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The Murky waters of 30 June – part 1: Regarding the legitimacy issue

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Mahmoud Salem

Mahmoud Salem

As the world now knows, 30 June was a success. Millions went out to the streets, and we ended up with a mixture of scenario 2 and scenario 3 from my previous article: Morsi did get deposed, but this time by the military to avoid open civil war and an eventual bloody revolution. Credit must go to the Egyptian people for coming out in the most historic numbers that the world has seen which left the military no choice but to give Morsi an ultimatum, which he ignored to his peril.  Now we are facing a new transitional period of six months, and a hopeful yet foggy outlook on our future. That being said, a disclaimer has to be inserted here: revolutions are messy to say the least, and usually no one walks away clean from them. We are now wading the murky waters of a new transitional period, with the Muslim Brotherhood still very much in existence and operational, so it should come as no surprise that this is far from over.

Helping the Brotherhood survive is the narrative of outright lies that they keep spewing to the international media, thanks to their incorrigible spokesperson Gehad El-Haddad, who has been saying the word legitimacy so many times he is starting to remind us of Morsi’s last speech (57 times. 25 minutes where legitimacy was said 57 times), coupled with “military coup”. Nobody seemed to ask him what kind of military coup comes with a 48 hours ultimatum, since coups are usually surprising and immediate. I guess the military likes to give people it intends to overthrow a 48-hour head start to spoil their plan. I guess, according to international media, their sense of fair play extends to coups. The Egyptian military: nicest coup-throwers ever!

The problem with that narrative is that it relies on a number of assumptions, and none of them are true: 1) That the Brotherhood is democratically elected by millions of votes, 2) that their constitution was legitimately instated, and 3) that they are a legitimate political party through the FJP. Regarding the first assumption, since the parliamentary elections, the opposition forces have been screaming bloody murder regarding the votes the Islamists received, after uncovering systematic fraud in the voter rolls and issued government ID’s that found the existence of up to 9 million fraudulent and non-existent votes. A good example to study would be Al-Wafd Party’s Ibrahim Kamel case in Menufiya, who – after a voter came in with multiple government IDs asking him which poll station she should go to first- found in his district’s voter rolls hundreds of names  each repeated as many as 32 times in his district. Upon further investigation he found out that the many of the names with the same ID number have been repeated up to 600 times nation-wide.  No one investigated from the state or cleaned the rolls, which inexplicably had 12 million more eligible voters added to them 9 months later, because 12 million voters have all turned 18 in one year (hint, we are a country of 80 million people, do the math). 1994 must have been the year they introduced Viagra to the Egyptian market or something.

Needless to say that given how corrupt the Egyptian state institutions were, there was no actual way to verify the election as either free or fair, or get any real assessment of how many voters actually voted for whom. However, if Morsi did get 13 million votes in 2012 and his constitution got 10 million votes as well, the question becomes: Where are they? Why aren’t they on the streets fighting against the removal of their legitimately elected president and constitution? When parliament was dissolved during presidential elections we figured the people were occupied with it and didn’t have time to object. But now what’s their excuse? Why were there millions of anti-Morsi protests in every governorate in Egypt and the Morsi protesters, coming from all over could only fill one intersection in Cairo? Where are those votes?

Secondly, in regards to the constitution, well, you could read all about it here, here and here (spoiler: it wasn’t legitimate in its creation neither was its referendum legal or properly administered). This leaves us only one last assumption to debunk: that the Brotherhood is a legitimate political party represented in the FJP. It is not. It is a terrorist organisation, and all of their allies are also terrorists. Before you roll your eyes, let me ask you the following questions:

