While Syria remains
in the throes of the uprising that began in March 2011–the latest in a series
of upheavals that first sprang up in Tunisia and followed in Libya, Yemen, and
Egypt that was optimistically referred to as the “Arab Spring”–Egypt has
managed to find time for two revolutions, or, as it appears now, one revolution
and one military coup (depending on who you ask).
Click photo to download. Caption: A protest against now former-president Mohamed Morsi in Egypt on June 28, 2013. Credit: Lilian Wagdy via Wikimedia Commons.
Since January 2011, Cairo’s Tahrir Square has
become part parliament and part presidents’ guillotine. After Hosni Mubarak
took his fall, it was Muslim Brotherhood president Mohamed Morsi’s turn.
It took 25 days to remove Mubarak from power in
2011. This time, the mob needed just more than three days to take down elected
president, Muslim Brotherhood member Morsi. According to the Egyptian army’s
political roadmap, Morsi’s successor will be chosen in a democratic election.
That person should know the last thing he needs is a crowded, angry Tahrir
Square to inevitably show him the door. The winds of revolution continue to
blow in Egypt while it continues to look for a better future. These winds will
likely claim more victims. Whoever is next in line should take heed.
Ever since the Muslim Brotherhood was founded by
Sheikh Hassan al-Banna in 1928, it has aspired to lead Egypt by imposing its
brand of Sunni Islam from the constitution to day-to-day life. It took the
Brotherhood 85 years to reach its goal, through Morsi’s rise to power. But exactly
one year later, Egypt removed Morsi with the army’s generous cooperation, a
huge blow for the Brotherhood and its goal of establishing theocratic states
across the Arab world.
evil in the West
Egypt’s first free elections in history failed;
this is what happens when they are held too early in the democratization
process. But in Washington, DC, American officials were thrilled about the
“early results” in Egypt. They pressured Cairo to hold elections, even
congratulated Morsi on his victory.
In the West, officials looked the other way when
the Muslim Brotherhood essentially co-opted a revolution that was launched by
young, liberal, secular Egyptians. It was most important for them to put a
check by the word “elections” on their shopping list. Washington was oblivious
to the goings-on in Egypt, and was caught off-guard days before the start of
the large-scale demonstrations that led to Morsi’s eventual ouster.
Whoever was in Egypt saw the speed at which the
situation deteriorated firsthand. Defense Minister Col. Gen. Abdel Fattah
al-Sissi revealed that the military had recommended to President Morsi in
November that he include the various political streams in the day-to-day
dialogue. For his part, Morsi preferred to maintain his grip on the steering
While the Muslim Brotherhood was fascinated with
democracy, it forgot that Egypt was a big country with a population of 84
million. Of those, the Brotherhood received just 14 million votes. They didn’t
see all the millions who didn’t vote for Morsi. In addition, the removal of the
Supreme Military Council, which had ruled Egypt alongside the Muslim
Brotherhood, was done in an insultingly hasty and haphazard manner. The army
brass didn’t forget this insult, and was …read more