7 Popular Myths about the Revolution

There are a number of myths that seem to dominate the discourse in Egypt’s upper and middle-class, and subsequently national and international media. Given how frustrated I am by all the “experts” – foreign and
domestic- pontificating really superficial analysis about something they can neither understand nor grasp, I have decided to write this post. I apologize beforehand for anyone who might read this and think my tone is condescending, because I am not being nor trying to be that and I hope you have the wisdom not to mix the message with the messenger!

1) The Army is co-opting the revolution/trying to establish
another military dictatorship

WRONG. This is a prevalent one, and it has strong roots: the arrests of some protesters and their torture, the insistence on ending protests, and the lack of transparency of the Army’s actions. But please take a minute and stop thinking of the Army as a monolith or an institution, and think
of it as a bunch of human beings. The Army is a conservative institution, it doesn’t believe in chaos, and has operated for 30 years based on direct orders from Mubarak. The supreme council is a bunch of 60 and70 year olds who are not used to deliberate amongst themselves to how best deal with civil issues, and they look at the world in terms of balancing risks. And now they have to deal with all the rapid pace changes in the country and the pressures both internal and external and they are working harder than they ever thought they would work in their lives. I mean, can you imagine how a day of any of them looks like? Between internal issues (security, corruption in every sectors, economy, foreign policy), international conflicts, hiring new people, dealing with international diplomats who all want to meet him to either discuss their concerns or make demands, the situation in the borders, running the affairs of the army, facing demands and questions and requests for interview by foreign or local media and then getting cursed out by name in Tahrir by 250,000 people last Friday. Can you imagine their schedule? And the average age is 60 something to begin with, so imagine how low their energy levels are.

The Supreme Council views his country as a powder-keg and they want to hand over the responsibility as fast as possible, hence the referendum, but until that day they believe, wrongly, that they are the only force that can keep this country from being ripped apart at the seams. You think they can take over the country? With what army? Against Egyptians after they have become organized and formed their own militias? How fast do you think such an attempted takeover will last, before they are all killed or face an inevitable insurrection within their ranks? They wouldn’t last 3 days, before every single last one of them would be killed. They joined the revolution and made the high-council in order to ensure their survival first and foremost. They are more scared of you than we are scared of them.

2) The NDP/Mubarak is still controlling the country
WRONG. The supreme majority of the NDP are shitting in their pants, every single one of them dreading the day their sins will be exposed to the public, and they are watching their leaders getting plucked and investigated one by one. The reason why the Military is taking its time with the big names is that it needs to 1) build up the civil cases against them and 2) to feed them to the public at the best opportune moment, which with mounting pressures is looking closer every day. As for Mubarak, just watch as his credibility is being destroyed, and how slowly but surely the perception of him as the traitor who helped assassinate Anwar Sadat in order to take power and neutralized Egypt for 30 years, during which he kissed Israel’s ass in every conceivable way, in order to ensure his survival and US support is being formed. Go to any newsstand any day and read the headlines. By the time he gets tried, and he will based on public pressure, he will be branded as the biggest traitor in the country’s history. Just watch.

3) The Islamists are hijacking the revolution

WRONG. The Islamists are getting weaker by the day. The Salafists, with their bushy beards, talk of bringing back the 7th century and violence against chirstians and women are already alienating and angering the supreme majority of the Egyptian public, to the point that they have angered the sufis- the hippies of Islam, who are 16 million in case you didn’t know- into rising up and standing against them, and they have gotten the Muslim Brotherhood to the point where they will tell anyone who listens that they are different than the Salafists, and that the Salafists are insane.
As for the Muslim Brotherhood, well, they are having their own problems. This organization who long has lived and survived underground is now being forced into the light, which isn’t exactly where they are most comfortable, because the cracks are now showing. At first they seemed drunk of the success of the referendum result and their belief that they are the best positioned group to take over power come the parliamentary elections, to the point that Essam ElAryan- thinking he is Safwat el Sherief now- started a laughably titled “historic initiative” of dialogue with the Church youth, as if they are representative of Egypt’s Muslims. But like any group that gets drunk on its own hype, it’s bound to start doing stupid shit and wake up the next day with the worst hangover ever, and it’s already starting. Internal divisions are ripping the MB apart, with the Youth announcing their defection and making their own group, with reformists such as AboulFoutouh publicly leaving them for being out of touch with the public, with the rising public hostility towards them since they can’t differentiate between them and the Salafists, and with them trying to appease the public by declaring their party platform will call for a “civil state” and will not have any conditions against women or copts running for President and thus in turn angering their own hardliners as well. The Muslim Brotherhood is at its weakest point and it’s being torn apart, and the egyptian people are quickly getting the point that they don’t want to live in a theocracy. Go to Upper-Egypt and talk to regular people, and they will tell you that they don’t want the Islamists taking over because they want the tourists to come back. Hell, did you know that in the University of Minya, during the first free Student Union elections, not a single islamist candidate won? In freakin Minya! So, please don’t think that your people are stupid or ignorant or easy to deceive by a bunch of Islamists. You are not the only one who “gets it”. Respect your people. They have earned it.

4) New Parties are the only way to save the next elections

WRONG! The new parties are important, but let’s face it, they are still organizing, being formed, formulating policies, trying to explain their ideological position, creating headquarters, reaching out to people and they are run and formed by cairene elites who think they are the only ones who can save the country and hold discussions in English about reaching out “those people” in the villages and the governorates, yet they have no clue who they are or how to talk to them. They are not the best way to save the next elections. The People are.
Unbeknownst to most of you, there is a new rising power in the Egyptian street and it’s not affiliated with any party of clique, and it’s called the people’s committees. At first they were formed to protect their areas, but during the referendum they started evolving into a civil force that help campaigns and did their best to monitor the elections. Now those committees are getting in contact with each other and forming coalitions. I have met representatives who have formed coalitions of 40 or 50 such committees all over Egypt, and they are organizing a conference for all of Egypt’s committee reps this June. Already, right now, there are 220 such committees covering 220 districts of Egypt’s 280, and that’s besides the independent unions and citizen groups that are getting formed everywhere every day. They are not waiting on us to save them or guide them, they already took matters into their own hands and we are the ones who are trying to catch up. And the way they operate, and their strategies for organization are impressive. A bunch of them asked for experts
on capitalist, socialist and Islamic economies to come to their neighborhoods and give lectures to educate people on their differences. This is happening while you are sitting in cafes discussing how you want to “spread awareness” to Egypt’s “ignorant population”. Well, if you want to do that, go to such meetings, find those people and ask them, humbly, how you can be of help and they will let you know. But you better not think you can deceive or bamboozle them in any way, because they will sniff you out very quickly. Go and get to know your people, and prepare to be floored by how intelligent and sophisticated they are.

5) Amr Moussa / Baradei is the new President

WRONG. The political Life cycle of any politician in Egypt is now 1 week, the same goes for Presidential candidates. The people don’t want someone who is as tainted as Moussa or as unable to communicate with them as Baradei. Chances are, Egypt’s real next president will appear sometimes by late august/ early September, after those two have been kicked and burned and faced a trial by fire unlike Egypt has ever seen. If one of them manages to survive it, then kudos to them, cause that means they have earned it. But this is far from being set by anyone, and any candidate who believes they have this in the bag already are also drunk on their own hype and are bound to wake up one day with the worst hangover ever wondering what the hell happened. Just watch!

6) International forces will destroy the revolution

WRONG. But not for lack of trying. God knows the Saudi government and Israel are both very worried about this revolution and will try anything- like funding salafis in the case of Saudi, or placing pressure on the US to support Amr Moussa in the case of Israel and both in order to ensure Egypt stays in the Sunni-Zionist alliance against Iran- in order to sustain a status-quo whose expiration date has long passed. Both of them don’t get that the rules of the game has changed, and that the virus of the revolution will infect their despondent and dissatisfied population as well. Hell, Egypt is so mad at Saudis for trying to pressure them into a conflict Sunni-Shia they have no interest in partaking in that we have now started reaching out to the Iranian government to resume diplomatic relations. Those are not the Mubarak days anymore; unless our sovereignty is respected, we can and will push back. Count on it.

And don’t think this is a victory for the Iran wing either, because Iran is also facing the prospects of their own revolution, and Syria is already dealing with its own, and the Palestinian people are already limning up to get rid of the corrupt leaders of both Hamas and Fatah. On March 15 there were huge protests by non-aligned Palestinian youth who are demanding the end of the division between the people and subsequently getting rid of those who have divided them in order to rule comfortably. The geopolitical map will look radically different in 2012. This virus will spread everywhere. Just watch!

7) There is doom and gloom everywhere!

WRONG! There is nothing but optimism and the prospect of a brighter future. Yes, there is economic instability and the economy will go down for a bit, but that’s only natural and part of the healing process. When you take an anti-biotic to cure you from a disease it is bound to keep you bed ridden and feeling tired for a few days so that you can properly heal, but you will heal and you will regain your full health eventually. We are completely unaware of what’s happening in the country because things are happening so fast that everything seems like it’s standing still. But the country is moving, the virus of the revolution spreading everywhere and changes are happening by the minute because 30 years worth of changes and reform are unleashed all at once. We are living in Hyper-time, and every person who sees a hole in the foundation of our country is working really hard and fast to plug it, and the future is looking brighter every day because of it.

Think of state TV employees who are protesting right now demanding that our national TV practices real journalism without an agenda. Think of the coalition of restaurant owners that is being formed in order to tell the municipalities that they won’t pay bribes anymore, and if they wish to shut them down they can go right ahead and face the wrath of all of their employees. Think of the students of the Lycee in Cairo, 6 and 7th graders, who did a 3 day sit-in protest demanding the return of a teacher that got fired for carrying an anti-Mubarak sign in Tahrir and forced the administration to re-instate him. Think of all the 8 and 10 year olds who went out with their parents the day of the referendum to vote and had the experience engrained in their psyche forever, something we never had ourselves, and know that they will never allow that right to be taken away from them. Think of all the 12 year olds who are watching all the hot issues (secularism vs. theocracy, left vs. right, the role of the army, the role of the police, etc..) being debated all around them right now, and having their political consciousness formed right now and know that when they turn 18 it will be next to impossible for someone to trick or co-opt them. Think of all the 15 and 16 year olds who are watching the protests all around them and the lessons and mistakes that we are doing and think of what those kids will do the moment they get into college in a couple of years or when they join the workforce. Think of all your friends, wherever they are, who are joining and debating and talking and wanting to help and do something, and know you are not a solitary phenomenon. The Virus is everywhere. The Future is AWESOME. We will not save Egypt, Egypt will save us.

Now go and think of how you can help. And when you encounter people whose stupidity or irrationality or ignorance frustrates you, smile, because you know in 6 or 7 years they will no longer exist nor be of any
influence.
Have a lovely day! :)

Comments

  1. A mina fahmy says:

    A very good article ,

    • Tanya Kasim says:

      This is an excellent article. I think the revolution in Egypt inspired and empowered the American people to wake up and rise up against the people who want to take away their rights.

      • Dear Tanya, I would have re-phrased your comment as follows:
        This is an excellent article. I wish the revolution in Egypt would inspire and empower the American people to wake up and rise up against the Zionist Israeli Jews who want to take away their rights.

        • Papa Ray says:

          The Zionist Israeli Jews are like small mice fighting over (the perceived) last piece of cheese. Let them bicker and bite all they want. They are destined to destroy themselves. History has no use or place for them.

          • Kevin Waterson says:

            Nonsence. You are missing the point completely.
            Until you get it through your heads that we Zionists are here to stay, that we are not only part of the future but inventing and creating a substantial of it, you will never understand the advantage of reaching out to us. Israel wants peace with you and all. Get over yourselves and come to the party. Tel Aviv is a blast and you are welcome.

        • cyberstorm says:

          Why the Zionist fear mongering in relation to Americans. Too many people (the general population) just don’t fall for that for many reasons.

    • نجحت في دفعي للنظر للأمور من زوايا مختلفة. قد اختلف معك في بعض التفاصيل لكنه مقال جدير بالمناقشة وملاحظاتك تستحق ان تؤخذ بعين الإعتبار. بإختصار, مقال ملهم ورائع. رجاء اعادة كتابته بالعربية لتوسيع النقاش حوله.

    • Jack Ruby says:

      A very interesting article. Here is a link to an article that speaks to some important aspects of the great Egyptian people’s uprising, especially with regard to the role of the military:
      http://revcom.us/avakian/Egypt2011-en html

  2. So, tell me please, what will relations be with Israel in the future? We want to continue good relations with Egypt. If you say that the MB is growing weaker and that the people don’t want to be ruled by Islamists, then it would make sense to join forces with those who see Iran as the real destabilizer in the Middle East.

    • Rob Geurtsen says:

      Israel wants good relations with Egypt?

      That is quite a questionable goal. Israel wants relations with Egypt that are good for Israel. ISrael has to learn the aprt of becoming an honorable member of the international community. So far suffering and the rightful place to live has been the centre of all efforts. Now Israel has to face the consequences of its acts towards many millions and start finding a place where it can reconcile with those who were once considered enemies of the state. Not jewishness is central to that international relationalships, but human dignity for everyone involved.
      With courageous citizenship shaping itself in the surrounding countries Israel might face tehchnologically and economically less developed neighboring countries and peoples, but with a civil society just as strong and probably more honorable than whaqt Israel has shown the world it was capable of in the face of dirty political violance from the likes of Fatah and Hamas.

