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Egypt: betrayal of democracy will benefit Islamists

January 27, 2014 at 2:43 pm

Egypt’s Minister of Defence, Abdul Fattah Al-Sisi, and the leaders of the National Salvation Front underestimated the strength of the Islamic current, led by the Muslim Brotherhood, when they instigated the military coup against elected president Mohammed Morsi.

Egypt will pay the price of such misjudgement with a breakdown in stability, the blood of its citizens and disintegration of the nation.

President Morsi committed a large number of mistakes during the short period he spent in charge of the country – but these mistakes cannot be compared to the mistake committed by the military institution, such a step could ultimately lead the country to a bloodbath.

On Friday, hundreds of thousands of Islamists descended to the squares in different governorates, expressing their insistence on returning their president. They threatened to turn to violence if authorities refused to respond to their demand.

We have witnessed similar scenes in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya and Yemen.

The Military may well possess weapons, aircraft and tanks. But what would they do to confront these angry people? Would they kill 100, 200, or even tens of thousands of citizens for demonstrating, and demanding something they had already achieved through ballot boxes during free and fair elections?

Why does the hypocritical West keep silent towards a coup against democracy? Is it because this democracy led to the ascent of Islamists to power?

Both the US and EU say they are insistent on achieving democracy and peaceful transfer of power. But it has become clear that the West’s concept of democracy is the wholesale import of Western principles drafted by Washington and the neo-cons.

Mohamed el-Baradei – a preacher of Western liberalism – revealed to the New York Times that he contacted US Secretary of State John Kerry and EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton, calling them to support the military coup witnessed in Egypt. He also expressed his support for the closure of six channels related to the Islamic trend.

The supporters of democracy turned to rally in the squares of the cities and villages in Egypt. They demanded the return of the elected president, expressing their readiness to give up lives.

We were expecting the Egyptian army to interfere, but in order to back up the elected and legitimate regime, not to undermine or imprison its leaders. Instead they have turned to support those who launched demonstrations to overthrow the legitimately elected regime.

The military coup could serve the interests of extremist groups, including al-Qaeda, who refute democracy, describing it as a Western heresy. Such extremist groups call for the use of weapons, not ballot boxes to establish an Islamic state.

Moderate people who adhere to the Islamic trend and the Muslim Brotherhood are the victims. The military coup has led to the inauguration of an unelected president, dissolving Egypt’s Shura Council, and launching a campaign of imprisonment without charges.

What is the crime for which President Morsi will be prosecuted? What is the crime that he has committed to be imprisoned like a criminal? He did not kill anyone. He did not steal one pound. He has not appointed his relatives in any leading positions. Most of the victims who were killed during the clashes witnessed in front of the presidential palace were from his supporters.

I met with Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi for over 45 minutes a few weeks ago. His language was one of tolerance and he expressed his keenness to protect the blood of Egyptian people. He said his focus was on how to restore the dignity of Egypt and revive its national industry, as well as push forward its agricultural sector.

How can we then believe the current military rule when it talks about democracy, parliamentary and presidential elections after demeaning the elected president and dissolving the Shura Council? Who will go to ballot boxes after such a great sin?

We have a large number of differences with the Muslim Brotherhood, but we called many times before for the Egyptian president to complete his term.

There are now fears of a potential civil war. Its repercussions, however, will affect the poor, who will suffer from hunger and deprivation.

We are confident that the Egyptian people will not accept a misleading and false liberalism that has paved the way for a military coup, deepening divisions and the country being perilously close to civil war.

SOURCE: The author is Editor in Chief of Al Quds Al Arabi Newspaper

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