As millions rally against Morsi, UAE observers say the Muslim Brotherhood had it all coming
The time has come when Egypt's first democratically elected president, Mohammed Morsi, has heard the fateful word "Leave!" shouted by millions of Egyptians in Cairo and beyond, in a daring attempt to force him out of office by the sheer might of numbers.
"This is where the people and the president are now," the Sharjah-based newspaper Al Khaleej said in a front-page editorial yesterday titled A new history for Egypt.
The newspaper was commenting on Sunday's vast protests that had been drummed up for weeks through a peaceful campaign dubbed "Rebel", which reportedly managed to collect more than 15 million signatures from Egyptian citizens wanting to see Mr Morsi out.
"The people have cast their vote of no confidence and withdrawn the mandate they had extended to the president one year ago. He is a president who came to power by coincidence and by mistake," Al Khaleej said.
In recent months, Mr Morsi has been heavily criticised for failing to rise above his affiliation to the Muslim Brotherhood and thus being unable to serve all Egyptians, as a nation's elected leader should. Clashes on Sunday reportedly left at least 16 people dead, and dozens injured.
"Whoever the people bring, the people can take out. This is democracy … When a ruler's validity expires and he loses all claim to power due to an accumulation of failures and mistakes, the people have the right to say 'Enough!'".
For his part, Emirati commentator Salem Humaid said the Muslim Brotherhood, realising the enormity of their mistake when they underestimated the Rebel campaign, must be "hysterical" now.
Writing for the Abu Dhabi-based newspaper Al Ittihad on Sunday, Humaid argued that when the Muslim Brotherhood saw, rather belatedly, the tremendous momentum behind the campaign, they awkwardly started to try to distract public attention.
Fanning a regional debate about Ethiopia's project to build its Grand Renaissance Dam was one of their tricks, the writer said. According to Egypt's rulers, the Ethiopian dam would seriously diminish Egypt's vital share of Nile water. At one point, Mr Morsi had threatened that if Egypt's Nile water is reduced by "one drop", Egyptians will fight for it to the death.
Then Egyptian journalists, intellectuals and individuals supporting the Rebel petition became the targets of scare campaigns, while, more recently, the Brotherhood launched a verbal attack on the UAE, the writer noted.
"But all [their] attempts failed to stop the petition, which carries a simple idea, but one that is poised to trigger the most momentous event in the history of Egypt and the region," he wrote.
"Because if the [Sunday protests] succeed, that will be the end of the Brotherhood as we know it."
Sectarianism turns an artist into a murderer
No Arab could have imagined that Lebanese singer Fadel Shaker would become a murderer, Egyptian movie critic Tarek El Shenawi wrote in the London-based paper Asharq Al Awsat.
Mr Shaker, 44, joined Ahmed Al Assir's ultraconservative group, and now has boasted of killing two Lebanese soldiers during clashes between the army and the group's gunmen.
Mr Shaker, known for his heartwarming songs and as the king of romance, a man whose pictures once embellished newspaper arts pages, has now become political news, wielding a Kalashnikov instead of a microphone, the critic wrote.
This Lebanese artist supported the Syrian revolution from the start; he stood against the tyranny when most Syrian and Lebanese artists elected to sit on the fence in fear of the brutal regime.
Then suddenly, after that brave stance, he ended his singing career, saying it was haram, the writer noted.
In the Jordanian paper Addustour, Omar Kallab wrote the Mr Shaker is a by-product of the sectarian strife engulfing the Arab world. How else can you explain a tender artist who boasts of killing members of a different sect?
If sectarianism can transform a soft-hearted artist into a murderer, then how does it affect people with less sensitivity, and the deviant? The spark of sectarianism penetrating the wall of art should serve as a wake-up call before it is too late.
Brotherhood looks like the Mubarak regime
Regardless of the outcome of the mass protests against the Muslim Brotherhood and President Mohammed Morsi, the message that they must get is they have dramatically waned in popularity, Emad Eddine Hussein wrote in the Cairo-based Al Shorouk.
On Saturday the scene in Tahrir Square was a reminder of the January 25, 2011 revolution, minus the Islamist trend, the writer observed. A placard on the Qasr Al Nil Bridge near the square said: "No entry for the Brotherhood".
"I carefully examined faces and could not find conclusive evidence that the protesters were feloul [old regime holdovers]," the writer said.
The vast majority were ordinary citizens who rose against Hosni Mubarak's decades-long rule, and now are rising against the Brotherhood after only one year.
"I checked hands to find pictures of Hosni Mubarak that protesters have been alleged to carry, but all I could find was a half-face picture of Mubarak - the other half was of Mohammed Morsi," the writer continued.
In all streets, placards said "Leave … No to the Brotherhood". The Brotherhood do not realise that most people now look at them the way they looked at the Mubarak's regime. Judges, the media, intellectuals, the police, the opposition - everyone is unhappy with the Brotherhood.
* Digest compiled by The Translation Desk