Egyptian Aak. Week 16


Friday clashes image

(Photo from Friday’s clashes via The Daily News Egypt)

Main Headlines

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

  • Brotherhood‘s Friday demonstrations
  • Street battles in Cairo leave dozens injured after Islamist protest
  • Egypt rushes to update reform plan to match IMF expectations
  • IMF: Qatar aid to Egypt no substitute for the IMF’s plan
  • Egypt committed to fair distribution of Nile water

Saturday

Sunday

A Few Thoughts

My grandmother had a solution for any of her kids’ health issues; Castor oil, known  as a  laxative, it was ideal__ in her opinion__ to “purge” toxins out of the body. It seems that the Brotherhood’s magical solution to Egypt’s problems is a political version of Castor oil.  

 The Myth of purging:

Over the last few weeks, there has been rising rhetoric from the Muslim Brotherhood about the “purging” of Egypt’s justice system. As one Brotherhood affiliate has explained to me, it is like a detox recipe that could be uncomfortable but essential for the revolution to prevail. It sounds logical; particularly, as the Brotherhood views some judges as manipulative and trying to undermine the new Islamists leadership. However, regardless of whether the Brotherhood is right or wrong in their assessment of their opponents within Egypt’s judiciary, there are other aspects that make the entire concept of a “purge” closer to a flawed myth.

First, perception: There are deeper routes to the current antipathy between Islamists and judges; the judiciary, as well as police and army, have been a no-go profession for the Islamists since 1954, which is precisely why the Brotherhood flooded other specialties such as medicine and engineering. The judiciary was not just an elitist profession but also is, in the Brotherhood’s eyes, dominated by leftist Nasserites, who naturally reject political Islam. For most Islamists, a judge like Tahany el-Gibali is the perfect example of a snobbish elitist and a woman, too, which amounts to a double crime. This background should be considered to understand why the Brotherhood was always suspicious of every Supreme Court’s verdict. Islamists always fail to separate their perception from rational judgment, which is precisely why they easily embrace conspiracy theories.

Second, suggested solution: The problem with a “purge” lies in its collectiveness; without setting professional standards for independent investigation, a purge will be like a blind trimming process that would produce more harm than good.

Third, the definition of “good”: Rather than replacing non-professionals with professionals, the Muslim Brotherhood would rather replace anti-Muslim Brotherhood with pro-Muslim Brotherhood. Any disagreement would be viewed as siding with the “enemy,” even Judge Mekki, who stood by the Brotherhood since day one, has recently annoyed the Brotherhood because he rejected the “purge.” Ironically, the Muslim Brotherhood has previously praised the judiciary for its “professional” supervision of Egypt’s presidential election.

Friday clashes:

 Within the above context came Friday’s “demonstrations,” which were called by the Muslim Brotherhood, and other Islamist groups (although avoided by others like Salafi Nour party and Aboul Fetouh’s strong party). Regardless, whether a purge is the right course of action or not, the demonstrations were another miscalculated move by the Brotherhood:

– They behaved like an opposition movement that expresses “demands,” instead of a ruling party that take actions, and then call supporters to endorse them.

– The emerged videos, and photos of Brotherhood’s supporters wielding machetes and guns during the clashes, have stripped the Brotherhood from their alleged moral superiority. The group that once accused their opponents of “thuggery,” has decided to respond with an equal level of violence.

So was violence a goal? Probably yes, mainly to drain the anger of the young Islamists youth and to justify future decisions by Morsi (for example, arresting opposition figures and Christians, and charging them of organizing the violence).  The rhetoric against Christians has increased recently; currently, there is a Christian militia hashtag on Twitter (in Arabic), under which many Islamists are piling sickening accusations against Egyptian Christians and opposition figures, whom in their eyes are traitors, just like the Copts.

A coup?

 How long can Egypt tolerate this ongoing violence? Should we expect a coup d’état soon? I agree with Florence Gaub that it depends on capacity and opportunity. Morsi’s miscalculated moves provide increased opportunity for the military, but I still stand with my early prediction: that the military cannot save Egypt. One of the false assumptions that are prevailing among many Egyptians is that the current “balance of hate” would ultimately lead to consensus at some future stage. Highly unlikely, as the balance of hate is not coupled with a balance of power, or influence, as the weak divided opposition has fewer cards to play. That is why Egypt could continue sliding from weakness to a failed state, which would ultimately deem the country ungovernable, even if the mighty army finally decided to stop dithering and send tanks to the streets of Cairo.

Egypt is not too big to fail; it is, in fact, too big to save, which is a tragedy in itself. But what is more tragic is how the main players, particularly the Brotherhood, have opted to ignore this fact.

Vision and political will:

 The Muslim Brotherhood is lacking the vision and political will to save Egypt from its demise, and its leadership is failing to be true democrats. Moreover, the group, for many reasons, is not in a position that can enable its leadership to be complete autocrats.

The next few weeks are crucial to see whether the Brotherhood will persevere and “purge” the judiciary and police, or Friday’s violence would force them to backtrack. It is difficult to read the minds of the big names inside the Supreme Guide office of the Brotherhood, (met on Saturday to discuss the violence), however, it is also difficult to imagine that the current status quo could continue for much longer; something has to give. The question still remains, can the Brotherhood successfully sideline their opponents?

Today, Justice Minister Mikki has resigned, another alarming sign that the “purge” may start soon. Interestingly, the Brotherhood web site (Ikhwanweb) has announced today that Shura council will discuss  discuss proposed amendments to the Judicial authority bill, tomorrow (Monday, April 22). Interestingly, a report claims that Army General Mamdouh Shahin was trying to persuade Mekki not to resign. If true, then it is another indication that the army is trying to contain the trouble, and not escalate it.

If the Shura council approved the proposed amendments of the Judiciary bills, it could include forced early retirement of many anti-Brotherhood judges, but I doubt that they will go without a fight.

Good Read

Plus:

Finally, here are Jayson Casper‘s prayers for Egypt.

About nervana111

Doctor, blogger and Commentator on Middle East issues. The only practising doctor who write in Middle Eastern politics in UK.
This entry was posted in Diary of Aak, Egypt and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Egyptian Aak. Week 16

  1. nedhamson says:

    Reblogged this on Ned Hamson Second Line View of the News and commented:
    “The emerged videos, and photos of Brotherhood’s supporters wielding machetes and guns during the clashes, have stripped the Brotherhood from their alleged moral superiority. The group that once accused their opponents of “thuggery,” has decided to respond with an equal level of violence.

    So was violence a goal? Probably yes, mainly to drain the anger of the young Islamists youth and to justify future decisions by Morsi (for example, arresting opposition figures and Christians, and charging them of organizing the violence). The rhetoric against Christians has increased recently; currently, there is a Christian militia hashtag on Twitter (in Arabic), under which many Islamists are piling sickening accusations against Egyptian Christians and opposition figures, whom in their eyes are traitors, just like the Copts.”

    Like

  2. Hi there, I enjoy reading all of your post. I like to write
    a little comment to support you.

    Like

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