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Studies

Victimhood of the Military regime and Victimization of others

(Human Rights perspective on Egypt 2013-2019)

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Introduction:

In any form of victimization, the victim is said to be the reason of his own victimization, whether by exposing his vulnerability to the perpetrator or by being a facilitator for such continuing victimization. While mass victimization may happen in many countries during any transitional period from a military dictator regime to a more democratized one, and revictimization claims always come both ways. Retribution or reconciliation is the only way out to allow a future of political diversity and good governance.

Since 2011, many regional and international influencers believed it’s time for democracy to shine, since the majority of the public has complained of the low quality of life, corruption and dictatorship which prevailed for long across the Arab region. After long time of political oppression, many human rights and civil society organizations were formed to express decades of corruption and the deteriorating socio-economic status of the country. Many other political parties were formed to represent each political group ideology over the future of the country’s political shape. While other defense lawyers came on behalf of the public good trying to protect the nation’s heritage and future prosperity, however, with toppling down the first elected civilian president in 2013, the situation has turned over massively.

On the side of the military regime, it started to majorly reconsider the mainstream events that happened, and call out the revolutionary protestors as young unaware, misguided and misled youth by outsider or internal mere centralized-political influencers so as to criminalize history of past or present political activists; and no more public hearings were formed in defense of their justice rights. Other public hearings presented in parliamentary sessions that were meant to be aired to mobilize the enduring public demands for a quality of life were shut also. Other human rights defenders were pushed away from public gatherings so as to prevent more of the ongoing political training programs supported by the civil society[1] which may help creating a social movement towards a more transparent, democratized and justice political process.

Reconceptualizing the 2011 Egyptian revolution by the mainstream political or media speeches as: “an evil spirit which meant to target the country stability or security, and take for example how Syria or Libya ended up after their revolution”. However, on the other side of the Arab region, many other countries like Tunisia or Algeria have been moving and most recently on a steady base for more human rights to be recognized and a more democratic political system to be formed.

Every time human rights defenders national or international call out the Egyptian government for its toll of violations against human rights, the government is quick to unleash its victimized police or army operators across areas of the country whom are trying to protect its national security. Also, massive public gatherings to learn about the victimhood status of the military or the police martyrs were formed to educate the public on their sons, husbands and fathers who lost their lives as a sacrifice for the country’s stability. Although the security personnel are simply doing their job which they are definitely or intensely awarded for very well, take for example the rise in the military and the police apparatuses’ budget post the 2013 military coup.

The military regime is campaigning hard for its victimhood to make their loss a public mainstream reason for no opposition to come out. Additionally, when the government of Egypt was called out by European human rights defenders, Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, through the LAS-EU Summit 2019, was so quick to define the humanitarian status of the Arab region implicitly: “as wholly different from the European one”. Later, that did not resonate so well socially, as for the military giving out excuses not to walk along other developing nations towards a higher level of economic growth or respecting human rights.

Reconsidering the political and civil rights as they should come at a secondary level of importance after the socio-economic ones. Despite the fact that such teachings by the government are not a result of the full understanding of what the political rights entail. Take for example after decades of absolute dictatorship, how the majority of the Egyptians may guarantee their socio-economic rights will be recognized in a matter of time with restored justice or a status which appeals to the majority of them and would achieve such state of social sustainable peace.

This is what the current government maybe missing at the moment, whether as a result of a presidential misguidance or simply for sake of compromising human rights status. Nevertheless, this has created already other forms of public dissatisfaction presented in the young Egyptians feeling like fed up with their lives by deciding to commit suicide[2] or truly leaving their home country behind motivated by the passive aggressive call of the pro-government media; “If you don’t like it, so simply leave it”. Although, the government blames the majority of the outside Egyptians or other regional factors as a reason for destabilizing its internal affairs for the lack of their sense of belonging. It is well needed to clarify the status of victimization of the opposition voices from the inside. Also the current status of the socio-economic rights compromised by the government in the aftermath of the Arab Spring should be taken into consideration to be able to decide on whether there is a need to fulfill the political rights sooner rather than later.

Part 1: Politics of Mass Victimization:

The victimhood syndrome for the military has changed drastically over time, since Naser created his own state of collective victimhood for the whole nation against the colonial past, to now the state of liberalization of the economy regardless of the social justice measures attached, which meant definitely liberalizing the military role in foreign politics in the form of a corporatism army.  Since 45 years have passed after the last regional intractable conflict of Egypt with Israel and with now only 440,000 active personnel in the army[3]. Then the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) assigned itself a transitional ruling institution over Egypt’s future post-Mubarak’s fall, and claimed its common victimhood with the majority of the Egyptians for fighting political corruption towards a better future. Later the military has transformed its sense of enduring collective victimhood against the victimhood of the majority of the Egyptians for fears of a national security potential threat; in the form of more physical and sexual assault against any opposing protestors[4]. However, some retreat the use of violence perpetrated by the army to the lack of proper psychological recovery measures from past fears or conflicts, which may have caused a Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)[5] for many army personnel. Nevertheless, some military high-rank persona got promoted with more of judicial impunity and government offices compared to any other civilian, as a mean for recovering and compensating their durable traumas[6].

Durability of the militarily victimhood:

Most recently, the mainstream political speeches have tried to address the inside, in the form of “let’s meet political talks with further political talks, or your idea vs. my idea”. Alsisi has been trying to use his own political and religious philosophy to analyze the current situation in Egypt with an abstracted malfunctioning understanding of victimhood. Earlier, on the 29th Acculturation Conference for the Military Forces[7]: he started by saying “Our war against Israel was a mere militarily suicide act” instead of referring to the soldiers died as usually known Martyrs for sake of God.

