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The Dark Tunnel

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Mahmoud Salem

Mahmoud Salem

This should be a Happy Story

If this revolution had a motto, it would be “Everything you ever wanted, in the worst possible way”.

Conventional wisdom said that if there was ever a revolution against Mubarak, then the Muslim Brotherhood would win. Conventional Wisdom said that if the Islamists ever made it to power they would never leave it, one man one vote one time, and that the country would turn Islamist. The country didn’t. The majority of the people- whom everyone said were too ignorant and too religious to know better- resisted and rejected theocratic rule, and went down in millions to remove and prosecute the Islamist president. This should be a happy story. It should be an even happier story than Jan 25, and it should’ve been celebrated the world over: the citizens of a Muslim middle-eastern country, getting over their differences, uniting in rejecting extremist theocratic rule after only one year and removing the Muslim Brotherhood President through unprecedented massive protests. Stereotypes: shattered. Conventional Wisdom: thrown out the window. A population that everyone said doesn’t know any better: redeemed. It should be a happy ending, except for one little tiny detail..

The military got involved, and detained Morsi.

For the average June 30 protester, the detainment of Morsi by the military makes perfect sense, because had the protesters managed to arrest Morsi themselves, they would’ve handed him over to the security to detain and try him, which is what is happening now. For the average June 30 protester, the military has detained Morsi for him, and is now prosecuting his regime members and confronting his thuggish supporters. For that protester, this is how revolutions should work. For many people all over the world, this was a coup, precisely because it was the military that detained and arrested Morsi, “our first democratically elected leader TM”. For the June 30 protester, this is semantics; for the world, the devil lies truly in the details.

The US government, for example, has been engaging in domestic political contortionism in order to continue having “that special relationship” they have with Egypt. They didn’t cut the aid and the white house has come out and said that what took place didn’t meet their definition of a coup, but they are very uncomfortable with the Army’s involvement in the process, starting with Morsi’s ouster until now. Their discomfort with the role of the army is so high, that one gets the sense that had the people of June 30th  engaged in a violent bloody revolution to remove Morsi, stormed all the palaces to look for him, captured him and then tore him to shreds with their bare hands Ghaddafi-style, that would’ve been a much preferable and “cleaner” scenario as far as the US is concerned, than having the military remove and detain him, resulting in them being in the forefront of this new democratic transition, especially after their stellar performance the last time around.  And for the record, the US is not alone in this. A lot of other countries share that same view, and they are not all Erdogan’s Turkey or Muslim Brotherhood supporters.

Thankfully, the interim government had some reassuring faces for our concerned western friends: ElBaradei, Ziad Bahaa Eldeen, Hazem El-Beblawy, and given that they were never really big fans of the Muslim Brotherhood to begin with, they decided to sign up on this new roadmap to democratic transition. And just when they are starting to get assured that there is a civilian government and that the military are not interested in being in the forefront, our minister of defense makes a speech calling on all June 30 supporters to come out to authorize him “to fight terrorism”, because, well, apparently the Interim President authorizing him to do so isn’t enough, and the security services need broad public demonstrations to do their job.

The demonstrations were naturally successful, so much as that even Egypt’s Interim Prime Minister Beblawy joined them, which marks the only time in modern history  where a prime minister had to go down to a protest to authorize his minister of defense to “fight terrorism”, instead of, I don’t know, tell him in a cabinet meeting or call him on the phone. Our Interim President, not to be outdone in terms of irrelevancy, instead of issuing a statement or making a speech regarding that historic day, ended up being a call-in on one of the talk shows. The President.

Face..meet palm..

Nowhere to be found of course is a definition of what it means exactly to “Fight Terrorism”, and no one in our government bothered to inform us, but it seems to be code for “confront, and if necessary, kill violent MB supporters”. This doesn’t bode well for our western partners, because they had only 3 requests from the current government: 1) Charge Morsi with something or set him free, 2) No killing of MB protesters, and 3) National reconciliation with the Islamists. The first request was obliged, the second and third don’t seem like they are happening any time soon, especially with MB protesters continuously utilizing weapons and conducting torture camps in their sit-in, and with their leadership insisting that there is no reconciliation until Morsi is back being president and “the coup” is reversed.  Also, no one has a clue how this national reconciliation should happen on a political or social level, with so much blood on the MB protesters and supporters’ hands in Giza, Manial and Sinai, and with the majority of the country wanting them punished in any and every way possible.

Before heading out to the US for vacation 2 weeks ago, I accidentally met with the ambassador of an unnamed but very important European country, who was incredibly ecstatic for June 30th and the overthrow of Morsi. Attempting to withhold his giddiness, he told me in all sincerity: ”Well, the most important thing now is for you guys to call for reconciliation. Don’t mean it, but call for it. It will make you look good.” Thinking back to that moment now, and everything that has happened since, I must say that while we definitely have followed that advice of calling for reconciliation and not meaning it, we haven’t really been big on the “let’s make sure we look good” department. If anything, our continued efforts in self-sabotage have been so consistent, it’s kind of impressive.

“They won’t leave without blood”

In many articles, social media statuses and private conversations, many people are bemoaning what they deem “the rise of fascism” in Egypt against the Muslim Brotherhood. They openly wonder how people could lose their humanity to such a degree that they are indifferent to the deaths of Muslim Brotherhood supporters in clashes. They are very shocked and disturbed by the amount of people who are openly calling for the military to crush them.  They are so surprised and distressed by this, one has to wonder if they were living in the country this past year, because if you have, none of this should be the least bit surprising.

