Wednesday’s papers: Anti-Muslim film stirs anger, Shafiq is ‘wanted’

News of the US Embassy protests against a film about Prophet Mohamed as well as former presidential candidate Ahmed Shafiq being referred to court make headlines in most local papers Wednesday.

"Nationwide anger after blasphemy against the Prophet" reads state-run Al-Ahram's headline. The newspaper says thousands of protesters in front of the embassy demanded the American ambassador’s expulsion after alleging that a group of Egyptian Copts living in the US produced a blasphemous movie against Prophet Mohamed and his companions. According to major international news organizations, the producer is actually an Israeli living in the US. Al-Ahram added that the protesters declared an open strike, but did not display any intention of storming the embassy.

The privately owned Al-Watan also named Tuesday the day of "nationwide anger" against the movie, predicting a strong return to the "weapon of boycotting," referring to calls for a boycott of American goods. The newspaper referred to attempts by the Salafi Nour Party to push a constitutional article prohibiting blasphemy against Prophet Mohamed.

Former presidential hopeful and Mubarak-era minister Ahmed Shafiq's referral to criminal court alongside Gamal and Alaa Mubarak for allegations of profiteering and squandering public funds in an illegal land ownership case also made news Wednesday.

Freedom and Justice, the mouthpiece of the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood had the most festive headline to celebrate Shafiq's trial, labeling a photo of Shafiq as "wanted" with the front-page headline "Prosecutor General asks Interpol to arrest Shafiq." It reported that the investigating judge had ordered the arrest of Shafiq, Gamal and Alaa Mubarak and the other defendants.

President Mohamed Morsy's bid to drop farmers' debts is also receiving attention. Al-Ahram reported that Morsy, in a celebration marking the Day of Farmers, declared debts under LE10,000 would be dropped and that rice prices would be increased. State-owned Al-Akhbar said that the farmers will now be able to sell their crops to the government at international prices.

In an with interview in Al-Akhbar, liberal constitutional expert Mahmoud Nour Farahat says there is no need for the Emergency Law, describing it as a legal umbrella allowing the executive authority to violate human rights. He refers to the experiences of France and the US, neither of which have emergency laws. In the event that a government wants to declare a state of emergency, its legislative bodies usually meet to discuss the proposal and if they do implement it, the state of emergency is typically applied within a very limited timeframe and geographical scope.

In a two page-long interview with renowned political analyst Moataz Abdel Fattah, Al-Watan unleashes the "black box of battles and agreements between the Brotherhood and the military." Abdel Fattah recounts his experiences with the Brotherhood as he predicted that the military would hand over power, while the Brotherhood speculated otherwise.

Abdel Fattah said that the military always preferred "soft" characters like former Prime Minister Essam Sharaf and former Interior Minister Mansour al-Essawy who could be easily controlled. He also revealed that both the Brotherhood and the military did not want Nobel Prize winner and liberal activist Mohammed ElBaradei to lead the government.

He also said that former top military chief Hussein Tantawi rejected the appointment of any Brotherhood figure in the government, adding that Brotherhood control over the government could bring about a new "Algeria experience." He also speculated that the ousting of Tantawi and former Armed Forces Chief of Staff Sami Anan was coordinated between the Brotherhood and new Defense Minister Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, and rejected the possibility of trying them in court.

Egypt’s papers:

Al-Ahram: Daily, state-run, largest distribution in Egypt

Al-Akhbar: Daily, state-run, second to Al-Ahram in institutional size

Al-Gomhurriya: Daily, state-run

Rose al-Youssef: Daily, state-run

Al-Dostour: Daily, privately owned

Al-Shorouk: Daily, privately owned

Al-Watan: Daily, privately owned

Al-Wafd: Daily, published by the liberal Wafd Party

Youm7: Daily, privately owned

Al-Tahrir: Daily, privately owned

Freedom and Justice: Daily, published by the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party

Sawt al-Umma: Weekly, privately owned

Al-Arabi: Weekly, published by the Nasserist Party

Al-Nour: Official paper of the Salafi Nour Party

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