How many political parties in Egypt have sent their supporters with guns to beat up opposition protesters, like the Brotherhood did in the presidential palace? How many political parties have snipers on their headquarters’ roofs that sniped and killed 8 protesters that were protesting in front of it? How many political parties send their supporters and allies to lay siege to the Supreme Constitutional Court and the Media City to terrorise the judges and media personalities from legally stopping or speaking against their own illegal constitution?  How many political parties incite their supporters against Christians to the point that the Coptic Cathedral gets attacked for hours while the police don’t intervene, or where their elected president and allies incite their supporters against Shi’a muslims only to have four of them brutally killed in a despicable hate crime four days later? How many political parties have political conferences with their “elected president” in attendance as the keynote speaker that hosts known Islamist terrorists from Al-Jamaa Al-Islamiya who gave speeches announcing that anyone who goes out to protest on 30 June is an apostate and an infidel and thus deserves to be killed? How many political parties have their leaders and allies before 30 June state that if Morsi gets deposed they will “burn the country” and afterward announce that “terrorist attacks in Sinai will stop only if Morsi comes back to power”?  Please provide examples, and Afghanistan doesn’t count.

The Brotherhood and their chief spinsters have been blatantly lying to themselves and the world. They have been claiming to be peaceful protesters against a military coup when every single one of their peaceful protests seem to end in armed clashes where guns, shotguns and machine guns are used by them, and where tens end up getting killed and hundreds injured. And mind you, this is not an isolated incident we are talking about: Those clashes have happened in Cairo, Giza, Alexandria, Ismailia, Port Said, Suez, Minya, Beni Suef, Assiut, Sohag, Damanhour, Tanta, Mahalla and Menufiya, and those clashes were always against the residents of those areas and not against the military that they say they are resisting peacefully.

Yes, we should have given them a full term to do what they please with no accountability. After all, we “elected” them. Right. If this was your president, what would you do?

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

  • Micah Shapiro

    Wallahi, I have never read a political article with so many blatant lies and unprofessionalism. I don’t even know where to start. You will never convince the world that the Brotherhood is a terrorist organization. Get real. And I suppose I should believe these laughable reports of the military finding weapons caches in their FJP building headquarters?

    What a new low: eliminate your political opponents from even competing at the ballot box by trying to convince the people they are terrorists. Sadly, many will fall for this.

    Funny how your type blame the Ikhwan everytime something bad happens in the streets. I suppose I should accuse the ‘Rebel’ movement for organizing the mass rapes in Tahrir.

    You are among the same fools who believe these conspiracy theories that Ikhwan had infiltrated Ministry of Interior and took it over. Please.

    The length you go through to try and say voter fraud took place at a massive scale. It’s laughable and so low. International observers don’t even believe these lies, and they are almost always the first to point out fraud and suspicions.

    • Hamsa Mansour

      The very last thing you said -on its own- proves you know nothing about Egypt, no matter how “laughable” it looks, such fraud can pass in our county.
      Secondly, every other thing he said was backed up with evidence, and is true and please only argue whether they are terrorists or not when you have Mb members shoot at a family club then at civilians using automatic weapons/guns in your neighbourhood, leaving 8 dead like what happened in my neighbourhood.
      Or when you have to check on your uncle every while because police and army bases, checkpoints and camps in Sinai are being targeted using RPGs and heavy machine guns and officers are being murdered since Morsi left and a Mb leader announces this will stop when he gets back.
      Stop listening to the professional liars of the Mb who -and we have to give them that- mastered the art of manipulating foreign press, check the evidence provided and get real.

      • Micah Shapiro

        government elites were also telling police forces during the 2011 Revolution that Ikhwan members were in the streets with kalishnikovs, instilling them with fear. It seems like everytime something happens on the street, you blame it on Ikhwan.

        Lots of rape going on in Tahrir by degenerate tight t-shirt wearing pervert youth, but you don’t see me saying any opposition parties are organizing that.

      • Micah Shapiro

        seriously, you all deserve Hosni Mubarak. You are finally believing all the stuff he tried to sell u about the Ikhwan all those years. All the lies and boogeyman propaganda. And I suppose you all believe the military really found weapons caches in the FJP headquarters building. Hahaha. Too funny. If you believe those stories, you deserve your cage.

