Wednesday,26 September, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1140, 21 - 27 March 2013
Wednesday,26 September, 2018
Issue 1140, 21 - 27 March 2013

Ahram Weekly

Social media

UN women’s document historic but not all are happy

Social networks immersed themselves in a heated debate about the recently issued UN document on violence against women. Last week, the UN Commission of Women with the backing of over 130 member states adopted a global plan to end gender-based violence, urging governments to now act upon their promises. “Most Egyptians rejected the document because it violates the basic Islamic tenets of Sharia,” as Samia Mahrous put it.
Mustafa Mohamed believes that President Mohamed Morsi has forced many Egyptians to adopt the document regardless of their gender.
Omar Al-Sabagh suggested that Egypt must pull out from the document signatories. But Abdel-Rahman Mohamed responded by saying that Egypt for the first time has an obligation to protect human rights and the rule of law.
Naglaa Faras said that by signing the document the Muslim Brotherhood shows it will be a good follower of the US, maybe even better than Mubarak used to be. Mohamed Sayed said that the Brotherhood has proven it can sell anything just to get power.


Egypt cannot be run like a grocery store

Nervana Mahmoud wrote on her blog about what she called “Feckless attitude”:
“Egypt is hanging by a thread. I doubt anyone inside or outside of Egypt would argue with Steven Cook’s views. However, if he asks Egyptians and other pundits for reasons why the Egyptian revolution has reached such an abysmal state of affairs, a wide divergence of opinions would quickly surface. Potential answers would include: the Islamist leadership, the opposition, the army — the list goes on and on. Again, Steven Cook was right in his piece last week when he described the opposition as feckless. Indeed, they are, but they are not the only ones. Fecklessness has become a common attitude in Egypt, and virtually all of the players in Egypt’s political arena are acting this way. In fact, this fecklessness is largely behind the sprout of violence
that risks dragging the country right into the deep end.
The so-called citizen’s arrest power is just one example of this “creative fecklessness”. The decision of the prosecutor-general to grant citizens the right to arrest vandals was warmly welcomed by nearly all Islamist political groups and parties who passionately defended it as “an effective” alternative to secure Egypt in the absence of a “reliable” police force. Their argument appealed to some Egyptians who already distrust the police and the entire security apparatus, while many others have rang the alarm bells, citing the dangers of such a move. For example, Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya now deploys its members in the city of Assiut, south of Egypt to “maintain security”. Ironically, this is the same group that killed 21 policemen in the same city in the early 1980s.
The whole debate has reminded me of Naguib Mahfouz’s novel, “Children of Gebelawi” with its stories of the fettewa, or the good thug, who restores law and order in his neighbourhood. Some of the Islamists who detest Mahfouz have even described him as an infidel for writing the novel, but yet have decided to resurrect a few chapters from his book and implement it on the Egyptian streets. Their passion for defending the idea highlights a lack of understanding of the simple basic roles of governance. If any man with good muscles and “good intention” can play the “good cop role”, then all countries should close their police academies and save money on training a police force. The pitfall of this dangerous approach is what happened Sunday in Mahalla, evident in the gruesome video we all saw.
The Islamists’ over-simplistic views extend to every other tenets of the modern state. Morsi’s edict (regardless of his intention) reflects a disturbing ignorance on what legitimacy means and what a democratically elected president should or should not do. Even in matters related to the economy, the recent witch-hunt against the most successful businessmen in the country, the Sawiris family, has raised many questions about the fairness of Egypt’s current leadership. As Naguib Sawiris tweeted, “Why did the revenue office not investigate other companies in the same situation?” It seems that the Islamists have forgotten that Egypt, as a country, is impossible to run with the same simple, crude roles that govern a grocery store or a vegetable stall on the corner of a Cairo street where raw prejudice, and dirty fights are the prevailing theme.”



“The Brotherhood’s reading of Islamic law is mindless fundamentalism and literalism, often involving ignorance.”
@Cairo view

“Instead of arresting protesters, Egypt police should look inward — responsible for most of 900 Tahrir Square 2011 deaths.”
@Kenneth Roth

“The Muslim Brotherhood is now officially the most ferocious enemy that Islam as a faith has ever seen.”
@Sultan AlQassemi

“Black bloc became the ready excuse used by the Islamists to justify each of their reckless suggestions.” @Nervana Mahmoud

“After years of attacking Camp David and Gaza blockade MB now owns both.”
@Khaled Elgindy

“So now the justice minister is saying that the minister of interior instructed him to cover up torture. Aren’t we cool?”
@Omar Kamel

“Egyptian opposition is failing at its only two functions: attach failure to those responsible for it and win elections to achieve success.”
@Salama Moussa

“Bringing the military back to govern in Egypt is retrograde. Better to suffer some chaos and develop courageous civilian leaders.”
@Mohamed Shabrawi

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