Wednesday,18 October, 2017
Current issue | Issue 1140, 21 - 27 March 2013
Wednesday,18 October, 2017
Issue 1140, 21 - 27 March 2013

Ahram Weekly

Tempests of protests

Doaa El-Bey relates the disenchantment felt by many Egyptians, and Gamal Nkrumah sees why Al-Azhar should start a dialogue with the new Pope of the Roman Catholic Church

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Al-Ahram Weekly

Clashes between protesters and members of the Muslim Brotherhood in front of the MB’s headquarters in Muqattam only raised the dander of the general public after the Brotherhood launched a ferocious attack against journalists covering the incident and slapped a female activist, knocking her to the ground. Al-Shorouk on Monday had ‘Guidance Bureau facing fury’. Al-Youm Al-Sabei stated ‘Million-man march on Friday in front of the Guidance Bureau after ‘The battle of Muqattam’, and Al-Tahrir headlined ‘Supreme guide and the Interior Ministry hand in hand in slapping girls’.
The unfriendly reception given President Mohamed Morsi in Sohag on Saturday was another incident covered by newspapers and discussed by political commentators.
Al-Watan on Sunday wrote ‘Coffins welcome Morsi and Prosecutor General escapes from Ultras’, while Al-Shorouk blared ‘Tempest of protests meets Morsi in Sohag’.
In his column entitled ‘Morsi’s present to the journalists in Muqattam’, Adel Al-Sanhouri wrote that the ferocious attack on journalists was Morsi’s first present to press after they chose a chairman and board for their syndicate from outside the Muslim Brotherhood.
“The president called [Diaa] Rashwan to congratulate him and invite him for a meeting. Fifteen minutes later, the MB militia attacked protesters and journalists with bludgeons in Muqattam,” Al-Sanhouri wrote in the independent daily Al-Youm Al-Sabei.
That attack was the first challenge facing the new chief, according to Al-Sanhouri. Rashwan and the board should reject the invitation and rush to defend the dignity of journalists and their profession.
Journalists are facing a dangerous situation in which the freedom of the press has been facing continuous encroachment ever since the MB came to power.
Mohamed Salmawy described Rashwan’s success as another failure by the MB after being defeated in the university elections as well.
However, he added, Rashwan’s opponent in the elections Abdel-Mohsen Salama was not defeated. The MB tried to tarnish his image as well; they accused Rashwan of loyalty to the army and Salama of belonging to the fulul (remnants of the old regime).
“The MB was the loser in the Press Syndicate. Their method of accusing their opponents of treason and loyalty to the old regime was uncovered and defeated,” Salmawy wrote in his regular column in the independent daily Al-Masry Al-Youm.
The fact that both Rashwan and Salama got almost the same number of votes indicated that journalists rejected the MB and did not believe charges that the candidates belong to the army or the fulul.
This method, Salmawy explained, showed a barren way of thinking and failure on the part of the MB to realise that there is another loyalty — loyalty to the revolution. The revolution called for establishing a civil state that is neither military nor religious, and this is the current that Rashwan represents.
He concluded by stating that the press and university elections showed that the revolutionary trend is starting to assume leading positions which indicates that the change people want is on its way.
Ibrahim Mansour asked how could Morsi stay in his position after what happened to him in Sohag. “Had he not seen the coffins that the youth carried during his visit? Had he not heard their chants against him?” Mansour asked in the independent daily Al-Tahrir.
He does not hear or see, Mansour added, except what comes from the supreme guide or the Guidance Bureau.
Morsi claims that he is an elected president, Mansour said, but nevertheless, he could not enter Sohag University. “He proves every day that he is not the president of all Egyptians or even the head of the MB. He is the representative of the MB in the presidential palace.”
Mansour also wondered how Morsi could accept the rejection of the people of Port Said to his invitation to meet him, accept the MB militia attack on journalists and political activists in Muqattam and agree to the attacks that the same militias launched against the revolutionary youth in front of the presidential palace last December.
Mansour concluded by stating that the people need salvation.
The confusion in the present political situation was an issue of serious concern for writers this week. Emadeddin Adib entitled his regular column ‘The age of open possibilities’. He wrote that postponing the parliamentary elections opened the way for three possibilities: postponing the final clash between the rulers and opposition while allowing more time for agreement between the two parties; adjourning any financial or economic aide from international bodies; putting off any government reshuffle.
Up till now, he added in the independent daily Al-Watan, nobody knows for sure whether the opposition would take part in the parliamentary election or whether the MB would listen to John Kerry’s advice in his latest visit during which he emphasised the importance of agreement between the rulers and opposition.
Till now, Adib added, no one knows whether postponing the parliamentary elections would make the president reconsider keeping the present government and its head.
All these questions, Adib concluded, point to major dangers that can affect the country because of all the possibilities that range from full agreement between the rulers and opposition to complete disagreement and disorder.
Salah Montasser asked where the Shura Council is and why it is not addressing the worries and problems of Egyptians.
For instance, Montasser wrote in the official daily Al-Ahram, why didn’t the Shura, which has temporarily taken over parliamentary powers, summon the minister of petroleum and question him about the queues of cars waiting for petrol in gas stations.
Where is the Shura, Montasser asked, concerning the violence in Port Said? Why didn’t it earmark a session for such an important matter.
Montasser also highlighted the case of activist Mohamed Al-Guindi “whose smiling pictures showed that he is now far happier than those who tortured him to death” and why the ministers of interior and justice were not questioned about his murder.
Perhaps the recent case of the seven Palestinians who belong to Hamas and who were accused of planning to carry out terrorist operations inside Egypt, raises another important question. Even though it is a national security issue they were released and allowed to leave the country. Montasser concluded by asking why the issue was not discussed in the Shura.

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