For a year now, a single piece of narrative had found its way on the tongues of many Egyptians and in many conversations: “The Muslim Brotherhood will not leave power without blood”. This sentence was treated as fact, and was aided by the continuous and increasingly authoritarian rhetoric and actions of the MB and their allies, sending their supporters to attack and torture anti-Morsi protesters, utilizing the police and the public prosecutor’s office to oppress, detain and investigate anyone who opposed or criticized them, and going as far as deeming anyone who goes against Morsi “an apostate that should be killed” during an official state conference with Morsi present and not bothered. For the average Egyptian citizen (and quite possibly everywhere), this was beyond threatening: There were convicted terrorists, supporters of Morsi, calling for their death on live television with Morsi being present. In their attempt to cement their rule, they scared the average citizen to the point that he viewed the struggle against them as a zero-sum game of survival: It’s either them or me.

Thus, it is of no surprise that when the table turned, that same citizen is openly calling for the elimination of those whom he views threatened him with death. The lack of sympathy for their dead is very human, especially in the face of the final speech of Morsi, where he said that “it’s either my legitimacy or blood”. The street responded to his ultimatum on his own terms: they rejected his legitimacy, and chose blood. Meanwhile, the MB supporters rhetoric continues to be “We are ready to die and be martyrs for legitimacy” as they go out and clash with the rest of the population, and when the population responds by demanding that the security forces to grant them their wish for martyrdom, the MB supporters immediately switch to the “How could you demand our death so easily? Where is your humanity and conscience?” talking point, which naturally falls upon deaf ears and has only one curious side-effect: it makes them unfairly view those who oppose what’s going on truly on the grounds of humanity and conscience as shills who are repeating the MB’s talking points. For them this is war, and like any war, you are either with us or against us, and those who are in the middle end up being killed in the crossfire.

Those who are warning of the rising fascist rhetoric are not crying wolf though: there is one place where such rhetoric lives and thrives, and that is in the” Independent Media”. After years of being attacked, threatened, besieged and subpoenaed by Islamists, who have done it all under the Jan 25 demand of “cleansing the media” (never mind that when it was made, it was a call to cleanse the “state-owned-media”), they are charging ahead full force against the MB by supporting the one entity that can, in their eyes, neutralize their threat: The Military. Our independent media has gone in full military worship mode, to the point that ONTV, which was the first channel to present the “No to Military Trials” videos to the public, now had anchors who wore military camouflage while presenting their show. And this is nothing compared to the other channels. In the aftermath of June 30, our media has become a joke, and not a particularly funny one. Rather a very dangerous one.

That being said, even those who are rejecting the violence and blood admit that there is a very strange sense of poetic justice in all that is happening to the MB. From day 1, the MB has deviated from Jan 25’s forces’ goal of creating a country where we are all equal and where the police state gets reformed, into one where they are in charge, above all, rejecting every call or attempt to reform the Ministry of Interior and instead empowering and strengthening that police state with the intent to use them to crush- without mercy or conscience- their enemies and opponents, something they have done in multiple demonstrations against them throughout the year, without a single dissenting voice amidst their ranks against doing this. And now the fruit of all of their efforts to crush their opposition is being used against them. Karmic payback may not be the right term, but it sure is the first one that comes to mind.

One should be mindful not to gloat or overtly support what’s happening too much though, especially over the death of other Egyptians, specifically when one is on “the winning side” of this conflict. More than anyone, we know what it feels like to be the opposition of a government that aims to crush us. For better or worse, our people are now in power, and those who are in power are held accountable on much higher standards than their opposition, no matter who their opposition is. The same applies ten-folds to the supporters of those who are in power. This is how democracy works: you reap what you sow, and the MB’s rise and fall should be a cautionary tale to us all.

The Third Square

As for those who find themselves stuck in the zone of not supporting the MB and not supporting the military, there is a way out, and it isn’t creating “The Third Square” movement, which name and rhetoric further cement the idea that they are no longer one of the main two parties in Egypt’s political struggle,  but rather a third party that has no influence on the process. If you don’t support the MB or military rule, your best bet is to support and hold to task the civilian government to strengthen it, because that’s your end game: civilian rule.

Also, calling on “the revolutionary ministers” to resign repeatedly every time a clash happens is illogical and serves no end. Within the arrangement of the transitional period, the military is clearly handling security, while the civilian government is handling the civilian affairs. Asking them to resign over incidents that they have no power nor control over, and no real alternative solution or plan, serves no purpose other than excluding your representatives from the process.

Not only would such calls, for the sake of conscience and revolutionary purity, prevent us from having any input on the laws and the constitution being drafted, but it would ensure that no one from our side would ever attempt to reach power or be part of any future government, given our tendency to punish those who would dare take that risk and how easily we could be manipulated to stop supporting them. All it would take is for the police to engage in one of their acts of “disproportionate violence” with a high body enough count, and immediately the calls for resignation would echo everywhere, and those who would be fearful for their reputation over their responsibility would resign, which really benefits no one.

We are in the dark tunnel, people. We need to find ways to stick together if we ever hope to see the light.

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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  • Micah Shapiro

    Great, another writer who points out the rogue thuggish elements of the pro-Morsi supporters, but ignores the thuggish elements (and may I add rapes) of the anti-Morsi supporters. Plenty of videos on Youtube of anti-Morsi supporters pulling out knives and stabbing anyone they think is pro-Ikhwan.

