Op-Ed: Egypt, August 24,25th: Harbinger of a Civil War?
Ashraf RamelahAshraf Ramelah, founder and president of Voice of the Copts, has recently given testimony to the Canadian Parliament on the revolution taking place in Egypt. Please visit www.voiceofthecopts.org to read more.
Egyptian revolutionaries of the youth uprising of January 2011, who succeeded in ousting Hosni Mubarak, are once again organizing through social media and traditional media outlets (where allowed) to protest against the Morsi presidency and the Muslim Brotherhood.
This time they have the benefit of political leaders and a coalition of pro-democratic parties, and they planned peaceful protest rallies for Friday and Saturday (August 24th and 25th) throughout the country.
The initiative is being led by Mohammed Abu Hamed, the secretary and founder of a party yet unlicensed called Egyptian Life (Hyat Al-Masreen). He is a former member of the Egyptian Parliament.
After more than a year and a half of living with degraded conditions and chaos under SCAF (Mubarak’s military) leadership, actively scheming behind the scenes with the Muslim Brotherhood to wrest power, Egyptians now have even much more reason to distrust the new government headed by President Morsi.
Just 50 days into the new presidency, President Morsi not only appears hopeless to deliver on any of his promises to improve the lives of Egyptians but is making matters worse.
Many of the poor in need of basic provisions, like jobs and food for their families, came out to the polls to vote for Morsi. Although he promised relief, Morsi instead is seen preoccupied with matters outside the country -- reconnecting with leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood in Africa, meeting with the Saudi Arabian king, welcoming a visit from Gazan terrorist leader, Hanyeh, receiving the Qatar Prince and accepting Mrs. Clinton’s congratulatory support from America. Soon he will travel to Tehran.
All the while, mountains of garbage reek in the streets and lawlessness prevails within a crippling infrastructure.
With shortages of gasoline, drinking water, and electricity rationing, the people are fed up. Mr. Morsi and the Freedom and Justice Party rose to power declaring to Egyptians that domestic issues were their first priority, but the people aren’t waiting any longer. Seeing Mr. Morsi clamp down on the press, the military, and the ordinary people in the street, it is foolish to waste time. Appalled at the rumor of Sharia tourism, the 13 million Egyptians who benefit from this industry, both Muslim and non-Muslim, are disgusted by talk of restrictions -- such as, no alcohol, no bikinis, and separate beaches for men and women.
On top of their everyday woes, Egyptians must now worry about the government’s deteriorating relationship with the State of Israel. Running for election, Mr. Morsi confirmed his respect for all international treaties, yet now Egyptians watch their president move the military illegally into Sinai and break a signed international agreement. What is the ultimate plan of the man who was released from prison (having been deemed a dangerous person by Mubarak) shortly before he was chosen by the Muslim Brotherhood’s political party known as the Freedom and Justice Party? Just refer to the Muslim Brotherhood 1928 motto for the answer.
Determining that the Freedom and Justice Party and its deception is synonymous with the Muslim Brotherhood, protest leader, Hamed, announced their intentions to carry out peaceful street protests with the following statement in the Egyptian press at the beginning of August, “It’s the people’s revolution against Muslim Brotherhood, and its goal is to correct mistakes that occurred during the January uprising of last year. The demands of this new uprising are that President Morsi step down, the Muslim Brotherhood group be dismantled and their funds confiscated.”
Likewise, the president of the Egyptian Socialist Alliance Party, Abed el Ghafar, who agrees with the pro-democracy groups’ right to protest, but will not participate in order to give President Morsi more time to prove himself, condemned the ills of the current situation. He explained in a statement in the Egyptian press around the same time as Hamed’s announcement that “the issues are serious and should not be taken lightly.” He added that “less than 50 percent of Egyptians voters voted for Muslim Brotherhood.”
It comes as no surprise that those who hold the notion of blanketing over the pyramids and the sphinx (and all other ancient archeological sites regarded as pagan), and view President Morsi as the new Caliph, are also screaming blasphemy at protestors intent on gathering in the streets to speak out against him.
Furthermore, Ghafar said, “the disappointment of those who voted Muslim Brotherhood after successive negative events that have taken place after the presidential election like water and electricity cuts, unsafe conditions, or what occurred in Dashour [Muslims attacked Christians], and at the Egypt-Israel border; all that creates waves of anger on the streets” (Bracketed information added).
What is the Muslim Brotherhood reaction to the announcement of the coming protest?
It comes as no surprise that those who hold the ridiculous notion of blanketing over the pyramids and the sphinx (and all other ancient archeological sites regarded as pagan), and view President Morsi as the new Caliph, are also screaming blasphemy at protestors intent on gathering in the streets to speak out against him.
Accordingly, Al Watan newspaper reported on August 3 that a Muslim Brotherhood spokesman indicated the Muslim Brotherhood “has already a plan to abort the protests of August 24th and 25th.” Determined to quash the uprising by every possible means, the Muslim Brotherhood is fabricating falsehoods in order to jinn up opposition against protesters. The same Muslim Brotherhood source indicated just that to the Al-Watan reporter in a further comment saying, “there are intentions from those who plan to protest to generate violence and try to destroy buildings, overall to burn Muslim Brotherhood offices.”
The Muslim Brotherhood is taking a two-pronged approach to combat the problem of the upcoming protest -- on the one hand, curbing any aggression among the protesters, while on the other hand, inciting violence in the ranks of the Muslim Brotherhood. In order to quell the passions of the people and suppress the uprising before it takes place, henchmen taking direction from Muslim Brotherhood headquarters are in neighborhoods handing out Ramadan holiday presents to citizens and urging self-control in the upcoming days.
As reported to Al-Watan in the same article cited above, the Muslim Brotherhood instructed their officers to persuade the people into “self-control,” to “take advantage of the Ramadan holiday to get closer to the people,” to “convince them to not participate in this protest,” and finally to “deal with this invitation against the original revolution in order to avoid any escalation of violence.” This last point, denouncing violence, pertains only to protesters and is a critical part of their strategy to crush this rebellion.
The Muslim Brotherhood very cleverly goes on to publicly label protesters criminals in order to spur hostility and violence among their own members and sympathizers. Their spokesman is quoted in the same Al-Watan article as saying, “We invite everyone to stand against this new criminal faction and stand around the original uprising, the president, and his government in order to achieve our plan of correction and development.”
Simultaneously, an Imam has conveniently generated a fatwa stating that all Muslim Brotherhood members are to kill protesters. Paradise will be the reward for those who die in this act of jihad defending President Morsi and his key people. The Muslim Brotherhood is calling for blood in order to retain rule of Egypt – a goal they sought patiently to achieve for many years.
This frightening scenario is especially dangerous for Egypt’s approximately 18 million Christian Copts who are at the bottom of an Egyptian society in crisis which is devoted, now more than ever, to radicalizing a religious-supremacist agenda. It was likely that significant numbers of Copts would join other freedom fighters in the weekend rallies as vital and integral voices to this protest. However, this time it will be to take back what is rightfully theirs from those who annexed their “original uprising” against Egypt’s authoritative regime over 18 months ago.
As a result of this unfortunate turn of events, the whole of Egypt is now subject to the tyranny of a powerful minority faction and its leader, President Morsi.