Conjuring the demon

Rana Allam
7 Min Read
Rana Allam
Rana Allam
Rana Allam

So the president waves his forefinger at us during a long awaited speech amid bloodshed and chaos, declaring a 30-day curfew in the three major canal cities and a state of emergency, while allowing harsher measures to be taken by his now-beloved Ministry of Interior.

It is quite interesting that he would impose curfew in Ismailia (which didn’t have much rioting until the curfew decision!) and leave Cairo, which is paralysed by the violence in its downtown area and the frequent cutting of major roads and bridges. These are of course questions to be asked and never answered.

Egypt is bursting with opposition to this decision, except of course those who support Morsy (no matter what he does and before he does it), and those who believe that crushing people will bring “stability”.

I am not one of those; I am against all acts of violence and oppression. A state of emergency and curfews and more weapons are never the solution. Besides, what will be the gain from announcing a state of emergency? The police already detain people without warrants; many were taken from their homes in the past few days. Also, Egyptians never respect curfews; they held protests during curfew hours right after the president’s speech. So basically, the only gain is legalising random detention and allowing the use of lethal weapons in facing protesters.

Admittedly, we are hearing of protesters carrying firearms, which was not the case two years ago, back then the strength was in the numbers of protesters and the rocks they managed to find on the streets. But then, isn’t it Morsy and Co’s strategy to leave the MOI as corrupt as it has always been, so now heavy firearms are sold everywhere for reasonable prices? They have left the MOI without punishment for their crimes,  isn’t it a consequence that everyone is becoming a criminal? Didn’t they insist on keeping that failure of a government until people became hungry with no hope to eat?

These are not the people fighting for a constitution…they are fighting for food, for justice, for survival. They can burn it all down.

Morsy, if you think that meeting the opposition figures on a “national dialogue” will bring an end to this, you are completely delusional. To think that the shameful National Salvation Front or the weak political parties or even the popular activists can put a stop to this, or have any control over those on the streets, you must be joking.

You are not fighting ElBaradei’s fans, nor Hamdeen’s, nor even Shafiq’s. The ladies and gents of Heliopolis and Zamalek are no longer your battle, you have moved behind those who have good jobs and posh homes. You are now face to face with those who have lost everything, including their hope for a better future and their faith in you. It will not be the likes of me marching on those protests anymore, it will be those who can handle violence, those who have nothing left to lose, who are way too many and way too chaotic.

Now those who support Morsy’s crackdown on Egyptians believe that we can only be controlled by force. Those fools who, because they can only survive as slaves, think that all Egyptians are like them, and they repeat their revolution-days rhetoric, slamming us with the forever boring question: “what is the solution? You are complaining over and over… do you have a better solution to stop the bloodshed, and get the criminals and killers off the streets? Do you have a better solution than the use of force?”

Well, I don’t have a solution. But then again, I am not the one who caused this deadlock, and as the Egyptian proverb goes: That who conjured the demon, should exorcise it!

I am also quite positive that if our rulers want a peaceful solution, they can find one. If they realise that they are no longer an illegal organisation, if they move beyond the phobia of those trying to overthrow their regime, beyond the treason conspiracy theories. If only they ask themselves, why were people out on the streets in the first place?

Maybe then , they will realise that it is Morsy and Co’s fault. They did this! Their interior ministry did this by continuing to torture people and detain them for no reason, while not doing their real job of maintaining peace and order on the streets. Their cabinet and its continuing failures in all aspects, on top of which the economic disaster we are living. Their constituent assembly and its deformed constitution. Their judges and their political agendas. Their counsellors, and their guidance bureau who time after time prove their ignorance of strategy and policy making, and most importantly how they ignore the poor people of this country.

The solution is never weapons and force and detentions; it might give them a momentary gain, but it will backfire at the slightest spark. Even if they can control it now, can they control it a week from now? How long can their uniforms sustain dealing with this chaos?

Those fighting you now are the Egyptians who are frustrated with their miserable daily hardships, their every day struggle, and guess what? They have no leader, but apparently they have a lot of weapons… and you have taken away their hope!

Deal with it… and never ask me to approve of curfews and emergency laws and murder!

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