    The MB do not have a policy of using violence, but if you want to accuse them of so, based on what a minority of protesters are doing, then by the same logic I declare that Tamarod, NSF and April 6 are not only terrorists, but also rapists, by the sheer number of gang rapes in Tahrir. Fair logic?

    Also, there is nothing to arrest Morsi for in the first place. Ineffective governing and policies is a crime these days? Sorry, but if “Spying for Hamas” while he was in prison is the best they could come up with, that’s pretty pitiful.

    Now you can call for reconciliation and “not really mean it”, but rhetoric won’t fix the problem. If Islamists are not included in the democratic process, then Egypt will have to endure turbulence and possibly civil war. You can not silence society or exclude them from participating (even if you think they are “sheep” who don’t deserve it).

    • Ahmed Mahfouz

      Micah I don’t know who you are but I think you’re misguided. I won’t get into long winding discussions here but I’ve looked at some of your comments on other posts so I’ll give you a stat as you say that and facts are the only things you deal with. 20 – 30 million people disagree with you. A third of the population of Egypt said that Morsi had to go. That’s a fact and a stat. Actually most politicians are already calling for reconciliation so there is really no need to threaten us -just like the MBs do all the time.

      • Micah Shapiro

        please amuse me as to how i am “threatening” anyone? Certainly not more “threatening” than the stuff Mahmoud Salem rights, where in the past he even admitted to fantasy scenarios where MB are systematically rounded up and thrown in prison (Mubarak-era style).

        Most politicians are calling for reconciliation, but is it really more than rhetoric? How are you supposed to have reconciliation or inclusiveness into the new government, when the MB can’t operate and are being imprisoned either under bogus charges, or no charges at all!

        Finally, it is pretty apparent at this stage that with all the provoking of Islamists, there probably will be terrorism, or at least a lot of turbulence, and maybe even another insurgent uprising that would surpass the one of the 90′s. Now you can sit there and blame Islamists all you want, but this was so expected I wouldn’t even call it a prediction. I would say it’s the inevitable. The fact is these things are supposed to be taken into an account when doing something like a Coup. The clock doesn’t start ticking when people are angrily becoming violent. So was the Coup really worth it? Especially given the numbers you speak of, which surely would have put Morsi’s power in check during the upcoming parliamentary elections. There’s a reason the number game is worked out through ballots (and not numbers on the street which can’t even be validated).

        Also this article claims that Islamists such as MB would not give up power once they obtain power through the Democratic process. The authors claims are that because the “prophecy” came true that Islamists would be the first to take power if Mubarak fell, then the 2nd phase of the “prophecy” must also be true that they will not give up power. I find this argument to be extremely ridiculous and based on no evidence whatsoever. 1 year is hardly enough time to judge whether they would give up power. They were not trying to undermine the democratic institutions which could also remove them from power in the future. If you look at other countries, such as Libya, and especially Pakistan and Bangladesh, where Islamists didn’t perform so well at the ballots, they were not sore losers. THey didn’t discount the ballot. They accepted the numbers.

        The problem with determining a “mandate” for moving forward by street protests over the ballot is that it is not clear cut like a ballot. It is grey area. Liberals are going to say their claims of 33 million in the street gives them the right and puts them above the law. MB supporters are going to say their ballot gives them the right because it is the law. So of course Egypt is going to erupt into chaos. That’s why these differences are supposed to be handled at the ballot. You all act as if the ballot can’t remove the MB from power. Everyone knew the MB were going to perform horribly in the next Parliamentary elections. The goals could have been achieved without a Coup.

        Also, lets not forget Bush had 80% approval ratings after 9/11, and they all turned out to be wrong. I don’t believe in majority-politics. I’d probably further believe that it is easier to make everyone hate a president more than like a president (most U.S. presidents go below 40% approval rating at some point in their career). It will never work to favor one sector of society against another significant sector of society. That is what has happened in Egypt. There will be turbulence to come

        • tamer

          I’m sorry my friend but the ballot box does not apply to a dictator. It didn’t apply to Mubarak and I’m guessing you were ok with the army pushing him out, arresting all the members of his party and had no issues with the political exclusion law where anyone who was a member of Mubarak’s party for the last 10 years cannot go into politics.
          If you are gonna tell me that Morsi was democratically elected? Yes he was! No argument there, no one is arguing that (keep in mind that army implemented those elections and handed over power to the winner).
          But an elected official’s right to finish his term is not determined by his election, it is based on his acts while in office.
          Bad management is not a a good enough reason to remove him, true. But don’t you think that issuing a constitutional declaration giving himself absolute power and using street politics to enforce it is? Clinton was being impeached for lying about a BJ. You don’t think Morsi should be removed and prosecuted for that?
          Morsi grabbed power and used mass mobilization of supporters every time he wanted to enforce his decisions. He just lost at his own game

          • Micah Shapiro

            Clinton was impeached for lying about a BJ, because the American Republicans enjoy taking cheap shots at their political opponents and using character assassination techniques.

            Mubarak stepped down from power. Military adopted it. Hardly a Coup. Did Morsi have a corrupt record of laundering billions of dollars from Egypt’s economy while people are going hungry? No, i don’t think so. Comparing Morsi to Mubarak is ridiculous.

