The Pope has addressed how a lot of the Christians fear the predicted rise of power and including how their complaints are not easily addressed. He also did not believe that dialogues between the Egyptian Christian and Muslim leaders would do any good.