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Thoughts on the current attack against Egypt's Islamic identity

January 27, 2014 at 1:55 pm

The analysis of the events in Egypt after the military coup remains of vital importance, especially for those interested in political affairs. This not only includes those within the Islamic movement itself, but also every nationalist who cares about the wellbeing and future of this country.

In his interview with Liberty and Justice, political thinker, engineer and former member of the Wafd Party, Ibrahim Taj al-Din Yassin, said: “Egypt has never been through such circumstances. What occurred on June 30th was a counter-revolution, par excellence. The truth is that many forces that wish evil upon us, target our country. The United States of America and the Zionist entity [Israel], to be exact, are the enemies of freedom and they do not want Egypt to have real freedom. We cannot avoid the interference of these parties. If Egypt were to truly liberate itself other Arab countries would follow its example, and this would threaten the security of the Zionist entity.”

Yassin pointed out that the most important aspect of this targeting is that it is a blatant attack on Islam as a religion. In reality, the attacks are against Islamic identity and not the Muslim Brotherhood or similar organisations. In his opinion, the truth is that previous regimes, specifically those of Nasser, Sadat and Mubarak, were all in conflict with the Muslim Brotherhood as a result of their eagerness to gain power. None of these former regimes showed hostility towards the Islamic identity directly because they knew that Islam was a red line in the country that could not be crossed. Unfortunately, in the light of the January 25th Revolution, secularists believe that they have entered an era of freedom that has opened the door to the elimination of the Islamic presence in Egypt via the repeal of the second article of the constitution. There have been many attacks on mosques that have led to their closure, as seen in Damietta and Alexandria. Many people are claiming that the foundations of the Egyptian state and its identity are secular and thus frame their attacks as a war on political Islam. This view is refuted by the fact that political Islam does not actually exist. Islam, by its very nature, is a religion and a state, doctrine and law. Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, not only taught us how to pray and fast, but how to live life in every respect.

Yassin added that those behind the military coup are attempting to recreate the events of March 1954 when Mohammad Naguib was removed from power. Many arrests and torture took place at that time. He claims that the coup of 1954 cannot be replicated due to differing historical contexts and because the public, the youth and the numerous means of communication available today make such a repeat virtually impossible.

The ex-Wafd Party member confirms that the Egyptian people are proud of and love the Egyptian army and it is for this reason that they do not want it to intervene in the current situation and suppress freedom. Those who are protesting in Raba’a Al-Adawiyya, Al-Nahda and other public squares are not only supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood, as some claim, but also many others who are afraid of losing their freedom. Thus, the Egyptian army should avoid bloodshed and oppression in any of these locations. If we are to claim that the violence in Egypt will never escalate to the level of Syria or Libya, and that Egypt would never fall into a civil war, then one must note that this burden falls upon the Egyptian army, which must never resort to violence.

Denouncing the return of political arrests and the suppression of politics in universities, among other aspects of a police state, Yassin commented: “It is essential that intelligence services and security forces go back to working efficiently. They must go back to protecting the country’s borders, ensuring state security and seeing to all the duties that are delegated to these institutions. Their efforts should not be directed towards Egyptians or to attacking a bearded Islamist demanding his freedom but instead should focus on preventing corrupt individuals who are tampering with the country’s interests.”

Yassin believes that the crisis in Egypt started on the day that the first freely-elected parliament in Egyptian history was abolished. The existence of a counter-revolution was confirmed from day one, when the decision was carried out to destroy the will of 33 million voters, leaving room for secularists and the biased media to create a rift between the army and the people, with its various sects, particularly Muslims and Copts.

With regards to his former affiliation with the Wafd Party, Ibrahim Taj al-Din Yassin sent a message denouncing its decision to join what he calls the “dumping” front: “Historically, the party played the honourable role of restoring balance among all parties in times of Egyptian crises; however, the recent attack on the elected regime and calling on the army to interfere in the political landscape does not reflect the freedoms and democracy that the party claims to support.”

Translated from the Arabic text which appeared on Akhbarak.Net on 11 August, 2013

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