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25 September 2012

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pmr9

This Egyptian liberal wants the US to interfere in Egypt's internal affairs to prevent an Islamic state, even if most Egyptians vote for it.

"Morsi might be successful in achieving his goal in the absence of a strong domestic opposition and real pressure from regional and international actors, especially the US."

For the US to exert "real pressure" on Egypt over its form of government would be counterproductive. Appeals for foreign "pressure" would undermine the legitimacy of the secular opposition.

Theocracies aren't necessarily bad for religious minorities, mainly because once the religious establishment has real power it's usually more interested in controlling its own followers than in bothering minorities. 1950s Ireland was a pretty good place to be a Protestant, and Christians, Zoroastrians and Jews are generally not bothered in modern iran

Fred

To quote the second article:

"...President Mohamed Morsi himself demanded the US put in place "legal measures."..."

The fact that the United States Government did not fund, sponsor, distribute or in any way have involvement with this film is not acceptable to the Government of Egypt. To further quote the article:

"...Egypt's prosecutor-general on Wednesday announced it had issued arrest warrants for seven US-based Copts and an American pastor over the inflammatory film "Innocence of Muslims." The eight, ... face charges which could see them get the death penalty."

The God given rights of the American people are not acceptable to Mr. Morsi's government? Now he demands Egyptian law apply for the actions of a private citizen occurring in the United States? When the mob in Cairo was shouting "Death to America" where was Morsi? Why are we giving these people a damned dime? Let Morsi tax his own rich to care for his own poor. See how long that lasts.

Obama is right, Egypt is not an ally, they aren't an enemy either - yet.

confusedponderer

By itself it is absolutely not problematic, or unusual for that matter, that Egypt issues arrest warrants form US citizens, if they have committed an act that was criminal under Egyptian law. The crimes are reported to be "harming national unity, insulting and publicly attacking Islam and spreading false information". The phrase 'open to interpretation' comes to mind.

Whatever to make of that, the IMO only legally interesting aspect is that the crime didn't occur under Egyptian jurisdiction per se, but on an entity that transcends borders, the internet.

Now, courts all over the world have claimed jurisdiction in such cases, with US courts being at the vanguard of that trend. Whether that is a good thing I'm still pondering.

The pity is that these considerations very probably didn't play a role in Egypt.

On the other hand, harassment lawsuits (lawfare?) by US activists in US courts against, for instance, Iranian officials and functionaries probably serve the very same purpose as the charges that Egypt made against those American miscreants.

Tongue in cheek, one could phrase it as: 'Where Egyptian courts are being frivolous, US courts are being promiscuous.'

Fred

Very good points, but we don't have mobs in the streets shouting 'death to Iran' or attacking thier diplomatic residences. Egypt can always filter the internet, China does the same (with the assistance of Google and others). But to return to your point - it would probably be a good thing to put an end to harassment lawsuits and settle real issues diplomatically.

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