Monday,23 October, 2017
Current issue | Issue 1149, 23 - 29 May 2013
Monday,23 October, 2017
Issue 1149, 23 - 29 May 2013

Ahram Weekly

Social media

How to free the hostage soldiers

The kidnapping of Egyptian soldiers in Sinai took the lead in the debates on social network sites that criticised President Mohamed Morsi for taking no action and the possible involvement of foreign players.

Manar Abdel-Alim said that it took Morsi a week to even begin thinking of taking action and that sent a message to the terrorists that Egypt’s state is weak and terrorists are stronger.

“I have no idea what he was thinking of. I am against the Muslim Brotherhood, but I did not know before that they can mar Egypt’s dignity and image to satisfy a group of terrorists,” Abdel-Alim said.

Mahmoud Essam believes the Muslim Brotherhood puts the interests of Al-Gamaa above everything else and that will not change just because soldiers were kidnapped in Sinai.

Essam added that the radical Islamists who kidnapped the soldiers “are not different from the Muslim Brotherhood. They agree on principles but disagree on technique.”

Ehab Khattab believes that the issue is very complicated and Morsi proved that he is responsible and does not take hasty decisions.

Mahmoud Murad said that Morsi was right when he chose not to negotiate with terrorists. “This incident will be repeated hundreds of times if Morsi agrees to the demands of the terrorists, so the best thing is to take military action against them.” 

Morsi’s no-confidence vote better than before

The Big Pharaoh writes his account about the Tamarod campaign arguing that it reveals the failure of the opposition to build grassroots support. 

The Tamarod or Rebel campaign, the Morsi no-confidence signatures drive that began less than a month ago, has triggered very little reaction from the media, opposition parties and well known activists who became figureheads of the 25 January Revolution. After their press conference, where they claimed to have collected over two million signatures, Rebel activists saw things turning upside down and everyone rushed to jump on the Rebel bandwagon. The regime took note and the MB started pointing their guns at Rebel. Since the kids behind this signature drive managed to anger the MB, then they’re most probably doing the right thing.

For the past four to five months, theopposition was simply in a hiatus. The failure of the mass protests of last December and January to force the Brotherhood to change their behaviour seems to have discouraged many people and convinced them that protests and filling up squares do not work anymore. The opposition managed to fill two squares simultaneously without a single bus to ship people from outside Cairo yet the MB went ahead with their plans to consolidate power and clone Mubarak’s regime and make it work for their own benefit.

The Rebel campaign came as a bolt of lightning shaking the opposition out of its despair. Almost every opposition party declared its full support of Rebel and offered their offices for the nationwide campaign to use. Rebel was the stone that fell inside a stagnant pond of water.

One of the most cited criticisms directed to the opposition is the fact that they do not engage in grassroots political activity. The Rebel campaign, on the other hand, spread across the country by means of purely grassroots efforts. People were encouraged to photocopy the petition and pass the copies around. Once the petitions are signed, a Rebel representative will collect them and add to the number that Rebel hopes will reach — 15 million by 30 June, the day Morsi became president and  in which they will march to the High Constitutional Court to deliver the petitions. The Rebel Facebook page is filled with pictures of Egyptians from all walks of life signing the no-confidence petition form. People the opposition would dream about reaching.

I watched as well known Mubarak era activists were “philosophically” debating the merits of Rebel. Some were supportive; others thought the campaign was a waste of time. I followed this debate on the place where most Mubarak era activists are finding their refuge now: Twitter.

I believe Rebel is the first sign of the end of Mubarak era activists and the rise of a new generation of far younger activists. No one can blame the older generation activists for their demise. First, this is the natural cycle of life. Second, most of these activists are now in their mid-thirties and early forties. They are married, they have children and the responsibilities of life are starting to weigh in on them. Third, these activists saw their life dream crumble right in front of their eyes. They saw their revolution being stolen while they were standing powerless. Their energy was drained. It is time for new soldiers to debating the merits of Rebel. Some were supportive; others thought the campaign was a waste of time. I followed this debate on the place where most Mubarak era activists are finding their refuge now: Twitter.

I believe Rebel is the first sign of the end of Mubarak era activists and the rise of a new generation of far younger activists. No one can blame the older generation activists for their demise. First, this is the natural cycle of life. Second, most of these activists are now in their mid-thirties and early forties. They are married, they have children and the responsibilities of life are starting to weigh in on them. Third, these activists saw their life dream crumble right in front of their eyes. They saw their revolution being stolen while they were standing powerless. Their energy was drained. It is time for new soldiers tofight the new enemy.

Will Rebel make a difference? I do not know but I do know it is the start of something and it is definitely better than the inertness the opposition has been in since the beginning of the year.

Tweets

“Note to Morsi: religious blessing is not a replacement of leadership skills.”
@Nervana Mahmoud

“For eight years we were making fun of Americans for having Bush as a president. It’s payback time; we now have Morsi.”
@Alfred Raouf

“The answer to the Muslim Brotherhood’s overreaching and repression is democratic pressure, not a military coup.”
@Kenneth Roth

“The Islamists in Egypt are forcing the regular citizens to believe in resorting to violence to counter their violence.”
@Bjorn Solstad

“Egypt’s conservatism is more dominant than religiosity. Conservatism is spread on so many levels; religious, political, and economic.”
@Alaa Bayoumi  

“The only certain fact about the ‘kidnapped soldiers’ in Sinai is that it is being used as a political tool.” @Salama Moussa

“Characterising the potential Sinai battle as one between state’s army and Bedouin is misleading. Many Jihadis out there now are from the Delta.”
@Erin Cunningham

“I can’t believe the amount of space given by newspapers to deny the intervention of Palestinians settling in Sinai… farce in response to farce.”
@Lina Attalah

 

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