Saturday, June 30, 2012
By Alaa Al-Aswani
"....We should congratulate Morsy for the presidency but also remind him of a number of facts.
1. It was not only the votes of the Brotherhood that secured a victory for him; in fact, their votes alone would have not helped him win.....
2. Over a year and a half, the SCAF has not achieved the goals of the revolution and rejected any changes to the structure of Mubarak's regime. Now that Morsy has been elected president, change cannot be put off.....
3. Around 1,200 Egyptians died in the revolution, another 1,000 are still missing (most probably dead) and thousands more were injured for Morsy to become president.....
4. The new president will have to choose between either achieving the goals of the revolution or the interests of the Muslim Brotherhood through deals with the SCAF. I hope the Brotherhood will not repeat their historical mistakes, for since its inception, the group has considered its own interests to be necessarily the same as those of the nation. This has led the group to forge deals with people in power which eventually harmed the nation. Their last such miscalculation was their alliance with the SCAF after the revolution, which has delayed the drafting of a new constitution.
Morsy’s mission will not be easy because he will have to stand in the face of Mubarak’s regime, which very strongly resists change. In his battle with the old regime, Morsy needs the support of all Egyptians who will only back him up if he struggles to serve the interests of Egypt and not the Brotherhood.
5. Morsy has repeatedly pledged to maintain the civilian nature of the state. However, this pledge is open to several different interpretations. A civil state has four pillars, which are:
a. Citizenship rights
Egyptian citizens should enjoy their full rights regardless of their religion. The rights of Copts, which were undermined under Mubarak, should be restored in the new era, like genuine Islam preaches.
b. Protection of established personal freedoms
One of the manifestations of the civility in Egypt is that the citizen alone should determine their lifestyle within the limits of the law. If personal freedoms are curtailed under the pretext of implementing a moral program, then this would constitute a regression to the dark ages.
c. Protection of the freedom of thought
We warn the president-elect against listening to extremists who are wary of culture and arts, for Egypt has always been the home of Middle Eastern arts and thought.
We will never accept that creativity be monitored by dogmatic minds because this will waste our cultural legacy and kill creativity. Ideas should be confronted with ideas. This is the golden rule for safeguarding Egyptian culture.
d. Implementation of Sharia punishments should be put off
Any attempt to implement Sharia penalties will tear Egyptian society apart. Morsy knows quite well that the punishments in Sharia cannot be implemented before the elimination of poverty, illiteracy and disease. This is a humanitarian as well as a jurisprudential principle.
Egyptians expect a lot from Morsy and will support him strongly as long as he works for Egypt’s interests and for the achievement of the objectives of the revolution."