Though I was expecting Morsi to try to consolidate more power, I was surprised that he had the gall to grab so much of it all at once. Reading the decree, it struck me that Mursi now has more power than our former dictator Hosni Mubarak. By decreeing that his decrees are the final word, he in effect has control over the judiciary branch of our government. He can now make decisions and implement them, and no one can challenge him on them.
And then, there’s the constitution. His decree has in effect blocked a court case that was in progress as to the legitimacy of the committee drafting the constitution, which is mostly made up of Islamists. Many Egyptians, including myself, were waiting for the verdict with baited breath. Since the committee is now untouchable, it’s clear that our constitution is going to be written by Islamists, and that future laws written in accordance with this constitution could lead to rigid religious rule.
I don’t know what Morsi and the people who back him were thinking when they decided to do this. This decree opens up the way for more protests. Today [Friday], many of my friends that had never protested before, not even during the revolution, went out on the streets for the first time. It’s not that they want Morsi to go – it’s too early for him too leave; our country can’t deal with another shake-up right now. But he needs to negotiate with the opposition and take input from others. We’ve had enough of dictators. The revolution’s goals were to achieve freedom of speech and freedom of religion, but at this point it looks like neither is in the cards.