WASHINGTON — With the military-backed interim government in control of Egypt, the attention has now turned to Muslim Brotherhood officials and activists that instigated the post-coup (or post-revolution) violence, protests and demonstrations.
Reuters reports that Egypt’s public prosecutor ordered the arrest of 7 senior Islamist and Muslim Brotherhood figures this week. They have been charged with inciting violence, “funding violent acts, and thuggery” by the Egyptian government.
Mohammed Morsi, who was Egypt’s democratically-elected president, had become increasingly unpopular as Egypt’s economic woes led to widespread dissent and protests. After trying to grab more power through unilateral edicts that circumvented the Egyptian judiciary and other inflammatory political moves, Morsi’s popularity had run its course and led to widespread protests across the country.
The Egyptian military, usually a caretaker of peace for the country, issued a 48-hour ultimatum for Morsi and his Islamist Muslim Brotherhood government to reach an agreement with the secular democratic protesters. Morsi refused and was deposed in a military-led coup.
Now the military has said that the newest elections to select the next president will happen within six months and they say it will help stabilize the country.
Counter-protests and violence ensued as the Muslim Brotherhood was enraged by the coup, and meanwhile the American government under President Barack Obama struggled to define the act as a coup or a revolution for some time. Obama and his administration threatened to withhold financial aid to the Egyptian military, but then backed down. Instead, they are sending at least four new F-16 fighter jets to Egypt.