In the year(s) since two very different “popular” uprisings in Egypt, one that put a strict Muslim regime in power and then the one that subsequently removed it, a debate sprung up among the people of that country themselves over whether or not either revolution was legitimate. Â It seems that the internal squabble has gotten nasty and the people currently in power want to put some sort of stop to it in order to maintain stability.
Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi has said his office is drafting a law to criminalize insulting the uprisings that toppled President Hosni Mubarak in 2011 and his Islamist successor Mohammed Morsi last year.
The move intends to ease concerns on both sides of a widening rift over whether the two popular movements expressed the genuine will of Egyptians….
Just what would constitute an insult however was unclear, as was the timeframe for the legislation’s implementation. Such a law, however, would infringe on the freedom of expression guaranteed by the nation’s new constitution. It follows an intense, yearlong media campaign to denigrate the 2011 uprising and paint those behind it as foreign agents.
Many of those who participated in the 2011 uprising also supported massive street demonstrations in June 2013 accusing Morsi of monopolizing power and demanding his resignation, but were later targeted by a crackdown that saw many of their leaders jailed.
The foreign agent angle is rather interesting. Â However, it is very unclear how a government can effectively outlaw criticism and dissent in the age of social media. Â Rest assured some people at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue will be watching developments closely.