Questions for the Muslim Brotherhood

As I read Muslim Brothers defend their current actions as the only way to safeguard Egyptian democracy and paint all their opponents as destructive filool, there are a whole bunch of questions I wish they would answer: 
  • Morsi gave the CA a 2-month extension to work on the constitution in his November 22 decree. Why did the assembly rush to finalize their draft on November 29? Why did they need two extra months to get the job done right, and one week later suddenly they didn't? 
  • The MB keeps saying that the courts were going to dissolve the CA, the Shura council and even countermand Morsi's August 12 decree and bring back SCAF.  What proof do they have for these claims? Is there even a case before the courts regarding the August 12 decree? (There isn't that I know of). 
  • If such a verdict had been handed down, the same constituency that elected Morsi to end military rule would have taken to the streets. Why not bet on his electoral legitimacy -- on democracy -- rather than opting for extraordinary extra-legal measures? 
  • Even if a court had dissolved the constituent assembly, Morsi had the right to form a new one immediately. Presumably, he had given himself that right (in his August 12 decree) precisely in case of deadlock or judicial interference. Why not exercise it? 
  • The MB has championed judicial supervision of elections for years, as the only guarantee of free elections. Will there be judicial supervision of the referendum and of future elections? 
  • A year ago, the MB indignantly protested against the Silmi document and the privileges and protections it gave the army. Why did it finally give the army most of those same prerogatives in the new constitution?
  • Most importantly: What happens if Egyptians vote down the constitution? Is there even a plan? (and if there isn't, what kind of a "choice" is this?) 

Ursula Lindsey

Ursula Lindsey is the managing editor of the Arabist blog. She writes about culture, education and politics in the Arab world. She lived in Cairo from 2002 to 2013 and got her start at the ground-breaking independent magazine Cairo Times. She was the culture editor of Cairo magazine in 2005-2006 and served as special projects editor at the independent news site Mada Masr in 2013-2014. She is the Chronicle of Higher Education's Middle East correspondent. She contributes to the BBC-PRI radio program The World, and has written for Newsweek, The New York Times, The New Yorker online, Bookforum and the blog of the London Review of Books.