      Not the actions of Egypt will determine whether the relations between Egypt and Israel will remain prosperous and beneficial to Israel but the acknowledgement of failed acts of occupation and oppression of territory outside Israel and repressive policy internally on the one hand and corrected behaviour which includes acceptance of all international treaties (human rights, international criminal court, etc.) on the other hand will determine the outcome of the relations between Egypt and Israel.

      OF COURSE THERE IS AN ALTERNATIVE FOR ISRAEL, it might start muddling in internal Egyptian affairs and influence the course of action.

      I don’t want to think about that. It would only further alienate Israel from many people across the region, and that includes Europe.

      • Israel is the most Progressive nation in the whole damn region, you fool. End of story.

        If you think they have to do something to justify themselves to the international community, it’s because you can’t get past the fact that you’re talking about Jews. Egypt and Israel need peace, because they BOTH have a Gaza border, and Gaza’s last landlord was Egypt. If Israel is to legally, under international law “return the land” it would be to Egypt.

        • Israel is the most Progressive nation “currently” , we’re catching up with you my friend. And will pass you soon, because at least we will not have racial restrictions.

          And Thank you very much, we don’t want Gaza, don’t export your problems to us. You created this mess, you fix it. They should be an independent nation within the 1967 borders. Thats the deal everyone knows is going to eventually happen.

          • Sorry, Sam, but the Arab nations have created this mess. For over 60 years you have blamed all your problems on Israel.
            Your nations ignored civil rights, yet ALL Israelis have them. They do not fear the police like you do.
            Your nations have ignored the rights of women and minorities, and while you complain about the supposed mistreatment of Arabs in Israel, I would rather be an Arab in Tel Aviv than a Jew in Cairo.
            Please consider fixing your problems that your leaders caused and that you, through your silence allowed for all these years.
            Have that first free election and then lecture others. Most of the world has had that experience, one that the Arab world has not seen.

          • Papa Ray says:

            I have to agree with “Intrrnet” says. I will reinforce that the “Arab World” doesn’t know much about Civil Rights, Freedom or how to live in the 21st Century. Not that all things of this century are perfect but they are much better than those Arab and Islamic ways of the far past centuries.

        • Can’t you disagree with Rob without calling him a fool ? Let’s start by being civil with each other and we might start making progress.

          • Kevin Waterson says:

            Rob might not be a fool but he does have a problem writing a coherrant scentance. Intrrnet is 100 % correct.
            It makes me sad when I litsten to the hypocracy and double standards coming out of the Arab world.
            Egypt is a great country with a magnificant history. You make yourselves so small when you buy into all this Israel bashing.
            We are flawed but we are a democracy with free speach, equal rights for women and the best medical care available to Arabs in the entire area to name just a few things. We have been slow to deal with problems but this is the nature of a democray that has fought 7 wars in 63 years (None of which we wanted).
            Give us a break. Support us a little for a change and see how good life can be!!

        • LOL… “Israel is the most Progressive nation in the whole damn region, you fool. End of story”… most convincing argument!!! End of story! LOL

        • Why don’t you admit it. Most of your leaders are criminals, and your state commits atrocities. It’s not so difficult. Unfortunately it’s actually normal for politicians to behave like that. You should be outraged, not covering from them. The Egyptians have done it. They are not a monolith and neither are you. By being so nationalistic you just tar yourself with the same brush. Go and tell whoever has taught you to spout this rubbish that **it’s not working any more**.

      • AEWHistory says:

        All nations–and for that matter all entities such as people, corporations, scout clubs, etc.–want good relations with their neighbors allies/friends/etc. that will also be good for them. And if these relationships are too burdensome too maintain they are usually discarded. Why does that make Israel special or different or unique?

    • cyberstorm says:

      I am not going to comment on Iran here, but as other countries that were once ruled and oppressed by dictators, become stronger and more free as people, Israel has to acknowledge and change with that. I know it will take Israel time to see that actually happening and to trust it, but it will have to come a point where Israel will have to do just that. Right now, Israel is seen overbearing. I know from history how that happened, and it wasn’t just because Israel said “this is fun, I am going to be this way”, it was in part because of all the conflict and hatred of them. But, that same thing that makes you seem so strong, can also morph into overbearing bully.
      There has to be trust or “olive branches” of that.

      There is propaganda everywhere, even as far back as when the British gave that land the land to the Jews. Russia was pretty pissed off and well – so were other countries. They purposely filled the air with misinformation to help with that anger – but, so did other countries. The middle east got a little tired of being the battle ground for power grabbing. Huge history here of mistrust.

      I think it is pretty okay that Egypt is trying to find a new way, and the top gov of Israel will also have to do the same.

  3. Good to hear some positive sentiment coming from the inside.

    You should’ve let the text flow though. All the line endings are at the wrong places on my screen. It makes it difficult to read.

  4. mona shalabi says:

    this is so comforting,,,and amazing..

  5. You said everyone (that you dislike) is drunken…, that is really funny because when i read your text i thought you have drunk to much beer again. Its known to everybody that a drunken become slaphappy and can not take the hard reality till it break his bones.

    • Papa Ray says:

      Give him a break. He is drunk with the possibility that FINALLY Arabs have a chance of joining the 21st Century and having the freedom and justice that a people need, want and deserve.But if you read between the lines, he is very worried that (once again) Arabs will blow it, screw the pooch and wind up…back in the same situation they were in or worse in the hands of the radical Islamics.

    • cyberstorm says:

      That was really disrespectful. Actually – quite hateful.

  6. chrisdrakeuk says:

    It’s been difficult and worrying watching events unfold from far away – your article explains many of my concerns.
    Thanks for all your work!

    • Mandarina says:

      Thank you for the article! Really enjoy reading you! Saw you at El Baradei’s meeting at Seasons last Saturday and liked what you had to say! Know what, I wanna be you when I grow up! :) ))

  7. Marwan Hassaan says:

    I agree with most of what you say but, I’m not sure about the Islamists not getting any seats in the student union is a fair representation for the Minya voters. Afterall they are all educated university students. They never worried me as much as the uneducated and in some cases illiterate voters. These could be bought or sold for anything as simple as money or the Islamist’s misconducts in the political campaign.

  8. For years I have thought you were full of crap and self-loathing, but I agree with the above 100%. You have finally hit your stride, Sandmonkey.

  9. I wish I could be as optimistic as you are, specially regarding “myth” number three.

  10. Heba Abdella says:

    i think this is a great article, not only because of the points of view shared on each issue, but more so because it’s uplifting, optimistic and over all a super charge of positive, thoughtful, energy. Thank you.

  11. 1) I was thinking about the army the other day and that they are constantly just switching around, playing old players who are, of course, affiliated in some way with the ndp. From this perspective, it looks like they are stuck between a rock and a hard place. Who can run these government institutions? The only people who have been running them for years are or have some association with the NDP or last regime. That isn’t a good thing, mind you, it is just the facts. It is going to take awhile to get others up and running in these organizations. New players will take time to grow into those positions with lots of mis steps. Plus, rooting out corruption that has become an everyday activity will be a matter of social and legal pressure.

    When the new government gets in place, Egypt will have the opportunity to grow new bureaucrats with their own set of problems.

    Speaking of the, you should keep the pressure on the military about abuse. It isn’t necessary that it is institutional, but individuals or groups may feel they can act without concern due to their positions of power. This is an inherent problem in Egypt, not just in the military or the police. So, it must be the public that continues to draw attention to this and insure that these institutions begin to reflect the public’s ideas and aspirations.

    Skipping 2 as i suspect some areas of contention…

    3) The Islamists taking over.. I agree with the analysis of the MB getting at least whittled down to size by their internal issues. However (not to burst your bubble), you should keep in mind that, in politics, such institutions often see these kinds of shake ups in the ‘off period’, but when it gets closer to elections, if they believe that their general ideas are under threat, they will coalesce again to push forward an agenda or candidates. Happens in every political movement. It is wise not to give them too much credit, lest you undermine yourself, but it is unwise to underestimate them as well.

    AS for the Salafis, they will have no real political power and will quickly wear out their social welcome, but, as with the MB you should not pretend they do not exist or will not be a problem. Not all of them, but both EIJ and JI are not as cohesive as they seem. They are also being split again between those who have renounced violence and those who still lean towards their founding ideology of offensive jihad and hisbah (as there have been several cases already).

    The new open Egypt may have a small problem with returning members of these groups who have gone abroad and now find the open Egypt a little more amenable to their efforts. My concern for Egypt isn’t one of the emergence of a greater Salafi trend, but with what small groups can accomplish. Especially in the face of a relaxed security.

    Those who may return will not have been languishing in some posh resort whiling away the hours reading Persian poetry. Any returnees from Chechnya, Afghanistan or Pakistan will have been active in organizations with less than peaceful activities (or need I remind you that there were a small cohort of EIJ who followed Zawahiri into Afghanistan and still consider themselves EIJ; may return to challenge leadership or convince some of the more hard core youth to follow their lead). It isn’t political or social concerns, but security over the long haul.

    4) On educating “the people”. I believe you are correct that people are wanting information. In an open society, free thinking, free conscience are the epitome of free people and they will think.

    One thing that I had noticed amidst all of the interviews and lovely home made videos is the confluence of democracy and political rights with freedom. Maybe a better way to put it is that people consider these two practices to be synonymous. In one video, titled “freedom”, every person asked began their statement with “democracy is…”

    I believe that in all this joy and excitement over the revolution that people do not imagine a future where something could go wrong in their new democracy. The will of the people and all that. Forgetting, maybe, that the first act of freedom is to insure that it exists in the future, not just now.

    Democracy is not freedom. Democracy is a device that free people use to obtain a representative government.

    There are all sorts of democracies, in history and modern day, that are not really the product of a completely free people. Democracy simply implies ‘of the people’, not necessarily all of the people, as Egypt has well experienced for decades. Iran being another similar case. Athens had a ‘democracy’, but it was limited to people who owned property. At some point in the US history, groups of people have been excluded from voting, either through law or intimidation. Do I need to point out the various democracies that have voted themselves a dictator (Nazi Germany) or that the USSR considered that it’s officials were elected through a democratic process?

    Just as bad are democracies that do not have any checks on the majority rule. Majorities can inflict all sorts of laws upon themselves and minorities that are decidedly not free.

    So, my point is that democracy is not freedom. It is a political device, if practiced correctly under the auspices of freedom, can insure a long and prosperous nation.

    The same can be said for such ideas as ‘political rights’. Governments give and take political rights, they are not natural rights, individual rights or inherent rights. They are not freedom. Free people have more political rights than others. For instance, people in Iran and in Egypt just past had ‘political rights’, defined as they were by the government in place and limited by their desire to stay in power.

    Free people protect their democracy and political rights by first protecting their own rights. Without such things as freedom of speech, freedom of conscience/religion, freedom of information/press, the right to be secure in their persons and property, democracy can become tyrannical and political rights the whimsy of the powerful. Political rights are not freedom, but freedom insures the most political rights.

    I wish I was there, just to hear all of the wonderful discussions that must be going on. At the heart of it, people are practicing their first rights among all of the rights, conscience and speech. a wonderful thing. I only hope that they recall these moments and, when it comes time to write their constitution, they enshrine these rights above any powers and balances they design for their government and leaders, placing the people and their rights first above all others.

    Remembering, that even as I write about the Salafis, they have a right to their own conscience and speech, so long as they adhere to the rule of law and the rights of others to not be harmed or intimidated against their own conscience and persons.

    If there was one small piece of education that I would suggest, it would be this one concept: the idea of individuals rights versus democracy versus political rights and how they all work together.

    *then again, maybe it is just me being too picky on the expression of people’s emancipation

    5) On the Salafis and Saudis, I don’t believe that you mean what you mean. I doubt seriously that the Sauds, amongst all their worries, are sending messages to the Salafis to stir conflict. You have lived their all your life and must know that the Salafis have been perpetrating attacks on Christians (and Jews) as often as they were able under Mubarek. It was simply his very stringent and ugly security that kept them in check. Now you are simply seeing what has been behind the curtain from the beginning and maybe a little shocked to discover (or at least experience) that all Muslims are not equal in the eyes of all Muslims. (I know, you are a rejectionist, but bare with me)

    Which, forgive me for saying so, has been the reality of the ME since Mohammed died without a direct heir.

    As far as the Sauds go, they certainly have funded them and perpetuated their ideology. However, the Salafis do not need Prince whoever or Sheikh What’s His Name to direct them. They have imbibed the philosophy and simply regurgitate it now as if by writ. It is important to remember that these may be related, but they are also still separate. The Salafis in Egypt are doing what they have always wanted to do, but did not have the opportunity.

    As far as the Saud money and ideology goes, I cannot give a precise manner to cut off the funds, but their ideology, now in the open, as you suggest, will be combated by society and more and better ideas. I am only afraid that they will not retreat quietly back into their conclaves without a long drawn out fight, verbal, societal and, occasionally, physical.

