Problems on hold
The scene of the millions upon millions of Egyptians who took to the streets on Friday 26 July to authorise the army to confront the war of terrorism waged against Egypt by the Muslim Brotherhood (MB)
supporters of the ousted president Muhammad Mursi was by all means grand. Observers agreed that Egyptians on that day made history, in terms of the numbers that went out as well as their diversity. The crowds included men and women, young and old, Muslims and Christians; civilians and religious figures; unveiled women, those donning veil and women in niqab. They all stood together, fused as one. They shook Egypt in its entirety, and their voices resounded the world over. They spelt out their mission: “We reject violence and terrorism and, along with our brave army, will confront any tampering with the security of our nation. We will rebuild Egypt to be a homeland for all her children without any discrimination. We authorise our security and armed forces to take all the measures necessary to finish off those who conspire against our nation, and to restore Egypt’s safety and security.”
“Egypt the beautiful!…Wish I were there!” was a comment all over Facebook and other social networking sites, posted by Egyptians outside the country, whether emigrants or travellers. It was no surprise; persons who leave home follow up diligently on the news there, in this case they were worried about Egypt and holding their breaths until reassured by the outcome. This was the second time in less than a month they have cause to celebrate their belonging to Egypt; the first was on 30 June.
On 30 June, the masses of Egyptians who wanted Mursi out had appealed to their armed forces to step in and achieve the people’s demand. And on 26 July, they repaid the armed forces by granting them the mandate they had asked for to fight the war of terror the Islamists were waging against the Egyptian people. If anyone in the world had yet any doubts as to the nature of the action which brought an end to the rule of Mursi and his Islamist regime, the message now was crystal clear: it was not a coup, but a people’s revolution. And it was the people, and only the people, who were in any position to give the army orders to purge the land of those who tampered with its peace and conspired against it.
So Egyptians granted the army the mandate to do everything possible to protect them, but has this mandate to date been able to drag Egypt out of the swamp of Islamist violence and terrorism?
The pro-Mursi Islamist protestors are exercising the utmost stubbornness, belligerency, and menace; and persist in their noisy, violent rallying in the streets and squares for the return of their “legitimate president”, Mursi, who succeeded with flying colours in ruining Egypt in the space of a single year. They displayed not the slightest indication of any attempt to revise their stance in the face of the torrent of public rejection of Mursi on 30 June then again on 26 July. The Islamists did not even heed the repeated invitations by the new interim regime in Egypt for national conciliation and participation in the democratic path Egypt has embarked on.
The reason for the Islamist obstinacy and persistence in bringing about bloodshed is all too obvious. They realise that conciliation will definitely be preceded by a transparent taking to account of all whose hands are guilty of bloodshed; all who have been involved in incitement, violence, torture, killings, and terrorism against Egypt and her people. They know that Egyptians categorically reject any return to Islamist rule, so have opted for a suicidal move. In a desperate attempt to generate global sympathy, the Islamists attack Egypt’s civilians and military, initiating gory scenes that project to the world a false image of Islamists being targeted for genocide by the Egyptian army.
In face of this suicidal snare, it is pivotal to exercise the utmost wisdom in figuring out how best to empower the mandate Egyptians granted the military to deal with the Islamist terror. It is no secret that the military is fully able to firmly tackle the problem once and for all; but is so far exercising maximum self-restraint even as its patience is been tried to the utmost by the assault, vilification, and provocation inflicted at the hand of the Islamists. But wisdom is required, as well as a minimal use of force, in order to cut the road before those who wish to falsely project themselves as victims.
It must be made clear that, as terrorism targets Egypt on the Sinai front and the home front, each of these fronts needs to be handled in a different manner. . The Sinai battle is one of destiny, and the enemy there should be beaten at all costs. But the violent Islamists on Egypt’s streets should be tackled firmly and the culprits brought to justice even as the door is left ajar for those who wish to go back to the open arms of the nation, according to the plan this nation has drawn for a democratic future that equally embraces all Egyptians.
4 August 2013