Except for people reluctant to acknowledge to process and twisting terms connected to the concept of democracy, generally referred to as ‘Morsi loyalists’ and except for the groups who deny the legitimacy of the majority vote from June 30th, referred to as ‘Anti-Coup’ movement, leading Egyptians to temporarily put trust into a new interim government, that had been declared on July 3rd, hardly anyone agrees to the demonstrations and protests that are being held out ever since the fortress-like sit-ins in Egypt’s capital were dispersed, even though the numbers of participants are dramatically diminishing, contrary to still some Western media reports.
The interim government does represent the majority of the Egyptian citizens. – The opposition unites radical and obstinate individuals at one end with politically ignorant daydreamers or idealists at the other end.
Who are the Egyptian citizens and what do they expect from the interim government? – First and foremost the Egyptians now, in a state of realizing their diversity and their antagonistic aspirations want but one thing first: security and safety.
Truly a very comprehendible wish considering the grave impact the more than two and a half years of ongoing change with little interruption of violence and increasing criminal rates brought about.. The ‘national’ mood is tiredness of demonstrations and everybody wants to continue their lives without constant disruptions through demonstrations and terror attacks.
Wouldn’t just ‘banning’ demonstrations seem the perfect solution for the time being, as one business tycoon a couple of weeks ago suggested on his Twitter account and as some still rather secretly would like to see happen?- No.
In light of the destructive character of the opposition forces at whose moderate end representatives don’t even wish to become part of the political process unless Morsi would be reinstated, ignoring them is the most agreeable way to put the road-map forward. Like when your children won’t want to leave their play-station while you are having the whole family over for discussing the next holiday destination; you just go on and make your decision with who is there.-
Banning demonstrations and protests would leave the interim judiciary open to fierce attack by the opposition, who in the course of the decades is rather well connected and established in the West, where granting certain basic rights even to opponents became such a self-understanding that upon restriction of one of those rights a reflex-like ‘It’s our duty to prevent dictatorship’ would be poured out onto Egypt, making a transition toward democratic governance even more difficult.
Everyone surely remembers the days of the dispersal in mid August, where the US and the EU pondered the possibility to send in their ‘freedom forces’.. Moreover: even here in Egypt of course we hear phrases like “The actions of the civil political elite in Egypt have not ceased to amaze since the 3 July coup. Events over the past months have proven that their actions are not based on any moral or value-based system but more an expression of political opportunism and a desire to get rid of Islamists, even if the price is to create a military dictatorship.” (Ahram 19.10.2013 “El-Sisi and Egypt’s bankrupt civil elite) concluding: “Woe is the fate of democracy in Egypt.” ..Huh!
Does the current development on the rocky road toward democracy not look rather bogged down in light of these debates?
Yes and no. From what I understand: it is ‘progressive’ to question authority. And it’s resentful too. And it lacks trust and it shows little sense for process. You cannot change a country, in which most of its citizens feel abused through corruption, left behind in their unfortunate social environment. It becomes however perfidious to declare ‘bankruptcy’ once the author of this declaration knows about the complexity of the Egyptian society. Articles like that one will have their echo in the West, but won’t impress many locals.
However the image, with which the Western mainstream media jazzed up the Muslimbrotherhood in Egypt as the ‘doyens of democracy’, is getting cracked and will slowly and certainly lead to reconsider biased assessment.
Alaa Al Aswany, one of Egypt’s most prominent representatives and opinion shaper for the process of political awareness in Egypt, who, as a key-figure gave words and communicated a deep understanding to the outside world, elaborating on what the revolution is about and why it had been inevitable, he had been in Paris last week. Following an invitation from the Institute of the Arab World by Jacques Lang, the former Minister of culture in France, Aswany was there to introduce his latest book “Automobile Club” to the French audience.
A man who is known for his passionate support of his homeland on the way towards democracy, an author who is renowned for sentences like “The concept of the benevolent dictator, just like the concepts of the noble thief or the honest whore, is no more than a meaningless fantasy.” [On the State of Egypt: A Novelist’s Provocative Reflections].. can anyone seriously assume he would surrender to a ‘military dictatorship’ as the army is being regarded as from the ‘coup’ opponents?!
Back to the October 16th event in Paris. The front row had apparently been occupied from sympathizers of the Egyptian “AntiCoup” movement. The panel was just about to begin, when they raised from their seats and spreading horror.
Obviously they took their frustration about being voted out by the public, on, how they probably see it, Aswany, a ‘traitor of the revolution’.
Alaa Al Aswany recently became a controversial figure since his politically mature views on the development of the Egyptian revolution currently contradict with the more romanticized attitude where ‘the army is always the villain’. Like most of the Egyptian political realists, Aswany sees that for now the army serves to safeguard the transition and merely complied with the majority vote of the streets, when ousting Morsi.
So when the crowd suddenly got off their seats and started shouting and smashing objects at one of the icons of the Egyptian revolution, smashing glass with objects, Jacques Lang from his office couldn’t identify but terrified him to the extent that he fled the building through a back-door and cancelled the symposium..
All this makes me think: Thank You Dear Lord for having this happened in the limelight of the Western world. In the cradle of the European culture with representatives who have the direct cell phone number of Hollande himself.
The questions to how to deal with violent opposition seems to get answers from the grounds and ironically are the perpetrators their own main obstacle in promoting fragmented and perverted clichés about who and what can be regarded as legitimate. Since Jacques Lang filed a complaint against ‘unknown hooligans’ France shows all but sympathy..
The rest of the world will follow.
Even for Egypt the question of how to phrase the rights for demonstrations in the new constitution can be phrased with more ease.
It is becoming clear that Egypt will have the right to defend itself against its enemies.