            I am so sick of people using his constitutional declaration as if to say Morsi was some kind of pharaoh. Get real. You people never seem to mention his declaration was TEMPORARY from the start. Secondly, he held himself above the judiciary because your so-heroic Mubarak-friendly Judicary was dissolving the first democratically elected bodies of government based on technicalities. Morsi actually used his declaration to fire the General Prosecutor, which you all should know was a scorn to the January 2011 revolution (nevermind the fact that the General Prosecutor just happened to be reinstated hours before the June 30 Coup. Coincidence? doubt it).

            When Morsi dissolved his declaration early, he did so by holding a meeting with Brotherhood and opposition members, and he told them he would leave the room and let them come to a decision on their own terms, and when they reach a decision, he will agree to whatever they agree with. At the meeting, they decided Morsi should cancel his declaration early, and he did just that.

            Doesn’t sound like a Dictator to me. A shame, Morsi had an 80% approval rating before that constitutional declaration, which was totally blown out of proportion due to horrible media with an agenda. You can keep claiming, “But he would have never given it up actually”, but you don’t really know. Perhaps people should have waited a little longer to see if that claim would actually hold up past the expiration date, then they may have a good argument. But until then, I really don’t buy into this narrative that “The brotherhood won’t ever give up power once they gain power by Democracy.” That is just not true. Islamists have done horribly in elections in other countries and they didn’t act like sore losers of the Egyptian opposition who can’t sell themselves at the ballot and therefore go around democratic channels to pursue their agenda.

          • tamer

            So temporary dictatorship is ok? So democracy doesn’t need to apply if it is in your interest? Thank you for showing how Morsi and the MB (and you) really don’t care about true democracy, only when it suits you.
            By the way, that “Mubarak-judiciary” that you people always talk about are the ones that supervised the elections, made sure they were free and fair and announced Morsi the winner by 1.75% margin. That is 500k votes out of 27Million. If they were that corrupt you don’t think they could have cheated the vote??? Think about it please.
            And no one had a problem with firing the Public Prosecutor, you and the MB always fail to mention that!! But what is undemocratic and against the law it that the president just appoints him without going through the proper process LIKE MUBARAK!!!!!!
            Anyway it is obvious that you don’t really care about real democracy, you only care about it when it suits you and will justify breaking democratic rules when its in your favor

          • Micah Shapiro

            If people approved of Morsi firing the General Prosecutor, then they should have supported his temporary powers, because he wasn’t able to fire the General Prosecutor without doing that. If I remember correctly, the General Prosecutor referred to the January 2011 revolutionaries as “rats.” I am not saying the entire Judiciary was bad, but it certainly needed to be cleansed of some figures, and you can only do that by holding yourself above the judiciary. That is not dictatorship. Dictators don’t leave power.

            You keep saying I don’t care about democracy, but the secularists and liberals constantly undermined Democracy. Time Magazine even said, “Islamists are the best democrats” and called the secularists and liberals of Egypt as “the worst democrats.” If they truly cared about Democracy, they should have criticized the General Prosecutor when he ruined Egyptian history by dissolving the first democratically elected parliament in history, based on a small technicality (a technicality to which the judiciary should have pointed out and fixed before elections, so it was kind of their fault). But it seems the secularists and liberals had no problem with this undemocratic tyrannical move, since they didn’t perform so well at the ballots anyway. Now who is the sore loser?

            Egypt had no constitution yet. Corrupt members of the Judiciary were plotting against the Morsi-led government. Morsi needed to take some extreme measures to protect Egypt’s institutions, and he did just that. The General Prosecutor was preparing to dissolve the Shura Council as well, another democratically elected body. It should be the President’s job to protect Egypt’s democratic bodies.

          • tamer

            Again justifying dictatorship to pursue your own ends. That’s not a democratic way no matter how you justify it.
            And if temporary dictatorship is ok, then fine. We will apply a temporary dictatorship now to purge the country from the corrupt MB. Very simple really.

          • Micah Shapiro

            It’s not a dictatorship. Perhaps people should have waited and protested if Morsi actually used those powers to do something controversial. Cleaning up the judiciary is not controversial. What’s controversial is corrupt prosecutors dissolving Democratically elected bodies of government and erasing Egypt’s first democratic elections.

            But instead, the Mubarak-friendly media made a fury out of it and created this atmosphere of dictatorship that was highly overblown. There has been a media campaign against Ikhwan since day 1.

            Also, what kind of “Dictator” allows the media and talk show hosts to bash him 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, without a minute of censorship? I doubt anyone would have had the brass to go on TV and bash Mubarak every day of the week, or even Sisi for that matter. That speaks volumes about the freedom of press and expression under the democratic MOrsi government.

            But I guess not anymore. One of the members of the Wasat party got arrested the other day for none other than insulting the judiciary. Ridiculous!

          • tamer

            The freedom of the press started before Morsi was president. You forget my dear that there was 18 months between Mubarak and Morsi. The freedom came before morsi was elected.
            And there were more arrests and cases for “insulting the presidency” in morsi’s 12 months than mubarak’s 30 years!!! That is a fact! Exaggerated there my friend.
            And again you are trying to justify a crime by giving reasons. If you want to clean up any institution you can do it through democratic means. You don’t have to be a dictator. Having all the powers is the DEFINITION of a dictator. Only an idiot would have waited to see what he would do with it. Some egyptians are sheep, most of us aren’t.