Al-Sisi wanted then to go against the common sense of Muslims and Christians Goddess spiritual sacrifice made by the majority of the Egyptians families whose sons were lost in the 20th C wars. He tried to refer to the War against Israel as a mere suicidal act which could not have been compensated with anything else for sake of building the modern republic of Egypt. But deeply this is a very disturbing image for sake of an invaluable end, with consideration to the other benefits the military has gained already overtime. As well, this revolves around an ‘identity crisis’ of the military regime who perceive themselves as a lifelong victim compared to the non-militant political factors. As those who pushed the military before to lose their battle in the 1967 war against Israel and thus the military prefer to stay in their own ‘sieged mentality’ of victimhood for much more permanent compensations.[8] Although such political leadership in the past had a military background and whom they can use its heroic economic powerful image anytime for future promises of public compensations for the public of past wars’ mass destruction.

The Regional and International interests in Egypt’s militarily victimhood:

Revenging against previous political gains of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) by naming them a terrorist group, and what comes around it represents the support of terrorism by any means whether its physical or mental social support, although the MBs were once a great supporter of the first military coup in 1952[9].

The government has been seeking global support against political change makers, although they lack any form of violent act which have made their victimization easier than before[10] since some countries like Saudi Arabia or the UAE are against the MBs and are extremely keen on promoting the military regime in Egypt for a more stable Middle Eastern region against the other regional rising powers like Iran and Turkey. Besides, the US administration is focusing on its internal affairs more in comparison with previous partisan foreign policies of the Democrats. The current administration is not in favor of any sort of political change in the MENA region which may harm its future involvement, especially, if they are calling for enforced peace with Israel to end the Arab-Israeli conflict like it never happened or denouncing the Palestinians right of return to their home lands. This would also go against the Arab sense of collective victimhood and may create extended cycles of mutual violence in many Arab countries against their leaders[11].

Trying to appeal victimhood to the EU:

In another occasion with the French president Emmanuel Macron’s visit to Egypt in Jan 2019 “Macron assured the Egyptian government obligation to respect human rights while enforcing stability”[12]. Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi replied: “What would have happened if Egypt turned to be another Syria, what would have we got from the rest of the world?”. Although the militarily victimization claim is suspicious in that regard, Al-Sisi has focused instead on making his government more in favor of the EU countries’ best interests by signing more deals with the French armament traders, or by claiming that Egypt is a future potential hub for preventing illegal immigrants reaching the EU borders.

The current regime in Egypt does not pay attention to the EU human rights groups who may pressure their politicians’ views on human rights violations across the MENA region[13]. Later, this has altered already Macron’s criticism of the Egyptian regime for the crackdown on human rights’ status in the country from not caring to caring even more. Therefore, relying on international support won’t stabilize longer the current regime, as the EU regional policies themselves change depending on their political interests, take for example the EU criticism against the Turkish government judicial rulings against its opposition who had failed an attempt for a military coup in 2016[14]. Although much of this criticism was not the same against the Egyptian regime, the EU has tried to inject instead other billions of dollars into the socio-economic development plans in Egypt, which did not prove to be even effective over the past decades.

Victimization of the Opposition Voices:

In the aftermath of the June 30th massive protests, the military power in the country claimed these protests were for sake of protecting the newly born democracy and the national security of the country. Campaigning for fears against any intentional civil war or any violation against the religious freedoms of the majority of the public, these were the main symbolic values the majority of Egyptians went out to defend. Although, these protests were manipulated at large[15] , any further anti-military protest has been stigmatized as a mean for much more internal disturbances post the first failed 2011 revolutionary wave, then so many human rights activists were criminalized, chased and imprisoned later after the newly elected president reached authority in 2014.

The militarily victimhood foreign policy making:

On the other side of the historic militarily suffering mentality, although the Israeli state is one major enemy for many Arab countries till now, which should be driven symbolically by the indirect family victims of lost soldiers as their reason for long sufferings after years of conflict. The military regime has shown recent commitment instead to compensate the Israelis for their past losses by inviting some of them in the country[16]. As well, further responsive requests from the Israeli side to compensate its Jews’ destroyed heritage during the Arab-Israeli 1948 conflict have surfaced[17] with another Egyptian commitment done lately for a Gaz-trade deal signed under Mubarak regime[18].

Hence, turning over the page of past generations’ militarily victims seem more acceptable now than before, since past memories of the militarily harms resulting from the war with Israel couldn’t be avoided for other major powerful countries presented in the USA defending the rise of the Israeli state since 1948. Currently, the military regime is also exposing lifelong indirect victims of militarily families who lost their sons for fighting past wars or terrorism in order to grasp more public empathy.

Posing the military apparatus as one group ready to lose its’ own lives at any given time and whose suffering from chronic anxiety and stressful feelings cannot be overthrown. This may entail in itself a sense of a ‘chosen trauma’ for past losses or chronic sense of powerlessness based on the lack of well-planned preparation or resources to protect the nation’s security and future prosperity [19]. Although many other countries like Saudi Arabia or the UAE are having same potential regional threats of terrorism, this has not even affected their long-term economic development plans or their sense of famously militarily victimhood like the one of Egypt.

Mutual civilians victimization:

According to the military regime self-moral entitlement based on its historic role to defend the nation’s security over decades with fears of potential threats, the current regime victimhood gives them superiority [20] which usually comes unaccountable[21]. With the weakening phase of groups representing Political Islam in Egypt that wanted not only a mere political change but radically eradicating the old ruling regime with its simpler features. The transitional governments have seen it a good chance to promote the long-standing authority of the military so as to protect its state of ongoing victimized compensations. Furthermore, the Political Islam groups have been attached to other forms of regional militant groups who are trying to  destabilize the nation like Hamas in the Gaza Strip [22].

