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The fall of the Egyptian judiciary

June 24, 2016 at 11:14 am

Accusations that ousted President Mohamed Morsi passed state secrets to Qatar and his subsequent trial were a joke. It is a measure of how bad things have got when an elected president is accused of collaborating with a friendly state.

The Egyptian judiciary and media want to distract people from the terrible internal economic, social, security and educational conditions affecting the country. Corruption is even more rife than before.

It is really unfortunate that the judiciary in Egypt has reached the point where it is belittling minds; indeed, that it has fallen into the hands of the military authority behind the 2013 coup. Many jokes are being made these days about the media and its mercenaries, art, culture and sport, but for the judiciary to be included in that list is a disaster.

A few days ago, Morsi — the elected president who spent just one year in office before his own minister of defence turned against him — was sentenced to life in prison for what was misleadingly called “collaboration with Qatar”. Six other defendants received death sentences, including some media professionals. It was like watching a very poor play at the theatre, with shaky scenery and actors, playing the central roles, ascending the judges’ podium much bigger than such legal midgets could handle.

The episode brings shame on Egypt, which has a long history of being tainted by those in power dealing in a shallow manner with other states, especially within the region. It is shameful on such “leaders” to accuse an elected president of “collaborating” with a fellow Arab country which stood by Egypt from day one of the January 2011 Revolution. The father of the current Emir of Qatar was the first foreign leader to visit Egypt only a few months after the success of the revolution, when the military council was in charge; he was followed by Shaikh Tamim Bin Hamad, who was then crown prince, in June 2011. Qatar offered Egypt various kinds of support out of a sense of duty to its neighbour and a number of agreements were signed during that visit. There were no Islamists or Muslim Brotherhood on the political scene then, only the military. When Egypt needed support in kind in 2013, prior to the coup against Morsi, Qatar sent 5 free shipments of gas, three of which were delivered during the rule of Morsi and two after the coup. Qatar did not stop supporting Egypt due to Doha’s support being for the Egyptian people, with whom it has brotherly ties.

For such a case against Morsi to even be considered has thus blighted those ruling Egypt today. It does them no credit whatsoever that the compliant media mercenaries could speak of the case day and night as if it was a major problem for the Egyptian people who suffer so much from real problems on a daily basis. The media have used the case to divert Egypt’s attention from more important issues such as the economy, water supply, corruption and security, which all highlight the shortcomings of the government. Since the coup, Egypt has fallen back in a number of sectors, including education.

Egypt’s foreign debt las year was $48 billion; by the end of May this had risen to $83 billion. The figure for domestic debt scared me when I saw it; there were simply too many digits to comprehend immediately. The figure stands at 2.6 trillion Egyptian pounds (around $260 billion), equivalent to 80-90 per cent of the country’s gross national product. This means that Egypt is almost bankrupt, with the pound at its lowest rate; for the first time in history, one US dollar is worth 12 Egyptian pounds.

The other issue concerns the country’s water deficit. Where are the people who slapped a law suit on Morsi related to Al-Nahda Dam on the Nile now that Ethiopia is about 70 per cent of the way through building it? When it is completed and operational, Egypt will face a major water shortage.

The mercenary media have promoted rumours saying that Morsi sold the pyramids, Suez Canal and the Maspero radio and television building to Qatar, creating many problems in the process. It was all lies, but they did it because they were paid to do it.

Now, following the military coup led by Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi — who claimed that he was not after the presidency, a job or promotion — all of Egypt is in debt to other countries. The country deserves someone better at the helm. If things continue as they are, everything is likely to deteriorate even more, and very quickly.

Al-Sisi coordinates the armed forces with Israel for his military operations against the people of Sinai, against whom he practices all kinds of oppression and murder; and he conspires against the Palestinians of the Gaza Strip, also in coordination and cooperation with the Israeli occupation authorities. He receives Israeli delegations all year long, and the Zionist state’s officials announce continuously that their relations with Egypt are at an all-time high thanks to President al-Sisi. So who should really be put on trial for being a threat Egypt’s national and Arab regional security?

Qatar has never conspired against anyone. It has a clear record of trying to help other countries, while others are besieging Gaza and killing its children, women and elderly by a siege, so who are the real conspirators?

This is a time of wonders indeed. It matches the saying of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, when he said: “There will come to the people years of treachery, when the liar will be regarded as honest, and the honest man will be regarded as a liar; the traitor will be regarded as faithful, and the faithful man will be regarded as a traitor; and the Ruwaibidah will decide matters.”

The people asked, “Who are the Ruwaibidah?”

The Prophet replied, “Vile and base men who control the affairs of the people.”


Translated from Al-Sharq, 19 June, 2016.

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