It’s been over four months since Egyptians thought that the world was their oyster. On June 30th, they rid themselves of the Muslim Brotherhood: the worst was over and the best was yet to come. For most Egyptians, this remains true, but for some, the euphoria has fizzled, the hopes overshadowed. Some even had their doubts from the start.
These perennially disgruntled criticize to their hearts’ content. As Mohammed Mahmoud Street’s two anniversaries approach, they try their best to shake the already shaky situation. After November 19, 2011 and 2012, the cry was against the police and army forces’ brutality: today, the calls ask for settling these same scores.
A new wave of criticism is emerging. Though these critical Egyptians aren’t MB followers, they find fault with the crackdown on Rabaa and MB leaders, the military dominance, the weak interim government, and the “undemocratic” move of June 30th. In all fairness, they have high moral values but lack vision and understanding.
But today I want to remind all these faultfinders that we are living in better times, lest they’ve forgotten.
In case they are not aware, Morsi, and the MB, would have never relinquished power in any other way but in a toppling maneuver such as June 30th. Even after four legitimate years, the second term’s elections would’ve been rigged and heavily manipulated so that the MB maintains an ongoing grip on Egypt. This is not a vision on my part; look at the rigging that was exposed in the constitutional referendum, at how Morsi threatened violence if Shafik won, and of the violence Egypt is facing today: all clear signs of how Morsi and MB would react to change.
In one year, the MB not only gained political dominance but also molded a new course for Egypt altering education, constitution, ideology, culture, and governance to their liking.
At MB and non-MB schools, bearded teachers and veiled students adorned textbook covers. The minister of Education deleted the photo of a woman’s right pioneer from a textbook because she wasn’t wearing the hijab. New and altered textbooks promoted prominent Islamists from Hamas and other militant groups. Until today, at certain schools, students sing a twisted version of the anthem guiding students to fight for Islam instead of hailing Egypt. Soon, all schools would have focused on jihad and the caliphate to come.
A mediocre constitution favoured Islamists and denied Copts and other sects their rights. Culture was stumped by a minister who lacked knowledge and went after the knowledgeable. A governor, a member of an Islamist group that murdered 58 tourists and 4 Egyptians, was chosen to oversee the attacked governorate: Luxor. And while Morsi’s prime minister was incapable and inefficient, his information minister lacked discretion.
Morsi didn’t lift a finger when Copts were killed and terrorized. Neither did he lift a finger when soldiers and officers were brutally murdered. According to Major General Sherif Ismail the presidency disclosed classified information to perpetrators so that they revised their approach and corrected their bearings.
On the international front Morsi must have travelled to over 20 countries leaving internal affairs to his inept prime minister. Some presidents met him cordially; other refused to meet him altogether. Many a time he shocked his audience by his gobbledygook and clumsiness. While he antagonized many Gulf States with the exception of Qatar, he alienated Arab countries, Syria for instance, with the exception of Hamas.
His decision making on all international and border fronts were erroneous be it the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, Halaib and Shalateen on the border with Sudan, or Sinai’s border with Gaza and Israel.
Maybe today’s leaders have yet to prove themselves, but none is abusing his authority by spending millions on bodyguards and surveillance equipment. None show off in motorcades of over 20 to 40 vehicles. None try to gain from the glory of others. October 6th celebration, 2012, glorified Morsi; October 6th celebration, 2013, gave credit where it was due: for the first time, Sadat’s widow attended the celebration of Sadat’s victory.
But most of all, Egypt would have become a militant Islamic nation inviting terror and exporting it to the world.
Maybe this horror scene from the past will remind Egyptians that we are in a better state by far. Sure there are many matters that are still handled mediocrely, but I have faith that the better, if not the best, is yet to come.
What Egyptians don’t realize is that it will take years if not decades to turn the clock back let alone move it forward. Even the best predictions will tell you that the population time bomb can kill improvement efforts, so to expect a major change in a four months’ eye blink is not feasible.
I have faith that the about-to-be-finalized constitution will serve all Egyptians, especially those who care for a united Egypt. I have faith that the army will not control the country in the long run. I have faith that Egypt will take the right turn.