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Is Egypt teetering towards civil war?

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
December 5th, 2012
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Protests in Egypt continue to rage as crowds march on the presidential palace. Supporters of President Morsi clashed with adversaries, throwing rocks and hitting one another with sticks in the melee. On Tuesday night, a mob of some 100,000 people forced the president to flee the palace.

CAIRO, EGYPT (Catholic Online) - Egypt appears poised to slip into a state of civil unrest if the current crisis cannot be averted. Morsi stirred controversy last week by granting himself executive powers that effectively give him dictatorial power. Morsi promises that the powers are temporary. Those powers place his orders above judicial review, allowing him to do essentially as he pleases.

So far, there is no evidence he has abused those powers, yet.

However, a draft constitution, which will be placed for referendum on Dec. 15, was drafted by hard-line conservative Muslims who systematically ignored, then cut Christians, and liberals out of the drafting process. It is these two groups that are forming the backbone of the opposition to President Mohammed Morsi.

Mosri is supported by the dominant, semi-conservative Muslim Brotherhood.

Amid the clashes leaders on both sides and around the globe have appealed for calm.

Those appeals have not been heard. Echoing chants and protests that toppled Hosni Mubarak in 2011, protesters have stormed police barricades, and threatened to overrun the presidential palace.

In other cities, such as Alexandria, protesters gathered in smaller numbers, but were still able to make their presence felt. About 10,000 protestors managed to crowd Alexandria's central square and shout warnings to Morsi.

With the population splitting rather sharply on these issues, it is difficult to foresee a pacific outcome to the current crisis. Neither the Muslim brotherhood and its hard-line Islamic allies appear ready to budge, nor do the minorities and liberals in the country appear willing to accept their rule. If this remains the case, a second civil war could soon erupt, embroiling Egypt in a new wave of violence that threatens to be bloodier than the first.

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