Since its early days, the Egyptian revolution has faced various challenges and difficulties; and with the Islamic stream, manifested in the Muslim Brotherhood, at the forefront of the political scene, difficulties and obstacles escalated, where the military and the remnants of the Mubarak regime moved for nipping the revolutionary bud and completely get rid of it, which ultimately led to the 3 July coup in 2013, and the retreat of the revolution under the brutal military strikes.
Basically, the Egyptian revolutionaries were not much ready for the revolution; and mostly they were not aware of what was going on around them and what was being hatched against them, with inefficient plans for facing the counter-revolution forces. In fact, the Egyptian revolutionaries did not have a clear vision, and their movements were mere modest reactions to what was being hatched against them.
In the aftermath of the January 25 revolution (2011) and the rise of the Islamic stream, manifested in the Brotherhood, the Egyptian people backed the Muslim Brotherhood in various elections, where they won a majority in the Parliament. However, during various stages of the revolution, revolutionaries, particularly the Islamic stream, committed serious mistakes that had a major impact in reaching this harsh result.
The Islamists failed to handle topics associated with the majority of Egyptians and raise slogans that could be effective in mobilizing people in favor of the revolution against the counter-revolution forces, such as: issues of poverty and injustice, violation of dignity, plundering and theft, political and economic corruption, and others, which nationalists and leftists exploited well to mobilize people around them, despite the fact that all these issues are in essence related to the Islamic law and can be handled within the Islamic teachings in general.
In fact, the Islamic movement alone cannot resist regimes for long, simply because its members are limited. Therefore, the role of the Islamic stream should be focused on awakening people and boosting their awareness. The entire nation, not the Islamists alone, can confront regimes, and even major powers, superpowers, and international alliances given the fact that if the nation wakes up, nothing can ever stop it.
Nevertheless, millions of Egyptians took to the street immediately after announcement of the coup, condemning the move of the military, but unfortunately the decision-makers at that time completely failed to make use of this great human flood that was roaring in the street. Because the policy of organizers of those marches and protests was only to peacefully send a message to the regime of rejecting the coup, and avoid engaging in any clashes with the police forces, only a few shots randomly fired at protesters used to disperse demonstrations of hundreds of thousands of people.
With the successive massacres, brutalization and abuse, many demonstrators retreated, fearing for their lives, or for the futility of demonstrations, from their point of view. In fact, the revolutionary leaders had to change their policy and work to to direct those millions of protesters towards taking effective action, and make use of those large numbers to achieve tangible results on the ground, something that never happened, which led to the decline of the revolutionary movement to a great extent.
Problems and Solutions
One of the biggest problems facing the revolutionary stream is the lack of an efficient plan for handling the successive stages of the revolution. In revolutions, when there is no vision, matters become blurry and decision making is completely left in the hands of others, up to manipulating the revolution and dominating the revolutionaries.
In this regard, revolutionaries must think of providing answers to the following questions: What if the current regime collapses? What is the revolutionaries’ perception of the state? How will the state be controlled? How will the construction process take place? How will revolutionaries handle the economic problems and the crushing crises that the people are suffering from?
The revolutionary stream, the Islamists in particular, lack an apparatus for collecting and analyzing information, to anticipate various blows prepared against them, and foresee the coming steps of their opponents. This is a vital requirement to achieve two important things: early warning and safely bypassing difficulties.
Also, there must be an accurate security apparatus within the revolutionary movement to monitor any spillover of intelligence or leakage of information, in order to secure the ranks of revolutionaries and preserve their unity.
At this stage, revolutionaries should attract some prominent figures in the field of media and politics to work in favor of the revolution, benefiting from their experiences.
Think tanks or research centers represent an important pillar in the decision-making process, as the correctness of the decision depends on what these think tanks collect and analyze of information and data. Also, the translation units within these research centers are extremely important for following up on what the Zionists, Shiites, Americans, Germans, French and others write. The revolutionaries need more than one think tank, where the political, intellectual and doctrinal calamities need to be addressed, followed up, analyzed, and reviewed.
Research centers -in general- are classified among the advanced cultural patterns of interest in the cognitive and scientific field, where they contribute to:
1- Concentration and intensification of specialized scientific efforts, which would benefit researchers, those with intellectual and research interest, and also the society as a whole. A researcher may benefit from the intellectual cross-fertilization, brainstorming, and the abundance of information provided by these centers; and the society benefits from the intellectual and research production.
2- Supporting decision makers, as politicians and executives need focused research efforts that would crystallize options, clarify policies, and analyze issues scientifically and accurately, which helps decision makers to understand and handle these issues and strategies.
3- Development of cognitive life through their various activities; where scientific institutes and think tanks in various fields and disciplines are behind the progress and development of cultural and scientific life, given the fact that these centers provide reliable information and sober scientific analyses to researchers and decision makers.
