Saturday, 6 July 2013

Egypt: One year president, a coup and another revolution?

It appears that Egypt has reached a new record among African countries for having the shortest term president deposed by the military after less than a week of a 100,000 strong protest in Cairo, Alexandria, El Arish and elsewhere across the country. Who will replace the former Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi is still a question many people inside and outside Egypt are asking. Can the current protest that ousted Morsi in less than week be considered the dawn of another revolution? The unfinished revolution of January 25, 2011? Now the protests in Cairo, Alexandria and other cities continue despite the death of 54 people massacred by the military while demanding the return of Morsi. Anger and frustration at politician's lack of understanding or empathy for its constituents goes back centuries not only in Egypt but elsewhere in Africa and around the world. Protesting political leaders is one thing but to literally overthrow of a president who has served only one year in office brings to question if this will be the fate of future presidents and elected officials who may or do not belong to the military. Are Egyptians so dissatisfied with the slow social economic development that when frustration reaches a boiling point, new leaders or incumbents will be overthrown and not given a chance to reach possible reelection?Do revolutionaries and their supporters see cycles of protests as the only way to implement a revolutionary political system? Can today's revolutionaries learn anything from previous revolutionary groups and peoples from the 1950s onwards to 1980s to build a genuine political system that representative of all members of society not just in the major cities but in the Egyptian countryside? Is there a blueprint for avoiding continual polarization along political and religious lines in Egypt?

The Muslim Brotherhood was founded in 1921 by Hassan al Banna the grandfather of Tariq Ramadan, a renowned Swiss author, lecturer and university professor of Islamic studies and Muslim societies in Europe and the West as well as North Africa and the Middle East. The Brotherhood grew from a small organization into a political organization throughout the 20th century emphasizing the revival of Islam in a conservative if almost puritanical form as a method to counterbalancing Communism, Westernization and overreaching secularization in Egypt and other neighboring countries. The Islamic revival concept (that morphed into a new term by the 1970s as "Political Islam") not only influenced religious Egyptians but also conservative and secular groups and organizations fighting colonial powers and regimes in 1950s to today to implement a Pan Arab or Pan Islamic (based on the Caliphate and Ottoman Empires that spread from North Africa to India) government to cover most of the Islamic nations around the world. The stereotyped terrorist groups Hamas, Hezbullah Republican Guard in Iran were influenced by the Brotherhood's ideology and concepts. Hamas and Islamic Jihad are offshoots of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood in Palestine. Throughout its existence, Brotherhood members were arrested by every Egyptian president up to Morsi's time beginning with mass arrests, exiles and torture under Gamal Abdel Nasser's leadership despite Nasser's Pan Arab, anti colonial and nationalist leanings. The brotherhood had gained sympathy from marginalized and poor Egyptians in the cities and countryside who had been jailed, repressed by military forces loyal to government or ignored by political leaders with the aid of the Egyptian military (backed by the United States) who is now cheered by the latest anti-Morsi protesters as aiding in Morsi's overthrow without using excessive force against the people. Since Morsi's rule, the Brotherhood has lost support from ordinary Egyptians who see Morsi and the organization as no different from Mubarak's 30+years rule. The  Egyptian Military under the titled of SCAF Supreme Council of Armed Forces had ruled the country for a year after Mubarak's overthrow in 2011. Like Morsi, the military disregard rights of Egyptians as they kept protesters against the military rule imprisoned, torture and in fear of facing arrest or harsh reprisals for demanding rights and freedom to live. The highlight of Morsi's presidency was reforms added to the Egyptian Constitution which many Egyptians saw as only a cosmetic approach that didn't truly address the needs of society as a whole.

Enough said Carlos Latuff

US Controlling both sides of Egyptian Coup D'Etat

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