Beard Phobia

After the fall of President Morsi, bearded men in Egypt found themselves singled out for attack, as it was assumed they were Islamists. Many Egyptian men are now shaving off their beards.

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Beard Phobia

On 11 February 2011, following nationwide demonstrations against his rule, President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt stepped down, and turned power over to the military, who dissolved parliament and suspended the constitution. After a March public ballot approving a new constitution, Egypt embarked on an extended election process, from November 2011 to February 2012. In the lower house, the Muslim Brotherhood won nearly half the seats, with ultraconservative Salafis taking another quarter, and the remainder going to liberal, independent and secular politicians. Mohamed Morsi, head of the Freedom and Justice Party, the Muslim Brotherhood’s political wing, won the subsequent presidential elections with 51.7% of the vote, and was sworn in on 30 June.

In November 2012, liberal members withdrew from the assembly that was tasked with drawing up a new constitution, saying that the Islamists were trying to impose their will. President Morsi unilaterally decreed greater powers for himself, and Islamists pushed a new constitution through the assembly, in time for a referendum on 15 December. These moves sparked massive public protests and street battles, as liberals and Islamists clashed. Protests and violence escalated through 2013, with millions demonstrating countrywide and calling for Morsi to step down. On 1 July, the military gave the sides 48 hours to resolve disputes. Days later, the military ousted Morsi, suspended the constitution, and imposed an interim government under Adly Mansour, who immediately dissolved the Islamist-led legislative assembly. The Muslim Brotherhood movement was outlawed. Protest continued as critics accused the military of trying wrest power permanently.

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