October 10, 2011

Egypt’s 3rd Revolution “A Priceless Opportunity”

Pakistan Christian Post
written by Assad
Monday October 10, 2011

What is the price for freedom, equality, liberty and democracy? The quest for liberation, democracy and freedom from dictatorship in Egypt has cost nearly 900 lives with 10,000’s injured. The struggle has been very far from smooth, tourists avoid Egypt like the plague, Christian Coptic minority are fleeing in there 1000’s,the “dictator” is behind bars facing criminal charges, Islamists have been freed from Jails and the struggle for control and dominance is savage.

Today Egypt is at the cross road that will shape its future path & destiny. The imperative question been asked is “will Egypt repeat the mistake of the previous revolutions and emulate the 1979 Iranian revolution?

Egyptians must realise this could very well be the last bite of the cherry, the last roll of the dice and Egypt cannot afford to waste this priceless opportunity. Democracy is so close yet so far.

Egypt has had a tumultuous history and a bad record of seizing the moment when it comes to revolutions.

During the 1919 revolution the British occupying forces succumbed to the will of the Egyptian people, appointed a committee to draft the 1923 constitution. The 1923 constitution was accepted despite its obvious defects that denied their right to a just and democratic future and the opportunity was lost.

After the 1952 revolution, Egypt wasted another prime opportunity for democratization. The anti-democracy current pushed by Muslim Brotherhood Islamists ran like wild fire with the Free Officers that dominated the revolution.

On 16 January, 1953, Gamal Nasser issued a decree to dissolve all political parties and confiscate their money and offices. The Wafd party was the majority party at the time and could have easily mobilized the public against dictatorship, in which case the officers would have retreated and Egypt’s democratic system would have been preserved. But the Wafd party did not raise any objections. This was the second wasted opportunity for Egypt; their silence meant the country remained under authoritarian rule for the next 60 years.

Regrettably, Egypt’s history is replete with lost opportunities for democratization. Here we are in 2011, and Egypt has its third opportunity to correct the path. The 25 January revolution that took the world by surprise forced Hosni Mubarak to step down will be decided during the November 2011 election.

The youth revolution saw nearly nine hundred Egyptians sacrifice their lives for the sake of freedom. It was a remarkable sight that Egypt had never experienced before; there was strong sense of unity. Christians, Muslims, men and women were all standing together fighting as patriotic Egyptians, one hand united for a single cause. They guarded each other whilst the other prayed, they ate, drank, and slept together in the quest for “freedom, liberty and democracy” for all Egyptians.

Sadly, that glimmer of hope died very quickly, the revolution was confronted with a vicious counter-revolution from Islamists who quickly used religion as a tool to denounce democracy. The existing Constitution was hastily redrafted. The islamists quickly shifted focus from democracy and pursued a single cause, “reinforcement of article 2 “shariah as the source of jurisprudence”. Those striving for references or attempts to enshrine democracy where quickly slapped down and sidelined as “un-Islamic”, apostates.

This single event signalled the hijacking of the revolution by the forceful and cunning as a fox Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist Sects, notably the Salafists.

The Brotherhood was encouraged by external forces desiring to spread Islamisation in the Middle East. There is no question outside interference and propaganda played a major role in denying the youth revolutionaries of their aspirations.

The tug of war started, Saudi Arabia, and Iran turned Egypt into a political football, with both Islamic sects desperately attempting to influence the future direction of Egypt. Saudi Arabia won the battle, their foot soldiers the salafis suddenly appeared on Egyptian streets, the Saudi oil dollars strengthened the campaign of the Sunni Muslim Brotherhood and Shia Iran lost out. {There is bitter hatred and animosity between Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shia Iran}. [As a side note, yesterday the Saudi’s finally realised that women do have the mental capacity to engage in politics and vote at a local level]

At the same time Israel and the US have pushed for meaningful democratic change in Egypt. Both American and Israeli officials recognize Egypt’s potential and aware it will become a powerful regional force in a matter of years, if democracy wins over the Islamists.

Today the only barrier between Democracy and Egypt is the increasing strength of Islamic movements and extremism. They have cunningly exploited religion and used Islam to condemn democracy as satanic and evil.

Today there are threats against Egypt’s revolutionaries, Hundreds of state security officers have fled their work places, and ant Semitism is been exploited to promote the Islamic agenda of rule and conquer.

I hope everyone remembers Mubarak’s statements to the international press, before he stepped down, his words are particularly telling. “I want to step down but I’m worried about chaos in Egypt…I’m worried that the Muslim Brotherhood might come to power.” Mubarak certainly wasn’t lying and hit the nail on the head.

