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Tragicomedies playing out in Egypt

January 27, 2014 at 11:07 am

Egypt in these days of the coup is a state of unprecedented absurdity of a kind not even experienced during the worst tyranny and injustice that began with the reign of Ramses II and ended with the rule of the tyrant Hosni Mubarak, passing the regime of the dictator Gamal Abdel Nasser on the way. Yes, there was injustice, oppression and violations of the freedom and dignity of the Egyptian people, but all of this amounts to nothing in comparison to what the coup-leaders are now subjecting us to. We are living in an irrational state in which honourable individuals are thrown into jail, including the best of this nation’s people, scholars and professionals; the true wealth of any country, its pillars and the creators of its renaissance and civilisation. These people face criminal charges fabricated in order for them to be portrayed as criminals, while the true criminals and thugs are at large and free to beat and kill ordinary people in the streets.

It is ironic that this well-documented killing at the hands of the thugs is attributed to the Muslim Brotherhood. The most recent of such absurd charges is the murder of a child, Mohamed Badawi Zayed, who was barely 12 years; his murderers snatched his lifeless body from the arms of his father in order to cover up their crime and blackmailed his family into accusing the Muslim Brotherhood rather than the police before they would return the boy’s body for burial. This is reminiscent of the Palestinian child Mohammed al-Dura, who was killed by Israeli occupation forces and was held by his father in a scene similar to that of Mohamed Badawi’s death; coincidently, it happened on the same day, 8 November, but the difference is that the Israeli forces did not snatch Mohammed al-Dura’s body from his father’s lap, but allowed him to spend his last moment with his son before he was buried; nor did they blackmail him. The Israelis were, in one sense, more humane towards their enemies than this coup government is towards its own citizens.

This contrast must be considered and analysed for the entire world to see what type of individuals are ruling Egypt, what their characteristics are, and what religion they believe in. They have chanted, “We are a nation, and you are a nation; we have a god, and you have a god”, and we have condemned this racist and horrendous song which promotes division. However, the absurd events occurring in Egypt now make us rethink this, despite our belief that we have one God; those individuals should go to look for their alleged lord.

Another absurdity in this tragicomedy playing out in Egypt is the prosecution of 22 students at Al -Azhar University who have been sentenced to 17 years in prison and fined EGP 64,000. This judgement was made less than 15 days after the students were arrested during a campus protest. The police stormed the campus, used tear gas to disperse the protest and arrested the students. They were put on trial and sentenced in double-quick time; indeed, during the first hearing. Meanwhile, the state prosecutors released members of the “Ultras” who were charged with the same offences as the Al-Azhar students, but the Interior Minister, Raouf Rahim, withdrew his complaint against them and expressed his concern for their academic future.

These coup-organisers really do believe that they are a nation and that the people who oppose them are a separate nation. Yes, we are a free nation who believe in democracy, call for constitutional legitimacy, and refuse to accept fascist military rule. We will never be slaves, as long as we live, and will sacrifice our souls for the sake of our freedom and our dignity; yes, we are a nation, and they are a nation; but are we the same nation? Not as long as these tragicomedies continue to play out, we’re not.

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