And as a result of the Rab’a square protests that wanted to defend what they saw a legitimate hope for a better political future, it ended in a ‘secondary victimization’ by the military apparatus against the protesters due to the lack of any public support they received after stigmatizing their cause. Although violence was mutual while breaking down on these protests; multiple protesters were imprisoned, tortured in prisons and others ended getting persecuted with no legal support or public scrutiny on their trials.

Civilian victimization has been the only cost any perpetrator can use to get to its political goal against any oppressive regime, and as well as funding terrorism by rival countries is one major threat, but using violence as a mean for expressing one’s political distress, is what any government should deal with, especially, if its political distress or its ‘state of emergency’ never ends, which may have led already to its incredibility.

As well, Ignoring the repercussions of political oppression, hopelessness and the lack of power may drive many to reach out for violent acts whether against the state institutions’ or against the surrounding people [23]. Especially, if the ruling elites have shown for long no interest in developing the nation or they are not directing their foreign policies towards what is best for the state’s interdependence level with other neighbouring countries. Furthermore, since 2013 a cycle of a victim-victimizer violence unleashed, and it may at large benefit the outside world, if Alsisi won’t be able to oppress Sinai militants, as other countries like the US may use that as a mean for intervention and take for example Syria and Iraq.

The below figure shows when victimization starts and ends with further offence.

Fighting for Human Rights:

In a recent interview with Al-Sisi on CBS TV network, when he was asked about having 60,000 political prisoners in Egypt, he simply replied to the interviewer: I don’t know how do you get these numbers, do you even know about the situation in Egypt? This simple question he gave answering the question asked doesn’t really give any clue, but that brutal force maybe the only justification for any aggressive opponent under the military regime.[24]

Shortly after Al-Sisi’s interview with CBS TV network, the Arab Movement for Protection of Human Rights Organizations’ work has been formed and enlisted its overview for all the human rights organizations in the Arab region[25]. As nobody ever heard of such Arab movement or even its reporting work upon others’ standardized or integrity work, it referred to some of 18 national and international human rights organizations as invalid and funded by global “terrorist” figures related to MBs.

Further stigmatization against human rights defenders happened in the form of defamation by calling them haters, misbehavers or enemies of the national interests of the country or by questioning their personal and professional integrity, in order to force them into isolation or total public rejection for the wrong reasons[26]. This has been a retaliation against human rights defenders and have made them look unprofessional and more as politicized by relating all of them to the global MB. Although this may already enlarge the MB public image in the public mindset and may result in unwanted repercussions to the government. Defaming other international reports on the human rights is not in Al-Sisi’s favor, especially if one of these reports was released by a close ally like the US department of state recently at the UN Council of Human Rights.[27]

Politicized Criminalization across the civic space:

Although many past oppressive regimes rejected partially or totally the existence of any form of civil society (CS) representation or association, so as not to activate any civilian movement against the controlling regime. After the military coup, the government decided on having some of them running under the Ministry of Social Solidarity regulations in Egypt, but according to the researcher that was only in the form of: “Don’t ask, Don’t tell, if I dare to ask on major strategies for development or the intention of the people working”, I may get eliminated soon. As well as, the working CSO would get the job done for the government smoothly, and if the ruling regime ever felt threatened, criminalization of CSO is the only way to stop them from reproducing social moralist norms[28]. As well, when the researcher participated in another international human rights training program in Tunisia, a German expert complained against the Ministry of International Cooperation, as follow: “they simply take our money, and they do nothing for development”. Having CSOs may help not only with some relief if focused only on non-political or legal matters, although the researcher worked before at one of the health related CSO, it was also targeted by the Ministry of Health regulations and it lacked the effective management of its resources, due to other difficulties related to having a secured job for each of its working staff or the fear of exclusion from the local community upon any politicized criminalization.[29]

This as a result mean that any CSO can only work away from progressive politics and does run in a haphazard form of development planning[30], which runs on a waste of resources and push on the decline of social cohesion values. As well as, some progressive organizations may feel targeted by pro-government media or dehumanized by the security apparatus[31]. At last, some of them may end up losing their main battle as a watchdog against the oppressive regime, and their continuous work for rehabilitation of political offenders.[32]

The rise of political crimes and corruption:

The outbreak of the number of political offenders in the country have gone unstopped, in the name of protecting the current regime long-lasting intervention in politics. Since the 1940s and the military felt the need to take control of the political decision making and the available resources to avoid any further losses. Additionally, on the side of the opponents, previous criminalization for their political existence or their exclusion usually drives much of the hostility between them and the regime in the form of endured mutual victimization, that may change upon who is in charge and later ends in the form  “I  am the only victim” to gain enough public support of the majority impacted by such political identities’ conflict[33].

Although relying much on a majority of public support may mean some political gains for one political group over the other for some time, denying the public’s rights of socioeconomic justice upon major economic or security disturbances may mean not only excluding a one political group after its recognition of public failure, in other occasions it may cause major demolition of the military regime if attached to the same failed political decision-making process.

Ex-President Morsi for example, was called out for violating national laws pre-the fall of Mubarak regime during the first four days of the 2011 revolution by ‘escaping from prison, where he was detained at the backdrop of the ongoing mass protests at the time. Although he denied such charges, other political accusations were made against the MBs for terrorizing the mass public with their extreme religious views and killing other protestors in front of Al-Ittihadiya presidential palace in September 2013[34]. While investigations are still going, violations of human rights against such political prisoners are not investigated as they are made by the current regime. These political accusations in nature were designed by the ruling military elites, as they wanted a mass public demonstration in 2013 allowing them to preserve the interests of the past-present regime. As if, the Ex-president Morsi was an offender against the national interest of his own country, why further security clearance was never done on his state of political or legal affairs before reaching authority, until the public end up mobilized by the military for the wrong reasons to punish Morsi.

