Egyptian President Morsi's Power Grab Sparks Riots

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JERUSALEM, Israel -- Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi met Monday with judges who are upset over his unprecedented decree to usurp all governmental authority.

Morsi's power grab left Egypt deeply divided, with violent protests rocking the country.

For days, anti-Morsi protestors have battled against police. They want Morsi either to step down or rescind his decrees.

"The position is obvious, there is no negotiation," one protester said. "And the political powers will not meet with President Mohammed Morsi until he has cancelled the constitutional declaration."

Morsi's decrees stated that no one can reverse or change any of his decisions. This effectively puts him in control of all branches of Egypt's government: executive, legislative, and judicial.

Egypt's new president claims his pronouncements are only temporary, but many political leaders, like Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mohammed ElBaradei, disagree.

"We have a new pharaoh in town," ElBaradei said. "After we thought we had moved from the pharaoh's type to the 21st century, we are back to having a new pharaoh. The country, in short, is falling apart."

Egypt's stock market lost 10 percent of its value over the political instability, while many pro-Morsi demonstrations defended his actions.

Also last week, Christian leaders withdrew from the assembly drafting a new constitution. They objected to the majority Islamists who are redefining what Sharia law means.

In Jerusalem, some are concerned about what Morsi's actions mean for long-term relations between Israel and Egypt and the rest of the Middle East.

While Morsi's international prestige rose when he helped broker a cease-fire between Hamas and Israel, one former ambassador told CBN News Morsi's latest actions look like he's trying to establish an Iranian-style religious state.

Original broadcast Nov. 25, 2012.

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