          • reflexionismo

            The tragedy of this coup is that it doesn’t leave anybody credible on the political scene. The MB showed that they don’t have solutions for Egypt’s problems. The secularist elites realised they can’t win elections and decided to go back to a dictatorship that protects their interests. The ‘revolutionary’ AUC youth have exposed themselves as either idiots who were manipulated by the old regime or as sellouts to the old regime.

            So, who has any credibility left?

          • tamer

            I hope you don’t think you do……

          • reflexionismo

            At last, someone who is not a sheep. Reasonable arguments are so difficult to find amongst the AUC pro-coup ‘revolutionaries’.

          • tamer

            You have weird obsession with AUC….. I’m guessing you didn’t get accepted….

          • reflexionismo

            Ah, a high level Cairo elite argument. Actually, my experience with AUC graduates makes me think it is a good thing I never studied there. Low intellectual standards. Not surprising when one considers how many of the lectures have to argue that democracy and supporting of dictatorships are compatible concepts.

            Anyway, this has been so one sided I will move on. I seriously expected a bit more substance from pro-coup supporters rather than the intellectual drivel I have come across here.

          • tamer

            Sounds like a bitter reject to me….

          • reflexionismo

            Tamer, I’m starting to like you. You may be clueless about politics, but you are stubborn and dedicated. It’s quite charming…

          • tamer

            Since we are all terrorized from MB and don’t leave the house I’m quite bored. Self entertaining by trying to educate the brainless and delusional. Fools errand really. But you do help me kill time.
            I’m also intrigued by the dysfunctional mental process that lead to your nickname. Although I’m afraid of finding out. :)

      • reflexionismo

        Plz stop using the “30 to 40 million” myth. There is consensus that there was nowhere near that number.

        Also, we know about half of the electorate is pro-regime, which is why Ahmed Shafik got almost half the vote. And considering how Tamarrod were little more than a cover for the former NDP elites, it would be far more accurate to label this the NDP revolution.

        And no amount of self-righteous posturing will.change those basic facts.

        • tamer

          facts? hahahahahahahahahahahaahahahaha
          And if half the electorate is pro-regime, then the regime has legitimacy dumbo! Think before you sound like a sheep

          • reflexionismo

            Tamer, I don’t know anything about you apart from what you say about yourself. Which is:
            1. Shafik and the former regime have legitimacy.
            2. Trade unionists that think corrupt privatization deals shouldn’t be implemented are crazy.
            3. Morsi was a dictator because…. what exactly?

            If it looks like a sheep, sounds like a sheep, and bleehs like a sheep… perhaps it is a sheep. A pro-NDP, pro-secret police, pro-military, pro-dictatorship, pro-coup sheep, but a sheep nevertheless.

            Well, at least you can no longer claim I don’t know a damn thing about you. Coz you really exposed your sheepishness for everyone to see.

            Hahaha! What great fun to see coup apologists resort to insults when they run out of arguments.

          • tamer

            I may need to draw this for you.. …. I’ll try again with words:
            If 48% of the electorate are pro-NDP then NDP have a right to be here. Those are your words. Still too confusing for you? Nevermind. When you grow up.
            Who the hell brought up privatization? Are you having conversations on your own and getting confused?
            Morsi made himself literal dictator in Nov 2012. If you font understand that one then I am really wasting my time here. You are one of those blinded brainwashed tweeters thinking you make a difference

    • ymasry

      I am wondering what rapes you are referring to (in relation to the 30/6 and later demonstrations)? Also your comment about “MB do not have a policy of using violence”… I’m really wondering what planet you hail from, or if you know anything about Egypt or these groups that give you the right to rant about it/them. You definitely know nothing and therefore i wonder why it is that you are writing/or interested about it in the first place, my only conclusion is that you are a saboteur. In that case, there is no need to discuss your points and good day to you.

      • Micah Shapiro

        If you are going to accuse the MB of having a policy of using violence, you are going to need to provide a source to back up that claim in which all evidence and facts deny it (and please, a source other than Safwat Hegazy, who has never been a member of the MB, and is not a member of the MB, in case you all haven’t figured that out). The common rhetoric among the MB is to be peaceful. The common protester in Rabaa is peaceful. If you want to talk about some thuggish rogues, well I got news for you: they’re on both sides (except on the side of the pro-Coup supporters, you can see the security apparatus savagely teaming up with the rock-throwers to attack their opponents making it clear their role on the street is not neutrality, but to favor one side over the other without any regard to conflict resolution)

        Right, any person who is against the Coup is an enemy of Egypt, or a “terrorist” or a saboteur, or a person secretly sent by the MB to guise themselves as a westerner, for how could a decent well educated sincere person possibly be in disagreement with the Military propaganda? Your conclusions amuse me.

        All I read in your post is “You don’t know anything.” you didn’t need to waste about 100 words of writing just to say that. Please make supporting points next time if you want to make such claims.

        • tamer

          There is violent groups on both sides that is true. But saying that Safwat Hegazy is not MB is a bit exaggerated no? If he isn’t, why isn’t the MB stopping him from going on stage everyday at Rabaa preaching his violent rhetoric?
          What about Beltagy saying that the violence in Sinai will only end when Morsi is returned?
          When you tell someone that martyrdom for the sake of Morsi will lead to heaven you are encouraging violent death for your cause. Don’t deny that please.
          Yes describing all the Rabaa protesters or MB members as terrorists is terrible, just as describing all the non-Islamists as infidels.
          Regarding the rapes, you should understand that this is part of a major problem in Egypt’s society with regards to attitude towards women and their rights. The number of rapes and harassment in Tahrir square in nothing compared to the number of rapes and harassments that go on every day all over the country. Women being divorced in a moment’s notice and thrown out of their homes…
          It has nothing to do with politics. You should be smart enough to know that.

