Locals share perspective on crisis in Egypt

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Egypt's chief justice Adly Mansour has been sworn in as that nation's interim president after Mohammed Morsi was overthrown by the military.

Morsi is now under house arrest at an undisclosed location.

More than 300 ranking members of the Islamic Brotherhood, including journalists, have also been arrested. The military has shut down broadcast stations and other news outlets with connections to the Brotherhood and Morsi

Mansour will serve as Egypt's interim leader until a new president is elected. A date for that vote has yet to be set.

The arrest of Morsi and members of the Muslim Brotherhood are being closely watched by the world community. FOX19's Gordon Graham spoke with a University of Cincinnati history professor and an area physician who used to call Egypt home to get their perspective.

Egyptians around the world are taking a keen interest in the events going on in Cairo. Among those observers is Dr. Baher Foad, a Cincinnati area physician who was born and raised in Egypt.

Dr. Foad says he's been watching the events unfold with a mixture of relief and concern.

"The relief because democracy is finally taking hold and running its course," he explained. "...Hopefully the army will not rule. The army will just hold the reins until a new democratic government is established.

Democracy, Foad says, won't come overnight.

"For democracy to develop it needs institutions. It needs time. People make mistakes. They have to learn. They have to correct the mistakes."

As Egypt takes that road to democracy, UC history professor Robert Haug hopes the army doesn't shut the Muslim Brotherhood out of the process.

"Bringing the brotherhood into a pluralistic political process will help temper them, will help make them feel like they have a voice, and they have a stake in the future of Egypt," said Haug. "Pushing them out, treating them the way Mubarak or Sadat or Nasser before that did, arresting them, torturing them, these types of things will only radicalize them."

It's hoped that the election of Morsi in 2012 will be treated as a trial run with more political groups learning how to become better organized. Perhaps creating coalition parties that could provide a more representative voice for the Egyptian people.

The Egyptian military is promising democratic elections.

It's not clear when that will happen, but most observers say the path to democracy is not going to be quick nor will it be easy.

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