– Egypt: Everyone shook hands with wolves,No one is innocent
The January 25, 2011, in Tahrir Square, was considered a rebirth day for all Egyptian revolutionaries; and the eighteen days from January 25 to February 11, when Mubarak stepped down, represented the cradle period for all Egyptians there. Only during that time, everybody had been as sinless as an angel until revolutionaries committed the first and greatest sin of ending their sit-in and leaving the Tahrir Square. Then, they have started to commit numerous mistakes and sins successively.
Every single faction began to set up its own platform in Tahrir Square for communicating with followers and guiding them politically; and thus the real game started to operate. Revolutionaries have become divided among themselves and fragmented, and politics significantly showed up. New political parties were formed and lured dreamers of change who unfortunately responded to them submissively as if their eyes were folded.
At that time, the Tahrir Square was evacuated and wolves (referring to the military) started to emerge wearing lamb masks. The primary task of the military was to trick and contain the largest revolutionary faction, the Muslim Brotherhood (MB), and make them a scapegoat to further divide and fragment revolutionary factions. In turn, the Brotherhood devoted all possible efforts to the political process orchestrated by the military (starting with the referendum on constitution amendment on March 19, 2011). The MB then did everything necessary to secure success in the political process. Meanwhile, the “wolves” started to devour the MB young people as well as other young revolutionaries, while the Brotherhood trusted the military under the pretext of practising politics. Because the MB were brought up on the “da’wa” (advocacy or religious preaching) approach of good intentions, they were easily implicated in politics which they really practiced as if they were performing a mere da’wa activity. The MB ranks were unaware that the situation was completely different and required new mechanisms which they may have never experienced before.
As for other Tahrir colleague revolutionaries and activists – especially those who belong to the “civil current” (In Egypt, this term usually refers to liberals and secularists) – most of them engaged in personal disputes in response to the “immature” policies of the Brotherhood. However, the “civil current” activists forgot that many of their political stances were also immature. They used to eagerly use all possible means for distorting the Muslim Brotherhood. For example, in response to the Brotherhood complacent remarks on the events of Mohammed Mahmoud St., Abbasia and the Council of Ministers (where security forces assaulted revolutionaries gathering there), the “civil current” activists later besieged the Muslim Brotherhood’s main headquarters in Mokattam, a suburb in South Eastern Cairo, as well as the Ittihadiya Presidential Palace. These acts allowed the infiltration of the third party (military and security agents) killing Brotherhood members and igniting the crisis. As an eyewitness, however, I do not exclude the Muslim Brotherhood from some kind of responsibility for what happened of clashes then (referring to clashes between angry crowds belonging to both the “civil current” and supporters of President Morsi including the Muslim Brotherhood in front of Al-Ittihadiya Palace).
With the passing of time, members of the civil movement mobilized together with the “third party” agents as well as police officers (the killers of January Revolution martyrs) in their uniform, carried on the shoulders of protesters. Moreover, the revolutionary chants calling for the “downfall of the rule of the military” were replaced by other chants for the “downfall the rule of the MB leader” [referring to the government of President Morsi, implicitly accusing the president of being a mere front for the Brotherhood Guide (leader)]. In fact, such demonstrations were encouraged by the military to take to the streets on June 30, 2013 to use them as a cover for their military coup. Unfortunately, many protesters who were only calling for early elections did not realize that they were actually paving the way for the military to overthrow Egypt’s first democratically elected president.
On the course of the following months – after the official declaration of the overthrowing of Morsi on July 3 by Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi, the defense minister at the time, and the military takeover – army and security forces committed many massacres and mass killings against Mohamed Morsi supporters, which included:
– The Republican Guards massacre (1) [On July 5, 2013, army soldiers fired live ammunition at protesters gathered outside the Republican Guard club on Salah Salem Street in eastern Cairo. The soldiers killed at least five protesters, including one who was attempting to place a Morsi poster on a fence outside the club, and injured others].
– The Republican Guards massacre (2) [In the early hours of July 8, 2013, 51 Mohamed Morsi supporters camped outside the Republican Guards’ club in Cairo were killed and more than 435 were injured by army and security forces while performing the Fajr (dawn) prayers],
– The Manassa Memorial massacre [On July 27, 2013 (when security forces opened fire on a march of Morsi supporters near the Manassa Memorial in eastern Cairo, killing at least 95 demonstrators],
– The Rabaa and Nahda massacres [On 14 August 2013, Egyptian army and security forces under the command of General Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi raided two sit-ins of supporters of President Mohamed Morsi in Cairo: one at al-Nahda Square and a larger one at Rabaa al-Adawiya Square, killing more than one thousand, injuring and arresting other thousands.
In addition, many other mass killings and assassinations have been committed since July 3, 2013 untill now. Also, tens of thousands of pro-Morsi protesters were imprisoned following unfair mass trials. Moreover, dozens were forcibly disappeared after being detained secretly by the security forces, according to Human Rights Watch. However, Al-Sisi’s harsh crackdown and arrest campaign that began after the July 2013 coup were not limited to the pro-Morsi or MB members. In fact, numerous secular activists were also sent to prison, including human rights defenders. In the absence of justice, everyone has been subject to repression under the military regime. The “wolves” have escalated grievances and injustices against the whole people.
However, I did not intend here to introduce a description of what has happened, as everyone has lived and witnessed all these events, and that all of us, without exception, are still suffering bitterly under the military rule. I only wanted to address those who are gloating over the latest series of arrests by Sisi and his regime against various politicians and activists who had previously supported the military coup.
We must not deprive those who supported the overthrow of President Morsi and participated in one way or another in supporting the military coup from the right to change their political convictions. Everyone committed mistakes, including the Muslim Brotherhood, albeit well- intentioned; and accordingly everyone has the right to correct his mistakes and change his convictions.
Though I am one of those who voted for President Morsi and still admit that he is Egypt’s legitimate president, yet I reject some acts and stances of Morsi’s supporters.
Also, most “civil current” activists have not admitted so far that they were mainly behind the present situation we are all suffering from – particularly for their participation in the demonstrations of June 30, 2013, which were used by the military as a civilian cover for their bloody military move.
I also blame the Brotherhood for not playing a significant role in facing the activities of some pro-Morsi supporters on the internet – especially those who use every possible means to formulate and administer the public opinion among the revolutionary ranks. We should all know that Egypt has a diversity of political trends and inclinations that must co-exist in building our homeland.
Everyone, without exception, must admit they had committed mistakes and accordingly apologize to the Egyptian people. All of us were exploited in one way or another by the military, and we should openly admit it and work together to face them. The present situation that we are suffering from has resulted from political mistakes that were committed, regardless of being done with good or bad intention. Transparency, cooperation and coordination of stances are a must to face the repressive acts of Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi who is committing all atrocities against the Egyptian people within full view of the international community.
In order to restore our country and rights, and face Al-Sis’s bloody military regime, we should work sincerely together and re-unite our revolutionary forces as we did in Tahrir Square in 2011.