          • Micah Shapiro

            Safwat Hegazy is exaggeration? No, it is fact. He is not a member. All MB members and spokesman constantly tell their supporters not to use violence. In regards to martyrdom, they constantly tell them that should they be attacked, don’t fight back because it is better to be martyred without spilling the blood of another Muslim. But it seems you don’t like the term “martyrdom” (to which both sides have used this term and given heroic status to “martyrs” including those of the January 2011 revolution, so it’s not a reason for demonization).

            I dare you to find even one source of Muslim Brotherhood doing takfir and saying their opponents are infidels. If you repeat something enough times, I guess people believe this. I believe this issue blew out of proportion when Morsi attended a rally in support of Syrian rebels, in which people lashed out at the Alawite “kaffrs” in Syria who are committing massacres. However, this isn’t much of an issue, since many Alawites themselves consider themselves to be non-Muslim, and the issue over whether they are actually a Muslim is debatable even in their own communities (in the 1980′s, Shia ulama branded the Alawites a sect of Shiism only to legitimize their rule over Syria in the wake of strong opposition who were using their status as non-Muslims to decry their legitimacy. Therefore, their official standing as a sect of Shiism is more political than religious). The issue over “kaffr” further becomes solidified when you see Alawites on Syrian TV constantly saying, “We Syrians put our Lord Bashar above that of Allah!” (by definition, one is not a Muslim or a believer in Islam if they worship others than Allah, or place them above Allah)

            But I have heard Morsi’s supporters referred to as “sheep”, “terrorists” and dehumanized and slandered in an active propaganda campaign, which makes them more ripe for slaughter as Egyptian liberals seem so savage I could almost imagine them supporting a genocide at this point in time.

            “What about Beltagy saying that the violence in Sinai will only end when Morsi is returned? ”
            - But there is some truth to that. Non-Muslim academia also makes these same claims. Also, I don’t see how it is any different than those who claim that violence won’t end until Islamists accept the political-roadmap that’s been handed to them by the illegitimate military.

          • sab

            If you speak Arabic, I will prpvide you with ample evidence of the Brotherhood inciting violence, takfiring everyone else and promising to use violence such as car bombings against thier opponenets.

          • Micah Shapiro

            yes, i speak Arabic, so post away. I want MB, not some Al Qaeda guys in beards or Zawahiri or even Safwat Hegazi (who isn’t part of the MB).

      • English Defense League

        Ymasry i couldnt of put it better myself..She does talk gibberish

      • Micah Shapiro

        and in case you haven’t been reading, the rapes and molestation in Tahrir is huge. There are Egyptians groups specifically tasked with deployment in Tahrir to protect women from being raped. There’s multiple videos on Youtube of perverts trying to grab women. C’mon, you should know this.

  • Ahmed Mahfouz

    Shabab, chill, Micah just goes around with those comments everywhere. He’s an avid MB fan so just let him be. Just like all MBs he/she will never admit to any of the huge mistakes the MB did. You know the type.

    • reflexionismo

      It says a lot about the state of the ‘revolutionary’ pro-coup youth that Micah makes more sense than most of the delusional people who post here.

    • Micah Shapiro

      I will admit plenty of the MB’s mistakes. Financial corruption, “terrorism”, takfir, violence or “Brotherhood-ization of the state” isn’t one of them.

  • reflexionismo

    Great fiction writing. Excellent example of why Egyptian media has no credibility.

    If you want to read a far more realistic analysis of 30/6 by an anti-Morsi revolutionary, I’d recommend this: http://www.opendemocracy.net/sameh-naguib-rosemary-bechler/egypt%E2%80%99s-long-revolution-knowing-your-enemy

    • tamer

      Just another sideliner going on an on about absurd conspiracy theorists and complaining after the fact.
      Want Morsi removed but not by the army? How then? He wasn’t leaving and mobilizing his supporters to keep him there. What do you do? How do you remove him?
      Last November he made himself dictator, a spit in the face of democracy. What makes you think he would have resigned peacefully.
      He wants nationalizations of business and occupying closed factories… where are the citizens rights to property?
      Anarchist trying to be socialist. Ridiculous.

      • reflexionismo

        I can see you saw ‘trade unions’ and dreamt up a bolshevik revolution. Or perhaps you’re just demonstrating what many of us always knew: there is little difference between the ‘revolutionary youth’, the NDP and the MB when it comes to economic ideas and policies.

        But for me the importance of the interview is not the interviewee’s political and economic views, but his analysis of Morsi’s rule, of 30/6 and of where we are now. It is far more honest and balanced than sandmonkey’s apologetics for the military and the police.

        But I can see there’s a large segment of the AUC clique that doesn’t want to deal with reality. Better to believe nonsense like “the military are dealing with security and the civilians with civilian stuff” than to acknowledge you just brought the NDP back to power. Whatever rocks your boat, little one.

