Wednesday,15 August, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1159, (1 - 7 August 2013)
Wednesday,15 August, 2018
Issue 1159, (1 - 7 August 2013)

Ahram Weekly

Meddling from afar

Meddling from afar
Meddling from afar
Al-Ahram Weekly

Pundits focussed on ways to solve the political predicament in Egypt and lashed out at foreign criticism of the 30 June Revolution.

In the pan-Arab daily Al-Hayat, Jihad Al-Khazen held the Muslim Brothers responsible “for every dead and wounded victim” that fell during last week’s protests. This is because they chose to resort to violence after refusing to accept the will of the Egyptians who rebelled against them in massive popular protests.

“I believe that violence will fail and backfire on those who use it, just like it did two decades ago in Egypt’s war against terrorism... [and] all the Arab Muslim Brothers will pay the price for the group’s mistakes in Egypt and the crimes of the group’s supporters everywhere else,” Al-Khazen wrote.

Had the leaders of the Muslim Brothers been able to think straight, Al-Khazen argues, they would have not defeated themselves and would have not proceeded with the self-destruction and the destruction of Egypt. “They are failing to see that the Egyptian people, to whom they claim to belong, are the victims of their clumsy politics,” Al-Khazen wrote.

Also in Al-Hayat, Abdallah Iskandar wrote that breaking “the vicious circle” in Egypt would require two parallel steps to be taken on both sides of the equation by the Muslim Brotherhood and the military institution.

Iskandar called on the Muslim Brotherhood to reassess their entire experience including the group’s internal structure with its ironclad organisation, and not just policies. Iskandar explained that unless the Brotherhood turns into a democratic political party whose leaders are elected in a transparent manner, and abandons authoritarian organisational frames of reference, the Muslim Brotherhood cannot coexist with a democratic system. “This is what the experience of its year in power has confirmed, and this is what is feared will be repeated if it is to return to power once again,” Iskandar argued.

On the other hand, Iskandar called on the military institution to provide sufficient guarantees, through the new constitutional committee, that there will be no returning to military rule “the country suffered from throughout the past period”. Iskandar insisted that the millions who opposed the Muslim Brotherhood, backing the army as it requested, “did so in order to exclude the danger of the Brotherhood’s tyranny, not to pave the way for a return to military tyranny.” Moreover, Iskandar wrote, the military institution should facilitate, through such guarantees, the process of reform within the Muslim Brotherhood, and hasten the latter’s return to the overall political fabric of the country and its re-engagement in the peaceful political process.

In the London-based Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper, Abdallah Al-Otaibi described statements coming from the Turkish leadership about the state of affairs in Egypt after 30 June as “shocking”.

“The statements seem hostile and provocative to the new political leadership in Egypt, as well as to the majority of the Egyptian people who explicitly and strongly expressed their rejection of the Brotherhood’s rule after the Brotherhood spent only one year in power,” Al-Otaibi wrote.

In an attempt to understand the Turkish leadership’s mindset, Al-Otaibi wrote that what happened in Egypt on 30 June “has thwarted an ideological dream of building an alliance of Islamist groups after they rose to power on two coasts of the Mediterranean, in Ankara and in Cairo”. This proves, Al-Otaibi argues, that all the speeches delivered by Turkey’s Islamist leaders about secularism and about their advice to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt must be questioned to ascertain their authenticity. “Does the Turkish Justice and Development Party really strongly believe in secularism and civility, or was it forced to accept them in view of internal balances and international strategic relations on the economic and political levels?” Al-Otaibi asked.

In the Lebanese newspaper Assafir, Egyptian writer Alaa Al-Aswani lashed out at what he called US bias against Egypt’s 30 June Revolution. Al-Aswani insisted that it was not the army that carried out a coup against democracy, but rather former president Mohamed Morsi himself. Al-Aswani recalled when last November Morsi issued a declaration “that repealed the law and the constitution and made his decisions immune to court rulings”.

Al-Aswani explained that the parliament should have withdrawn confidence in Morsi as soon as he issued his “autocratic announcement”. Yet, Al-Aswani argued, because Egypt was without a parliament, and because the parliament’s job is to represent the people in exercising authority, then the absence of the parliament means the power reverts to its original owner — the people. Thus, Al-Aswani continues, on 30 June, the day more than 30 million Egyptians took to the streets demanding Morsi’s ouster and early presidential elections, Egypt was on the brink of civil war “and this led the army to take a glorious national stance in order to implement the will of the people and prevent the collapse of the Egyptian state”.

Al-Aswani wrote that Morsi’s November declaration resembled — in form and content — that of former president of Peru Alberto Fujimori during the 1990s which also made his decisions immune to the law and that such an “authoritarian declaration” made the international community, especially the US, strongly rebel against him. Al-Aswani is thus puzzled by the US stance which strongly voiced its opposition to Fujimori’s declaration but completely ignored Morsi’s. However, he attributes the double standards to the fact that “US foreign policy is completely unconcerned with principles and totally based on American interests”.

“[When] America’s interests were not with Fujimori, it correctly described what he did as a coup against the democratic system. Meanwhile, American interests were always with the Muslim Brotherhood, so it bet on its popularity, its organisation and its ability to control Hamas, which would provide Israel with a great solution to the problem of resistance operations,” Al-Aswani concluded.

In its editorial entitled ‘Muslim Brotherhood’s intransigence will lead Egypt to the abyss’, the Saudi daily Al-Watan wrote on Sunday that the pre-conditions which the Brotherhood put to end the crisis in Egypt, which is their return to power, seems impossible to grant given the road of violence they adopted and the mandate which millions of Egyptians gave the army to confront terrorism.

“It is unacceptable that the Brotherhood denies the rejection of tens of millions of Egyptians of them and puts the destruction of Egypt on one side and the return of Morsi to power on the other. This equation becomes even harder after the Egyptian street showed its determination to confront the practices of the Brotherhood and its supporters,” wrote Al-Watan.


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