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Shades of Egyptian liberals

When the Egyptian revolution ousted Hosni Mubarak, we saw three groups of Egyptian liberals. The first is the one which immediately turned 180 degrees and begun to praise Mubarak’s regime, even before he was ousted. These liberals were described by observers as paid critics who did not move away from the lines of the pre-prepared script, such as Hamdi Kandil.

These have never praised the Muslim Brotherhood or supported their cause or their efforts to reform the political process in Egypt.


The second group of these liberals was shocked that the revolution could depose Mubarak so quickly. They discovered that they were fragments of personalities and there was no organised body to represent them in the elections. At the same time they recognised that the Muslim Brotherhood, which has been organised despite a strict, continuous crackdown, would reap all positive outcomes of the revolution.

These liberals were sure of how the Muslim Brotherhood’s organisation was the reason for them to sweep most Egyptian institutions through elections. A sign of their recognition of the ability of the Muslim Brotherhood to win transparent elections is that they ran for the parliament on their tickets. An example for these liberals is Hamdeen Sabbahi, who entered the Egyptian parliament two times through the Muslim Brotherhood door.

Therefore, they waged a propaganda war against the Muslim Brotherhood and invented many rumours about them in order to defame their name to lessen their chances to win anywhere. These liberals took part in all efforts possible to undermine the Muslim Brotherhood ruling.

The third group of liberals are the ones against any progress or development in Egypt. They are only puppets in the hands of the US and the west to keep Egypt weak and dependent for the sake of serving their purposes in the region. This group is divided into two parts:

The first is the well-educated academics such as Hasan Nafaa. People used to trust their fake loyalty to Egypt because of his longstanding criticism to the authoritarian regime and calling for a new Egypt. He has called for democratic elections and has criticised dictatorships in many articles and papers. He has taught about democracy and liberalism in western and American universities.

This man, who represents a wide range of Egyptian academic elites, clearly continues to tell lies just to justify his position. Speaking to an Al-Jazeera broadcaster, he told a resounding lie that widely spread among activists and that he was severely criticised for. He claimed that he attended all dialogue sessions that the removed president Mohamed Morsi called for and described them as futile. In fact he has never attended any of them according to prominent journalist Wael Qandil.

The second part is those who had been lecturing and holding seminars to spread awareness about liberalism and democracy through their institutions and research centres. When they found the futility of their efforts to persuade Egyptians to supersede their Islamic identity with a Western one, they reversed against democracy upside down and worked on tailoring the military coup against democracy. Information about this group was disclosed through Berkeley documents revealed by Al-Jazeera investigation.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.

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