        • tamer

          You know nothing of me yet make these assumptions about who I am or what I believe in. Yeah, you are a voice of reason!
          But ok I am willing to accept your point. Prove it though, please. Don’t just talk conspiracy. Mubarak and all his top people are in jail. So how exactly is the NDP back in power? No theories or conspiracies or rumors. Please give facts and evidence. If you can, little one!
          And that is not a balanced view. His arguments are just based on certain specific events (not all realities) and mostly conspiracies/rumors to give credibility to his views, which are ignored by most of the population anyway.
          Last time around it was the revolutionary youth who kept the pressure on the military to deliver democracy, not the MB or these “paper intellectuals” who belong to a failed age long forgotten.
          Sandmonkey was an outstanding outspoken critic of Mubarak and advocate for democratic change before you probably ever got you head out of you a**.

          • reflexionismo

            Dear Tamer,

            Don’t take this personally. If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, then it’s natural for me to think that this is a duck.

            Okay, so you want evidences. For what? For the fact that it was a military coup? That’s not a conspiracy theory. That’s a fact which nobody can really deny. Perhaps you want proof that the old regime is coming back into power. Well that’s easy enough:


            Just from this one article:

            1. Ihab Youssef says police had a mentality of persecuting Islamists and couldn’t cope with being ruled by MB. Do you really think the lack of security wasn’t premeditated? And miracle of miracles, when it’s time to overthrow Morsi, the police are yed wahida with the military and their allies.

            2. Naguid Sawiris brags about his infrastructure, financial and media assistance to Tamarrod. He claims they didn’t know it was him, which at best proves that Tamarrod are really really stupid.

            3. Tahani el-Gebali, that beacon of Mubarakism, says she and her judge friends advised Tamarrod to appeal to the military. In plain English, to instigate a coup.


            Tamarrod members admit they conspired with retired generals and important players in the state institutions to bring down Morsi.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7BE61jAE9Kc (06.00 to 08.00)

            Mona Makram Ebeid here talks about how the army had gathered her and other ‘intellectuals’ and told them to write a manifesto, and gave them a deadline for 3pm. Just before that she goes on to praise the police. Stomach-churning.

            Furthermore, just think: Ahmad Shafik got about 48% of the vote last year. Where did all those people go? Did they just vanish overnight? There were so many reports of people in Tahrir saying they didn’t come out on 25 January, but they came out this time because Morsi was even worse than Mubarak… Well, I would say that was the NDP crew, the same people who voted for Shafik.

            And what about the ongoing attacks on MB offices up and down the country almost from the moment the MB came into power? Or the people who had been waiting ‘for years’ to destroy the MB’s offices, even though the MB had been in government for less than a year. You don’t think that was the NDP baltagia?

            Then look at the members of the current government. The ministers of gas and electricity, whose supposed incompetence was the cause of gas shortages and electricity cuts, didn’t get punished for their ‘incompetence’. Which raises the question: Perhaps they were just doing their job. Beblawi is SCAF’s neo-liberal finance minister. Adly Mansour is a Mubarak appointment to the judiciary who fought hard to ensure Shafik could run in the 2012 election. Nabil Fahmy is Mubarak’s former ambassador to the US (and that post is not one you get unless you’re close to the regime) who was noted by US officials for never -publicly or privately- criticizing Mubarak’s regime. It seems Baradei, who would get more votes in Geneva than in Cairo, may be the closest you have to a liberal in the new government. The rest are Mubarak’s yes men.

            And let’s not say anything about the return of the secret police: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/jul/29/egypt-restores-secret-police-units

            Oh, and I could link to plenty of evidence that demonstrates Egyptian media (owned by Mubarak’s friends) has done its job well.

            I hope this is enough evidence to convince you that what happened in Egypt was nothing but a coup. Oh, but just in case you still believe that this was not a coup, please read this article http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/23/opinion/we-had-our-tamarrod-and-failed.html?_r=0 by a right-wing Venezuelan who compares Tamarrod to those who tried to do a coup against Chavez. And then watch The Revolution Will Not Be Televised. Because the attempted coup in Venezuela looks an awful lot like 30/6.

          • tamer

            First of all, at the end of your previous comment you called me “little one”. You got personal! But then again it’s obvious what type of person you are. But that is another story.
            Your stack of evidence only gives credence to our lack of understanding of what really matters and how democracy works.
            1) that is just Ihab’s Youssef’s opinion. Another point could be made that the police was complicit in Morsi’s government as they never protected the opposition protesters who were beaten to death by MB. So scracth that stupid argument

            2)Naguib Sawiris can brag all he wants. The fact is that he didn’t buy the signatures, he just helped spread the word. People signed and joined on their own accord. The papers were not signed on OnTV they were signed in person. All the Islamist channels were blasting the campaign, how come people still signed. BECAUSE IT WAS THEIR FREE WILL. Also university campuses, all the other political parties, hospitals, youth movements,… everyone opened up their offices for petition collection. Oh and the biggest spread of the campaign was on FACEBOOK! I guess Zuckerberg is NDP too. Evidence 2, scratch that too. I think this was your dumbest one.

            3) Yes they appealed to the army Yes and again YES. When you have a nut like Morsi who is leading the country to a civil war, stands by and lets his allies lynch Shias in their homes and has shown in the past that he is willing to make himself dictator to push his agenda, YES the army that protects Egypt should save it. Refresh my memory, did you go out and protest the army moving out Mubarak or did you celebrate a revolution? You are really beginning to sound like your duck there.

            4) Either you have a short memory (duck) or you just have a weak understanding of facts. Shafik got 24% of the vote. Let me explain because I’m sure this is confusing you. In the first round when all candidates are there, that is the real representation of loyalties. Morsi got 26%. In the second round, the run-off between Morsi-Shafik the remaining 50% (the ones who voted for the other candidates split between the two. That doesn’t mean that 48% of the people are NDP it means that they chose NDP over MB. Not the same quack.

