Independence Day is a time of celebration in the United States. This day commemorates the original 13 colonies’ independence from Great Britain, all thanks to the adoption of the Declaration of Independence in 1776.
This statement set in motion what would one day become the greatest Federal Republic form of government in history.
It is only fitting, then, that as America celebrated democracy on Independence Day, Egyptian military forces were on the brink of overthrowing the only democratically elected president since the country’s monarchy was toppled 60 years ago.
During the summer, exactly one year after Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood won control over the government via democratic elections, millions of protesters took to the streets of Cairo and other major cities (there are some reports claiming that even the most current election was rigged).
After coming to power during the aftermath of the Egyptian Revolution of 2011, Morsi continually acted in non-democratic ways.
In 2012, he even made a presidential decree in which he temporarily granted himself unlimited powers.
Another major criticism of Morsi during this presidency was his leadership position within the Muslim Brotherhood — a Sunni Islamist political, religious and social movement whose history is scarred with assassination attempts, as well heavy participation in riots that destroyed entire sections of Cairo during the revolution that overthrew the monarchy in 1952.
The organization is so controversial that it has remained illegal for a majority of its existence.
Since the protests began in early July, thousands of Egyptian citizens have been killed, and more than 5,000 have been injured.
Pro-Morsi and Pro-Muslim Brotherhood rallies have spurred along a strong reaction from the Egyptian military.
On Aug. 14, military forces clashed with two large groups of Pro-Morsi supporters.
Muslim Brotherhood leaders claimed military raids on the two sites resulted in about 2,600 deaths.
The Egyptian military, led by General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, has since scaled back its violent philosophy on dealing with such protests.
The international community, for the most part, has largely condemned the deadly violence.
The main point of disparity between nations is whether the withdrawal of Morsi by the Egyptian military is a “coup d’état”, or coup.
The United States, in particular, has remained silent on the matter.
If President Obama were to acknowledge the revolution as a coup, he would be legally forced to cut off the roughly $1.3 billion in aid the United States provides the country, and more specifically, the Egyptian military.
“The law does not require us to make a formal determination … as to whether a coup took place, and it is not in our national interest to make such a determination,” said Jen Psaki, spokesperson for the Department of State.
It is now up to the Egyptian military to move the country forward.
Major hurdles must be overcome, the most obvious of which is the fate of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Several leaders were imprisoned after the ousting of Morsi. It remains unknown whether the group will once again be named illegal.