    I must also beg forgiveness when I say with equal pride and trepidation, welcome to freedom and democracy. You are now on the front lines of the war of ideology. Strap on your helmet and kevlar, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

    As for Israel, et al, I believe that these events will have a welcome, trans-formative effect on the ME and your nearby situation. I hope you and Egypt will escape it unscathed as I have great hopes for your country and that it will, in fact, change the face, not just of the ME, but the world

    That is a heavy burden to carry, so, for now, concentrate on Egypt. Great joy and great hardships await you, but, if you can manage a free democracy out of it, every moment will make it more valuable. It will be worth fighting for over and over again.

    Yours in Liberty,
    Kat

    • Very nice comment, chapeau.

    • You covered almost everything however one important item you didn’t mention is the urgency with which the workers have to be” educated”.This large force needs to be schooled in all aspects of the New System.If they become convinced that this is their country and that they have a voice in its success or failure depending on their choices,Egypt will be well on the path to a great future.As the bread winners they have the authority to direct family mambers and friends and in this way this huge voting public can change the face of the country.
      The wonderful young people of the Square need to deleate those who can inform the workers and the WOMEN of Egypt about the great power and influence they possess.
      With great expectations,
      Edith

  12. Minor technical point: there are Microsoft embedded tags that are causing the unwanted paragraphing.
    Use the WordPress “clean the crap out of MS Word documents” entry field for blog posts; look for a button with a “W” on it; don’t just paste from Word into the WordPress post field.
    (I love your blog, keep doing what you do!)

  13. iglooo101 says:

    Nice analysis.

  14. Nada Hamza says:

    In Ain Shams elections the MB youth won one seat in the union. I agree the MB are at their weakest their ties with the Salafist aren’t doing them any good. Right now their hilariously trying to woe the Copts, Moderates and women. Just two months ago they said a Copt or a women can’t be prez and now they wouldn’t mind a Copt HEAD OF THE BROTHERHOOD!!! From my understanding the Chruch refused to meet the MB.

    But Mr. Monkey if you don’t think these gangs of thugs don’t report to someone or been giving orders then…pff! Thieves usally go for banks not for schools, eh? This is an organized plot to scare the public and turn them against the revolution

  15. Missing the mark as usual…

    Its not worth quibbling about every detail. We simply don’t see the world in the same way.

    But I will make two comments:

    1)

    Regarding your apparent cheerleading for settling scores…

    A few weeks ago to placate “the shouting crowd,” the army prosecutors were accusing Zahi Hawass of “conspiring with foreign governments” to smuggle Egyptian antiquities out of the country….. Like him or not, Dr. Hawass is widely respected as an expert in Egyptian archeology both domestically and internationally.

    Or take former Finance Minister Rashid Mohamed Rashid. Many of the “shouting crowd” perhaps disagreed with his free market reforms, but the “prosecutors” are all too eager to trump up any number of absurd and unsubstantiated charges to throw the bones to the mob….

    Now when Hawass was about to be sent to the gallows as a sacrificial lamb, I don’t recall you (or anyone else from “opposition”) standing in the way of a public lynching. “Trying someone one on trumped up charges in the secrecy of military tribunal….” Sound familiar? How is that any different from the very “travesty” you are accusing the former regime of perpetrating? Or isit okay this time around because it is done in the name of the popular mob?

    No surprise, then, that your position is no different from the Muslim Brotherhood.


    ‘There is no need to search for evidence of these crimes, after the whole world witnessed the use of deliberate violence and the intentional killing of hundreds of Egyptians by sniper fire,’ the Brotherhood statement read.

    http://www.themedialine.org/news/news_detail.asp?NewsID=31854

    What happened to “rule of law ?”

    Splendid!

    2)

    You are correct that the implications of this ‘revolution’ extend far beyond Egypt’s borders…. But again for the wrong reasons.

    What is happening objectively is that an Islamist revival is spreading across the entire Arab Middle East. Islamists remain the only organized opposition movement in many of the hotspots: Syria, Jordan, Yemen, Bahrain…. you name it.

    In some cases Islamists are hiding from public view in order to capitalize on the aftermath at a later date (as they did in Egypt). In other cases like Syria, Yemen and Jordan Islamists are actually taking visible leadership positions in the opposition.

    Even though the situation in Libya is unclear, and where Islamist parties were put down by an iron fist, there are various Al Qaeda-like groups operating to take advantage of any power vacuum. Infact, I have been monitoring a few “Salafist/mujahideen” websites and they have been actively fund raising from the “jihad” in Libya ….

    Meanwhile any number of Egypt’s “revolutionaries” (from Gigi Ibrahim, Mona El Tahwawu, Wael Ghonim…. ) are all too busy cheerleading the Syrians, the Yemenis …. All of this going on at precisely the same time when Egypt’s own ‘revolution’ is up against the wall with a gun pointed right at its head….

    Simply amazing….

    The “Arab Spring” may go straight into Winter, I’m afraid…

    • Ezzat you have made extremely,extreeeeeeeeeeemely pertinent observations .There are issues which must be tackled without delay and number one is the reform of the judicial/judiciary and the immediate stoppage of trial by military tribunal.I was so shocked and disappointed when I read of this and wondered how Egypt can then condemn the US for doing the very same.There are things which I agree are extremely worrying and out of sync with what we have been told to believe and expect. On the whole things seem to be going according to plan but again one must not take things on face value.
      Edith

    • AEWHistory says:

      I’d like to make a point about Hawass and academic credibility. Now, let me preface this by saying that Egyptology is not my specialty–I’m a military historian–but the field is similar and I am somewhat interested in archaeology. About Hawass: he has maintained a virtual iron-grip on Egypt’s archaeological sites since coming to ‘power.’ As such, if an archaeologist has wanted to work in Egypt–and if you’re an Egyptologist then you have no choice–then you really have to accept Hawass’s agenda. This means accepting his theories (some of which are quite anti-Semitic for instance and geared toward an anti-Israel agenda) and accepting his narrative on Egyptian history. If you don’t like it then you don’t get permits to dig. He’s done this with his quest to have Egyptian artifacts returned, using some fairly nasty tactics to force institutions and governments to choose between academic cooperation and turning over items that he wants. So his academic ‘reputation’ really needs to be put into perspective. He is/was arguably the most powerful person in Egyptology/archaeology and few, if anyone, would strongly criticize him and risk their careers. Most academics are just too spineless…. and this coming from an academic.

      As a post script, now that he is out of power–I think–there is a good chance you’ll see him, his theories, and his narratives picked apart. Some of it will survive since he wasn’t a complete charlatan, but he’ll finally get a proper critique that is long overdue. And no more History Channel crap!

  16. Ranya Khalifa says:

    A great read with an uplifting and optimistic twist…but I am not so sure that the events unfolding are as clear-cut or as cleanly defined as you put them. You cannot deny that in this post-revolution transitional phase the dynamics are a lot messier than you make them out to be. For example, while you say that Moussa and Baradei will be burned by the people, you don’t explain why you think there will be a “dark Horse” that will appear by August/September?? Do you really think that the majority of the electorate will go for an unknown candidate that late in the game?? I doubt it!!!

    Also, when you talk about the university elections in Minya, you cheerfully say that not one Islamist scored a victory, whereas it has been reported that in Cairo they secured 28% of the vote. I also know for a fact that the Muslim Brotherhood does not have a stronghold over Minya or Upper Egypt for that matter. They are much stronger and entrenched in Wagh Ba7ary…..so choosing Minya of all places is not representative of the strength of the MB or Islamist popularity and strength…Moreover,when the liberal/secular bloc speak of their fears of the Islamists taking over the Parliament, they are not speaking of the educated, but rather of the illiterates and the impoverished who are more likely to be swayed by money to “sell their vote” to the highest bidder….

    But, thank you very much for the rest!!!

  17. therese says:

    Thank you for your enthusiastic and optimistic voice of reason. Although I have no facts to back me as you do, this is 100% my gut feeling about Egypt at the moment, despite the many voices of doom around me. Why? Because I trust the people. I am not Egyptian but a Cairo resident and, even before the revolution, was always impressed by the warmth, helpfulness and kindness of ordinary Egyptians.

    During the days when we had no police (and Mubarak expected large scale lawlessness and chaos – maybe one the biggest miscalculations ever) it was lovely to see the community getting together to protect areas: more than that it was efficient, well organised and very swiftly done. I wondered about this. I came to the conclusion that this has been there all the time – this strong sense of community which has existed under the noses of those in power because it wasn’t important enough for them to take notice of. After all, if you live under such a regime you have to rely on your family, friends and neighbours to get by, as there will inevitably be some hard times. The network was already there and has only been strengthened by the revolution.

    Yes, Egyptians will save the revolution! In the meantime I’m doing my best to get everyone I know to come here to contribute to the Egyptian economy. My Mum came last week, a friend is coming next week and at least two of my children in a couple of months. Small things, but, as we know, a lot of small things add up to big things in the end.

  18. kaim ragab says:

    I like your optimism. I also hope that it is true.

    It does seem to me though that your assetions are based on anecdotal evidence and your own gut feeling. There aren’t enough facts in there to justify WRONG statements.

    Especially around the army situation I still see a lot of question marks. You write they are old men and are just not fast enough. They were very fast though with putting some people in prison and very very slow with others.

    You also write that they are too weak and too small to stay in power. Not sure how big the army was in 1952, but it probably wasn’t that big. Plus, they can look for allies in the existing strictures.

    The army has a lot of money to lose and a lot of dirt to cover up. Their corruption wasn’t as obvious as the police. It wad there nevertheless. If you wanted to build a plant for example, you had to ‘arrange’ yourself with the army to get their mandatory approvals. Mubarak, Sadat, Nasser came from the army. It is not a clean organization that simply wants to live in peace.

    There are also too many open questions. Why is the Mubarak clan vacationing in Sharm? What about the other big guys? What was the deal with the strange yes/no referendum? Why has no date been set for the presidential elections? Why is the provisional constitution that long? What about the military police arrests and torture allegation?

    Why is the Prime Minister talking about a countr revolution? If it is not the army and not the NdP remnants. Who is then?

    Many questions! :)

    Again, I respect your opinion. I hope it is true. But it remains an opinion like other “expert” opinions. But definitely one of the more intereting ones.

    All the best
    Karim

  19. “And don’t think this is a victory for the Iran wing either, because Iran is also facing the prospects of their own revolution,”

    so iran is going to suddenly change it’s ideology and give in to the protestors right?
    i wonder, during the next protest in iran when the iranian government slaughters the protesters in the streets and “disappears” them into their prisons will you continue to praise the new diplomatic ties ? and why is it that america is the “great satan” for establishing diplomatic ties with despotic regimes like iran but it is the right thing for egypt to do?

  20. Dear Sandmonkey,

    I love the enthusiasm! Have tweeted this a few days ago, that the enthusiasm coming from this new Egypt is growing daily. It is the same kind of enthusiam felt Jan. 25, when Egyptians in Tahrir believed with body and soul that there was a bright future and that anything was possible if you all joined together to speak with one voice. That feeling waned a bit, but I feel it growing again.

    Some of the negative posts here resonate uncertainty and hesitance to move forward. Yes, there are problems still, but instead of looking at the negatives, start figuring how to change them to positives. Egypt’s future is in Egyptian hands.

    I see so many people looking to you for the answers. You, bless your over-worked heart, are but one person, and are riding this euphoric change as much as they are. Your continued efforts to buoy up spirits, provide answers, be all places at once, is admirable. Do take time to recharge, as this will be a long journey.

    After reading the fabulous list of groups formed, I couldn’t help wishing that Canada, as we face yet another election of the same people, could have a shake up and re-evaluate our political structure. It isn’t working as it should, isn’t representative as it could be, but the majority still feels it is acceptable. Maybe one day we will shake up the status quo and recreate ourselves.

    In the meantime, we will watch as Egypt journey as a free democratic successful country with much to offer its people, and the world.

    Cheering from the sidelines!
    Tallulah

  21. I suspect that there is going to be a fair amount of teething before it all settles down. As a rule of thumb, things do need to get badder before they get better, that’s true. Your evident enthusiasm and determination are admirable and one can’t help but feel the ‘vibe’.

    I am jealous, but in a good way. If the Egyptian youth manage to group their efforts and articulate their needs in a determined, organized and effective fashion – and consequently truly won the day – then this will prove everyone wrong and will set a new trend for the rest of us. Such an achievement will be truly unprecedented, not just in the Middle East, but in the whole wide world too – and all the policy makers and political scientists can well pack up and go home. The French Revolution of the 1800s will no longer be a point of measure for studies. It will be the Egyptian Revolution of the 2011.

    Hear, hear.

    But, I am going to tread on this side of caution before I let go of my cynicism and security blanket. Not because I am a non believer in the will and determination of the people, but because I believe that the super powers that may be (both regional and International) are bigger in might and in dollars, and, even if they may seem to be singing from the same hymn sheet sometimes, they nonetheless have their own fish to fry.

    Here’s hoping anyway.

