Op-Ed Review: The army, Brotherhood dreams and governance

5-2 a

Ahdaf Soueif

On the people, and the army

Al-Shorouk Newspaper

Author AhdafSoueif begins her article: “The people celebrated the Armed Forces statement, and before the statement, on Sunday night, people chanted ‘Come down Sisi, Morsi is not my president’.  When the military helicopters flew over protesters before the presidential palace, it was a block of dancing green light as people pointed their lasers at them.”

She describesthe vast spectrum of participants in the demonstrations, and that they were celebrating the “hope of victory” over the Muslim Brotherhood and Morsi. She explains that Morsi bears the responsibility of the former head of intelligence participating in the demonstrations as if he was a revolutionary. Morsi, along with the Brotherhood leaders, bears the responsibility of the police, marching in uniform with the protesters under banners of Egyptian martyrs such as Jika, Mohamed El-Gendy, Mohamed El-Shafey and Mina Daniel.

Soueif notes that Morsi bears the responsibility of the people; less than two years since the Mohamed Mahmoud clashes, crowds are chanting “the army and people are one hand,” while the country has failed to pass through any stage of reconciliation or transparency, and that mothers of martyrs remain unsettled and dissatisfied.

She explains how she wished that the president had revealed an understanding of the people’s rage in his speech, and that he had assigned a prime minister from outside of the Islamist political forces. She wished that it would signal the beginning of cooperation between all political forces, bearing the responsibility of putting the country on the road to achieving the revolutions’ demands.

“This did not happen, of course. General Abdel Fatah Al-Sisi issued his statement. After which, the capital was filled with beeping car horns, and the five helicopters flew elegantly [over it], bearing Egypt’s flags, and people went mad over them,” Soueif writes. She explains that the army was “flirting” with the Egyptian people, who were “responding” to it.

Finding herself in Khalifa Al-Maamoun Street in Heliopolis, she wonderedif the high, collective spirit had not leadto fascism, witnessing young protesters forcefully ask drivers why they were not beeping their horns, while others hold signs to remind people of the martyrs and their rights. At the same time, passers-by reassured the young protesters, urging them not to be afraid.

The author describes that as soon as she heard about the sit-in at the Cairo University she headed there.

She recalls seeing “great numbers, not to be compared with the numbers of the presidential palace or Tahrir, of course, but still huge numbers none the less, maybe three or four thousand, and they still flocked in. The main difference appearance-wise is that they were mostly men, with very few families. In the hour I spent there, I saw only four children. The average age [of the protesters] is much higher than that of Tahrir or the presidential palace.”

She recalls her overwhelming impression of the crowds gathered at Cairo University that they honestly believe that they were the people of the revolution; they felt challenged and oppressed.  She walked among them, and heard a man shout: “don’t be afraid, shrouds are available…there are many shrouds, thank God,” while chants continue: “Islamiya, Islamiya”. She overheard a man asking whether Sheikh Abu Ismail was coming, and then saw the crowds of people rush towards a microbus, only to be reminded by others that it was a “peaceful” protest.  The microbus had a sticker saying: “I will go down [to protest] on 30 June”. The men rushed to the microbus, banging on the windows, while passengers braced themselves and the microbus workers tried to protect the microbus from any damage.  When the microbus finally escaped, bystanderskept reminding others that the protest had to remain peaceful.

Soueif mentions that despite many who tried to prevent violence, it managed to seep through. One shouted: “Mortada Mansour is in Tahrir? So, Mortada Mansour is a revolutionary now? And the army [planes] are flying over them and throwing flags on them? ”

She mentions that as she writes, things are changing: The police love the people and respect them, the Central Security Forces join the protesters, and the state-owned media has miraculously transformed into a professional source of news. She mentions that the state-owned media seems to “be leaning towards the military”. In the meantime, the Armed Forces love the people, and have vowed to secure their rights.

“Today, the crowds of people are returning the army’s love, considering the Armed Forces as their salvation from Mohamed Morsi,” Soueif writes.

Soueif says that the people know that the way to earn their rights is by going down to the streets. She adds that if the people do not like the next regime, they will bring it down, and that they will only be satisfied with a system that will push them forward towards “bread, freedom and social justice.”

“Today, the army’s intervention might be benevolent, since it undoubtedly does not want to rule directly, but we have to remember its responsibility in the current situation, in our economic state, and how it tried to dissipate and murder the revolutionary spirit,” Soueif explains.

