Thursday,20 September, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1224, (4 - 10 December 2014)
Thursday,20 September, 2018
Issue 1224, (4 - 10 December 2014)

Ahram Weekly


Al-Ahram Weekly

The MB is dead

The day of the Muslim Youth Intifada came and went without much happening. Despite promises of upheaval and vengeance, regime change and retribution, the millions of protestors that were supposed to take part failed to show up. Hamas may have posted signs in Gaza streets about the upcoming uprising, and Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey may have hoped for Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi’s overthrow, but when the day came it was just like any other.

A few tiny protests gathered and were quickly dispersed, some of their participants arrested. The police was ready and worked closely with the army to enforce law and order. Two servicemen and a civilian were shot dead. The civilian was reportedly helping the police chase a Muslim Brotherhood member carrying weapons and explosives.

The cooperation between the army and the police was exemplary, and instead of the country falling into the chaos that the Salafi Front and its Muslim Brotherhood backers desired, Friday, 28 November, was just as calm as any other Friday, and perhaps even calmer.

The nation was relieved to dodge this further attempt at destabilising the country. On television screens, images of quiet streets flashed to the commentary of anchors wondering what all the fuss was about. Even on Al-Jazeera, Brotherhood officials were at a loss explaining the lack of enthusiasm for the day that was supposed to change the face of Egypt.

In limited clashes during the day, about 30 people were injured, half or more from the army and police. According to security reports, Brotherhood supporters fired from rooftops in Alexandria, shot dead a civilian chasing them, and fired at a child for making the victory signal.

The disappointment of the Brotherhood-backed Salafist Front was only matched by the puzzlement of Western officials, who were following the news with great expectations, some having perhaps believed the lies of the Muslim Brotherhood and its allies.

They promised the world that Al-Sisi would be out, that Morsi would be back, and that the “coup” would be over. The nation ignored them, and even their sympathisers decided to play it safe.

On the designated day, traffic proceeded as normal, life went on as usual, and the nation had nothing to worry about. In some cases, civilians went down to the streets not to demonstrate, but to help the security services catch Muslim Brotherhood supporters and their allies. It was in Matariya that one of those civilians lost his life chasing down Muslim Brotherhood suspect.

Part of the failure of the 28 November scheme is due to the excellent performance of the security and intelligence services that busted dozens of terrorist cells over the past few weeks. The fact that no bombings were carried out on that day is testimony to the pre-emptive power of our security forces.

The failure was so complete that even the Salafist Front admitted defeat. Its supporters are now trading accusations on social media.

What this day shows is that the Muslim Brotherhood is over. It resorted to violence against the nation, and the nation has announced it dead. The moment you call for random violence and cause the death of innocents is the day your political future ends. This is the lesson that the Muslim Brotherhood and likeminded groups should bear in mind from now on.

One curious detail about this episode is that the day set for the Muslim Youth Intifada had no political or historical significance. 28 November has no emotive resonance, except that it was the day before the final verdict in the case against Mubarak. Apparently, the Muslim Brotherhood wanted to bank on a not guilty verdict that it knew was on the way. Had the case been tight, a guilty verdict would have been passed during Brotherhood rule, if only to reinforce that regime’s alleged revolutionary credentials.

The judge had to use the evidence he was given, but in his explanatory remarks he didn’t absolve the Mubarak regime or even the police from errors that were clearly committed.

People will ask for justice for the martyrs, but this shouldn’t distract us from the task of rebuilding the nation. Those who killed the martyrs are still walking our streets, and we must find them and bring them to justice, however long this may take us.

The question of who killed the revolutionaries is still open, and needs to be addressed. We need to start meticulous investigations into the case, instead of trying to use it for political ends.

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