Protests erupted across Egypt after its president decreed last Thursday that he was no longer subject to the law of his country — giving himself unchecked authority. This move has consequences for the security of both the United States and allies like Israel.

Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, a loyal member of the anti-Western Muslim Brotherhood, has taken Egypt on a very disturbing course since his arrival to power back in June, The Heritage Foundation’s James Phillips explains. Under his leadership, Egypt has distanced itself from Washington while building a new relationship with China, engaging in close relations with Iran, and violating its peace treaty with Israel.

Morsi has restricted media freedom and announced a few months ago that Egyptian journalists will face harsh consequences for “insults” to the president. In addition, he has improved Egypt’s relationship with Hamas, the branch of the Muslim Brotherhood that governs Gaza and is still very committed to continuing its attacks on Israel.

With Morsi clearly abusing his powers by putting himself above the law, the Obama administration still continues to support Egypt as a partner, even planning to forgive $1 billion in debt.

Phillips warns the administration not to lose sight of what’s most important:

The Obama Administration must not abandon America’s founding principles in supporting the rule of law, liberty, religious tolerance, and political freedom. It must push back against Morsi’s illegitimate assertion of unchecked power. This will encourage opposition leaders and perhaps even Egyptians who remain on the fence to vigorously reject Morsi’s aggressive power grab.

The people of Egypt and Egypt’s Supreme Council of the Judiciary have pushed back against Morsi’s power grab, though the armed forces may play the deciding role.

Do you think President Obama should rethink American support for the Egyptian regime?

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