        I think you all wanted this to be the way the story goes since day 1 of the Ikhwan entering post-revolution politics. You want Democracy, with an Islamist exception. Sorry, not going to happen, and not very Democratic.

        • Mohamed Othman

          As long as Ikhwan .. MB are not in the cage with us I’m fine. Afghanistan is taking Ikhwan last I heard. And the MB plan to turn Egypt into an Afghanistan at worst, or Turkey at best won’t happen. Masr om eldonya

          • Micah Shapiro

            Turkey is a thriving Democracy, with now one of the most powerful economies in the world. Its parliamentary democracy is more fair than even America’s elections. I would actually hope that Egypt becomes more like Turkey.

            You watch too much news. Erdogan’s approval rating is still way over half the population, and the AKP party has at least 60% approval rating last time i checked. Very high compared to most democratically elected parties.

          • sam enslow

            Erdogan’s big mistake was that, like The Brothers, he attempted to come between people and their God. A big mistake by The Brothers here is that they did not condem sectarian acts of violence or arrest anyone for inciting them. They also did not laugh when a member of the Shura claimed the great threat to Egypt was ballet dancers. He never spoke out against those said the women in Tahrir deserved to be raped. The other is that they totally refused to talk with the people of Egypt about anything. Morsy deserved what he got. What I do not understand is why anyone should care what I or any American thinks about it.

          • Micah Shapiro

            actually they have condemned sectarian violence. Why do you continue to make up lies? Morsi personally condemned the killing of those 4 Shias also.

            Also, women should be more careful in Tahrir. These things are expected. Yes, it’s the rapers fault (not the woman’s fault) but these perverted rapers will always be there

            Another myth that MB refused to talk with anyone. El Boradai is one of these liars, who would suggest dialogue one day, and the next day MB would present dialogue and El Boradai would boycott it. There’s a lot of talk in academia that the opposition were actually the ones who didn’t want to work with the MB, not the other way around. Why is it people never point out the fact that 70% of the governor and minister positions assigned by Morsi were not Ikhwan? Why is it never mentioned that Morsi offered the Prime Minister position to opposition figures at least two times (it may have even been 3, but my memory is vague) and it was refused.

            You all spew this myth that Ikhwan was taking over Ministry of Interior and the “brotherhood-ization of the state” and it’s all a big lie. Morsi’s approval rating was 80% as of September 2012. It is a huge shame that his approval rating crashed after his power decree with one of the most bias media campaigns against him and all these ridiculous talks of him being a Pharaoh. All he did was create a decree which would allow himself to temporarily hold powers above the corrupt judiciary, so he could fire corrupt judiciary such as the General Prosecutor (who was a Mubarak figure all revolutionaries were against).

            Since day 1 of Morsi’s electoral victory, these ridiculous stories have been being painted, and people mostly just followed the trend. And now Egypt’s security will crumble, and it will be the Military to blame. One part of society will cling to Tahrir to demonstrate their legitimacy, and the other part of society will cling to the ballot for their legitimacy, but at the end of the day it doesn’t matter who is right or wrong. It only matters that the Military favored one people’s legitimacy over another people’s legitimacy, and those who were on the end of being cheated certainly have all the reason to be angry. What a great way to divide society and throw Egypt into the abyss.

          • Arex

            Y’know, you have all the tell-tale signs of a brainwashed follower? If there’s anything here that supports the idea that the MB was definitely a minority is that there’s one of you fighting down 10+ others on a random internet blog.

          • Micah Shapiro

            since when are numbers a valid indicator of right and wrong? George W. Bush had an approval rating of 80% at one point in his presidential career. Hitler had high approval ratings too. Justin Bieber has over 90 million Twitter followers too. Should I assume his music is really good?

          • Arex

            Distracting the conversation away from how wrong you are. Well, just rest assured that you at least got the reaction of a person who created an account specifically to call out your shallow opinions. Long live an Egypt without the MB Terrorist organization.