            5)MB offices attacked, MB attack media city, MB attack churches, MB surround constitutional court, MB attack and kill protesters outside the presidential palace…. your point is what exactly? quack quack

            6) Fact: electricity shortages and fuel lines caused by lack of fuel because Egypt doesn’t have the credit rating to buy fuel on credit. Ships stuck in port for weeks without discharging fuel load until they get paid. Do research! Fuel being smuggled? Our neighbors are Gaza, Libya and Sudan. Which of the 3 have more and cheaper fuel than us? Hint: Not Gaza!! Fuel being smuggled to GAZA. Yeah NDP did that right??? Quack… quack quack

            7) Whether these new ministers are related to Mubarak or not, did they commit crimes? Or are you advocating guilt by association? very democratic ducky. And you are just giving your opinion about Mubarak relation, no fact. MB funded terrorism and assassinated people. How come you accept them in government? They release convicted terrorists. But they are ok right?

            8)Venezuela?? really??? Get real man. why are you trying to go so far to such unrelated issues to prove your dumb point. Ok fine let’s do that. Hilter, Hamas both won elections both never honored democracy and are terrors to humanity. But who cares let’s stay on point.

            It seems my friend you are an embarrassment to ducks. And you are just to blind and ignorant to see the main point.
            It doesn’t matter who organised financed or assisted the movement. No one was forced to sign the petition or take to the street. No one was pointing a gun at them either. Millions of Egyptians decided what they wanted. It happened in 2011 it happened again now. You can’t accept or respect that, go quack to the sheep in Rabaa

          • reflexionismo

            Now that was entertaining! Pity your self-righteous rage made it impossible for you to make one solid argument.

            1. Is your counter argument seems to be that you know better than someone that was police and continues to work closely with them. Beeeeeeh.
            2. It’s obvious you have no idea about media campaigns. Bleeeh.
            3. The army was necessary because Morsi was leading the country to civil war. Someone who believes Okasha dares to call other people sheep? You don’t realize how you destroy your little credibility when you say things like that.
            4. You may have a point. The NDP has about a quarter of Egypt, but you still have to explain why so many non-NDP choose Shafik.
            5. More Okasha arguments. At best, you could argue that MB and ‘revolutionary’ youth were as bad as each other. You’d still have to prove that it was MB that actually was behind the attacks. We know for a fact that the former regime attacked churches to create tensions.
            6. Really? So the day Morsi gets kicked out, all the economic problems are solved and you don’t see how obvious that is? Don’t you realize how stupid you sound?
            7. Another really stupid argument. Nobody is saying they’re criminals in the legal sense. But these are regime men, the same people who have been implementing Mubarak’s policies for 30 years. There’s nothing revolutionary about them, they’re just yes men that will do whatever the generals and police torturers tell them to do. If you can’t see that…
            8. Thank you for exposing yourself over and over again. It feels good to know my original evaluation of you was so correct! See, I compare two coups -Venezuela and Egypt- which were pretty similar: long term media campaign, so-called ‘popular’ protests that lead to the military stepping in ‘responding to the people’. Meanwhile you compare Morsi (1 year in office, no notable achievements) to Hitler (1 world war, about 50 million dead, 5 million Jews gassed, concentration camps all over Europe). And you laugh at me? I’m starting to wonder whether you’re on drugs.

            I think, for your own sake, you should stop exposing your sheepishness. You are destroying the tiny little bit of goodwill people may still have towards the ‘revolutionary’ youth.

          • tamer

            No points, just comments…. Sad day.
            Enjoy your fury and denial. Watch progress pass you buy. Good luck.

          • Elijah Shapiro

            Come on guys, give my brother Micah a break here, You’re all piling on him like that, where is the love? everyone is entitled to his opinion no matter how dumb he sounds.
            Also FYI my brother Micah is a liberal, not a member of the MB as some of you rapists think. he just stands for democracy and legitimacy no matter how autocratic, theocratic, dictatorial or despotic it was.. You can’t argue with the ballot box.
            Yeah that’s right baby…
            Scoreboard: MB 1 Liberals 0.

            Don’t worry Micah, I got your back bro, just stay away from Tahrir, let’em gang rap them ugly liberal chicks. You just come back to Rabaa, we’ve got some real hot babes … and they even accept credit cards now. Let those 33 million infidel eat their heart out. They’re just jealous of us. we’ve got some legitimate sex here in Rabaa.

            By the way You got a long distance call from a guy called Ayman, he didn’t leave a last name or a call back number, he sounds like he was calling from Pakistan or something, he asked about a hat… a ceremonial hat, he said he needs it back.

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  • solar123

    in free and fair elections if held even tomorrow….MB 30% (thats what polls are showing) Salafists 15% Third Squarists… strong egypt etc 15% Independnent Islamists 10%….Hold elections… lets see…

    Baradie….0% Mubarakistas….prob 30% Basically the coup leaders could only come to power by bloody force and will hold onto it by purging the judiciary of any reformers, bringing back the secret police…and hey ho they will maybe give Baradei 95% in the forthcoming stage managed elections… If they can claim 30 million people fitted into Tahrir anything is possible. (have a look on google some American academics showed that if you calculate the area of tahrir and environs it can hold max 250,000 to 350,000. But who cares about truth. truth is down the barrell of a milatary gun

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