So, open confrontation is finally upon us. The time where political mediation would have been capable of preventing violence is long gone.
The 10 days that preceded the dispersal were simply a matter of settling on the most appropriate confrontation strategies and timings.
Both involved parties were out of political options. The army on one hand had to deliver what it promised when it asked for the people’s authorisation to confront violence. On the other hand, the Muslim Brotherhood had no political will to reduce the number of casualties in these confrontations.
Suddenly, the time came for both parties to move. The real problem with the media coverage in Egypt’s events is how biased, prejudiced and politicised this coverage usually is. It has become absolutely futile to build any perceptions and/or arguments based on numbers from the media. Hence, your take on what’s going on would depend on the objectivity of your source of information.
The problem with the two distant ends of the media, the pro-army and the pro-Morsi media, is how remote from reality they are. Media channels and most newspapers really outdid themselves in trying to pin down the responsibility for all the violence taking place on either the army or the Brotherhood. What we need to understand is how both parties are equally involved in this and how there are no victors in this lose-lose battle.
The Brotherhood was indeed a violent and deterrent force. The amount of hate speech coming through loud speakers in Rabaa was enough to bring down a whole city. Clear human rights violations that took place in Rabaa, like torture, were becoming too much to tolerate in a society that has any respect for human life.
Recurrent threats by the Brotherhood to turn Egypt into a bloodbath that they have the martyrs for were a discourse so remote from peaceful action. There was an obvious vengeful will in the Brotherhood’s main rhetoric. Moreover, their use of arms was not exactly helping their “peaceful” case.
Meanwhile, the army was not much better. There were incidents that I saw with my own eyes where the army used too much force in an unnecessary manner.
Apparently, it is a sin these days to criticise the army, but when a riot is around the corner, it does nobody any good to bury our heads in the sand. To put it simply, the army could have been much more sensible in its actions.
However, the hatred that’s polluting people’s minds is blocking all paths to reason and logic. Anyone who takes a look out their window would realise how blood is staining all of our hands, one after the other. If what we are looking for is stopping this reckless violence, then we need to understand who stirs up all the hatred behind it.
Ironically, just as the Brotherhood teaches its members that those who rose up against Morsi will one day rise up against Islam, those who are against the Brotherhood do their best to prove how all this violence is neither the responsibility of the army nor the police.
What really went wrong in Egypt was how rigid its politics became. What we are witnessing right now is not the beginning of a Syria-like scenario. What we are seeing is the normal result of mutual hatred, extreme polarisation and absolute lack of objectivity.