    • Basset

      Of course the MB is a terrorist organization. What’s wrong with you??? I don’t blame the USA though : that’s what they were given, that’s what they had to work with. Yes, I hate the cuddling up they did with them as if providing them legitimacy – but they are an outlawed organization. They were banned under all 3 presidents of Egypt. They attempted to assassinate Gamal Abdil Nasser. What is the name we give to any political or religious organization uses terrorism to achieve its goals: A TERRORIST ORGANISATION. it’s idiots like u that piss me off so much spewing out your ignorance as if u are correct.

    • Mohamed Ayad

      LOL!!! too funny! first time ever for me to see a Micah Shapiro…a Shapiro (common jewish surname) start a comment with the word “Wallahi” (the muslim word for “I swear by Allah’s name”). I’m taking a screenshot of this in case you edit it out! my guess is that you are part of the MB media monitoring electronic militias. same guys are being seeded into fb pages of egyptian communities in the US to say very similar rhetoric, and are already hard at work editing and creating wikipedia pages relevant to June 30. I raise my hat to you sirs. You are a force to be reckoned with and new masters of revisionist history.

      Oh the article. I think it’s well written, documented and sourced. The fact is that the military is in power, yet has chosen a different partner to go forward with than the MB. They chose the people of egypt, which you chose to exclude yourself from, separate yourself from, and think yourselves a level above them. The people of Egypt are not your gentiles Mr. Shapiro.

      Ramadan Kareem!

      • Mohamed Othman

        Good catch hehe, I noticed that as well.

      • Micah Shapiro

        actually I am Muslim. But whatever. If you want to believe in such conspiracy theory rubbish, fine by me. Yes, Shapiro is one of the most common Jewish names. So what?

      • MaximusBoomaye

        Shapiro!! hmmm! is that the guy who defended O.J. Simpson. it make sense That the 2 MB lawyers in the debate, Shapiro and Ben whatever who decided this article incites civil war! a couple of jack asses.

    • Mohamed Othman

      Brotherhood is a terrorist organization. If you don’t know that by now then maybe the word terror is not in your vocabulary. They use terrorists in Sinai and elsewhere to launch violent attacks and preach Qasas on most live human beings on the planet, including most Egyptians. Most Egyptians want them out. Nuff said. Thank you for your kind attention.

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  • Babsen

    A message to America from one of the millions of typical Egyptians who protested against Morsi (English begins around :40 second mark) http://youtu.be/sInoCZ3RHLs

    • Micah Shapiro

      lol it’s so idiotic and funny that you all think Obama gives a sh** about Ikhwan or Morsi. He doesn’t. He worked with them to the extent that they were the elected gov, the same as he will work with any other elected gov in the future. Seriously, Obama not only doesn’t give a sh** about Ikhwan, but it’s obvious Ikhwan wasn’t even one of U.S.A.’s preferences for a gov in Egypt. In fact, USA hates Islamist parties, and prefers they not get into power. But USA couldn’t make the same mistake it has made in the past, by ignoring or overthrowing democratically elected governments or putting sanctions on them like they did with Hamas.

      Seriously, Obama doesn’t care about Morsi! He’s probably glad Morsi is gone, so long as there’s no other repercussions.

  • sam enslow

    I have never heard Egyptians refrain from commenting about internal concerns of the US. What I do not understand why Egyptians care what the people or the government of the US thinks of the events unfolding in Egypt. If the US ‘doesn’t understand” what is happening in Egypt, I will maintain that Egyptians do not know what is happening in Egypt. “Facts” change every hour.
    I also note that the kings and dictators who give money to Egypt are now great friends, including Saudi Arabia, the parent of the Salafi and Wahabbists. No one questions their motives. I can assure you that EVERY country works to protect its interests – not only the US. You accept what you want and reject what you do not want. These are Egypt’s choices. You will do what you believe protects your interests.
    US elites. We do have an OWS movement. What about what Egypt’s elites who feel degraded if the must actually talk with the regular people of Egypt?