    • Ah…there it is, if the revolution does not succeed in gaining the advances that the revolutionaries in the streets demand it will be the big conspiracy of outsiders who keep them down.

      Egypt has internal issues that are completely it’s own. If it does not succeed it will because the will of the revolutionaries did not translate to the public. Because, as most American’s expect, the MB used their revolution to ride to power. Because people are more conservative Islamic than the revolutionaries care to admit.

  22. Gracias/Thank You Sandmonkey ~I appreciate your analyses. Being here in the USA and of Chicano-Latino background you help us understand better what the heck is going on in Egypt. I have been Following you from time to time and just appreciate you putting events into an understandable context. I know I speak for many humane people here in the United States in support of the on-going Egyptian liberation process and know that it is a process. Venceremos! We Will Win!
    @Peta_de_Aztlan

  23. A great and humble analysis. A revolutionary who talks to and about kids … Egypt, refreshing the old (and not so old )democrats in the western world.

    I posted the link in my german blog http://mundanestagebuch.blogspot.com/

    Keep your great work

    mundanomaniac

  24. Interesting view. It makes me remember similar days in Argentina 2001. Your Kirchner can come!

  25. More than 50% of El Minya population is Coptic Christian so it’s no surprise you found what you found. I don’t think anyone knows how strong the Brotherhood are, the 2005 elections are not a example to go by because as we all know the Brotherhood was dealing with the NDP to secure a certain number of seats. The Brotherhood have alot of money ALOT! Saudi and Qatar funding for example. They’re also a household name, an average ignorant Egyptian would probably vote for someone he/she knows rather than someone they don’t especially if that person they know is handing out jars of ghee, right?
    I kinda hope they win a majority because they WILL inevitably fail and they’ll alienate even more people thus eliminating them from the equation all together. Thats how alot of Islamist groups failed.

    So yeah optimism is great but optimism can kill

  26. Thank you very much indeed … :)

  27. “Unbeknownst to most of you, there is a new rising power in the Egyptian street and it’s not affiliated with any party of clique, and it’s called the people’s committees”

    Egyptian Tea Party?

    • For Egypt’s sake, hope not! The present day Tea Party is nothing like the original Tea Party. Today’s Partyers are more like wolves in sheep’s clothing! Oh my, is that greed hiding in the cracks of their mouths. . .

  28. Vaudree says:

    Muwahid – experience may make the metaphor more valid. In the West we have a phrase “drunk with power” and waking up the next day when one is pay homage to the porcelain god (ie the toilet) is not fun either for someone feeling omnipotent the day before.

    What is easier when one has names is that one can feel like one knows what is going on.

    Remember all the Jews and gay Muslims in Canada who fought for the rights of the people in Gaza, though. And remember the inspiration Egypt was for the whole world.

    And Stephen Harper seems to be as comfortable with reporters as Gadaffi right now. He is using the RCMP (like American FBI) to screen people from his campaigns if their facebook pages show them belonging to other parties or environmental movements and stuff like that. Seems to be following the dictator’s handbook more and more each day.

  29. One of the best

    • Yes, about the Egyptian Tea Party….

      I was thinking about what would happen if President Obama sent Governor Palin other there as a goodwill ambassador ? …. Would the Salafis run away in fear ? …. Or would meeting the Goddess of Alaska get their creative juices flowing back as it did in the 7th century AD ? …. :-)

  30. Please pay attention to what the MB is doing. The thought that they are not a major force to be reckoned with is simply false.

    They are splits, yes, but who is to say this is not part of the strategy. Already more than one party has its origins in the MB and believe it or not they are using the salafis in their bid. Who would you rather have? Anyway, here is an interesting article that shows their influence, they are shrewd and have decades of practice… use them as an example.
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/in-egypt-muslim-brotherhoods-charitable-works-may-drive-political-support/2011/04/07/AF7wWM2C_story.html

    Good luck

    • Don’t waste your breath, Kat-Mo….

      Last Friday we witnessed the real “street power” of the liberal/secular youth who came out to “save the revolution.” Today we can compare that turnout with today’s turnout that includes those same forces + MB + Salafis….

      The difference should estimate roughly how much “street strength” the secular youth movement has relative to the Islamist forces….

      Of course, I agree that the MB truly are brilliant strategists. Executing Mubarak and other NDP figures would accomplish two central goals. First, in the new Egypt where only the NDP and the MB have any grassroots organization, the MB would be the sole person left standing. Second, hanging former military generals like Mubarak, Suleiman, Shafiq, etc. so would sow sedition in the military ranks and this would weaken the army’s cohesion and grip on power….

      Its fairly self-evident, by now, that the army and the MB had reached some kind of “deal” early on whereby the MB would get off the street in return for the military recognizing them (and other Islamists) as legitimate political players. This is why for the last several weeks the MB has been urging people to stop protesting and get back to work even as the “youth revolutionaries” continued to protest.

      It is also conceivable (but not certain) that part of the deal might have included some limitations on the MB’s political aspirations (maybe limiting the number of seats they could control in the new parliament or excluding the MB from putting forward a presidential candidate).

      However, after the referendum results the MB has been emboldended and are taking a more aggressive line towards the army. Today, the presiding cleric (Safwat Hegazi) in Tahrir threatened that if Mubarak was not tried by week’s end, “the people” would take matters into their own hands and confront Mubarak in Sharm El Sheikh.

      In addition to all of this, there is the real possibility that after decades of underground grassroots networking, the MB has been able to infiltrate the low-mid level ranks of the military establishment. (After all, they have infiltrated every other major institution in the country.) And so the MB might now be betting that they can push further beyond the initial tacitc agreement with the military. And weakening the military’s cohesion is one way to gain bargaining leverage.

      Given, as well, that the military appears absolutely ineffective and unable to “take control” of the streets, its hard to see how we can turn away from the current trajectory.

      But this does offer one “glimmer” of hope *if* (and that’s a BIG if) the “revolutionaries” can get their act together. I am pretty sure that the MB threats and outright flaunting of “street power” today probably rattled some cages in the top military brass. If the “revolutionaries” can put down their placards and tone done their anti-military rants, they will effectively “withdraw” from the fight and this would force the Islamists to fight the regime *alone*.

      As the the silent majority are probabily sick and tired of all of this disruption by now, they will likely blame the Islamists for the continued instability (both economic and in terms of the growing crime wave). These dynamics, in turn, might improve the military’s view of the secular opposition forces at the expense the Islamists and this could change the political calculus…

      I am not deluding myself into thinking that that’s a “definite” outcome; but I don’t see to many other options left at this point to stem the tide. Continue to alienate and threaten the military and you will lose at the end because your “street power” simply doesn’t equate to the MB’s. If that’s the road you choose, then I would politely suggest that Gigi Ibrahim, Mona El Tahawi & Co. start shopping for burqas while they are still on sale…. that is, of course, if burqas are sold in the posh neighborhoods of Zamalek, Masr el Gadeeda and Al Maadi….

  31. TheCaliph says:

    Great article – I’ve always made a point of emphasizing that Egyptian society and its various strata and components are not monolithic. Yet – I am reminded of a comment that the (thankfully) late Kamal Ganzouri of the NDP once made to a fellow Minoufi acquaintance of his who asked about his prospects following remors of a party purge: “Ni7na zay al ahramat. Al bilad 7at fuut will nas 7at muut wi ni7na 7anib2a hinna” – “we are like the pyramids – the country and the people will pass away and we’ll still be here.” This was a chilling echo of the zeitgeist of 90s Egypt but it also emphasized the pyramid structure of society… the party… and the army. While the Egyptian army is made up of individuals – officers and enlisted men alike – at the top there is a core, the apex of which is represented in today’s Supreme Council. They may be a vestige of the past but still control the levers of power. Revolution within the army is a little trickier than in other domains. A citizen may revolt but the equivalent act by a soldier is viewed at best as insubordination, but much more likely as desertion and treated as treason. Today’s events has seen that monolith begin to crack, but as any tourist to Upper Egypt knows, a crack may presage crumbling by millennia. The top people in that group have too much to lose and many will fight to protect their gains and their secrets. Let’s hope that the majority of disenfranchised officers can help that transition be a peaceful one.

    On the Sadat issue – I have tried to get my head around this for a while and would ask the following question based on the version I have heard: why would the Saudis want to back the killingof a presdient for making peace with Israel, only to support a man who has been a greater friend to them?

    Finally – on the optimism/pessimism balance… We are all exhausted, yet giddy with excitement. The events of the last several weeks have opened up a world of possibilities and hence also lost possibilities… Rising expectations create the greatest disappointments, but the next day, like innocent children, we all wake up and hope for a new day. I would rather the naive innocence of a child than the loss of hope and cynicism of a generation that never thought they would get their country back.

  32. Point #3…Islamists take over Egypt’s revolution

    I believe that just happened. The moment you stood in front of embassy as the moment you through away the revolution. You can always congratulate yourselves for standing up to the evil Jews.

  33. Lets hope you’re right…. many commentators believe that Hamas believes differently than you do though!
    They’re getting better weaponry now across the Rafah border which is apparently now wide open and they believe they have nothing to lose shooting laser guided rockets into school buses as either there will be a war which will elevate the Brotherhood in Egypt or they can continue killing Jewish kids and shooting at bright yellow school buses with better equipment now coming across the border and eventually Israel will respond harshly which almost get’s them as good a result as #1… and either way they get to kill Jews with impunity -
    Which I personally believe they revel in but that their end game is a war which will bring a 2 front war with Hezbollah WHICH WILL -
    1) Elevate unity with the extremists in each Arab country
    2) Dampen any rebelling against Hamas in Gaza
    3) Destroy any liberal’s chances in Egypt and elsewhere
    4) Once again “”unite”" the Arab world with the only thing they agree on – hating Jews and israel…

    I hope I’m being exagerratingly cynical – BUT I UNFORTUNATELY DO NOT THINK SO!

    Mike

  34. مقالة عقلانية جدا.
    أهنيء الكاتب لإتساع رؤيته البانورامية.
    ومن الممتع مشاركتنا له لهذه الرؤية الدينامية الجدلية لوضع مصر الديناميكي في وسط علاقات متشابكة داخليا و خارجيا بل و متفجرة كقنابل موقوته كل واحدة منها تنظر فقط ما ينشط زنادها
    لكن يسعدني عرض رؤية من عالم مغاير لا يقل متعة عن هذه المقالة الرائعة

    http://cornseeds.blogspot.com/2011/03/blog-post.html

    Google translation .

    Really A Very rational article.
    I congratulate the author of the panoramic breadth of his vision.
    It is interesting to me sharing him his vision for this dynamic dialectic of the dynamic development of Egypt in the middle of networked relationships internally and externally, and even explosive like time bombs, each of which waiting only the activating of its own trigger.
    But I am pleased to offer a different vision of the world no less fun for this wonderful article.

    http://cornseeds.blogspot.com/2011/03/blog-post.html

    http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=ar&sl=auto&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fcornseeds.blogspot.com%2F2011%2F03%2Fblog-post.html

  35. Mohamed Zaki elsewedy says:

    The article is very well done and I think next article we need to share ideas together how can we really participate by giving examples in order to reach the real people

  36. Love your blog! Seeing the Egyptian Revolution unfold was an amazing event. Thank you for keeping me up to date as to Free Egypt’s future!
    I have posted a link to you on my blog at http://Worldathon.wordpress.com

    All The Best,
    Jeffrey Warren
    Worldathon

  37. Perfect analysis…. I like the content…it’s an optimistic view and attitude that we should all adopt. Or else there is no sense in all of this. Nevertheless….there are many people out there not having enough stamina…they freak out too quick and get discouraged. The youth…being bold and in a larger number has to always maintain pressure and keep the spirit.
    God will be always on our side.

  38. Hanan Badr says:

    thanks Sandmonkey for proving that rational analysis exists among the revolutionaries too….especially after Bloody Friday events we need more rationality instead of demagogy….

  39. RANIA shahin says:

    Finally someone can write optimistic valid points… Love this article will publish

  40. I totally agree with many points in here … good point

  41. It would appear not everything so rosy in Egypt as SM describes.

    —————————–

    “Egyptians march on Israeli embassy

    Arab newspaper says protestors burned Israeli flags, handed out fliers calling for third intifada to be held on Nakba Day.”

    ….

    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4054175,00.html

  42. Hussein says:

    Aiwa keda shokran…..enough of the elitism and scaremongering…really sober
    Thx

  43. Mohamed Fouad says:

    Superb. You did sum it up perfectly dude!

    Keep spreading this sunshine…

    We need more of you for this optimism to turn into reality!

  44. and a beautiful day to you too

  45. nadia nashid says:

    This is the most. Logical. Written word. Thank you

  46. Dear all,

    To what extend are the current ‘revolutions’, directly and indirectly, caused or aggrevated by overpopulation? In many Arab and African countries 50-60 percent of the population is younger than 20-25 years.

    I really hope things work out well for everybody involved. Which includes us in Europe, where many refugees and ‘refugees’ seek shelter or new fortunes.

