Shalom Cohen, who served as ambassador from 2005-2010, highlights Egypt's continuing turmoil nearly two years after long-time leader Hosni Mubarak was ousted from power.
He is joined by Steven Cook, the Hasib J. Sabbagh senior fellow for Middle Eastern studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, and Eric Trager, a doctoral candidate at the University of Pennsylvania, where he is completing his dissertation on Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, for this panel discussion, hosted by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
Two years after the ouster of Mubarak, Egyptians elected a new President through a democratic process. Mohammad Morsi, formerly a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, recently issued a decree that essentially placed himself and the legislature above judicial review until a new constitution could be approved.
Supporters of Morsi claim that the move was to insulate the fledgling democracy from the actions of anti-revolutionary judges, many of whom remain in place from before the revolution. A new wave of protesters claim that Morsi is trying to solidify his power in an undemocratic fashion, and also is hoping to press through a constitution that relies heavily on Islamic doctrine and does not go far enough to codify rights for women and minorities.