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Are the coup supporters against Morsi or democracy itself?

January 27, 2014 at 2:42 pm

It doesn’t really matter if you are for or against Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi; nor is it important for you to be convinced of the integrity of the Muslim Brotherhood and its government. What is important, though, is for you to determine whether you are for or against democracy.

Media outlets which support democracy used democratic freedoms to achieve their objectives, and then stood by silently as television stations with different political views were shut down by the coup government. This is not democracy; it is dictatorship of thought and oppression of the collective consciousness in the name of democracy.

How can anyone believe that the same media outlets which dedicated their energy, wealth and airtime to defame President Morsi in the most insulting way possible are now interested in broadcasting in the public interest to uncover the truth? How can the Egyptians believe that the media blinded by their hatred of the Muslim Brotherhood are intent on promoting facts? They have come to hate freedom of thought and have become anti-democratic.

The dozens of Palestinian writers who called for the overthrow of Morsi and congratulated Egypt on its new leadership should be asked if they are for or against democracy. Many of them wish for a similar change in Palestine while overlooking the fact that what was overthrown was not Morsi per se but the heart of the democracy that they have been calling for day and night. Moreover, they consider free and fair elections – a cornerstone of democracy – as a way to end the Palestinian rift between Fatah and Hamas. However, how can we take them seriously when they believe that democratic elections are the solution for one people but the slaughter of the democratic process is acceptable in a neighbouring country? Do they forget that the refusal to accept the democratic will of the Palestinian people caused the current political problem in Palestine in the first place?

By applauding the Egyptian coup against democracy such intellectuals and journalists are calling into question their own credibility while revealing their secular credentials. After all, they probably support elections in Palestine as one way, they hope, to be rid of the Hamas government, which won the previous election in 2006 very convincingly in Gaza and the West Bank, only to have their victory taken away from them by the secularists backed by Israel and the West. Support for the coup in Egypt does not indicate support for democracy or the will of the people; it indicates a strong desire for power at any price, using democratic means if possible but, if not, by ditching democracy in the name of protecting democracy. This is a very risky game indeed.

The author is a Palestinian writer. This article is a translation of the Arabic which appeared in Felesteen online, 6 July 2013

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