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Seculars incensed at Islamist response to train tragedy

Nader Shukry - Milad Zaky

18 Jan 2013 5:26 pm

The response of the Islamists to the train accident which occurred on 13 January and in which 20 security recruits lost their lives and 107 lie in hospital receiving treatment for serious injuries, has incensed Egypt’s seculars.

The response of the Islamists to the train accident which occurred on 13 January and in which 20 security recruits lost their lives and 107 lie in hospital receiving treatment for serious injuries, has incensed Egypt’s seculars.
The train, which was carrying recruits from Upper Egypt to Cairo, derailed at the town of Badrashin in Giza, south of Cairo. The accident is the last in a series of major train accidents the frequency of which has been notoriously escalating since 1992. 
Out of proportion?
Even though the nation grieved over the young men and the early loss of life, prominent Islamists described the response to the accident as “overly out of proportion with the incident.” The prominent Salafi Safwat Higazy, who is member of the National Council for Human Rights, on satellite channel Misr 25 said that reaction to the incident was overemotional. The incident, he said did not warrant all that media attention or the criticism of President Mursi. “Mursi deserves to be honoured, Higazy said.
For his part, the former Speaker of the Parliament and leader of the Muslim Brotherhood’s political arm the Freedom and Justice Party asid that the accident was the outcome of the corruption of the Mubarak regime. 
Both remarks by the Islamist leaders brought on wrathful, ireful comments by secular figures, leaders and mainstream alike. Social networks such as Facebook were the scene of bitter remarks by many. Higazy’s insensitivty and Katani’s falsifications infuriated bloggers. 
“We carry death”
“The Muslim Brotherhood (MB) slogan of ‘We carry prosperity to Egypt’ ought to change into ‘We carry death to Egypt’,” one blogger wrote. 
Others commented that the Islamists have been in power too long now to blame shortcomings on Mubarak’s regime. “They’re in power; so what have they done even to begin dealing with the country’s problems? Nothing … nothing that is, except for restricting freedoms and rights and leading Egypt into a political quagmire,” another blogger wrote.
The activist Injy Hamdy wrote that “we’re sick of placing every shortcoming to the account of Mubarak. We’ve lived through serial disasters for which no-one takes any responsibility. The demonstrators killed, the football fans murdered, the 52 children who lost their lives also in a train accident, the boat people who sank out at sea, and now that tragic train drailment…Is it all the fault of the Mubarak regime?” 
Time for them to go
Columnist Khaled Muntassir wrote sarcastically that the MB leaders Essam al-Erian and Khairat al-Shater hastened to cable their condolences to the Mali governemnt for an accident that occurred there. “I never knew that Badrashin was in Mali!” Muntassir wrote, hinting that the MB had failed to condole the Egyptian people for the Badrashin incident.
Many also criticised the governement which first said the train was a military one that carried army recruits, but the miltary leadership denied that and said they were security recruits with the interior Ministry. “The government doesn’t even know the identity of the victims!” many bloggers commented.
The activist Myra Samy summed it all up when she wrote reminding that it was the mainstream Egyptians in the vicinity who carried the victims away, moved the injured to hospital; and offered first aid, food and drink to the other passengers. “It is time for the Islamists to go,” samy said, “and leave those mainstream citizens to run the country. After all, that’s what’s happening day in day out; it’s a fait accompli.”
Watani International
18 January 2013


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