4- Opening the horizons for viewing the future through a balanced scientific vision, away from intellectual emotions or wild opinions that could stem from imprecise or non-scientific perceptions and perspectives.
Role of the Media
Many believe that the Egyptian revolution was defeated in the field of media before it was defeated in the field of politics, where the media of the counter-revolution created and accumulated a state of hatred against the revolution, its youth, and its elderly; and motivated people against them all, targeting their property, blood and honor. Such defamation will always remain in people’s minds unless it is removed, or at least questioned, and unless its contexts contested through fair and objective media outlets.
The struggle between the Egyptian revolution and the counter-revolution is not only an ideological or political struggle or about achieving interests, but it is an intellectual and media struggle, where culture, thought and the media are key factors affecting it.
During the last period, the media of the Arab Spring revolutions miserably failed in preserving the gains obtained for people following the revolutions of Tunisia and Egypt. The revolutionary forces not only failed to control the media related to the counter-revolution forces, but they also gave them space and freedom and allowed them to disrupt the people’s confidence in the components of the revolution, question their usefulness, recycle old regime symbols, and present them to the people again.
Also, the revolutionary media could not reach all segments of society, and was only preoccupied with defending itself against the suspicions raised by the media of the counter-revolution, where it was also a failure. In fact, the revolutionary media was interested in partisan, political and ideological conflicts, issues that may not concern many people who are preoccupied only with how to earn their living.
While businessmen related to the counter-revolution in the countries that witnessed Arab Spring revolutions founded hundreds of satellite channels, the revolutionaries and reformists there created only two or three channels. In contrast to the amateur and inexperienced cadres of the revolutionary media, experienced media professionals managed and operated the media outlets of the counter-revolution.
Also, revolutionary media, especially Islamic ones, suffer from the so-called ‘elitism’, i. e. addressing certain social and political groups, and neglecting the rest of society. While the revolutionary media should adopt a general and comprehensive discourse that handles the pains of the simple average citizens, and simply explains to them the ideas, concepts and goals of the revolution away from the loose slogans that are difficult for them to understood, with a focus on issues of injustice and poverty, social justice and equality. Likewise, attention should be paid to arts, especially movies, plays and drama that easily reach the simple average Egyptians and convey desired concepts.
Therefore, patriotic businessmen from all spectrums of the revolution must work to establish more satellite channels to be run by professionals with adequate experience in the field of media to achieve some balance, and correct the concepts and dispel the poisonous ideas that the counter-revolution media fills the minds of citizens with day and night.
Also, researchers that belong to the Egyptian revolution and other fair researchers and writers must work to document this important period in the history of Egypt, through many printed books, in order to fill the gap and make for the shortage of printed publications of newspapers and magazines that can play such role.
Preparation of cadres
After the January 25 revolution, most of the revolutionary currents, especially the Islamic stream, suffered from the lack of qualified political, economic, military and security cadres that can deservedly take the lead, where the unqualified cadres caused many problems, which had a great impact on the success of the military coup and the decline of the revolution. Therefore, the revolutionaries must work to prepare qualified, trained cadres that can deal with various situations and circumstances.
After the military coup, a large number of individuals departed Egypt, including a large number of students who enrolled in a number of European and Arab universities, where they choose their disciplines and specialization randomly, or according to the scholarships that are offered to them.
Among those students, there are very distinguished young people, both academically and morally. They are very enthusiastic to serve their cause and their nation, and the revolutionaries must benefit from the power of these young people and direct them towards specific studies such as: media, economics, political science, nuclear and security sciences, and qualify them practically and ethically through concentrated programs; to become distinguished cadres and benefit their nation later on.
There is also a large number of cadres among Egyptian expatriates that are neglected for so many reasons. In case of the failure of revolutionaries to activate these cadres and benefit from their experiences, these great human capabilities will be wasted. Accordingly, it is necessary to create an inventory of these cadres, qualify them, each in his field, to benefit from them in the immediate future.
The revolutionary stream must develop a strategic vision based on an accurate calculation of reality and future expectations, with taking into account seriously studying the country’s situation; its geography, demography; its religious, national and political components, the nature and composition of the regime, the ratio of the self-strength of the revolution to the power of the regime, and the nature of friendly and hostile forces and the possibility of benefiting from them.
Also, efficient plans must be developed for the economic, political, social problems and crises, and envisions must be drawn up for how to deal with these crises, to avoid likely shocks due to lack of adequate preparation for facing them.
 Abu Musab al-Souri, Call to Islamic Resistance, p. 585
 Abdullah Azzam: Encyclopedia of Great Treasures, Words from the First Line of Fire, V2, p332
 Mohamed Moru: Islamic Movement, A Close View, p 73, 74
 Essam Zidan, Imam Al-Shirazi website, linkTo Read Text in PDF Format Click here.