And if Ex-president Morsi has been accused of such political crimes, how would justice be verified in his case versus the Ex-president Mubarak, who was cleared for selling low priced Gas to Israel without accordance to the local needs[35] that later resulted in energy shortages during Morsi presidency.[36]

Part 2: Recommended Mechanisms for Restoring Justice and Social Peace:

By laying on the past victimhood of the military and their present re-victimization against the opponents so as to take control of the country regardless of how difficult this contradict with the time and space managements which results in a dissociative status from reality. A chosen ‘state of emergency’ rises whenever the inner collection of interests feel like threatened that usually end up with a sadistic aspirations for more economic and political powers. The military is yet to admit means of governance, accountability and transparency, as well as, it would hit against their dark past of corruption, regardless of the negative consequences that may lead to the destruction of the nation’s available resources.

The Egyptian militarily identity goes strict on a well-established entitlement for the nation’s morale, a strict social structure of young army personnel versus their high rankings who usually use mentally oppressive measures to protect their own interests. A ruling pragmatic theme in the back of their head with some religious speeches spread upon their needs to mobilize public resources regardless of the long-term economic impact that may have on the nation’s prosperity. And if any opposing voice dares to grasp about international support for a more democratized system, it is considered a national treason act.

While exploiting some self-images between the nation’s past lonely weak security defense apparatus that already consumed the available resources in the 20th C and the now lone nation’s abuser of them. From past wars that abused its militarily peace of mind in favor of the collective Arab nationhood as superior to outsiders’ interests, to now merely consuming the nation’s collective economic power for the benefits of each army high ranking personnel. Rejecting the 2011 revolution public scrutiny talks about the military apparatus financial management as it should be an internal job only, and instead following into the US or other western countries guidelines on its renewed regional stability and security of the Arab region[37].

The military of Egypt wanted then to monopolize the use of violence, although the Lebanese army for example failed to divide the militarily side of Hezboallah that is a political group well-represented in the Lebanese government. Despite the fact, this has never impacted the future stability and security of Lebanon negatively, the military of Egypt won’t accept a superior political group to their internal and foreign politics decision making. In spite of that past failed wars the military entered in Yemen or Palestine were directed by a militarily political leader for his own regional political power, the current military regime persists for more political foreign interests.

The military regime puts also its upper hand on the current socio-economic norms, although, some change makers have witnessed the current government is trying to eliminate all those participated in the ongoing protests since early 2005. A well-educated majority of the Egyptians on mass corruption prevailed across the governing educational and health care systems in the past still mentally await the future promise of justice, let alone many Egyptians are already part of the mass corruption norm unleashed overtime and getting over such past is way even harder by time.

Thus recent calls by the government have revealed that major humanitarian crises among the disadvantaged and marginalized groups in Egypt resulted only from past political corruption and the societal morales prevailed back then. This has led later the society to feel the sentiment of taking the whole blame for past corruptive policies, which resulted in major social driven crimes against one another around present time. But since the international humanitarian or development intervention in the country has been there for some time to help uplifting those lying there below multi poverty lines. Also these international efforts seem negatively impacted by the local dynamics of mass societal corruption and their fear of intervention in the government’s political affairs or exclusion from the country as a result. Hence, with the massive international calls for investigation on Egypt’s violations against human rights, that may have already hindered its sovereignty for long, expecting future multiple international interventions on Egypt’s humanitarian affairs won’t help much stabilizing the current regime.

Although, Egypt’s foreign affairs have assured its commitment to international values and conventions, while there is now a blinking phase of the global fight over terrorism that was launched under the US leadership after the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Also, as human rights and democracy were main values campaigned for by the US intervention in the Middle East with the use of force. Later, with the much pressure imposed over Al-Assad regime in Syria till 2019, and the new deal set for the US military withdrawal from Syria. Much of the global interests in another rebel Middle Eastern country have vanished with referral to the dying regimes of Iraq and Syria.

Therefore, fears of a collapsing nation is not even available at Egypt’s case, since previous rebel countries were going against the US allies and then it collapsed when they all came together to demolish its dictators. However, fears of a turning rebel regime is up to Egypt’s military and the possibility of an international intervention is not far away if political corruption prevails even more. But Since Turkey and Iran are two rising non-stop countries to become regional military and economic powers their influence on Egypt’s future politics is what may fear most of the US allies. As well, building a strong army is one factor in a nation’s power, but relating their role in politics to the collective good is one further factor which should not take much time from the army to decide on.

Also holding truth committees for past corrupted elements of the Mubarak’s regime done so vigorously so as not to collide with core elements of the economy of Egypt. Hence, when the MBs reached authority, they had to collide with their own fate of the military regime that had long standing relationships with various influencers inside and outside of Egypt, therefore, restoring justice under their first elected government failed as a matter of priority.[38]

Political and Human Rights groups’ efforts in Restoring Justice:

Reparation of the political system:

The military in Egypt still refuses to subordinate to a civilian leadership, whether due to their past victim-hood of failed wars or for their current economic and political status across the governmental structure. The current regime may only disengage from politics as a result of several hostile disobedient army actors coming from different socioeconomic unjustified disparities, or from the need of high-ranking military to re-strategize its political role in the region. The regime has not only created multiple anger young MBs, but many other Socialist reformists and Liberal journalists are in its militarily prisons so as to silence them. As well, so many other soldier victims lost in each family house got disturbed by the trauma they have lost their sons, although they may get compensated well afterwards for sake of fighting terrorism. Additionally, releasing more women activist in the public space called out by the current government’s support for these women won’t help much stabilize the social norm, especially if their husbands are more economically or politically oppressed besides the other repercussions that may result from the lack of cohesion of the family structure and then the political system, if these women start calling for more recognition across the government structure.