    • Micah Shapiro

      I agree. I never told anyone they can’t comment on my country, because they are not American. LOL. In fact, there are plenty of Egyptians and foreigners who know more about American politics than Americans themselves. This idea that you need to be of a certain nationality to know what’s going on is just a cheap cop out to discredit someone’s opinion.

      Yes, Saudi Arabia is loving the situation now. They actually are against Ikhwan and were one of the first countries to congratulate Egypt on its Coup and sign generous grant and loan packages in the billions of dollars (and lets not forget, Saudi was against the January 2011 elections).

      Also, what’s with the General Prosecutor being reinstated hours before the Coup? Why isn’t the opposition suspicious about this? Or perhaps the new Prime Minister who stated that he would elect Gamal Mubarak for president back in 2010?

    • Ibrahim Ben Nemsi

      This article is full of inaccuracies and incitement. The Muslim Brotherhood and Salafis won the parliamentary elections with a huge majority – elections that were organised by the army and the judiciary, who are not exactly sympathetic with them.

      The author of this article seems to try and prepare the ground for a civil war or a return to the human rights abuses under Mubarak, and maybe he himself should be charged for incitement.

      The only solution to the crisis is to realise that Egypt consists of liberals and islamists, and they have to learn to co-exist and make compromises. Any one side trying to defeat and marginalise the other will just make things worse.

      • AEB

        Actually the alliance was the judiciary and the army with the MB against everyone else, but between the two of them the army obviously had the upper hand which it did not want to lose. The army played a big role in creating what is dubbed the MB dictatorship, and now it is hailed as a saviour by the same protesters who claim they want an end to dictatorship. It’s unfortunate but the majority is not always right.

  • Saleem Bagazai

    Yet another brilliant piece…
    Hopefully obama will read this article and become a little more informed on the MB, so he stops openly supporting terrorists.

    • Micah Shapiro

      funny how you would expect the Obama Admin. to cut off relations with a democratically elected government, yet you all criticized him when he did it against Hamas in the 2006 elections.

      • Mohamed Othman

        The election was fraudulent. Didn’t you read the article?

        • Micah Shapiro

          lol, sorry, but I don’t consider examiner.com sources legitimate. That website is a joke. It’s a user-generated “news” source that’s really a blog with a guise of formality.

  • tamirelsahy

    I don’t think the MB is necessarily a terrorist organization, although they certainly have more of a panache for violence. Sure they’re demagoguing their opponents and inciting hatred and violence. But pulling out the terrorist card in reaction will only make the transition more difficult. In my opinion, if Egypt is to defy the civil war extravaganza taking place around it, people need to be more forgiving towards one another, this coming from a guy who’s despised the MB since the moment of my political birth. But now I can see that the short term worst case scenario is what is taking place right now, with the absolute alienation of the MB. Long term it might be beneficial in forcing Islamists to behave better in the political sphere, maybe? Its a huge gamble nonetheless. Who knows, but I think something good is bound to come out of this hell eventually.

  • Ibrahim Ben Nemsi

    This article is full of inaccuracies and incitement. The Muslim Brotherhood and Salafis won the parliamentary elections with a huge majority – elections that were organised by the army and the judiciary, who are not exactly sympathetic to them.

    The author of this article seems to try and prepare the ground for a civil war or a return to the human rights abuses under Mubarak, and maybe he himself should be charged for incitement.

    The only solution to the crisis is to realise that Egypt consists of liberals and islamists, and they have learn to co-exist and make compromises. Any one side trying to defeat and marginalise the other will just make things worse.

    • Ibrahim Ben Nemsi

      This is my post – seems to be a technical error

    • someguy

      I think you’re confusing “winning elections” with democracy. Democracy is not just get the majority of people to accept your agenda. It’s about protecting the minority and giving all equal rights. “7oreya we 3adala egtema3eya” were what the Jan 25 revolution called for. Neither of these 2 demands were met by Mr. Morsi. Not only were they not respected, but there was less of it that before.

