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Mahmoud Salem

Mahmoud Salem

After a stellar week in Egyptian foreign policy, with both a fiasco of a national security meeting regarding the non-threatening Ethiopia Grand Renaissance Dam and a disturbing court ruling against NGO workers, people have once again shifted their focus to National politics, specifically the 30 June demonstrations. Expectations are flying high on the side of the opposition, with Amr Moussa declaring on his own that 30 June will mark the end of Muslim Brotherhood rule, without any actual basis, proof or even working theory as to how that will happen exactly. Something to consider: If the 30 June demonstrations fail (God only knows what its parameters of success are), it will make the very weak Brotherhood regime appear stronger than it really is.

While the supreme majority of protesters that day will be aiming for peaceful protests, one can expect three different types of violent protesters to be coming out that day: 1) Revolutionaries who no longer believe that peaceful protesting yields results; 2) Conservatives who believe that the military will conduct a coup only if a state of chaos takes over Egypt, and intend to cause it; and 3) Regular people from the lower classes who are truly at their wits’ end due to the horribly deteriorating conditions, in which they continue to live. The second type will be the most disappointed, since the military will not execute a coup and clean up the mess that will follow; to them, parliamentary elections are the only solution to this deadlock. The first and third types, on the other hand, are bound to face the questions that are on everybody’s mind: How will this day succeed, especially with both the heat and a fast-approaching Ramadan conspiring against it? And who will take over this mess exactly?

As much as the questions of finding an alternative to the Muslim Brotherhood rule before 30 June, and what should take place if somehow 30 June topples them, are important and valid, they both ignore an equally valid and important question: What is the alternative, at least for the people, to not participating in 30 June demonstrations, exactly? We have a regime that has so far destroyed the economy; paralysed the political discourse; ignored all attempts at accountability, rule of law or state institutions; and one year later still has not come up with a single working or functional policy in any of the sectors it governs. What is the alternative to not opposing? What is the alternative for the millions that are not politically represented in any way, have no faith in a corrupt electoral system that doesn’t seem like it will get reformed in any meaningful way under the new regime, and whose living conditions are deteriorating on daily basis, except to go down and protest?

On the other side of the aisle, the Islamists are threatening that in the case of Morsi getting deposed, then the “Jihadists” will be unleashed, and an Islamic revolution will take place where Sharia will be implemented. This is hilarious for a number of reasons: the first of which is that it is an implicit confession on their part that Morsi is not viewed by them as an Islamist or that his “Sharia constitution” that they have touted to their followers has nothing to do with Sharia, and yet they – the fierce defenders of the faith that they are – are not opposing Morsi or wishing for his removal. The second reason is that they are using Sharia as a threat and punishment, which is a worldview I am sure Muslims worldwide don’t agree with or like to promote. Finally, if this is the case and you are the supreme powerful majority that a tiny minority is opposing, why do you feel the need to threaten anyone? The strong don’t threaten, especially not this hysterically. Unless, of course, as the old saying goes “a barking dog will not bite”, and they understand that terrifying protesters with such threats is the only way to keep the numbers from being large. One minor problem: we now live in a country that has public lynching of thieves on a monthly basis and deals with violent crimes on a daily basis, what is it that the Islamists can violently do to terrify this population? What’s their worst, exactly? And how much worse can it be compared to the daily reality?

And that’s the question: What’s the worst that can happen if Morsi gets deposed?  There will be no fuel or electricity or food or water or security, and chaos will reign supreme in the Country? Ha. This is already the case. This reminds me of a joke I read on twitter yesterday, that the minister of No-Electricity has met with the minister of No-Fuel, the minister of No-Finance, the minister of No-Economy and the minister of No-Security to deal with the immediate problem of the evil corrupt media that aims to incite strife and instability in the country. The Morsi regime has done nothing to alleviate the economic suffering of the general population, and as Turkey shows, even regimes that take care of the economy will face a fierce opposition if they move towards authoritarianism.

The Morsi defenders ignore all that and state that he still deserves to complete his full term, while the Morsi opposition believes that if he does finish his term, at the rate the situation is going, he will finish the country with him. The question that faces every Brotherhood enthusiast now is: what is your priority? Morsi or Egypt? Because it’s really getting down to that.

About the author

Mahmoud Salem

Mahmoud Salem

Mahmoud Salem is a political activist, writer, and social media consultant. His writings could be found at www.sandmonkey.org and follow him @sandmonkey on Twitter


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