Problems on hold
Egyptians took to the streets on 30 June to voice their rage at the bitter state of affairs in Egypt today. They didn’t mince any words as they expressed their rejection of the persistent trifling
with Egypt’s destiny and compromise of her sovereignty and dignity at the hands of the then president Muhammad Mursi, his administration and the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) group to which he belongs. Throngs of Egyptians swept through not only the Cairo Tahrir Square—the symbol of the Egyptian Revolution—or the vicinity of the Itihadiya presidential palace, but the masses of angry Egyptians also occupied public places all over Egypt. Egyptians said their final verdict; all ties that linked them to the Mursi regime were severed; there was no way to heal the rift.
Consumed with haughtiness, arrogance, and vanity, he did not realise that the patience of the people had run out, and that he had missed his last chance to gain public support when, two weeks earlier, he gave a landmark speech in which he made no effort at reform or national conciliation. Instead, he threatened, falsified facts, and hurled random accusations at his opponents. In another speech on Tuesday evening, Mursi outraged the people when he insisted that he represented ‘legitimacy’ and that he intended to remain in authority to maintain legitimacy. The result was that the ceiling of the people’s demands rose; they demanded that he should definitely leave; they accepted nothing less.
How did Mursi imagine that aligning himself with his MB group would make up for standing by his people? How did the crowds of his supporters gathered around the Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque in Nasr City, Cairo, blind him to the throngs of Egyptians across Egypt? But then, why not? Didn’t he overlook the drain of aides and consultants who left him throughout the last year in protest against his policies? Didn’t he accept the resignations of the secular MPs of the Shura (consultative) Council—even those whom he had himself appointed—without so much as batting an eye? Didn’t he take lightly the long line of resignations tendered last week by MPs, cabinet ministers, regional governors, and presidential aides who would not condone his policies or who decided to jump ship? Didn’t he accept that his supporters send abroad erroneous statements written in English, overstating the volume of his supporters while downplaying the masses of his opponents? Then they stooped down to what amounts to high treason when they called for outside forces to intervene militarily in Egypt and to hound its economy in order to settle the conflict in their favour.
Egypt is today on the path of no return. May God protect Egypt and her people from the outburst of violence and terrorism that may very well be used to settle the matter in favour of Mursi and the MB. Any observer of last year’s events should realise that this terrifying scenario looms large and clear. The president’s regime and the MB should be fully aware that their hegemony over power and legislation, their oppressive policies, and their failure to achieve any accomplishment that could have brightened the gloomy days of ordinary Egyptians, have all worked against them. Add to this the stubbornness and arrogance of the Islamist regime in the sense that they refused to work towards formulating any consensual reform policies, and the predictable result would be that they have succeeded with flying colours in securing the hostility of Egyptians. Now they know that Egyptians will make them pay dearly for their deeds during their year in power. This explains that the president and the MB attempted to cling to power to the last breath.
The Egyptian street had become an arena of struggle between an obstinate, arrogant ruling regime and mainstream Egyptians who roared demanding that it should go. The leadership of the Egyptian Armed Forces could see all this, and feared the predictable violence and bloodshed. It decided to take the reins into its hands and, since it had repeatedly declared it had no interest in ruling or governing, issued a 48-hour ultimatum to all the forces on the political arena to work to resolve the impasse and attain the demand of the Egyptian street, or it would impose its own answer to the dilemma. The ‘roadmap’ drawn by the military would be implemented under the participation of all the forces on the political spectrum including—a first—the revolutionary youth.
In its pledge to remain impartial, the Armed Forces did not allude to the fact that the patience of the Egyptians on the street had run out; they were in no mood to accept any initiative from Mursi whose deviousness and arrogance had imposed no little degree of indignity on Egyptians, and wasted ample opportunities at national reconciliation. They thus insisted that the time for conciliation had passed; the only way out was that Mursi should go. Otherwise, it was street protest and civil disobedience.
Egypt and her people went out to reclaim their revolution in all its original nobility and purity. Every man and woman, young and old, elderly and child took to the streets to turn the Revolution back onto its correct path and to reclaim the dignity and sovereignty of Egypt. To those I say: do not let anyone tarnish your intent, corrupt your cause or hijack your revolution. This happened two-and-a-half years ago, so do not allow it to happen again. The road is arduous and long; a happy ending, however, depends on you and on what you do, whether on the street or on the political arena. Egypt has already taken the first step on the road to her salvation.
With victory, Egypt needs your unity, solidarity and harmony. The rallying in the street can remove the source of Egypt’s agony but, on its own, can never work the desired reform. Egyptians are already reclaiming their homeland and revolution from the hands of those who hijacked them; let us work together to regain the beautiful face of Egypt.
7 July 2013