  47. Optimism is good. But you also need is a new vision…..

    Alright. I apologize for the length of this post but I am deeply troubled by the events of the last 24 hours and want to be constructive for a change…

    First of all, I tip my hat to Mahmoud Salem (aka Sandmonkey) for his attempts today to defuse tensions between the army and the protestors. It took courage to take a step back from the brink and I applaud him for that.

    I’m also frustrated and apologize if my comments haven’t been more constructive in the past.

    I agree with many readers that *all* of us need to regain a sense of optimism. However, optimism alone will not win this battle. My personal view (take it or leave it) is that the movement also needs to review its fundmental strategy, vision and tactics.

    It is all too tempting to look back at the day President Mubarak resigned and believe that “street power” is always solution. “Just show them more determination and they wil cave in, for we accomplished the impossible against all the odds.” It was, and remains, trule euphoric.

    But the world has changed since then and so have the facts on the ground. For 30 years, President Mubarak ruled Egypt with an iron fist. The corruption, economic stagnation, lack of basic freedoms, etc. all contributed to a “pressure cooker” that was about to explode at any moment. All you had to do was just lift the side of the lid ever so slightly, and this baby was going to explode.

    But for many Egyptians, the regime WAS Hosni and Gamal. Now that he has gone, you voted on a referendum, you now have term limits and you will have free parliamentary and presidential elections by the end of the year…. for many Egyptians that was a “regime change.” Many look around and see their livelihoods destroyed, rampant crime and are shocked that they can’t even send their kids to school because some (self apppointed) students think they have the right to disrupt campus life and block other students and teachers from going to class… While many might have stood with you on Feb 11, they now question what all the fuss is about – you did, after all, get the “democracry” you were callling for – and they are becoming increasingly angry. And your ever beligerent shouting matches aren’t winning you any favors….

    What I’m saying is that as the world changes, you also need to be flexible and adjust your tactics accordingly. Consider how the MB has survived as viable political force since 1928 despite decades of brute repression. Consider how their rhetoric today has changed to suit the changing times. They didn’t survive by clinging to one tactic no matter what….

    Today, I think you seriously need to question whether the brute force of “people power” has become something of a drug that in the begninning got you feeling mighty and high but now is starting to show its long term abuse side effects….

    Besides adapting to the changing environment, it might also be worthwhile to consider vision and strategy. Big wars aren’t won’t by fighting every single battle no matter how trivial….

    Let me take a concrete example from the past, not to dwell on the past, but to illustrate a broader point.

    Some weeks ago the youth movement had put their war against Ahmad Shafiq at the very top of their agenda. Day in and day out “Shafiq out” was pretty much the headline news in protest banners, interviews and on Twitter…. Now I understand the psychological reason for wanting him out.

    And yet as I witnessed all of this I was thinking to myself: doesn’t the army ultimately pull the strings? Isn’t Ahmad Shafiq just a figurehead? If that’s true then why would he be materially different from any other person in the same role? Isn’t Shafiq on his way out in 6 months anyway and what’s the difference as long as elections are free and fair?

    [In retrospect, you now have Essam Sharaf and his cabinet proposed to ban protests and the crackdown in the last 24 hours happened under his watch. Was that Shafiq battle really worth almost 2-3 weeks of your undivded attention when other matters still lingered?]

    Most important in my mind was the critical question: is Shafiq the *most* important issue now to fight so publically about? Isn’t the question of early elections more fundamental when we have to build political insistutions from scratch?

    Sadly, it was only a week before the March 19 referendum when the youth leaders started to raise the question of early elections but by then it was too late – they had wasted so much time focused on Ahmad Shafiq’s 6 remaining months that they missed the *real* setback to their democratic cause which was early elections without time to prepare….

    Or consider the last 24 hours. No doubt many of you are angered and outraged and you want to see Mubarak pay for his crimes. And I understand that for many people that’s an emotional issue. But does that really advance your *strategic* goals for a more democratic Egypt? Is that goal worth further hostility with the military? Is that goal more important than continued pressure on the hasty timetable for upcoming elections and the process by which new political parties are born?

    As I mentioned in an earlier comment, the Mubarak issue is more central to the MB’s overall strategy. But for you, it is more symbolic than strategic. Looking at the last 24 hours, I’d say that’s too high a price to pay for a largely symbolic demand that doesn’t advance your fundamental aim for more democracy and more pluralism.

    I think it is worthwhile for *all* of you to take a break from Tahrir Square for a few days. Have a meeting amongst *all* the factions and try to unify all your forces behind a *long term* strategy with a *long term* vision for how to make Egypt more demcractic. Discuss whether you can appoint leaders who are delegated specific responsibilities. Discuss whether you can turn the military into an ally rather than an enemy…..

    The last thing I’ll say: at this critical juncture, you don’t have much more room for error. Make sure you weigh your actions *carefully* and make sure that *every* tactical risk that you take is properly weighed against the *strategic* benefit it will bring. You can’t afford too many more screw-ups from here…..

    • These are wise words. You are patriotic to add them to monkey’s blog, given how often you disagree with him and oppose him.

      I hope others takes this wise advice to heart.

  48. Vaudree says:

    “So, what do we do? We are in a catch-22 now. And all of our options suck!”

    First, that shows a lack of imagination. Second, you will be finding yourself in that position again and again in the years to come, so get used to it. If the doors are blocked, used the windows, if the windows are blocked break down the wall and create a new door – metaphorically, of course. When a writer writes about there being nothing left to write, readers know to expect something big – that writer’s block is because the next piece is incumbating in the writer’s unconscious. Same with tactics. If you want to speed up the process, remember that there is no situation that you can find yourself in that has never happened before.

    Always have an option 4) – the one you have not thought of yet.

    Never underestimate anyone or count them out – even as you may be trying to convince others to count them out. That said, your article was (and, despite recent events) still excellent!

    “We need to understand that just because an army officer starts a mutiny & says he is with us, doesn’t necessarily make that true!”

    The reason you won the initial stage of the revolution was because there was a pre-existing rift in the Military and the upper brass would rather support you than see the Military break into two, like it did in Libya. The upper brass were happy with Mubarak. Whether it is in your interests or not, these defectors see this T guy as their Mubarak. I am very suspicious that one of the defectors was such a good speaker that the tweets were raving about him, which indicates to me that the guy may have had political aspirations. Hey, if Marc Emery can see himself as a political prisoner because he was procecuted for his political beliefs (being the Leader of the BC Marijuana Party, at the time of his arrest), it makes sense that these guys see themselves the same way and would presume that you would do the same for them as anybody else picked off the street. The expected too much of you guys and may see themselves as the next Wael Ghonim – they may be delusional, but, hey, you can’t just stick up for those you like or trust.

  49. Vaudree says:

    Note some of the Toronto groups which supported this year’s Israeli Apartheid Week (proof that you can’t choose your friends!):

    Barrio Nuevo
    BASICS Free Community Newsletter
    Canadian Arab Federation
    Caribbean Studies Students’ Union (UofT)
    Centre for Women and Trans People at UofT
    Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid
    Educators for Peace and Justice
    Environmental Justice Toronto
    Equity Studies Students’ Union (UofT)
    Faculty for Palestine
    Graduate Geography and Planning Student Society (UofT)
    Graduate Students’ Association (York University)
    Greater Toronto Workers’ Assembly
    Health Studies Students’ Union (UofT)
    Independent Jewish Voices (Toronto)
    International Socialists – Toronto District
    Labour for Palestine
    Latin American and Caribbean Solidarity Network
    Moyo Wa Africa
    New Socialist Group
    No One Is Illegal – Toronto
    Not In Our Name: Jewish Voices Opposing Zionism
    Ontario Coalition Against Poverty
    Ontario Public Interest Research Group – Toronto
    Ontario Public Interest Research Group – York
    Palestine House
    Public Health Social Justice Committee
    Queers Against Israeli Apartheid
    Ryerson Free Press
    Salaam, Queer Muslim Communities
    Science for Peace
    Sikh Activist Network-York
    Socialist Project
    Toronto Bolivia Solidarity
    Toronto Coalition to Stop the War
    Teachers for Palestine
    Toronto Free School
    Toronto Haiti Action Committee
    Toronto New Socialists
    Graduate Students’ Union – Social Justice Committee (UofT)
    Ugnayan ng Kabataang Pilipino sa Canada/Filipino Canadian Youth Alliance
    University of Toronto Students’ Union
    Upping The Anti
    Venezuela We Are With You Coalition
    Women and Gender Studies Students’ Union (UofT)
    York University Free Press

    Our media sponsor is rabble.ca

    http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/krystalline-kraus/2011/02/activist-commiunque-toronto-israeli-apartheid-week-2011

    Note that Judy Rebick (aka JUDES) was one of the founders of rabble.ca – though it is now being run by Libby Davies’s common-law wife Kim Elliott.

  50. RE: “The use of the word ‘apartheid’ by Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) in its characterization of Israel is patently false and deeply offensive to all who feel a connection to the state of Israel,” the letter reads.

    Those who felt that connection would be offended. ;)

    Someone put an anti-Egyptian Military song on line. Someone tagged it. Whether you agree or disagree with it, it shouldn’t have been tagged. Major Shoman and Tantawi are both Army – meaning that the Army is not (and wasn’t) the unified entity we have been treating it as and is probably as fractured as the MB.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c-rIKrX0_W4&skipcontrinter=1

    You don’t care much for a stranger’s touch
    But you can’t hold your man and you can’t hold much
    And when it comes down to the end
    You can’t tell your enemies from your friends
    But ain’t it better than being alone, ain’t it better than being alone

    … no

    Who knows who is friend or foe right now
    Thus, one is loyal to ideals – that certain actions are wrong no matter who does them. If torture is wrong, then it is wrong not matter who is tortured. If kangaroo court Military trials are wrong for your friends, they are wrong for your foes also.

  51. God bless you man .. you boosted some positive energy in all of us :-)

  52. Thank you, Sandmonkey, for your posts. I do hope your optimism is inspired by realism and not really Utopianism…
    Anyway, it feels good to know that it is still possible to imagine the world as you do in today’s Egypt. You may be wrong in you analysis, but you are quite right in your beliefs.
    All the best for you and friends!

  53. Thank you Sandmonkey for that article , it totally agree with and i have to say you are the first one to mention about the people `s committees , lot of people need to read your article i guess the power of bloggers like you will emerge in the new Egypt too , thank you

  54. I really believe in most of what is said in this article except for some bad expressions.

  55. Hadeel Arfeen says:

    That’s just GREAT !
    I have to say a big THANK U .. cuz i was severely depressed over the past week .. and that article really helped me to re-think .. and I wanna publish the ideas but can U translate it to arabic ? .. or can I translate it to arabic with all your rights reserved of course ?! .. Cuz really that deserve reading =)

  56. If you can’t get on the Daily show – why don’t you try getting on The Hour! George Stroumboulopoulos is a good host.

    http://www.cbc.ca/strombo/

  57. Heba Makhlouf says:

    your article is inspiring. I like all the info and the way you wrote it. I could disacgree with a few points but still all in all i like it. Chapeau! :)

  58. While all you are busy celebrating the politics of revenge and patting yourselves on the back for essentially bringing the Muslim Brotherhood/Salafist alliance one step closer to dominating Egypt, at least all of this has confirmed a long held suspicion that I had. The weak and ineffective military leadership – that can neither establish any kind of rule of law nor resist the shouting mobs – probably should get back to running their local bread factories and pizza delivery joints as soon as possible….

    Meanwhile, the Muslim Brotherhood are getting ready to take credit for the revolution YOU inspired.

    http://www.sys-con.com/node/1791474


    [...]

    In striking new interviews, leading figures within the 83-year-old Islamist group reveal how it kept popular support and stayed organized despite being officially banned for the last 60 years.

    [...]

    “There was a national state of emergency which made it difficult for young Egyptians to meet. So they resorted to working underground or socializing online by using Facebook, Twitter or Yahoo,” said Sherif Abdel-Rahman, a 20-year member of the organization. He claims that 70 percent of the registered members of the Facebook page that helped ignite the protests were members of the Muslim Brotherhood.

    [...]

    As always, WELL DONE!

    P.S. I never opposed (and, in fact, share) the youth revolution’s goals for a more democratic and freer Egypt. However, I think their tactics, strategy and priorities are often upside down….

  59. I just read this:

    “Cairo (AsiaNews) – Al-Azhar will only resume talks with the Holy See after an apology from the Pope, who was accused of criticizing Islam following an attack against the Coptic Cathedral in Alexandria last January 3. As much was revealed in an informal meeting between Ahmed El-Tayeb, Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, and Michael Fitzgerald, Vatican ambassador to Cairo. In the meeting, which took place yesterday in Cairo, the Muslim leader said that relations between the two religions are normal, but demands an official apology from the Pope, as a condition to restarting any dialogue between Al-Azhar and the Vatican.

    “It’s not fair to ask the Pope for an apology – says a source, anonymous for safety reasons – because he never insulted Islam, he just asked for the protection of Christians wherever they are, as is his duty.” The source points out the dual position held by the authorities of Al-Azhar, which on one hand demand an apology from the Pope, but still want to be seen as the moderate face of Islam. “The Vatican – continues the source – must be firm on its positions and ask the imam of Al-Azhar the reasons for an apology and where the error of the Holy Father lies. Al-Azhar should instead explain why there continues to be violence against Christians in Egypt before it demands excuses”.

