Via Times of Israel:

A controversial decision by Egypt’s Supreme Judicial Council to completely refrain from supervising a referendum on the recently approved constitution remains the top story in the Arab press.

“Egypt: Judiciary boycotts the referendum… and the constitutional committee suspends work,” reads the main headline of the London-based daily A-Sharq Al-Awsat, long known for its anti-Islamist leanings. The paper reports that judges on the council — all appointed by deposed former president Hosni Mubarak — feared for their safety when they saw crowds of Muslim Brotherhood supporters blocking the roads leading to the gates, “climbing the fences… and inciting the people against them.”

The judges said they would rule on the validity of the new constitution, which was passed by a constitutional assembly entirely devoid of non-Islamist members, only after all “psychological and physical pressures” were lifted.

The Muslim Brotherhood vehemently denied the allegations that the judges’ lives were in danger, accusing them of kowtowing to the opposition’s calls “for massive civil disobedience, which threatens to further divide and build confrontation in the country” and seeking an excuse for “a dangerous escalation against President Mohammad Morsi.” […]

Still, no matter what, you can never trust the Islamists, says security expert General Sameh Seif Al-Yazal, a former leading intelligence official, in an interview with Al-Quds Al-Arabi.

General Al-Yazal tells the paper that “the Islamists have an arsenal of weapons that came from Libya” and they “intend to use them against the Egyptian people in the framework of a political conflict.” Al-Yazal uses his opportunity to speak with the daily to call on outside forces to get more involved in the crisis.

“There must be intervention,” he says. “Or Egypt is heading into a civil war.”

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