  • Arnvid Aakre

    I note that Micah Shapiro has an strong agenda to promote here, based on opinons and frenetic postings. That just give more legality to the article, sorry for that Shapiro (-:

  • MaximusBoomaye

    Dear Mohamed Salem (Egypt’s Colbert)
    I guess since some media outlet in the US and around the world still use the “C” word to describe the latest event, although I hear the word “intervention” more and more now. I understand why it matter so much which word should be used, that way no one can challenge the “legitimacy” (there I said it… but only once) of the next regime. That said, I must say I was looking forward to reading your article, and I must say everyone in the western hemisphere seems to be in awe of what happen in Egypt, something even a country like Turkey couldn’t dare accomplish and since here in the west we are used to “Labeling” event like this, and the fact we lack new terms to use other than “coup” I suggest the we find a term for your event that can do June 30 justice:

    A Popul-ilitary Egyptocracy took place.
    Or Democragyptization.
    Another one may be : an Egyptatorship intervention
    Believe me my friend, the world is envious of you and how swift things took place you are about to start
    Revolu-Gypt-hoodise-ing the planet.

    I look forward to your next article.

    One last note: Viagra was introduced in the U.S. in 1998, but 5 years prior we were looking for a nation that didn’t mind being lab-mice, so now we know who won the bid. That clearly explains the time line on the sudden increase of voters in 2011, and no doubt add “Legitimacy” (opps, a slip of a key board) to the process.

  • Gail Storm

    Thank you Mahmoud Salem, considering the MB’s only defence lies with the ‘legitimacy’ of the election I was wondering when someone was going to bring up the matter of the election violations.
    Obviously Ms Shapiro and other scathing skeptics were not following this but had they conducted a little research they would have discovered that in fact thousands of complaints were made during the first round of voting mainly against the Islamists. These well documented complaints were referred to the Electoral committee who rejected them and ruled the run-off would be between Mursi and Shafiq.
    In the second vote the results were delayed due to complaints from both
    candidates. As in the first round the complaints were dismissed and Morsi was declared President. Only approx 50% of the population voted, the other 50% objecting to both these candidates. So it would be right to assume only approx 25% voted for Morsi and a proportion of these were evidently fraudulent.
    It should be noted that recently on 22 June the Presidential Election
    Commission declared they would reopen investigation into the election, and look into complaints by presidential candidate Ahmed Shafiq alleging irregularities and forgery in last year’s vote.

  • someguy

    If the media is willing to call what we had in Egypt as a tyranny, not a democracy, then I’m willing to accept that we call it a coup or anything else they want…

  • Mandarina Naguib

    “Legitimacy”, semantics aside, is the one word that kept me dissenting since the March 2011 referendum. Thank you for a most elating article!

  • schamass

    an excellent article worthy of a whole book!

  • AEB

    What about the MB members who were killed, offices that were torched? What about the judges acting as proxies for the old regime in shooting down their elected parliament? Why can’t voters change their minds? Who said a coup has to be a secret, when the civilian government can do nothing to prevent it? Why isn’t the SCAF also a terrorist organization? It behaved the same way with its MB allies, back during SCAF rule, in its killing of even Coptic protesters, its military detainment of 12,000 protesters, imposition of virginity tests on females

    The MB was horrible but its same Salafi allies that were terrorizing everyone under its umbrella now magically back the “revolution”? Disingenuous much? The SCAF collaborated with the MB, now it pretends to side with the people to save its own skin

    This was a coup that the Egyptians for some reason or another support; there’s no need to obstruct the lingo; you can say it is a justified coup, but you cannot say it wasn’t a coup; as long as the Egyptian Army is firmly entrenched in Egyptian politics and economics, nothing the army does can be counted as neutral; what the Tunisian Army did on the other hand, can be labelled as such; pressuring Ben Ali to leave, then letting civilians sort it out

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  • Perfectionatic

    Great piece Mahmoud. You do not mince your words!

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