    According to the source, the relationship, viewed as courteous in the past, were in fact ambiguous. “Islamic leaders – he says- have always imposed a dialogue of superficial courtesy with the Church, in this way avoiding discussing or addressing contentious issues and problems encountered between Christianity and Islam. Now the Vatican is aware of the situation and is not afraid to adopt a more firm and rigid stance. ”

    The Jasmine Revolution and the fall of Mubarak has highlighted the confusion and instability within Egyptian Muslim society, teetering between secular and democratic movements, radical Islam and the risk of a new military regime. According to the source this would in part explain the contradictory attitude of Al-Azhar.

    “The Egyptian Muslim world – he says – is currently very divided. At Al-Azhar, there are contrasts between the positions of Ahmed El-Tayeb and other imams with scholars of the university. In turn, Al-Azhar is at odds with members of the Muslim Brotherhood, internally divided between the hard line of the older members and the young reformers. The contrast also exists between the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafist movement, who clash on many topics. ” The source says that these divisions could clarify the positions and currents within Islam, the result of contradictions within the Koran and the absence of final authority in the Muslim world.

    The military government, currently guarantors of stability, is an expression of this confusion. The source says the arrest of Mubarak and his sons, which took place today, is a device used by the army to regain the popular consensus, lost after the violent repression of demonstrations on April 8. “The military – he says – want to show they are still part of the population, attacking Mubarak and dispelling the doubts of collusion with the old regime.”

  60. Hello,

    The army doesn’t need to take over the country because it already is running it, and in a way that has every characteristic of a dictatorship: arbitrary arrests, torture, censorship, political prisoners, beating of peaceful protestors (and occasional killing)…

    Elections cannot be free nor fair in such a climate of fear, and that is if they ever happen…

  61. rebecca kaminski says:

    Wow.

    How incredibly uplifting!

  62. MB: We want *all* NDP leaders “arrested.”

    http://www.almasryalyoum.com/en/node/399060


    [...]

    “It was the least thing the government could do,” said group member Sobhi Saleh. “They need to arrest all governors and local council leaders as well.”

    Saleh said there would be a new million-man demonstration on Friday now that Mubarak and his sons have been arrested.

    [...]

    Ask yourself this:

    Do you think “all” these former figures are criminals? Remember that the MB and the NDP were really the only games in town and even an honest person who wanted to serve needed to pick one of those two parties.

    Alternatively, could the MB *possibly* have a hidden motive besides “justice and rule of law?”

    Why does the military only respond to your demands when they happen to coincide with the MB’s demands? How come all your “other” demands – election timetable, presidential council, arbitrary arrest of bloggers, etc – are simply ignored?

    How is a pacifist like Maikel Sanad arrested and assassins like Abboud El Zomor are released?

    If you can’t see the obvious by now, then I’m afraid Egypt is in for some rough seas ahead…..

    What this suggests to *me* is that we have an extremely weak military that is divided with some leaders trying to resist dictates from the MB/Salafi alliance and preserve a more “level” political playing field and others who are conspiring with them. The more “street power” the MB/Salafis can muster (and the more *YOU* help them) the stronger the latter forces within the military become.

    The military only has so many “presents” waiting under the Christmas Tree. And they just gave you a BIG box today. But this also means that by accepting this present, it will be increasingly difficult for you to seek other (more important) presents in the future – election timetables, new political parties, new constitution, freedom of press, etc.

    You are running out of tricks and time!

    Politics is a dirty game. And sometimes denying your opponents a strategic victory (even though you might agree with your opponents on that issue) is necessary for *your* survivial. I wouldn’t advocate that in general. But you are in a “tough spot” right now and you need to fight for *your* survival …..

    That article above suggests that (possibly) there is a power struggle going on within the divided loyalties of the military and the Islamists. For *your* own sake, step back and don’t give the MB/Salafi the necessary “political cover” to continue to exploit the situation. If they are the *only* ones shouting, their political credibility will suffer in the eyes of and ever sick and tired public.

    Alternatively, some have suggested (like Ayman Nour) that you try to build an alliance with the Islamists and share the political pie together. That is your choice, of course. But given the dishonest and downright manipulative tactics the MB/Salafis have played against you so far, I’d at least think carefully before proceeding down that road.

  63. @Sandmonkey, best analysis of Egypt I have read yet. Keep educating the masses…doing a great job.

  64. What you are missing is an unopposable cocktail of all 7 – woven together in an unprecedented entanglement of present and past conspiracies :P

    • Con ,when Carine says “amazing” to what is she referring? I think it must be the Irish in you!

    • i am very confused: I quote’how is a pacifist like Mackel Sanad arrested and assassins like Abboud El Zomor are released etc etc.” If the army is weak and there is a split how then should we be “afraid for them” and not of them?
      It is true that the army as an awful lot on its plate to cope with but that doesn’t justify the breaching of civil rights law.Can somebody explain

  65. Amazing!

  66. Yousry Nasrallah says:

    Great analysis. You really should get someone to translate your blogs to Arabic and have them published in a daily paper. It might put a lot of the shit we read in perspective.

  67. You were fantastic on CNN’s John King. I had been reading you for a long time and was even more impressed to finally see you and I’m quite sure I’m not alone in this.
    We will be seeing and hearing you very often to explain how you see things developing in Egypt. I genuinely thank you for sharing your thoughts and insight.

  68. samy okasha says:

    Sandmonkey, you are a perfect example for the so called elites in Egypt. out of touch with the general population (78%), who blindly imitate the West and who do not adopt many of our cultures values, such as respect for the elderly and decency. I am disugusted by you and by your fellow internet addicts who destroyed my country. Americans will never invest in your country because they know it will always need a strong leader and your western style democracy will never do this. You blamed everything sick about egyptians on mubarak. typical immature idiot i swear. please wait because teeezak kebret men kheer mubarak

  69. sam/PRAY, it works says:

    Yes, Egypt is in transition. Everyone must plod ahead TOGETHER, for Egypt, for all the generations to come. What has been won must never be lost. No dictator can ever set up in Egypt. All Egyptians have human rights AND responsibilities. Along the way in transition turn to God. He is there ever willing to help.

  70. “Hundreds (in some non-english languages MSM talk about tens of thousands) of hardline Islamists and members of the fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood have blocked railway lines and roads to protest the appointment of a Coptic Christian governor.”
    I understand that islamists are getting weaker day by day so it must be that “middle-of-the-road”, “non-islamist” Egyptians are protesting.
    Right. SM?

  71. Is the banning of the NDP in Egypt a sign of increasing or decreasing strength in the non-Islamist movement?

    http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Middle-East/2011/0417/Court-order-to-dissolve-Egypt-s-NDP-deals-body-blow-to-old-power-structure

  72. I don’t know, so I’m asking. How accurate is this report?

    http://gatewaypundit.rightnetwork.com/2011/04/stunner-radical-islamists-groups-are-gaining-stranglehold-in-egypt/

    It sounds to me like the Islamists in Egypt are doing fine. June is less than 45 days away.


    • The military-led government already faces accusations that it is bowing to the surge in support for the Muslim movements, something that David Cameron warned of in February when he said Egyptian democracy would be strongly Islamic.

      Interesting…

      It helps when your Chief of Intelligence doesn’t confuse the Muslim Brotherhood with the other, “largely secular,” motley crew of men with long beards, otherwise known as the Texas Hillbillies.

      I don’t think we know the answer to your question yet.

      But two key developments are now unfolding that might give us clues about which way the pendulum is swinging.

      The MB/Salafist alliance is orchestrating a wide ranging political/character assassination campaign against potential political rivals.

      In the last few days, these forces have been unleashed against the newly appointed Coptic Christian Governor of Qena Province and the current liberal/left-leaning Deputy Prime Minister Yehya el Gamal. It appears that Zahi Hawass was another target but he is a relatively small fish.

      [As an aside, as I dig deeper into this there is increasing evidence that these character assassinations are premeditated and are aided and abetted by a highly skilled cadre of the MB's internet savy sympathizers and apologists. For some time now I have been wondering how, as Egypt stares into the economic and political abyss, such "peripheral" issues like Zahi Hawass receive such disproportinate share of twitter/internet traffic.... But more on that later....]

      More importantly, Masry Al Youm is reporting that the MB and Salafis in Qena who are demanding that the Christian appointee be replaced by a Muslim now have the “balls” to threaten that they will cut off clean water supply to the Red Sea Governates and cut off all electricity to local factories.

      How the army responds to this direct challenge will give important clues about how cohesive and disciplined this military is and whether they will enforce “rule of law” and control mob rule or whether they will be controlled by the mobs in the streets…

  73. Pierre Alexes - Westmount, Qc says:

    Nightmares can be most shocking when one abruptly wakes up and reality hits in the face!

  74. Finally some “facts” on Zahi Hawass

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/19/arts/design/egyptian-antiquities-official-defends-fashion-line.html

    Everyone is free to read this and make up their own minds about hsi conduct. But *even if* the MB’s bullshit allegations were true, is this the most important concern facing the country and this fragile government at this time?

    When the house is burning down, are you going to preoccupy yourself with re-ordering the bookshelf?

    While you are busy conducting witch hunts and reacting to various MB crap, your food shelves are depleting. And after you’ve hanged the president and all his men tomorrow, you’ll still be hungrier the day after!

    • Why are you so obsessed with Hawass? Living in his ass?
      And he is not the “widely respected as an expert in Egyptian archeology both domestically and internationally” as you mentioned earlier, he is widely critizised domestically and internationally, and thats long before the revoltion.

      • @jen I think the point Ezzat was making, is this is not important. There needs to be a focus on important issues, and this only serves as a distraction.

  75. Interesting article, valid only until its date. Things are moving and reshaping very quickly in the region. Salafis are closing ranks with extremists in face of the majority: the moderates in Egypt.

  76. Impressive writing, very sound and optimistic ..

  77. Shekeeta says:

    SM, thanks for an amazing, insightful and comforting analysis. In the part regarding the political parties (myth #4) ,You mentioned that there is now a coalition that is being formed that you think might have a huge effect in the coming months..i really wish i could be a part of this by anymeans since i also don’t beleive in any of the current parties – or any party that is being formed in a closed room away from the people in the streets..those who actually made the revolution..anyway, in case you have any contacts for any of their members or know any details about how to actively be a part of this (like sending some details about that conference in June, well in case you have any updates..) i would appreciate if you can share such a valuable info.

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  81. MB said this:

    http://www.ikhwanweb.com/article.php?id=28368


    The group wants a civil country, he said. Erian echoed statements from the military council members that Egypt will not be ruled by “another Khomeini”, in reference to the cleric who led Iran’s 1979 Islamic revolution.

    Then now say this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PYxPgtNYD4Q

    In the above video, Senior MB Leader Kamal El Heblawy meets with Iranian Spiritual Leader Ali Khameni and glorifies “Grand Imam” Ayatollah Khomeni and Ali Khameni. He rejects Western culture and praises Iran as a “model” society for proper social values.

    A few days ago, Al Masry Al Youm reported comments made by MB Deputy Chairman Mahmoud Ezzat revealing that the MB plans to impose strict Shariah law including punishments like amputating hands of thieves and whipping/stoning to death women “transgressors.”

    This allegation was immediately denied by Ezzat who initiated a lawsuit against the paper. In response, the MAY published this audio tape of the comments confirming the statements it attributed to Ezzat. The first speaker is Ezzat and the second speaker is another senior MB leader who essentially praised the return of Islam to the state.

    http://www.almasryalyoum.com/node/404301

    It is not clear if the MB has a different story on Monday vs, Tuesday or what prompts such contradictory statements over issues so *fundamental*. (This is not “I voted for the tax cut before I voted against it”).

    It is important to point out that MB statements don’t correlate with the messenger either. For example, MB spokesman Essam El Erian has talked about a “civil state with Islamic reference” multiple times without explaining *exactly* what that means (ie, who that *specifically* differs from his definition of a “religious state”). The next day, in Shorouk newspaper, he mentions an “Islamic state” under the guide of the original MB founder Hassan Al Banna (1928).

    Which then brings me to the whole question of the “splits” within the MB and the so called “youth wing reformists.” As far as I can tell, Hassan Al Banna’s ideology is “totalitarian” in the sense that religion must govern “all areas” of public and private life (including aspects of legal, economic, business, social, and ethical life etc). What idoes it mean to say that you are an MB “reformer” and you do not believe in a religious state when the party’s platform fundamental platform is that Islam should inform “all” areas public and private?

    Some poorly trained domestic and Western journalists talk about MB youth who reject the “mixing” of religion and politics. But in that case, they are really talking about a civic rather than political platform that seeks to promote religious influence in social/communal values but does not aim to impose any religious ideology in governance.

    These youth, then, are not really talking about a “political party” in the strict sense that it seeks political power to impose laws of society as a whole (not just impose “influence”). But this raises an obvious contradiction between the meaning of “political” party versus a “social” organization that doesn’t compete in elections. The MB cannot be seriously compared to European social democratic political parties who maintain a religious “identity” since what is understood as the “domain” of religion in Western society is considerably more limited than exists in the teachings of Hassan Al Banna and Sayed Qutb.….

