Saturday, May 20, 2006

Egypt's stalwart judges and their historical role

Al-Ahram Weekly | Opinion | Legal precedents: "Is it going too far to suggest that the role the Judges Club is playing today has much in common with that played by the Officers' Club on the eve of the 1952 Revolution? I don't think so. The similarities are too obvious to miss. In both cases neither organisation had planned, or even desired, to engage directly in politics. Two different sets of circumstances combined at two completely different junctures in Egyptian history to transform each of these associations into rallying points for a national rebellion against a system of government that had grown flaccid and out of date, turning them into reliable mouthpieces of the people's aspirations. Just as the army, especially after the Cairo fire of 1952, became the fulcrum of the forces seeking to change the pre- revolutionary regime, so has civil society, especially after the hereditary succession scenario was exposed and the Kifaya movement took off, become the fulcrum for forces seeking to change the conditions in the country today and the regime that embodies them. And just as the Officers' Club was elevated to the focal point of the struggle between forces pressing for change and those determined to preserve the status quo at a time when the military seemed to be the only available instrument for overturning the ancien regime, so the Judges' Club has become the focal point of the struggle between the sa"

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