She concludes that the people have to include all members of society in the current dialogue, and to refuse any talk of violence. She stresses on the fact that Egyptian youth are dying in Assiut, Alexandria and Cairo, and that the elderly should refrain from encouraging death.

5-2 b

Abdel Hakim El-Shamy

They are stealing our dreams

Freedom and Justice Party Newspaper

Columnist Abdel Hakim El-Shamy begins his column: “Despite the repeated defeats of the opposition powers, and last of which was 30 June, but they are still trying to steal Egyptians’ dreams of security and stability.”

He goes on to describe the nature of those who assembled on the streets on 30 June to ask for the dismissal of the president, and how they were misguided by the media for more than a year. He blames the former regime for tying any Islamist power with fear. “Then, there are those that were moved to action by some sort of ‘sectarian’ flare to which Egyptians are unaccustomed.” He goes to explain that the hatred of Islamists has become a type of “faith”.

El-Shamy writes: “In addition, the church has played a suspicious role in mobilisingCopts to demonstrate against the president, despite his message of reassurance in his speech on Wednesday 26 June.” He claims that there is some overestimation of the number of protesters against Morsi, and that the opposition have committed many crimes against the country. However, despite all of that, Morsi has been “successful” as he refused to submit to being overthrown.

El-Shamy then accuses the opposition of having a “destructive plan,” which they have carried out through assaults on governmental buildings so as to make the country appear “unstable”.

“It is known that violence is refuge of the powerless,” El-Shamy writes. He deduces that the end of the opposition is near,since they have adopted the language of violence, and assures that they will be punished for “the crimes they committed during the past few days”.

He accuses the opposition of attempting to steal their dreams, “for which a thousand people were martyred and thousands were injured during the 25 January revolution.” He then accuses the opposition have sided with thugs, feloul (remnants of the previous regime), and criminals.

El-Shamy accuses the opposition of trying to “steal away freedom and social justice”, especially after “we created an unprecedented constitution that guarantees all rights, freedoms, social care and economic development.”

He also accuses them of wanting to bring back slavery, and humiliation, stating that they were responsible for the acts of violence and thuggery over the past few months. “The proof is that the police officers who have oppressed the people took part in the repeated attempts at overthrowing [the president],” El-Shamy writes.

However, El-Shamy believes that the opposition is at the end of its tether. He adds that the downfall of the opposition has begun at 12 pm on 30 June, and that what is coming will destroy them and is reason for celebration for all Egyptians.

He adds that the president should seize the moment to begin an operation of “complete purging,” by eliminating main sources of strife. He stresses that the president should not let this “historic moment” flee from his grip, which would transfer Egypt from the age of darkness to that of enlightenment and progress.

He concludes with a wish that history recordMorsi as “the first Egyptian ruler who eliminated the source of corruption.”

5-2 c

Suleiman Gouda

A news piece that embodies the Muslim Brotherhood crisis

Al-Masry Al-Youm

Columnist Suleiman Gouda begins by mentioning that for the first time in history, the Canadian Mark Carney has been assigned as governor of the Bank of England, the British central bank. It is the first time for the Bank of England to appoint a non-British governor in 319 years since it was first established.

Gouda believes that is an appropriate analogy to the problems of Muslim Brotherhood governance. He mentions that Carney was assigned the position because he had “attained people’s admiration due to his excellent performance [as an economist] and that alone pushed the British government to make use of his competence.”

He explains that the British government understands that it is responsible for its citizens and cares only to choose the person most suitable for the position, regardless of his political affiliation or nationality.

He adds that during the past year, the Muslim Brotherhood did not know how to run the country or manage it, and additionally that they do not comprehend anything about politics. However, “they refused to employ those who do comprehend it.”

He expounds on this point, saying that the Muslim Brotherhood was determined to remain closed off on itself, and refused to deal with anyone not affiliated with them. He adds that the Brotherhood was unable to reconcile its former existence as an unlawful organisation from its current position as the ruling authority of Egypt.

He concludes that were they to change their attitude, they would have emerged fromthe situation successfully. However, they chose to isolate themselves from the rest, and Gouda doubts that they would be able to change their method in the past because “it is their nature on which they were established…they are merciless and refuse to let God’s mercy descend.”

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