    [As for the unfolding events in Qena, Minya, etc, all I can say is that in any "civilized" country *any* public leader (whether religious or otherwise) who incites sectarian tension and vigilantism (especially in such critical times) would be immediately arrested and prosecuted. In most "civilized" countries, this would take precedence over the alleged "corruption" of such and such inconsequential minister of a bygone regime.]

  82. Sandm, any thoughts on a possible setup of a Constitution? what about balance of power? “Checks and balances”

    this is the #1 to a stable democracy. Without balance of power, your democracy will deteriorate to a dictatorship of 1 branch of government.

    Good luck with your revolution and with Israeli relations, the 2 nations could benefit tremendously from increased technological and economic cooperation.

  83. Tens of thousands of Egyptians are protesting the appointment of a Coptic governor in southern Egypt! Do you think something like that would ever happen in a democracy? I can’t imagine that happening in Canada or the U.S. or even in Israel. Thank g-d the Jews had already been kicked out of Egypt. I am so disgusted with what I have been reading since the so-called revolution took place. A revolution for what? To replace one dictator with something worse? Here’s another myth to add to your list, Egypt becoming a democracy any time soon.

    • Yes, and notice how criminals are being released, but the protesters are still in jail.

      Very sad and disheartening. But, we have to hope that things will turn fo the better. Right now, the minorities are the sacrifice. Hopefully the injustice will make the powers that be take notice and take action.

  84. Not so fast Karen and Mo!

    Dynamics are changing and I think moderates can still win this!

    First, my most pressing concern was the old strategy of endless confrontation with the military. But by large measure, the moderates have shifted their tactics and that’s an extremely hopeful sign.

    Second, the once hidden MB is now being exposed to the sunlight and all their contradictions are being exposed for all to see. Only today, senior MB members Khairat Al Shater and Sobhi Saleh have needed to come out and directly call for Shariah law, since all the recent media circus probably got some of their Salafi allies a bit nervous that they were getting “too secular.”

    Third, there is every indication that most Egyptians do not agree with the anti-democratic philosophy of MB founder Hassan Al Banna. And this will be become even clearer when MB politicans are asked to clarify ambiguous statements like “civil state with Islamic reference” into *tangible* and *specific* examples.

    For example, “freedom of religion,” as commonly understand, would allow anyone to freely choose their faith, even if that faith is different from their parents’ faith. MB leaders must be asked about apostasy rules since in many traditional Islamic schools or jurisprudence this offense would be punishable by death! How about cutting hands and whipping and stoning? Ask them to clarify ambiguous statements like “well, it depends on the circumstance.” In which *specific* circumstance is amputating hands an acceptable punishment? In which *specific* case should an apostate be put to death and if not death, then what are the other available punishments? Don’t let them “slide” away from being direct and truthful….

    Fouth, engage them in open dialogue and welcome them to open forums of debate. And always be respectful! Some Ivory Tower intellectuals continue to believe we should all hold hands and sing “Kumbaya.” But democratic politics doesn’t work that way anywhere in the world, not in the U.S., U.K., Sweden or anywhere else.

    Respectful debate must clarify positions and highlight areas of agreement as well as disagreement. But for you to be taken as a serious political partner, you need to build the grassroots organization and mass support such that you will be respected as a worthy/equal partner in any future political coalition. Kiddie politicians (like Ayman Nour those in the Wafd party) that today are rushing to “ally” with the MB will not be treated as serious partners. If lucky, they will get to run the garbage collection department.

    This is also to say that you should welcome ex-MB youth and others who believe that free peoples should have the right to choose their faith and marry the person of their dreams….

    Fifth, there are any number of new “liberal leaning” political parties working at cross-purposes. You will stand a far better chance if you can form alliances together to achieve common goals and objectives. This will require compromise. And here, working closely with local community and moderate religious leaders will help introduce you to new voters and segments of the population.

    Finally, I still get the impression that many of the Cairo-centric moderates still don’t quite understand the folks in the countryside. For example, in some village towns almost all Muslim women wear hijab or burqa (and you can often tell apart a Christian from a Muslim by whether they wear a head scarf). Some of these women cover their hair under social pressure but many do so because they are convinced that this is the right thing to do. One shouldn’t imply that the latter are being “abused/subjugated” in any way. Always remember that you are trying to win these conservative voters to your side rather than allienate them!

    Connected to this last point I think that its not a good idea to develop your political platform in some closed meetings in Cairo. I would advise some of you to plan a 2-3 week “worldwind” tour of rural Egypt with a focus on the populated farming areas. Try to find out who local community/political leaders are and meet with them. Try to talk to common folk and understand what their issues are and then incorporate those into your political message and action plan. For example, the needs of rural Egypt has often been ignored in urban Cairo and there is much work you can do here.

    Good luck!

  85. Egypt is a military dictatorship. The Copts are the only true Egyptians. The Arabs need to return to Arabia. Free Egypt from Arab occupation.

    • Think about the name of the MB political party… ‘The Freedom and Justice Party”, by their own admission we know that the “freedom and justice” they refer to is in terms of muslim rule and sharia implementation. It is not freedom and justice for all. It is kind of strange and I wonder if it was on purpose… that the US national anthem ends with the phrase… “with liberty (freedom) and justice for all.” I would be worried that they are now saying things they tried to keep under the lid previously, I would say this is a testament that they are feeling more confident with their agenda and with the peoples’ acceptance of their ideology.

      I hope the seculars will win the hearts of all people. Ezzat, says the majority do not want MB/Salafist Sharia rule. But, the polls and recent referendum speak volumes as to how the majority of the people feel and how they will/can be persuaded to vote (albeit there were some instances voter improprieties). Not to mention in these outlying areas, there is more opportunity for fraud and vote rigging (sorry, just a fact of life).

      I hope that Egypt will be for “all of the Egyptians” and that it can find its way back to glory. Every day there is more news of sectarian strife, regardless of the instigator, there can be no winners until we all do hold hands and sing kumbia. People have to let go of their hatred and rage, put them aside for their country.

      Regardless of what Ezzat says and I know we don’t want to talk negatively about the army, which is really in a tight spot. I think we can all agree that past actions can not be viewed as neutral when it comes to sectarian strife. The most important thing though is that they are not a part of it. That is what we hope is the truth.

      Egypt for all Egyptians, should be the mantra.

  86. What’s hot for prom A Line prom dresses

  87. @isa.
    Your comment us quite silly and unproductive. We know that being a Muslim in Egypt does not discount one from being a descendant of the ancients.

    @ezzat:
    Think about the name of the MB political party… ‘The Freedom and Justice Party”, by their own admission we know that the “freedom and justice” they refer to is in terms of muslim rule and sharia implementation. It is not freedom and justice for all. It is kind of strange and I wonder if it was on purpose… that the US national anthem ends with the phrase… “with liberty (freedom) and justice for all.” I would be worried that they are now saying things they tried to keep under the lid previously, I would say this is a testament that they are feeling more confident with their agenda and with the peoples’ acceptance of their ideology.

    I hope the seculars will win the hearts of all people. Ezzat, says the majority do not want MB/Salafist Sharia rule. But, the polls and recent referendum speak volumes as to how the majority of the people feel and how they will/can be persuaded to vote (albeit there were some instances voter improprieties). Not to mention in these outlying areas, there is more opportunity for fraud and vote rigging (sorry, just a fact of life).

    I hope that Egypt will be for “all of the Egyptians” and that it can find its way back to glory. Every day there is more news of sectarian strife, regardless of the instigator, there can be no winners until we all do hold hands and sing kumbia. People have to let go of their hatred and rage, put them aside for their country.

    Regardless of what Ezzat says and I know we don’t want to talk negatively about the army, which is really in a tight spot. I think we can all agree that past actions can not be viewed as neutral when it comes to sectarian strife. The most important thing though is that they are not a part of it. That is what we hope is the truth.

    Egypt for all Egyptians, should be the mantra.

  88. To democrats in Egypt. You are in an all or nothing game. You beat the islamists or you are dead. The West will not welcome you, there will not be any refugee status, no asylum, no immigration to a secular country, at least as long as you remain muslim. Islam is going to destroy Egypt, we will no allow it’s stench to further corrupt our societies, the muslims already in the west will be expelled, they have proven themselves unfit to live with civilized peoples, and deserve nothing but the most barbaric treatment. Fuck the muslim, and his filthy religion.
    Secularists win or be destroyed your choice.

    • These comments are baseless. Islam like all religions is open to interpretation. People like you show your ignorance and lack of respect. Please keep your hateful thoughts to yourself.

      • The self-delusion muslims labour under is profoundly tenacious, One if not the most influential element in their society, enough so it gives it’s name to an entire civilization, and still the tired old “it’s just like any other seligion” canard is trotted out, and the critic is accused of mythical “ignorance.” It is blatantly obvious to every one else on the planet that the problem with the islamic world is…weight for it …islam. In the entire history of islam have muslims known anything other than absolutists, civil strife and tyranny. Even your “rightly guided” caliphs, how many were assassinated? Muslim countries wallow in stagnation, corruption, and backwardness, the cause islam. Many different ethnicities united by islam, the same conditions crippling their societies. Go out and compare the biography of mohammed to the founders of other faiths and see the differences between islam and those religions. Ask yourselves do other religions see their founders as perfect models? and did their ideal kill and enslave, take slave girls to their beds or force themselves on other women? Do other religions demand that religious minorities live in a state knowing and accepting themselves subdued?

        Regardless your fantasies, islam is not like other religions, it’s an affliction. What can you expect from Egyptian muslims so thoroughly colonized that they think of themselves as “arabs.”. They wouldn’t know truth if it stood directly before them.and wiggled it’s ass. As far as my “lack of respect,” respect is earned, i have made an effort to educate my self on the tenets of orthodox islam as presented by muslim authorities like the assholes at al-azhar, I have found nothing worthy of respect. What respect should I have for people who do nothing but lie to themselves? What respect should I have for muslims, when the West gives the world the internet, and muslims pollute it with snuff films? What respect should I have for muslims who decry the pornography on the net, yet their countries lead in search on Google for the vilest forms of pornographic filth? What kind of respect should I have for these people? Answer none, they deserve only contempt. Horrific murders occur in the name of their religion and not a peep, some cartoons mocking their fraud prophet and they riot on the streets in their hundreds of thousands, committing foul murder. These deserve respect? fuck you worm and your foul faith, may both rot in a shitty grave, neither is worthy of “Hate” they don’t rate such intensity, they are worthy only of the contempt and pity one might have for a criminal beggar smelling of piss(the koran) and shit(mohammed).

  89. @Cameron

    Do a simple word “replace” in your text and your statement is actually no different from the statements of the extremist Salafis/Jihadis that you condemn.

    @Mo

    “Shariah law” means different things to different people. I do believe Egyptians want some religious “social framework” but most would condemn Medieval punishments like cutting hands, etc.

    About holding hands and singing “Kumbaya,” I agree with you that *all* political forces (Islamist and secular) should join hands and debate/discuss common challenges facing Egypt (the economy, law and order, etc.).

    However, what I was specificially discussing was forming *political* alliances (such as drafting joint parliamentary election candidate lists, etc.) since I think the Islamists have shown time and time again that what they say on Tuesday may not be the same thing that they say on Wednesday. And forget about Fridays!

    @youth revolutionaries

    Please excuse me for offending you. But your only *truly* viable option now is to ally yourselves with local community and business leaders (as well as moderate religious leaders) – even with some of those who were NDP card carrying members. They need your youth, energy and sophisticated/modern means of mass communication. And you need their social networks and funding. Its that simple, really – a marriage of convenience!

    Speaking frankly, you don’t have the finances to compete with the MB/Salafis and their Saudi and Iranian “dollars.” And it will be very challenging for you to build extensive social netowrks across the country from scratch in a few short months.

    Otherwise, you can keep on painting them with one brush, hunting them down and blaming them for all the ills of society. But in my view, rampant corruption was an *Egyptian* problem (for all socio-economic classes), not just an NDP problem. And I know that you know that in your hearts but won’t dare admit so publically.

    If you can bring yourselves to such level of political maturity, you might even call for a form of amnesty for the local level politicians (pending some form of full disclosure and admissions) even as you selectively prosecute some specific higher ups. Your argument should be that without this, the situation will remain chaotic, investors will stay clear and the country’s economy will not recover. Nor, will the wounds start to heal.

    Am I “optimistic” that we have reached that level of poltical maturity? No, but I can still hope.

    “I will ally myself with the Devil against Hitler,” said one famous leader a few generations ago. His words were true then and they are true now. [Of course, many youth leaders still don't see the Islamists as a real threat to the new democracy and continue to argue that this fear is just the old scare tactic of Mubarak and the U.S. I am afraid they are about to be proven wrong.]