Rehabilitation of the civil society organizations CSOs:

CSOs are the focal point for any social and political change and their role is undeniably crucial for the state of humanitarian norms and they are there for bringing up relief from repression. But since major Arab regimes, like in Egypt and Saudi Arabia believe political change should come from within, it is then the bottom-up approach that can help break down on the ruling elites current state of socio-economic norms. As well, many current civil society organizations are working in favor of or under the scrutiny of the ruling regime, hence, exposing past experiences of the repressive measures of their internal management is one way of governance measures. Also by continuous activists’ pressures against their international donors, this may help uplifting their values of good governance and promoting a more inclusive approach for development to help the majority of the Egyptians move towards their state of social peace and break on the ongoing cycle of victimization, if this CSo are more exposed for self-corrections in their management style. Holding on to some balance preserved by the ruling regime as the ultimate decision maker on the status of development and social change in the country won’t last for long in the form of some painkillers. Thus, the idealist approach is promoting a more progressive civil society which work in favor a more holistic manner for change starting from areas of suffering, inequality or malfunctioning by advocating for a better quality of research, diversifying sources of funding and focusing on mobilization of people and resources for a more concrete governmental policy change which should be the ultimate goal for the available CSOs.

Reconciliation for and Re-integration of the diverse political groups:

Building on previous governments from Sadat to Mubarak’s era for the release of their political prisoners by giving out more space to multiple Political Islam politicians to rise on top of the game is not going to work much around Alsisi presidential terms. Since human rights awareness and the intense engagement of the recent civil society organizations have been the current social norm for many reformists. Therefore, relying much on any futuristic political changes in the political space allowed to many of the diversified political ideologies will not give much of the politically educated new generations enough patience towards the ruling regime. Relying as well on reforming the religion’s role in Egyptians’ lives will not stabilize the current controlling militarily regime, since more religious freedoms will mean definitely more political freedoms. As well as, both the ruling regimes in Egypt and Saudi Arabia might be ignoring the long-standing relationship between religion and the political power of the people, and they are trying to move fast towards a more liberalized life style in both of the countries though. As this will not only destabilize the social structure of these two countries but it will result much on the loosening of political control on the upcoming generations.

On the side of the militarily opponents, the majority of the long-standing political groups come from a Political Islam background, and they are targeting much of the public support instead of relying on all factors impacting the stability of the nation or its coherent transitional period towards democracy. But this won’t favor much of the urgent calls to topple down the current regime, since this strategy did not work before when president Nasser gained the same public support based on his victimhood status to fight against the political corruption of the old monarchy, as well as he failed to achieve a stable economically prosperous country and simply substituted some elitist economic benefits and spread them across the major poor public[39].

Therefore, focusing on further negotiations with the available multiple factions who maybe in favor of Egypt’s economic stability post the fall of the current regime should be a priority. Since the current regime relies heavily on its technical superiority, and any sort of violence perpetuated at Rab’a  square in 2013 was not directly targeting its militarily component, but it was trying to subordinate it to the ruling civilian president at that time. This means the ruling militarily regime will need some help to get over its self-entitled need for revenge and understand it is merely a part of the Egyptian political system structure and not its lone decision-maker.[40]

Preparations for any Upcoming Social Turmoil:

Recovery of the human rights status:

Since the international and national support of human rights organizations in Egypt is limited compared to the militarily budget planning for ruling the country, which is meant to be a one strategy for controlling their involvement in political matters[41]. Forming a new reality with new socio-economic humanitarian norms is a mere result for consuming much of the upper hand militarily sense of ‘competitive victimhood’. Even if this means multiple victimization of the small members of the military regime by exposing them to more futuristic potential threats or blaming adversaries for the lack of ongoing effective political management of the available resources [42]. Therefore, exposing the continuing victimhood of the military should be the only way to avoid even victimization of the small officers for no good reason.

After the 2011 revolution, we heard also of the new curricula spread among police and military officers to learn more about the humane management of political offenders which should not go against human rights in general. However, since 2013 multiple changes across the curricula of  the government public religious or military gatherings started to educate the public on how Islam is attached to extremism and how families of the MBs should be treated as mere terrorists.  Breaking down on the societal values against families of political offenders is a one dictating policy, but teaching the public more liberalized views on Islam won’t help but disturbing the major social behavior. As this may affect the self-scrutiny of the one Muslim towards others and may harm the collective good in a matter of short time.[43]

Measures for non-recurrence:

With the rise of non-morality among cycles of victim-victimizer violence, human rights defenders can interfere to break on repeated events of mutual potential threats between two rivals, especially when each side has his reasons of continuous pro-claimed suffering. Moving further, there is a dear need not to dehumanize the offender, which may in itself result in the victimized becoming a discriminative offender who avoid all means of inclusive social peace.[44]

Means of reconciliation in the Egyptian case may also relate to the historic peaceful state of the society, that never gone into a form of a civil war. Although, other means of social distress may have happened in the form of exclusion that may spread across the political process or the non-inclusive economic values. Engaging multiple political groups in the same political process may not tolerate much of political violence, although other forms of violence are happening in the form of social violence, or violence committed by regionally supported militant groups for varied reasons across areas of Egypt[45].

