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El-Gheriany: The Brotherhood made mistakes but the coup was inevitable

Egyptian judge Hossam El-Gheriany has defended the stances adopted by the Muslim Brotherhood before the 3 July coup, pointing out that although the Brotherhood and other political forces made a mistake by leaving Tahrir Square and the country's other protest squares on 11 February 2011, "the coup d'état against [President Mohamed] Morsi was inevitable and unrelated to the Brotherhood's mistakes."

The website of the Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party quoted El-Gheriany as saying: "Yes, the Muslim Brotherhood has committed mistakes, but even if they had not committed mistakes, no other scenario would have led to different results. Only the time of confrontation would have come sooner. Consider this scenario: 'The Brotherhood will not nominate a presidential candidate. The result would be [Ahmed] Shafiq's victory and a crackdown on all those who took part in the revolution.'"

He continued: "Imagine if Morsi had not issued the constitutional declaration: the Shura Council and the Constituent Assembly would have been dissolved through judicial verdicts. If he had thought about cleansing the judiciary, they would have spoken about its independence. If Morsi had decided to dismiss the army's leaders, and who would have implemented such a decision, he would have been accused of Brotherhoodising the state and threatening national security. The coup would have taken place sooner and it would have even been given legitimacy."

El-Gheriany also raised questions as to the repercussions that would have resulted from cleansing the Ministry of Interior: "If the police had been cleansed, which generation would this cleansing process have stopped at? They are all corrupt. Note that all the massacres' leaders are in the middle and lower ranks. And as usual, Morsi would have been accused of both Brotherhoodisation and threatening national security, which would have been another pretext for the army's intervention."

"If the Brotherhood had not taken part in Ittihadiya," El-Gheriany noted, "the alternative would have been the killing of the legitimate president and the return of Shafiq through new, rigged elections."

He added that the mistake of leaving the protest squares on 11 February was the Brotherhood's biggest, explaining that: "Maybe the only mistake that would have led to a different scenario had it been avoided, is leaving Tahrir Square on 11 February. However, this is not the mistake of the Brothers alone; rather it is the mistake of all revolutionaries except for a few. [Back then] the military was in its weakest state and the revolution was witnessing its strongest moment."

El-Gheriany concluded by saying that: "The coup was inevitable and it is not related to the Brotherhood. The biggest mistake was everyone's mistake, ncluding the Brotherhood – that the squares were evacuated."

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