What is currently going on in Egypt is the same as it used to happen in all eras of decay that we have been reading about in history books, where excessive materialism prevails at the expense of sincere spiritual values, doctrinal skepticism is supported and promoted while methodological skepticism that are aimed at reaching the truth is dispelled, and the most important components of society, such as family and regional ties, are destroyed up to attempts to disintegrate the Egyptian family.
In coincidence with this, religious, societal, and heritage tendencies are criminalized, and societal opinion leaders are stifled, dispelled, demeaned, and replaced with fake opinion leaders that lack any intellectual value. In fact, this is only an extremely small part of an all-out war that has been targeting the structure of Egyptian society for decades, especially in the last decade.
Several conflicts, sometimes small and other times big, have been erupting within homes, families, tribes, neighborhoods, or villages, to distract people from their long suffering from tyranny and their worsening living conditions resulting from the price hikes and depletion of incomes and resources. In such circumstances, Egyptians may in no way have time or opportunity to think about important and fundamental issues such as national independence, preservation of the homeland, or protection of sanctities – which perhaps explains the reasons behind existence of such conflicts and internal wars.
It is a grave mistake to underestimate such internal conflicts, as sociologists, for example, confirm that social injustice is more severe than economic and political injustices. However, we find that many serious writers and researchers underestimate social injustice, despite the fact that the greatest revolutions in history – such as the Bolshevik and French revolutions and American War of Independence – were originally social revolutions; and even different religions have often been seen as a kind of social revolution.
The phenomenon of blood feuds is back again
The murder of the young man Mahmoud al-Banna, Menoufia, lower Egypt, last October – at the hands of another young man, Mohamed Ashraf Rageh and some of his friends, when the former confronted the latter to defend a young girl from harassment by Rageh and his friends – and the widespread public sympathy with him, was an expression of a state of categorical popular rejection of the painful reality that they have been experiencing day and night, including the widespread acts of bullying, with impunity of perpetrators amid absence of legislation to protect witnesses. All this is fed up by the spread of favoritism and bribery in justice institutions, as well as lack of deterrent laws, in addition to the authority’s interest in preserving its political security and deterring and intimidating political opponents, sometimes by tampering with laws, and at other times by unleashing thugs, criminals registered as a security risk, and outlaws in society.
Accordingly, it has been natural for people to lose confidence in the State and attempt to protect themselves with their own hands. Although the blood feuds phenomenon had almost disappeared from the dictionary of Egyptians’ daily life, it has recently returned strongly to Egyptian society, where most villages and administrative centers throughout the country are witnessing ferocious blood feuds incidents, claiming lives people and terrifying them, which threatens with imminent collapse of the State of law.
Instead of taking action against the oppressor in favor of the oppressed for achievement of deterrence, authorities deliberately ignore law enforcement with the aim of securing of its own interests with perpetrators. The main reason behind the growth of this phenomenon remains due to loss of confidence in the power of law, considering it a tool for impunity rather than a tool for application of punishment.
Anyway, the authorities that have oppressed thousands of opponents since the January revolution (2011) and even before, are urgently required now to use such force for deterrence of outlaws. All media outlets, especially social networking sites, are filled with stories of blood feuds that take place in Egyptian society, without availability of official statistics in this regard, given that many of these incidents are not registered as blood feuds upon insistence of people complicity of authorities.
Drug abuse and trafficking
It goes without saying that the successive Egyptian governments have other objectives from the growth of the phenomenon of drug abuse and trafficking, where authorities turn a blind eye to the phenomenon, ignore and neglect it; and in other times, they participate in such unlawful activities and encourage them. The relation between authorities and drugs gangs was partly revealed through the famous story of “Izzat Hanafi”, the head of a drugs gang in Nekhila, Assiut, Upper Egypt, in early 2004, which later turned into a cinematic movie, “Al-Jazeera”, starring the actor Ahmed El-Saqa – which was recognized by authorities at the time.
Moreover, the security dealing with the phenomenon of drug abuse and trafficking gave people an impression that it was not sincerely fighting it, which prompted some parliamentarians, as well as some artists, researchers and academics to demand legalization of drug abuse and trafficking, despite the fact that the Parliament “theoretically” tightened the penalty of drug trafficking to reach death penalty.
Official statistics confirm that 10.4% of Egyptians are drugs abusers, with the decline in their (drug abusers) age to nine years, taking into account that 79% of the crimes committed in Egypt are due to drug abuse.
“Thugs” are the main component in any conflict, where they have been encouraged to do so through the State’s laxity in dealing with them with use of due force against them. This has sent them embedded messages about the government’s protection of thugs, and that the community should submit to them, given the influence they possess, especially after the government celebrated those criminals, included them in the State’s civil service work, and granted discretionary exemptions to prominent figures of them.
The official government-owned media outlets also contributed to encouraging this “phenomenon” through producing many drama works that glorify thugs and justify their crimes by allegations of grievance, rebellion against social injustice, self-defense, or others.
The situation was further exacerbated by the fact that thieves, who used to steal people’s property and money in the past, started to steal people themselves and sell them to human organ trade gangs at times, and international pharmaceutical companies to conduct their medical experiments on them at other times. Furthermore, they also kidnap victims for ransom, extorting their families, or just for raping females; which has led to spreading fear and panic in Egyptian society.
Sexual and pornographic movies usually come via the Internet or some TV satellites channels to destroy the remaining values, customs and religious tendencies that have not yet been destroyed by Egyptian and Arab drama. Although an uproar was raised in Egypt in early 2012, calling for the blocking such websites, and the government at the time justified failure to block them by the required high costs (allegedly billions) and the allegation that it was almost technically impossible, but the recent blocking of hundreds of political websites belonging to opponents and excluding closure of porn websites confirms that all past allegations raised in 2012 were not true.
Too many problems
There are numerous problems that Egyptian families suffer from, which may have mostly been driven by economic problems, including the spread of spinsterhood among young people of both sexes. Of course, the outbreak of spinsterhood among girls –exceeding 10 million, according to official statistics– causes great tension to their families; as well as the phenomenon of divorce –a case of divorce every two minutes– and the growing phenomenon of the escape of the family breadwinner due to unemployment and low wages, which has resulted in the rise of the growing numbers of female breadwinners that support about 3.5 million families, about 20 million people.
Also, when a family member suffers from a chronic disease, this usually causes confusion for all members of the same family:
Some statistics estimate that there are about 2.6 million patients with kidney failure, 8.2 million with diabetics, and 1,130 cancer patients per million people, in addition to 10.6 million disabled people, not to mention dozens of other diseases, where parents and other family members of these patients share their pain.
In fact, the Egyptian people are now suffering from a comprehensive biological, psychological, economic and political war, which is viewed by some as the most dangerous war in Egypt’s history.
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