Thursday,19 October, 2017
Current issue | Issue 1148, 16 - 22 may 2013
Thursday,19 October, 2017
Issue 1148, 16 - 22 may 2013

Ahram Weekly

Social media

Round up of activists

News about activists being arrested and detained on charges of threatening public safety dominated the debates on social networks this week.
On Facebook, the arrest of the leader of the 6 April activist movement, Ahmed Maher, in Cairo Airport after returning from a trip to Washington DC sent a message to all Egyptians that they might have to give up their freedom to dogma rule, according to Ahmed Abdel-Fattah.
“I think protesting against the holy Muslim Brotherhood is considered by President Mohamed Morsi a big crime. That’s why during his rule we have hundreds of activists in prison on political charges,” Abdel-Fattah said.
Erin Fawzi said that she does not like Maher and thinks he sold the 6 April Movement to the Muslim Brotherhood but in the end “should not be put on trial for his opinion”.
Arafa Mustafa believes that activists like Maher and Ahmed Abu Doma think they can set the streets on fire and turn the country into chaos without any accountability. “Maher and his comrades attacked the home of the interior minister who is an Egyptian citizen and has rights.”
Mohamed Mustafa asked Arafa why he now seems to care about the rule of law while he has never talked about what people like Hazem Abu Ismail, the former presidential candidate, did when he and his supporters laid siege on the 6 October Media City, attacking news reporters and announcers. 

MB neither reformers nor revolutionaries

One of the ironies of Egypt is to see a high-profile activist like co-founder of the 6 April Movement, Ahmed Maher, arrested by a government backed by the winning party, the Muslim Brotherhood, and then later, the political wing of the Brotherhood releases a statement demanding Maher’s release, as if he were being held by enemy forces or opposition parties. Another and even more tragic irony is that Maher was sent to Tora, the same prison where ex-president Hosni Mubarak is held.
Two years after the ousting of Mubarak, Egyptian prisons are full of revolutionary activists who fought against him in the January 2011 Revolution; however, each activist has a different reason behind his detention that can shed some light on the opaque dynamics of Egypt these days.
Remember that when 6 April first surfaced in 2008, it was initially dismissed by the Muslim Brotherhood as the work of a bunch of “crazy boys”. It was only later in 2010 that the Brotherhood started to accept 6 April as a real political player. However, 6 April considered its alliance with the Brotherhood as a deal between two equal political partners, but the Brotherhood considered the movement a junior partner, with only relative rights, which they didn’t see as permanent or binding.
If the 6 April stance against the Brotherhood following Morsi’s November decree was not surprising, its innovative approach to protesting has taken the Brotherhood by surprise.
The peaceful yet provocative nature of recent 6 April demonstrations against the Muslim Brotherhood proved too much for an Islamist party like Freedom and Justice and for their loyal minister of interior.
Maher’s release on Saturday, after just one day in detention instead of the initial planned four days, has two possible explanations: either it was a trial balloon that had to be abruptly terminated following a public outcry or a mediocre gamble from the Brotherhood to prove their “impartiality” towards the government. It is highly unlikely that the Ministry of Interior arrested a high-profile figure like Maher without a nod of approval from the Islamist leadership, but if this was the case, then his abrupt release proves the point that the leadership is actually intervening in government work. Also, his release does not mean a verdict of innocence; just as with Bassem Youssef, it will be a long process involving a gruelling investigation.
The Islamist leadership in Egypt has opted for legal harassment to fight its opponents. Such a policy has two goals: first, it drains the opposition mentally and physically. Second, it distracts them from core battles like the election campaign, particularly in rural Egypt. However, it is a policy that has proven to be risky and counter-productive, and it can be costly for the Brotherhood in the long term. In his last piece before his arrest, Maher reminded his readers that the Brotherhood during the Mubarak era only sought to reform the system and not revolt against it. In fact, the Brotherhood is neither a group of reformers nor revolutionary, and that is precisely their problem. 

Tweets

“You don’t have to agree with someone’s political positions to condemn his/her unjust detention. Call for justice for all.”
@Mona Eltahawy

“Ahmed Maher, who was detained by Morsi’s police, was an unwavering supporter of Morsi’s presidential run.”
@Ramy Yaacoub
“Even though the Brazilian president vowed that there is no alcohol in the drinks, Morsi refused to drink juice, thinking they lied like him.” @Adham AbdelSalam

“One thing Morsi could learn from Brazil’s success story in overcoming poverty is they have now a female-educated president.” @Ranya Khalifa
“Obama should be telling Morsi ‘we’re extremely concerned about your violations of core political legal principles.”
@Amr No 2 Morsi

“Is it ethical to go to Russia which is Bashar Al-Assad’s main ally to ask for aid for the Egyptian economy?”
@H. A. Hellyer

“Egypt deserves better, it demands better, and it won’t see stability until it gets what it deserves.”
@Iyad El-Baghdadi

“As Morsi supporters call for reform of the Egyptian judiciary, the Morsi regime uses the judiciary to crack down on opposition.”
@Ghada Shahbender

  

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