Relating then such regional political instability to the future security and stability of Egypt may have been compromised for sake of exclusion of one political group over the other, however, what may go around nowadays politics in Egypt is that only those who have moderate political identity or a stand against the lack of governance are the only sort of political participation allowed[46]. But this comes only a result for the lack of democratic measures and the declining status of the political rights, and it has caused multiple political figures to protest the government across multiple mediums.

The Relapsing oppressive situation:

Despite the fact the majority of the Egyptians currently suffer the toll of socioeconomic distress especially with the removal of basic subsidies and the compromised urgent rise in minimum salaries in first half of 2019. Many political channels have been shut so as not elevate another social uprising[47], however, what mostly rule the situation in Egypt is the social distrust in the Egyptian-military regime.

Alsisi has undermined also the rule of law by issuing law no. 136 in 2014 that has been granted for execution till 2021, which considers all state or on land properties as owned or protected by the military regime, hence any attack on such private or public properties are violations against the military rule. This has resulted negatively in a number of violent and non-violent groups emerged as a response to the ongoing repressive measures against many Salafist or non-Islamist groups. Most of them have leaned towards the use of violence, and they caused great numbers of security and police losses, plus other attacks on the Egyptian infrastructure and major economic projects regardless of any proclaimed effort of the government to restore peace and justice.[48]

Conclusion:

When dictatorship prevails one of the means of fighting against it is a civilian action promoted by the opposition, the human rights groups or the civil society. Hence when the military regime in Egypt comes out in the form of ‘we are the victims here’, a whole revision of the military state of budget, strategic defense planning and enrollment into politics should become a priority. As well as, this may facilitate the public understanding of what kind of political elite they are dealing with, although each Egyptian small family has a member of the army or the security apparatus, their harsh socio-economic status may hurt the cohesion of the security system on the long term. This has led in some cases the release of young army personnel for allegations of extremist religious views or for their lack of commitment to the whole regime ruling the country, which has led also some police officers to leaving their high-rank positions soon in favor of a more independent security advisory service.

As well, one of the major aims for such study is to express the state of mutual victimization on both sides, the opposition and the military regime for such weak nation like Egypt. So, regardless of the history of suffering on the military level by indulging themselves into wars that did harm the military state of assumed idealistic mindset, and did hurt even more the whole nation socio-economic progress towards the future, when the Egyptians gave their multi-facet support towards the army. It is understood that fighting against colonialism and imperialism may take long time depending on each nation’s collective action towards the more economic and military independence. But what matters the most is the relationship of the civil society with the ruling elite no matter its kind militarily or civilian, as their mere tight ruling regime may get corrupted easily at any time.

Also treating political and social change phases by the military regime as mere threats that may get eliminated or overcome overtime substituted with few structural reforms here or there won’t help the ruling regime to survive forever, since that is disturbing and hurting the social cohesion of the country. As well, the nationalist military regime long time ago was not the only fighter against colonialism, but other political figures like Saad Zaghloul or Mustapha Kamel and the Islamist Muhammad Abduh or Gamal Eldin Al Afghani were also great members of the national independent movements, so it is hard to deny their efforts against other colonial influences on the history of Egypt for sake of some economic power of one political group.

Moreover, isolating Egypt from the rest of the MENA region won’t help treating Egypt as an exception taking into consideration the sociopolitical changes happening in Jordan as a one major US ally and its main aim in protecting Israel’s borders’ security. Therefore, future threats to the nation’s sovereignty and stability may get harmed easily not because the military couldn’t protect its interests as they may claim, but because of the other regional factors impacting each nations’ security and it may be only a matter of time that is consumed on fighting terrorism supposedly by each MENA government to reshape the whole region for some US interests.

Additionally, the public on many different levels still need to work on rehabilitation of their collective efforts and recover from past tragedies, building for example a political power with some public support didn’t help the MBs to survive much in Egypt’s recent politics of development. As well, the lack of political awareness for the opposition groups or the civil society in Egypt with the outside interests in the country are not yet clear, which may affect the role of the change makers in the country. That is why some foreign interests may be imposed soon easier than others depending on each outside country’s intervention level in Egypt. Therefore, relying heavily on international intervention in the country will become the norm, and multiple government changes will happen whether the political groups of Egypt are ready for these changes or not.

Appendix:

