Wednesday,19 September, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1124, 29 November - 5 December 2012
Wednesday,19 September, 2018
Issue 1124, 29 November - 5 December 2012

Ahram Weekly

Social media

A reminder of last year’s revolt

Political polarisation has been dividing Egypt since President Mohamed Morsi took office, affecting drastically the Egyptian debates on social networks. “Egyptians are divided because of President Mohamed Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood,” as Zanobia put it in her Facebook page.
The discussion on Facebook and twitter over the protests against the controversial presidential decrees issued last week by the president which give him sweeping powers reminded many people of the week before 25 January last year when Egyptian youths were preparing for a protest against the former interior minister Habib Al-Adli which turned into a revolution that toppled Hosni Mubarak’s regime less than three weeks later.
Amr Fouad said that the Muslim Brotherhood is failing faster “more than anybody could have imagined. They are pushing everybody to the limit.”
Fouad argued that after the recent constitutional declaration taken by the president, the majority of Egyptians now understand the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) is another National Democratic Party (NDP), which ruled the country with an iron fist for three decades.
Amr Mounir said political forces have to prepare a replacement for the Muslim Brotherhood to rule the country after Morsi fails. Mounir added that the people really want someone “to feel their pain and fulfill his promises.”
“Morsi has reneged on all of his promises. He pledged to form a unity government inclusive of all the political forces, but did not. He promised to solve problems like traffic and gas shortages but he did not,” Mounir said.
Ahmed Said responded to Fouad’s post by saying that Egypt needs a strong president and that Morsi’s recent decision is the only solution to end the country’s two years of political polarisation which has divided the country and “torn it to pieces”.
“I think enough is enough. Stop debating everything the president does. We must give him room. The country has to achieve something before the end of this year. We need a constitution, so the president gave immunity to the Constituent Assembly (drafting the constitution),” Rasha Mahmoud wrote in her Facebook page.

Brotherhood misread popularity

Ursula Lindsey wrote in her Arabist blog on the Muslim Brotherhood doctrine in running Egypt in this uncertain transition. She believes that the Muslim Brotherhood underestimated the difficulty of the situation and its opponents. Here is what she wrote:   
The Muslim Brotherhood has badly misread the national mood and its own popularity. In these volatile times, it continues to practice politics as judo — looking for a sudden, stunning move with which to overpower its opponents and impose its will. Hence, a constitutional declaration hatched in secret and sprung on the public. How could the Muslim Brotherhood think that there would be no backlash — in a country that has just ridden itself of a three-decade-long dictator — to the overwhelming concentration of power in the hands of a new president?
There is great disingenuousness and suspicion on both sides of the current confrontation. The Muslim Brotherhood has alleged that the protesters are being manipulated, are thugs, and that they don’t pray on Friday. Meanwhile, it’s hard to stomach some of the most egregious Mubarak era figures grandstanding about the need to protect democracy and the independence of the judiciary.
Sacking the corrupt prosecutor-general and re-trying police and regime figures were indeed revolutionary demands. But the real problem with Morsi’s declaration is its second half (where Morsi sets himself, the Constituent Assembly and the Shura Council above the law and gives himself sweeping leeway to take measures to defend the revolution).
There is no doubt in my mind that, yes, fulul (remnants of the former regime) and elements of the so-called deep state — the ones that supported Shafik (former presidential candidate Ahmed Shafik) and have the most to lose from a reform or restructuring of the state bureaucracy — must be joining in and fomenting the current conflict. One of the difficulties of the current moment is how many different and murky agendas are at play at once. Both sides are convinced that what they are doing is for the greater good. The Muslim Brotherhood has stumbled badly but will not admit it; its opposition, while suddenly having found momentum, still lacks cohesion or even clarity.
The repeating pattern of events is arresting. I continue to think that calling the Freedom and Justice Party “a new NDP” is lazy and inaccurate. But once again, we have a president who is either incapable or unwilling of reigning in his own Ministry of Interior. We have a wall at the end of Qasr Al-Aini Street, and the offices of the ruling party going up in flames.


“Dying for this country is an honour. Living under Morsi rule is a shame. What’s your pick?”
@Ahmed Yosuf Mahmoud
“Morsi started his term addressing a full crowd in Tahrir, now he is addressing a couple of thousand supporters and Tahrir is filled against him.”
@Sand Monkey

“Sexual assault is an intimidation tool. This is my revolution too and I will not be terrorised.”
@Nada Wassef

“President Morsi said before he will dissolve the constitutional committee and create a more balanced one. He came back and protected it against the judiciary.”
@Alfred Raouf

“I, personally, have no idea but interested to see where the army stands.”
@Bel Trew

“Morsi’s decisions, chemotherapy to remove cancers! Painful, poisonous but necessary. Aren’t masochists adorable!” @Hani Shukrallah


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