The incidents of thuggery & persecution against the Christian Copts are no accident or strange coincidence, “they are targeted, well planned and executed acts of terror on Egyptian citizens”

If we roll back we recall how Mohammad El-Baradei was specifically attacked on the day of the referendum for failing to tow the Muslim Brotherhood agenda.

In Shubra, during the two days preceding the referendum, thugs (Salafi Muslims) were allowed to block roads, terrorize Coptic people and fire random shots resulting in several deaths. Does it concern anyone that “Not a single police officer or army soldier intervened to protect the Coptic Christians?

Does the fact that many Copts live in Shubra and that Coptic leaders had announced their opposition to the constitutional amendments have anything to do with these attacks?

Were the attacks intended to terrorize Copts to force them to accept the amendments?

Were the attacks meant to punish the “infidels” for insisting on Egyptians’ right to a new constitution?

SCFA, the interim Government and General prosecutor have several unanswered questions in this regard.

Why hasn't the Alexandria Church Bombing been investigated?

Why and who ordered the release of Islamic Jihadists that were incarcerated?

Why do attacks on Coptic civilians go un-investigated and unpunished?

Why haven’t those attacking and destroying Coptic Churches and Homes been arrested and put on trial?

Why has there been a dramatic increase in Coptic Girls been Kidnapped, raped and forced to convert to Islam?

Why has life for Coptic Christians become so miserable that they have no option but to abandon their homeland and flee to other countries? Does Islam have any Shame?

Why has the selective treatment of Egyptians based on religion become the Norm in the wake of the revolution?

The answers to the latter seem to stem back to the unholy alliance between the MB and SCAF. Why did SCAF ensure Egyptians were not allowed to elect a constituent assembly to draft a new constitution that reflects the will of the people and move Egypt into an era of democracy?

Why Did SCAF ensure members of the MB and their lawyer were part of the committee drafting the amendments to the constitution?

Why did SCAF place limits on constitutional amendments?

Can SCAF explain why members of the amendments committee were not selected on the basis of any clear criteria?

Why was the referendum held so quickly and hastily following the announcement of the proposed amendments, making it difficult for people to fully comprehend the issues involved?

The fact of the matter is the Muslim Brotherhood are like a “whore” a prostitute that will sleep with the highest bidder. Prior to the referendum the Brotherhood were collecting signatures for months to support ElBaradei’s reform campaign, then like a “whore” the Brotherhood stabbed him in the back and allied itself with the NDP to protect article 2, “democracy was sold out”.

Every Egyptian must be aware the principles of Islam and not democracy are the sole objective of the Brotherhood, and they are prepared to do anything to gain power. The Brotherhood has accused its opponents of being foreign agents; they used “charity work” to buy votes and terrorized the secularists labelling them apostates, “traitors of Islam” and supports of infidels “Copts”.

The Brotherhood's strong showing represents their stealth influence across Egypt on the basis of religion. The MB have single handed destroyed the national unity that the revolution has nurtured upon. The actions of the Brotherhood demonstrate that Hosni Mubarak was indeed the final bulwark against extremists.

The media likewise played their role with their warm reception of Islamic Jihad leader and killer Abud al-Zumur following his release from prison. Al-Zumur, whose long beard is reminiscent of Osama Bin Laden's, announced on television that killing in the name of religion is legitimate. This statement terrified millions of Coptic Christians and Westerners who sympathize with their daily struggle. Incredibly a growing number of Egyptians and revolutionaries are now ready to accept the return of the old regime in the name of protecting Egypt from extremists.

If those in power truly want to support democratic change, our candidate-centered electoral system must be changed. This current system will allow the NDP and Muslim Brotherhood to win most of the seats in an election. The notion that they should be in charge of drafting Egypt’s new constitution is unacceptable and criminal. Most legal scholars have argued that a constitution drafted by a parliament that is elected through the existing system will not represent the Egyptian people’s will. Their advice must be taken seriously.

Egypt’s great revolution of 2011 can not be allowed to become another wasted opportunity. If the transition process takes Egypt backwards, it is anticipated no one will be able stop the Egyptian Youth who forced Hosni Mubarak to step down, from achieving their freedom.

Islamisation will be a curse, Democracy is the ONLY solution, “mixing religion and politics” is like “mixing oil and water”, they DO NOT gel.

I pray that every Egyptian has the courage to stand up to the Islamists and the MB. Egypt can not afford to waste this opportunity; they must act in the best interests of a democratic prosperous Egypt for all Egyptians.

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