Victimhood StatusThe Military stateThe others
Retaliation:⤋ Mamdouh Hamza is a reformist who never been in favor of one side of the political spectrum, has been detained recently with charges of spreading false news, when he asked people of Alwarraq Island to reject the government displacements of their families to build on it other investments without any further valuable compensations[49]⤊Rejecting to allow opposing cinema artist like Amr Waked to renew his own Egyptian passport abroad as a result of his political views. With another ruling for a military sentence against him for 8 years for insulting the state institutions and spreading false news[50] Although, he has retaliated recently by participating at a US Democrats congress hearing against the regime, the Actors Syndicate driven by the regime responded quickly by excluding him from its membership.
Revenge:⤋ Hazem Abdel Azim who once campaigned for Alsisi presidential campaign has been detained early 2018 with accusations of belonging to an illegal political group and spreading false news.[51]⤊ A number of US citizens were detained in relation to the instability situation in Egypt. Mostafa Kassem is a US citizen who had nothing to do with the massive protests held against the military coup and has been detained for 6 years now for walking around streets of Cairo holding a US passport[52].
Recovery:⤋ The military rule has asked for the release of the military aid held on pause during the Oba[53]ma administration, so by 2017 another bulk of million of dollars entered the government pocket. The ongoing violence used against the militant groups in North Sinai Peninsula has been moving forward with no grounded investigation.⤊UN experts have called the Egyptian government to halt any pending executions against all protesters jailed since 2013, due to the lack of a fair investigated trial measures. However, the current regime has proceeded with its prosecutions against many of them.
Rehabilitation:⤋ Re-establishing the militarily victimhood in the public mindset has risen again more powerfully with some Egyptian intense TV drama acts, and by expressing the much suffering of the military and the police on fighting terrorism as a hidden vague evil misunderstood threat that has only some religious extremist agenda only.⤊ Multiple human rights defenders have sought the support of US congress members while others have called out other international organizations like Amnesty International or Human Rights Watch to act on major violations against human rights and as a result of the unresponsive military government.
Reconciliation:⤋ Multiple political figures have been excluded from the political process, and many others suffer the deterioration of political rights recognition of many political parties.⤊  Ismail Al-iskandarani an investigative journalist and a researcher at the Egyptian Center for Social and Economic Rights (ECSER), tried to investigate on the situation there. He was detained for a pre-trial with another journalist called Mahmoud Abu Zeid, for more than 2 years which is considered a violation against the national laws in Egypt[54] In mid 2018, he was sentenced by a military court for 10 years in prison for spreading false information on Egypt’s national security, and belonging to an illegal organization[55]
Reparations:⤋ The military regime although blamed the previous governments for their political corruption, it has not exerted much efforts in tracking past criminals of Mubarak regime or fight against political corruption: which resulted in massive demolition of public services as seen in Egypt Ramses Station which caused massive losses of lives due to careless management of the train station.⤊ Alsisi tried going back to: “Nasr era who produced Seat cars vs the Mercedes ones at that time which earned the public trust in their military regime”, in the form of an industrial revolution which meant back then a whole national coherent faith for sake of a better future for all. Despite the fact, Alsisi has been the president of Egypt since 2014 and we have not heard yet of any industrial revolution.
Restoration⤋ The newly elected president has shown no interest in involving any political or human rights group in the aftermath of the military coup, in order to investigate on all violations against human rights perpetrated by both successive governments to Mubarak’s regime. [56]⤊ The current regime proposed new constitutional amendments to extend possibly of Alsisi terms of presidency until 2034[57], claiming this would favor only his long-term plans for development and economic growth.
Re-integration:⤋ The Freedom and Justice party has been banned and only moderate identity political parties towards the government like Al-Nur has been granted political participation. Recently Al-nur party has announced their consent upon the new constitutional amendments.[58]⤊ Delegitimizing the Muslim Brotherhood by US Department of State to be considered a Foreign Terrorist Organization[59] may appease some of the world ruling elites like in Saudi Arabia, who are helping the Trump administration on the other side to stabilize his economic performance and his presidential terms.
Recurrence:⤋The military regime refused since 2013 any partial or total public scrutiny on their budgetary planning[60]⤊The public protesters who wanted to preserve Tiran and Sanafir islands as Egyptian islands and not Saudis decided to flee their  home country seeking asylum with fears of retaliation by the current regime or ending up sentenced for life.[61]
Relapse:⤋ Prosecution of 9 young Egyptians with claims of being tortured to admit a crime of killing the General-Prosecutor Hisham Barakat, although the Judicial Department has no evidence that they have not committed the crime, this brings another violation against the political/prisoners for false crimes’ allegations.⤊ Protests against the current constitutional amendments have caused massive unlawful detention of multiple opposition activists.

4 member of Al-dostor political party has been detained, and although their political party is a legalized organization, another colleague of them has gone under enforced disappearance for 13 days until now, which came as a result for their stand against the new constitutional amendments.[62]

 

([63]).


footnotes

[1] Heiss, Andrew. 2017. “Amicable Contempt: The Strategic Balance between Dictators and INGOs”. Duke University: Public Policy Studies. Retrieved from: Link P: 2

[2] Ahram online. 2018. Teen commits suicide by leaping in front of metro. Retrieved from: Link

[3] Global Fire Power (GFP). 2019. Egypt Strength. Retrieved from: Link

[4] Bar-Tal, Daniel & others. 2009. “A sense of Self-perceived Collective Victimhood in Intractable Conflicts”. International Review of the Red Cross. Vol. 91. No. 874. Pp:229-258. Retrieved from: Link Pp: 238-9

[5] P.A. Resick, 1993. ‘The Psychological Impact of Rape’, Journal of Interpersonal Violence, Vol. 8, pp. 223–255 in  Bar-Tal, Daniel & others. “A Sense of Self-perceived Collective Victimhood in Intractable Conflicts”.

[6] Abdelqader, Mohamed & others. 2018. Promotion of Military Leaders Law: Judicial Impunity, Diplomats Treatment and Ministerial Benefits. Almasry Alyoum. Retrieved from: Link

[7] Al-sisi, Abdelfattah. 2018. 29th Acculturation Conference for the Military Forces. ARoE. Retrieved from: Link

[8] Bar-tal & others, ibid, P: 251

[9] Kosak, Cagri. 2016. “How does the military control politics in Egypt”. Sehir University. Retrieved from: Link P: 38

[10] Bar-tal & others, ibid, P: 241, 245

[11] ibid, P: 242

[12] Morrow, Amanda. 2019. Macron’s tough stance on Egypt needs to go further – rights activists. RFI Online. Retrieved from: Link

[13] Bar-tal & others, ibid, P: 240, 246

[14] Yinanc, Barcin. 2019. How Can Turkey Take the EU Seriously after Europe’s Show with Sisi? Hurriyet daily news. Retrieved from: Link

[15] Martin, Maria. 2015. “Criminalization of Human Rights Defenders”. Protection International. PI. Retrieved from: Link Pp: 2-6

[16] Almatery, Khalid. 2019. Alsisi promises to facilitate the Jews return to Egypt and warns: its me or the Muslim Brothers. The New Khalij: Political Affairs. Retrieved from

