The legitimacy supporters in Egypt are winning every day because of the constant blunders of the coup leaders. The army in Egypt does not behave like a national army which staged a coup but rather like an occupation army. The situation was not left to police, state security and thugs to deal with, but included the army with its tanks and airplanes. Many people witnessed a bullet exit the back of a peaceful protestor who stood in front of an army tank with his hands in the air in the city of Ismailiya. The army is waging a carefully planned campaign of arrests similar to that carried out by the American occupation forces in Iraq.
There are no citizens; human beings with natural, legal and constitutional rights. Instead there is a demonized enemy, with no rights, no immunity and no dignity. Whether he is an elected president, the chairman of a parliament or the Supreme Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood, or even children like Hala Abu Sheisha’ or Asma Al-Beltagi. The judicial system which acquitted all the criminals, of whom Mubarak was not the last, has the fabricated charges ready. It leaks information to media of the arrest of a ‘wanted’ individual. The latter is then provoked to appear in public or communicate with those close to him. When he does so, he is arrested with great fanfare and the operation is recorded and documented as if it was the Battle of El Alamein.
Earlier, Reuters News Agency reported a security official as saying that the Muslim Brotherhood General Guide has been arrested while attempting to flee to Libya. He then appeared at Rabaa Al Adawiya Square, defiantly chanting we are revolutionaries not escapers. Later he was arrested in an apartment near the Adawiya Square, and contrary to all laws, the authorities broadcasted the operation of his arrest. Dr Muhammad Badie, it was reported, was later tortured because he refused to answer questions from his interrogators. Although an assistant to the minister of interior visited him in prison and apologised, that did not diminish from the army’s occupational behaviour. The country’s leaders starting with the president, his officials, and the Muslim Brotherhood’s leaders are in solitary confinement; which is one of the worst forms of torture. Of course, they are not new to this kind of treatment and they all showed resoluteness, which infuriated the coup leaders who would love to present to the public the image of broken leaders apologising to them on satellite TV.
The arrests of 10,000 people from the Muslim Brotherhood’s leadership, members and supporters resulted in 500 demonstrations across Egypt on Friday – Friday of the Martyrs. This proves that the legitimacy supporters have reorganized themselves and benefited from the existing climate of public sympathy. Social media sites are inundated with images of young men who were killed or arrested even though they opposed the Brotherhood. The army’s problem is that the legitimacy supporters whether from Muslim Brotherhood, Islamic groups or independent revolutionaries, have profound experience in dealing with the security state. Moreover, a vast social incubator allows them to move freely, equipped with internet communication techniques and smart phones, which create a virtual world that is impossible to confine or limit. On “Friday of martyrs”, the activists had 120 live points and thousands of video clips to share. It is said not even the last FIFA World Cup achieved this despite the billions of dollars spent on the event. This is what the daft tyrants cannot understand.
For the first time in its history, the Brotherhood is forced to draw from fresh blood. Its arrested leaders are now popularly revered as heroes, very much like martyrs. Every young man and woman is a leader in his or her own locality. They do not wait for instructions. They do not debate. They operate based on the existing circumstances, according to a general strategy. In any case, the Muslim Brotherhood still has a number of key leaders at large notably; Dr Mohammad Al-Beltagi who emerged as a prodigy after the coup. Of course his role was substantial and decisive during the revolution of January 25 when he protected Tahrir Square. However, in Rabaa Al Adawiya Square he astonished the world with his human and political resolve. It is believed that the publication of his article in the Guardian prompted the coup’s leaders to announce his arrest in order to provoke him to appear in public and then arrest him.
It is possible that the remaining leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood will be arrested. On the other hand, they may survive until the end of the coup. Either way, this is not important. The important issue is that the archaic Egyptian state would find itself incapable of understanding the new generation of young leaders or even knowing them in person. It would be surprised by their capabilities and will soon plead with the Supreme Guide to get out of jail and talk to them.
The author is Al Jazeera’s Amman bureau chief. This article is a translation of the Arabic text which appeared in the Jordanian Al Ghad Newspaper, 25 August 2103
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.