Sunday, December 9, 2012

To protect the revolution, overcome the false secular-Islamist divide

The dichotomous myth of "secular" versus "Islamist" must be dismantled in order for Egypt to move on.

As Usual, A Very Good Comment

"It is impossible to exaggerate the significance of the momentous events that have drawn global attention to Egypt as its people continue to struggle with the unfolding drama of their revolution.
There are two evidently opportunistic events that have come together to signal a dreadful attempt by the Muslim Brotherhood to claim the entirety of the Egyptian revolution for themselves, pretty much on the same model that the Shia clerics hijacked the Iranian revolution of 1977-1979 - with the crucial difference that Egyptians in their tens of thousands have poured into their streets and are far more alert and vigilant to protect the totality of their revolution than Iranians were more than thirty years ago.

The first event revolves around President Morsi grabbing (and then rescinding) more power than he was granted by the free and fair election that - with a narrow margin - sent him to the presidential palace. The other is the draft constitution that a Muslim Brotherhood-dominated Constitutional Assembly, the president's own political allies, has hastily drafted and put out for referendum.

But the devil is in the details. What is it exactly that we are witnessing? A president that was freely elected suddenly reached for a power grab and placed himself above the rule of law. Egyptians who deeply care for the future of democracy in their homeland poured into their streets and opposed this move. Soon other Egyptians came to their streets too expressing their support and solidarity with their president and his decision which they insisted was only temporary and meant to overcome the obstacles that elements of the old regime were placing on his way to implement the will of the people, the whole point of the revolution. Clashes have ensued; some Egyptians have died in the protests, and many more injured. The blood of these Egyptians is entirely on the hands of Mohamed Morsi, who began this cycle of abuse and mistrust. But the historic fate of the Egyptian revolution is now far more urgent than engaging in a blaming game.....

Principled reasoning, not rocks

The only way out of this crisis and this damned bloodshed is dialogue - immediate and unconditional - and for that dialogue to begin, President Morsi's decision to rescind the power he had granted himself was a necessary but not sufficient move. He must also immediately postpone the date of the referendum in order for the constitutional assembly to reconvene and include all Egyptian factions and resolve all the pending issues before it is sent to Egyptian people to vote. In that reconvened assembly, Egyptians who think themselves "secular" must abandon the false anxiety of that colonial designation and enter into a dialogue with their own Muslim brothers and sisters.

Meanwhile if Netanyahu and his Zionist supporters in Washington, DC think by bombing Gaza and tickling Morsi towards this power grab they have thrown a monkey wrench at the Egyptian revolution and the Arab Spring, they have another thing coming. Egyptians will triumph over this obstacle and will emerge stronger through it, and bankrupt ideologies - from the militant Islamism of Ayman al-Zawahiri to the violent Zionism of Binyamin Netanyahu - will not benefit from that triumph. "

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