[17] BBC Arabic. 2019. Israeli is about to request 7 Arab countries with Iran a 250 billion dollars. Retrieved from: Link

[18] News. 2015. Egypt ‘s Obligation to Pay Israel 1.76 Billion Dollars as a Compensation for Gaz Exports’ Interruption. Youm7 online. Retrieved from

[19] Bar-tal & others, ibid, Pp: 235-7

[20] ibid, Pp: 243

[21] Kosak, ibid, P:6

[22] Sievers, Marc. J. 2015. “Riding the Egyptian-Israeli Roller Coaster 2011-2015”. The Washington Institute for Near East Policy. No. 27 .  Retrieved from: Link P:5

[23] Curtice, Travis. 2017. “Rebels and the Regime: the politics of civilian victimization”. Retrieved from: Link Pp: 1-12

[24] BBC Middle East (ME). 2019. Abdul Fattah al-Sisi: Why did Egypt want CBS interview pulled? Retrieved from: Link

[25] Ahram online. 2019. The First Black List for all Human rights Organization Working with the Terrorist Muslim Brotherhood. Political Affairs. Retrieved from: Link

[26] Martin, ibid, P: 6-7

[27] Egyptian streets. 2019. US Report Criticizing Egypt’s Human Rights Record Rejected by Egypt. The online security sector observatory. Retrieved from: Link

[28] Martin, ibid, P: 10

[29] Heiss, ibid, P: 8-12

[30] Martin, ibid, P: 6

[31] Bar-tal & others, ibid, Pp: 240-1

[32] Mada Masr. 2017. Authorities forcibly close Al-Nadeem headquarters. Retrieved from: Link

[33] Balcells, Laia. 2012. “The Consequences of Victimization on Political Identities: Evidence from Spain”. Politics & Society 40(3). 311-347. Retrieved from: Link P: 314

[34] BBC Middle East. 2015. The Most Prominent Charges Against Ex-president Mohamed Morsi. BBC Arabic. Retrieved from: Link

[35] BBC Arabic. 2017. Clearance of the Businessman Hussein Salem in the Gas exports case. BBC Online. Retrieved from: Link

[36] Sievers, ibid, P: 7

[37] Volkan, Vamik. 2001. “Transgenerational Transmissions and Chosen Traumas: An aspect of Large Group-identity”. Sage Publications. Pp: 79-97 Retrieved from: Link Pp: 79-90

[38] Abdeltawab, ibid, P: 97

[39] Kosak, ibid, Pp: 40-1, 52

[40] Volkan, ibid, P: 93

[41] Hedstrom, Jenny & Smith, Julian. 2013. “Overcoming political exclusion: strategies for Marginalized Groups to Successfully Engage in Political Decision Making”. International IDEA. Retrieved from: Link  P: 16

[42] Bar-tal & others, ibid, Pp: 247-50

[43] Hedstrom & Smith, ibid, P: 17

[44] Bar-tal & others, ibid, Pp: 256-7

[45] Strachan, Anna Louis. 2017. “Conflict Analysis of Egypt”. Retrieved from: Link Pp: 5-6

[46] Balcells, ibid, P: 314

[47] Acconcia, G. 2016. The shrinking independence of Egypt’s labour unions. Washington D.C.:Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Retrieved from:http://carnegieendowment.org/sada/64634 in Strachan, Anna Louis. 2017. “Conflict Analysis of Egypt”.

[48] Strachan, 2017, Pp: 5-7

[49] Ayesh, Mohamed. 2019. Arabic press review; Sisi Refused to Share Munich Stage with a Qatari Emir. Middle East Eye. Retrieved from: Link

[50] Ali, Randa. 2019. ‘Syriana’ Actor Says he was Threatened with Military Prison in Egypt over Critical views. ABC News online Cairo. Retrieved from: Link

[51] Deutsche Welle (DW). 2018. Former Presidential Campaigner Hazem Abdelazim Detained in Egypt. News. Retrieved from: Link

[52] Finnegan, Conor. 2019. US citizen Detained in Egypt for over 5 years is Desperate for Release. ABC News. Retrieved from: Link

[53] News. 2018. Egypt: UN Experts Call for Human Rights Council Response to Appaling Verdicts Against Protesters. UN OHCHR. Retrieved from: Link

[54] Amnesty International (AI). 2017. Egypt: Release journalist who has spent two years behind bars without charge or trial. Censorship and Freedom of Expression. Retrieved from: Link

[55] Egypt Today. 2018. Military Court Sentences Iskandarani to 10 Years in Prison. Retrieved from: Link

[56] Abdeltawab, ibid, P: 96

[57] Hussein, Tareq. 2019. Betawqeet Misr (Egypt’s time): The Debate Over the Upcoming Constitutional Amendments. Arab TV. Retrieved from: Link

[58] Subeh, Abdelatif. 2019. Alnur party reserves upon the constitutional amendments for women’s quota and the civilian state. Youm 7 Online Journal. Retrieved from: Link

[59] Hamid, Shadi. 2017. Is the Muslim Brotherhood a Terrorist Organization ? Brookings Institute. Retrieved from: Link

[60] Weitekamp, Elmar & Parmentier, Stephan. 2016. “Restorative Justice as Healing Justice: Looking Back to the Future of the Concept, Restorative Justice”, 4:2, 141-147. Retrieved from: Link P: 2

[61] Aljazeera Arabic (AJA). 2019. The story of Imprisoned Women in Egyptian Prisons. There’s More to the Story. Retrieved from: Link

[62] Hussein, ibid

[63]The views expressed in this article are entirely those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of EIPSS.

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