The Egyptian Dilemma

By Muqeet Tahir Malik


Dear Readers! We have witnessed the Arab spring resulting in the overthrow of dictators like Mommar Qaddafi, and  Hosni Mubarik  making way for new leaders who were appointed through the democratic process of elections. However, now a political divide is emerging in these countries between the conservatives and secular class as on the governing policies. This has also led to widespread protests in the Egyptian capital of Cairo, at the renowned Al Tahrir Square which has led to a coup by the Egyptian military which toppled the elected President Muhammad Morsi.

Firstly, matters began to worsen when President Muhammad Morsi in November 2012 unilaterally decreed that he had immunity from the judiciary. The same decree was aimed at hindering the courts from nullifying the decisions of the upper house of parliament, so as to solidify his authority to ensure the implementation of his policies.  This  led to a tussle between President Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood, and the opposition parties, student leaders, and the secular class. The protests were begun by  five young students in April 2013 named Mahmoud Badr, Mohammed Abdel-Aziz, Hassan Shahin, Mai Wahba and Mohammed Heikawho blamed the Morsi government for the poor Egyptian economic and financial situation, as well as an drastic escalation in the sectarian violence in Egypt. Efforts made by these five prime students led to millions of people gathering at Al Tahrir Square which eventually resulted in the ouster of President Morsi.

Secondly, now as Egyptian army has taken control of Egypt and has abrogated the constitution. Their next step seems to be bringing in a new interim government similar to Bangladesh model comprising technocrats, judges and senior generals to run the political affairs of the country until a new parliamentary government is elected. Here the paramount question is whether this will prove to be fruitful as it failed in Bangladesh. However, before these elections are held, there would be some drastic amendments in the Egyptian constitutional order. There is a possibility that the next elections may be held under stringent conditions for the presidential nominations, aimed at impeding Morsi from contesting which will not be palatable to the Muslim Brotherhood. However, army, at present, enjoys considerable public support.

Thirdly, I believe that behind Morsi’s ouster is the concealed hand of international establishment. My perception is that United States did support the coup as even though supporters of Morsi have been killed by firing by the Egyptian military, President Obama only said that he is ‘deeply concerned’ regarding the current situation and has refrained till now from outrightly condemning the coup. To me, Muhammad Morsi had been able to broker an agreement between Israel and Hamas to prevent further bloodshed, and he introduced a constitution in Egypt through referendum which came with a blasphemy law. This point was not acceptable to the western countries, especially the US The US could not see an Islamist government entrenched in the region, which also has an important American ally – Israel.

Muslims should form Muslim unions which should address all the aforementioned issues in order to safeguard the rights, demands as well as the political structure of various Muslim countries.

In addition to this, the ‘Tamarod’ movement which led to removal of Morsi can be called, in my opinion, a boastful and agitated movement behind which USA was the capital player. The opposition parties did not gather for the meeting called by President Morsi to settle issues and reach an agreement, which is fishy. The reasons for this should be probed into by the current interim government. If this is not investigated in a proper manner then I fear it may evolve a situation similar to the one in Pakistan, and that extremist elements will take benefit of the divide in people.

Lastly,the  Muslim brotherhood party to which Morsi belongs to  had been founded 80 years ago by Al Bana who was also assassinated. Since then it has rendered sacrifices  particularly in the regime of colonel Gamal Abdul Nasser.  So, a party which came after 80 laborious, and hardworking years to form a place in the ruling elite was disintegrated within a year and ousted. This is unusual and has never been seen before in history. This military coup can be called a  ‘revolution’ in the secular circles, but it is not an revolution which will change the lives of people. Morsi was democratically elected as president for the first time in the history of Egypt, acquiring 51 percent votes in the elections. This will raise an pertinent  question in the minds and hearts of the supporters of President Morsi as to on what basis was he removed from power in Egypt. This will lead to greater differences between the citizens of Egypt weather they are liberal or conservative resulting in rampant violence.

In a nutshell, now the key question is whether the  Egyptian military can guide Egypt out of the vicious complications or will there be more civil strife which is seeming to be inevitable especially after Mursi supporters killings. My standpoint is that Egyptian army would be able to resolve this issue but only by holding free and fair elections which will be boon for the people of Egypt.

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