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Ziad A. Akl

Ziad A. Akl

If things go according to plan, by this time next week, by the time I sit down staring at an empty screen asking myself whether it’s really worth writing about politics in Egypt anymore; by that time, Egypt will be celebrating its new constitution.

The document that shall deliver the shiny promises of stability, security, prosperity and liberty will finally see the light in a matter of days. Egyptians must stand together in solidarity to pass this precious document, one that will assure Egypt’s glorious triumph over the Muslim Brotherhood’s terrorism. Egypt’s chance to finally achieve the goals and realise the dreams of both revolutions is around the corner, and Egyptians must seize it.

This last paragraph is what you can conclude after less than 30 minutes of Egyptian media, both state-owned and private. It does not matter what you’re watching or whom you’re listening to, the coalition is really broad. This pink-cloud image of the constitution is shared by a diverse group of people. Ironically though, this extensive propaganda never acknowledges any shortcomings within the document. At the same time, the possibility of this constitution not passing referendum is never even conceived.

However, if you are one of those who choose — for different reasons — to follow Brotherhood-inspired media, I am sure that the image you have of what will happen this week in Egypt is extremely different. But if this is the case,  you will also have to take into account the hateful, closed-minded, inaccurate and unfounded accounts the Muslim Brotherhood media has of pretty much every single event since January 2011. The matter will then be a mere question of when the Muslim Brotherhood comes back to power to set things back to their “legitimate” order. No doubt there will be lots of talk about elections, legitimacy, the will of the people, democracy and human rights. Ironically, Brotherhood media never seems to answer any question concerning how the very same principles were treated during Morsi’s presidency.

Unfortunately, the two historic rivals in Egypt, the army and the Muslim Brotherhood, never seem to learn from their mistakes. Neither the army nor the regime nor the state — they’re all really one and the same one way or the other — could rid itself of blind propaganda, could tolerate the slightest of criticism nor could use the silly and idiotic mistakes the Muslim Brotherhood makes day after day.

Meanwhile, the Muslim Brotherhood did not evolve. The organisation remained unable to politically use the many loopholes in this interim regime, were not able to appeal to those who share their same cause and were definitely unable to maintain an image of a credible source of information. In the same sense that Morsi was an Islamised version of Mubarak, the Muslim Brotherhood is just a more primitive, less sophisticated version of the state in Egypt.

However, between the state’s euphoria and the Muslim Brotherhood’s drama, there are those who believe in the absurdity of all this. They are neither terrorists nor traitors. There are those who believe that the whole process lacks logic. There are those who are very perplexed by the idea of putting people in prison for protesting and at the same time asking people to participate in a democratic referendum. There are those who know that they themselves aren’t powerful enough to induce real change, but are also honest enough to refrain from participating in bringing about false change. There are those who believe that this country deserves much more than an “only option”. There are those who believe that Egypt’s future should not be decided through option reduction or through mass manipulation. There are those who believe that it is not a matter of “yes” and “no”, and when it boils down to a yes-no process, neither will represent them. There are those who believe that making the same mistakes and expecting different results is outright insanity.

And they are the very people who will very soon find themselves besieged by radicals from all possible directions.

About the author

Ziad A. Akl

Ziad A. Akl

Ziad A. Akl is a political analyst and sociologist. He is a senior researcher at the Egyptian Studies Unit in Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies.


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