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October War celebrations turn to mourning

January 27, 2014 at 12:25 pm

The October 6th celebration of Egypt’s surprise attack against Israeli forces across the Suez Canal in 1973 is certainly a source of joy and pride for every Egyptian without exception. This year, though, the leaders of the bloody coup wanted to exclude a large part of the Egyptian public from this joyous occasion and turn it into a source of sadness and mourning; they are determined to divide the county into two conflicting factions.

As they distributed gifts and flowers to their supporters they threw bombs and fired bullets at the opposition. The October War celebrations were nothing more than an expression of this division amongst the people of the same nation who the coup leaders want to divide, despite the obvious fact that the October victory should unite all Egyptians. The coup leaders refused to allow this and held grand celebrations with singing and dancing for their supporters and prevented the masses from gathering in the squares; they then fired live ammunition at ordinary people, killing 53 and wounding hundreds more, adding them the list of over 5,000 martyrs and 10,000 people wounded since the coup at the beginning of July.

If we compare last year’s October celebrations with those held this year, we can see where Egypt is heading. The former elected president gathered Egyptians representative of all groups in one place to celebrate and honour the late President Anwar Sadat with the Order of the Nile and the Order of the Sinai Star. He also honoured Colonel Saad el-Shazly, Egypt’s chief of staff during the October War, despite their huge strategic differences during the war; Morsi united them under the umbrella of the October celebrations, which were also attended by figures from the Islamic group responsible for the assassination of Sadat, as well as his family and loved ones. The president wanted to use the day to unite Egyptians and bring about a comprehensive reconciliation in the community and to expel the language of hatred and incitement so that we can build a modern Egypt based on justice and equality. Unfortunately, the coup leaders do not understand this language and do not want to learn it; all they understand is the spread of hatred so that it is easy for them to divide and rule. They want two Egypts, with one group spoiled and pampered and the other killed and eliminated.

However, do the coup leaders honestly believe that they can eliminate the Islamic trend and its supporters by killing them in order to control the country? They still aren’t able to stabilise their rule despite the fact that they possess the weapons, a corrupt judiciary and a lying media and the opposition has little to offer except their lives, freely-given. The people put their trust in God and so do not grow desperate or disheartened, and still take to the streets day after day in protest at the bloody and brutal coup. The coup leaders who are too scared to appear in public without a wall of armed guards protecting them should ask themselves if they have figured out yet why the people are strong. The answer is simple: those with a just cause are not afraid of anyone but Allah; and the people of Egypt have a very just cause indeed.

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