Writers in Egyptian newspapers have explored a variety of topics recently. Some writers questioned the opposition’s readiness to compete against the Muslim Brotherhood in the upcoming parliamentary elections. Others chide the independent and opposition media for failing to provide a fair coverage of the 12th session of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), which is now being led by Egypt for the coming three years.
Believe in yourselves
Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper
Al-Shobaki analyses the recent visit of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to Egypt and the reaction to it. He condemns those who were proud that Iran’s president was attacked twice; when he entered the shrine of Imam Al-Hussein, the Prophet Muhammad’s grandson, and when celebrating his visit inside the Iranian embassy in Cairo.
Is it not possible for Egypt to act modestly as many other democratic countries, which manage pleasant relations with countries across the globe? Al-Shobaki asks why Egypt, which maintains foreign relations with “Zionist Israel” and other countries which have Hindus and atheists, does not restore its relations with Iran. Looking at the Muslim region, the writer emphasises the weight of Iran and Turkey.
It would be wise for Morsi to consider the significance of such countries and work on fortifying relations with them. Iran has its own ambitions and benefits, but Egypt’s smart political move crystallises in aiming to keep balanced relations with all important countries in the region. Egyptians should not forget that Ahmadinejad is the first Iranian president to visit Egypt in 34 years. It might be one of Morsi’s better achievements amid the political unrest, says Al-Shobaki.
Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper
Salmawi narrates his talks with the Tunisian opposition leader Chokri Belaid during his last visit in Tunisia. Belaid, who was assassinated last week, spoke with the writer about the developments in Egypt and how they relate to the situation in Tunisia. He then elaborated on the concept of “political assassinations”. “If I knew Belaid would be assassinated a few months later, I would not have ignored his remarks on political assassinations,” writes Salmawi.
The late opposition leader believed that the coming stage would witness a series of assassinations. Belaid used to argue that killings of political figures are a fundamental part of political Islam.
In his viewpoint, the ideology is based on the fact that whoever is against God is supportive of Satan, and therefore needs to be killed for the sake of Islam. Belaid explained to Salmawi the number of political assassinations witnessed in Islamic history. He finished by stating that if the Muslim Brotherhood are not currently focusing on political assassinations, it is because they are currently more concerned with their image in the west.
They only want to appear modest in the eyes of the foreigners. However, after they are secure in power, Belaid expected that they will launch a series of assassinations to get rid of their opponents.
Emad Al-Din Hussein
And what after calling them thugs?
Recent clashes in front of the presidential palace have urged Hussein to ask why authorities insist on referring to protesters as thugs. It seems like this is the easiest solution for those in power; this method was also used by former president Hosni Mubarak and his group.
Despite Hussein’s repeated condemnation of all violence used in front of the palace and all actions that aim at vandalising private and public state institutions, he still believes that the government should not generalise and call all protesters thugs. Dealing with all demonstrators as gangsters and working on issuing laws that criminalise them will increase the problem, says Hussein.
He also blames the presidency for ignoring the issue and warns of negative consequences in the future. Among those protesters must be a group who supports the National Salvation Front (NSF), Egypt’s largest opposition bloc, and others who oppose it.
Those in front of the palace are not from one single group. Therefore, the writer calls upon President Mohamed Morsi and Hesham Qandil’s government to listen to the demands of the protesters instead of merely calling them thugs. Otherwise, warns Hussein, a countdown to the end of Morsi’s regime will begin.
Emad Al-Din Adeeb
The opposition’s sensitivity to time
With the parliamentary elections scheduled to take place in a couple of months, Adeeb questions the opposition’s preparations for the race. The writer watches the Muslim Brotherhood’s intensified efforts to mobilise voters and connect with the poorest villages and governorates across the country.
The opposition should unveil its preparation plan for the parliamentary elections so that everybody would know they are serious in achieving success. Adeeb says the opposition needs to assess the willingness of Egyptians in political participation. Is the majority willing to go to the ballot box, or will they continue to protest in the streets?
The NSF is probably not up to the level of mobilising people in preparation for the parliamentary elections, according to Adeeb. While Islamists are busy with solving the daily problems of ordinary citizens, the opposition groups are only concerned with the constitution, the constituent assembly, and the violence used against protesters.
Are they aware that time is running out and that they still have not prepared a cohesive plan for competing against the Islamists? In Adeeb’s viewpoint, the opposition’s sensitivity to timing is quite weak, if not absent. Elections will probably arrive while opposition figures are in a state of deep sleep, Adeeb states.
The Egyptian media that destroys Egypt
On the occasion of the 12th session of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) which took place on Wednesday, Mansour criticises the Egyptian media for not providing a fair coverage of the event. This is Egypt’s first time leading the conference which gathers 57 Islamic nations to promote Muslim solidarity in economics, politics, and social issues.
However, no Egyptian independent or opposition newspaper has covered the event which was attended by 26 leaders of large Muslim countries. Mansour condemns a category of Egyptian media which focuses only on attacking Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood. Addressing them, the writer says that the conference was not related to the Muslim Brotherhood and this is why it was ignored.
It represents Egypt’s leadership in the Muslim world today. If opposition media wants to continue attacking Morsi and his regime, they are free to do so. But neglecting an event like this in newspapers’ front pages means that the media is destroying Egypt, states Mansour.