  90. Excellent article!

    I love your optimism although your realism!
    From my side I cant wait to see what Egypt will be in 5-10years! We’ll see how this revolution was made by and for the people, for real!
    I remember until recently when I was having news from Egypt (I live abroad, and I am also half-Tunisian, so I have to share my time within the 3countries), news were always worrying, sad… now here and there, true it is not an easy period and there are still clashes, but sometimes you get so good news, you just get so proud of your country :-)

    I think our most decisive move will be building a social Egypt, pure political issues are good, but there must be also a social-economical revolution… I think we should work hard on issues like imposing minimum wage, target self-sufficiency in some vital food supplies (weat, vegetal oil) and decentralization of industry…

  91. I tend to agree that the MB is pursuing a deliberate and calculated strategy.

    They have been trying for some time to get rid of the relatively moderate leadership of Al Azhar (the most respected institute for Islamic scholarship in the Sunni Muslim world) and replace it with more radical elements.

    http://www.almasryalyoum.com/en/node/414347

    Make no mistake. The MB and other Islamists are the main driving force behind this movement. And although this story is under-reported, it is immensely important in the long run.

    If the MB succeeds, that will be a major coup and over time a more radical Azhar leadership will surely radicalize the population at large further undermining the secular/liberal elements in society.

  92. Very informative blog. Thanks for taking the time to share your view with us

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  94. The 200 to 400 members of the mob that gang-raped Lara Logan have turn my feelings towards Egypt 180 degrees. Before her rape, I had hope and respect for a new free Egypt. However when I learned what happened to Lara and that all the “brave” revolutionaries in the crowd did nothing to help her, I decided you may have gotten rid of Mubarak, but you will never have a safe, prosperous, happy country with so many men who are either monsters like the ones who raped Lara or the others who apparently didn’t care what happened to her. It took a group of women and some police officers to rescue Lara. What kind of society lets this happen? Personally I hope the USA just withdraws from providing any aid or help to Egypt. I would hate for any of our tax money to provide anything for a country where such evil occurs. I bet no one ever is brought to justice, even if someone photographed them in the act of raping Lara. I suspect that what happened to Lara will contribute to many people deciding to NEVER go to such a barbaric place.

    I came to your site today to see if you had posted anything about what happened to Lara. You haven’t, so I guess it doesn’t matter to you.

    • @Cate,

      Let me be one Egyptian who denounces what happened to Ms. Logan in the strongest possible terms. I hope the perpetrators are arrested and face justice. I don’t know the details of the story, but this is NOT the Egypt I know, even with all its imperfections.

      As of today, too often, much of the chants of the ‘revolt’ – I won’t call it ‘revolution’ just yet – have been ‘against’ rather than ‘for.’ We hear what people want to ‘bring down’ : the president, the cabinet, the governors, the security services, the military, the local councils, the unversity administrators, private business, Israel, the U.S., the local barber, etc…. But I have yet to hear what people are ‘for.’

      A dear relative used to describe Egyptians as very generous people but with a raging compulsion for ‘heqd,’ or deep seated envy and resentment.
      So far, its been a ‘negative’ vibe rather than a ‘positive’ vibe. When the movement is ready to build rather than destroy, I think that will signal a major turning point for Egypt.

  95. Valerie says:

    Osama bin Laden is dead.

    The President of the United States just made the announcement, and also stated quite clearly that we are not, and never have been at war with Islam, and that Bin Laden murdered many, many Muslims.

    Peace on Earth to all people of good will.

  96. Regarding Bin Laden, dictators and mass murderers in general:

    It may take a some time. It may take years. We will send mixed messages. We will talk about how aggrieved all you Muslims are, fearing Islamophobia like you do….and the potential backlash from the next Muslim bomb going off…or the next Jew you kill….but after all is said and done,

    …. when it comes down to it, we will kill you and yours.

    Anyone who allies themselves with Islamic supremacism had better consider this as they move forward. And you had better believe that.

  97. valerie says:

    Jack, I wish you had placed it a little differently:

    “….when it comes down to it, if you insist on making war with us, we will kill you and yours.”

    I understood your comment that way, but I know some readers might see it as a threat to people who ought to be our allies.

  98. OK, Valerie, fair comment.

    But the fact is that Muslims have been making war on the US, and non-Muslims, for years,
    it seemed to me a ‘given’.

    Let me re-phrase: If you stupid fucking Muslims will start to realize that the reason why your countries and your cultures suck, and that the reason they suck is because of Islam, well whether you do or not, we don’t fucking care.

    But, if in order to provide a distraction to the obvious deficiencies in your own way of life, societies and culture, you continue to attack the Western World, if you continue to send suicide bombers, rockets, terrorist attacks, we will fucking kill you.

    And right now, we are considering using your own tactics, such as the equivalent of suicide bombings, indiscriminate rocket fire, etc, against you.

    • cyberstorm says:

      Jack, you could use some education yourself, and may I suggest unplugging yourself from things that hype up the wrong attitude. Your language, and ideals is one of those who spend no time and trying to understand your neighbors. Yes, neighbors! Being Muslim does not automatically equate “terrible”. There are always those who can be radical in anything – right now I see your point of view as being one of those because it sounds more like you want to see your own bravado in typing your highly arrogant point of view. If you do not take the time to try and understand – you become the ignorant.

      Sorry buddy, but you are out of line – way out of line. There are many whom do not feel, or think they way you do everywhere. I am not sure why you feel as though it is valuable to spread on that type of biased rhetoric – but it is the same kine of attitude that incites more war, more conflict and quite frankly is unhealthy period. I am restraining from using any language here that would be seen as distasteful in general, but I am finding it difficult to read your comments. You make comments as if you don’t have the ability to do your own research, or just to lazy to do so.

  99. Be fucking grateful that we sent in a Seal Team, instead of an F-16.

    And be really worried if a nuke ever goes off in Europe or the US.

    Study OUR history. When we want to, we kill each other like you pass out candies on 9/11. What went on between Iran and Iraq only comes close to what we have done to ourselves. Look what we did to Italy, Japan and Germany. You have no idea of what we are capable of. No. Idea.

    Muslims think being reasonable is weakness. You think being kind to Muslims is weakness.

    It isn’t weakness, it is pity. We look at people in the Middle East, and see what you people are capable of. As it happens, you aren’t capable of even feeding yourselves. You aren’t capable of teaching your children how to read. All of the people in the Middle East who are Muslims should be ashamed of themselves, of their culture, and their religion.

    But don’t worry. If you go out and beat up a woman or your wife, you will feel better.

    • Jack, I guess your supremacy is so much better, sounds the same to me. Kill, Kill, Kill…

      I don’t know where you are from, but if it is the USA. Ahh, remember the kettle saying, buddy. Take a good look at America. I love America, and would not choose to live any place else. However, it is not heaven on Earth. Where does America stand in the world on education? Illiteracy is alive and well in the USA! And have you visited Kentucky, West VA, just two with very, very poor people. Not to mention crime, ghettos, drugs and discrimination (regardless of what is said, we know it still does exist), etc.

      As for wife beating, we know while not acceptable and definitely prosecutable in USA, it happens and mostly to people who have no option but to take it. Please don’t be arrogant.

      And in any case, why are you posting here? This is a forum for people who want to change the status quo in Egypt.

      • I believe what Jack is trying to tell you in so many words is that we are not afraid of you, but we are afraid of ourselves.

        BTW, speaking of status quo in Egypt.
        From where I am sitting you guys are getting worst and worst by the day.
        Whether this new status quo is what you desire I do not know, but id does not look good at all.

    • cyberstorm says:

      Wow, Jack – the whole problem with this world is pretty much people with attitudes and beliefs just like yours. Not sure why you came to post comments on this forum, or under this article. It has nothing to do with your big puffy chest attitude. Yes, your ideals, attitudes and communication is exactly the example of how not to be and will be used in lesson number 2 of topic 3 of global relations. LOL

  100. egyptian police were in their way to get too the food among other things.

  101. Ezzat seems to be on target, the MB after stating no more than 30 percent are now vying for 50 percent. Next they will run a candidate for the presidency. recently I saw an article where by the people are nominating one of the MBs members for Candidacy for president. he had not yet decided whether or not to run.

    Other developments – the MB and Sheik Al-Azhar a historic meeting has occurred. In addition, the Sheik states the salafis will not be excluded. Seems there is now a united Islamic front.

    From the head of the ‘Justice and Freedom Party’ a quote : He described the platform of his Freedom and Justice party as civil but with an Islamic background that adheres to the constitution.

    I thought the constitution was to be rewritten? This is a strong indicator (along with the 50% MB bid) that there will be no secular state.

    It has been reported that sectarian strife was caused by the Coptic Pope who took office or whatever it is called in 1971, BUT, another major event happened in the same time period, and that is the amendment of article 2 to include Sharia is the source (not exact wording), etc… It was used by the regimes for more than one purpose, one of which was to keep control by inciting sectarian divisions. “united we stand, divided we fall” on all fronts.

    What is happening with SM, is he still around? Well, hopefully moving forward with Youth initiatives and not allowing all the turmoil and sectarian problems distract from the movement.

    Best of luck to you all.

  102. thewiz says:

    The MB keeps talking about being civil and peaceful.. reminds of an interview I saw in Saudi Arabia right before the Iraq war. One of the guys on the street said “Islam is a religion of peace” When asked to explain that statement, he said “When all the world is Islam, there will be peace”

    And that seems to be the attitude and agenda of the MB.

  103. Bin Laden is now in the belly of a shark and rightly so. I am interested that there are no celebrations in the middle east. Wasn’t he a terrorist and not a Muslim? Didn’t he “hijack” Islam? So shouldn’t Muslims be happy?

  104. I’d like to make a follow up comment: Leo has it right and Cyberstorm has it wrong. I was not posturing nor beating my chest.

    Anyone who can Google can verify this. When Western powers go to war, not kinetic military action, we take the entire process seriously. Like it is a job. Just a job. And the purpose of the job is to kill as many as possible, in order to hurt as many as possible, in order to prevent the rest from providing re-supply. And Western people do this very, very well.

    We have our own history of sectarian rule, and violence and eventually, we came to our senses. Theocracy is what Muslims are suffering from and here is a secret: Theocracy does not work for anyone, where ever it has been tried. And that is what Sharia is, a theocracy.

    We know this. You do not.

    When it comes to violence, you can believe all of the Hollywood crap you like…. All of those actors agonizing over how bad they feel about offending Muslims and killing people and such…but that don’t mean shit, it really don’t. Because the only most soldiers feel in that moment is recoil.

    Because the US if chock full of educated people, more than 57% of women today have BS degrees, and eventually, even a bunch of women will not over-look how misogynistic Islam really is. Or how homophobic. Or how racist. Or intolerant Islam really is. How lacking in diversity Islam really is.

    And now we have a liberal press, the Main Stream Media, desperate to give Obama credit for killing one man, when in fact he, apparently, took 16 hours, to make a no-brainer decision. Obama is the sitting US President. It was his job to give the order, and rely on better men to actually do the job. And President Obama is taking credit for what was done? He was supposed to give the order, don’t you understand? He was supposed to! And the MSM is praising him to the skies!

    There are so many people in the US who are tired of the accusations of “Islamophobia”, of intolerance, of bigotry, and meanwhile, again and again and again Muslims the world over continue to kill and maim non-muslims.

    Any rational person, looking at the middle east, looking at Islam, knows in their heart how fucked up Muslims truly are. And how Islam, and the culture it engenders, is the cause of this.

    You have to understand the point I am trying to make. Your religious freedom ends at my nose and ears. And that rule applies to your sons and daughters as well, providing they voluntarily comply with your religious edicts.

    We have up to now tried to be polite, and we’ve postured, and repeated the lie that “Islam is a religion of peace”, but we all know, just as you know, that it is not.

    Facts are stubborn things, and a free, educated population knows this.

    It isn’t posturing to say that when Western nations go to war with each other that we wage war in a total fashion. And it isn’t posturing to say that we haven’t engaged in total war with any Muslim nation. Not in Kuwait, and not in Iraq. That was kid gloves compared to what we have done when we warred with ourselves.

    Being free to choose your own life is so much better than having to obey your father’s or mother’s or uncle’s wishes, or you second cousin’s, twice removed. But as a Muslim, you won’t ever know it.

    40% of the population of Egypt can’t even read! But I bet 98% of the Coptic Christians can. What does that tell you. My guess? If you are an Egyptian Muslim, it must be a conspiracy by the Jooooos.

    Let me put it another way: You’d be surprised how quickly liberal, leftist reluctance to kill disappears when insects show up in the kitchen. And if it comes to that, we are quite happy to regard each other as insects. Do you grasp the measure of it yet?

    Where has the anti-war left gone to? Where is the coverage of Cindy Sheehan as the absolute moral authority? It aint’ like she retired. Where is all of the coverage of Code Pink, Amnesty International, etc? And what does it all mean?

    It means that it is now OK to, and please pardon the expression, kill Muslims retail and wholesale. Anywhere, anytime.

    Just like Muslims do to us. From 1 to 3000 at a time. You. Have. No. Idea.

    And mostly Muslims have no idea because Greece translated more books from English to Greek last year than the entire middle east translated from English to Arabic in the last 100 years. You don’t understand us, and it will be the death of you.

    • cyberstorm says:

      Actually Jack – I do have it right. Your view is exactly how those in the Middle East may see us, but YOU are only one opinion, and although there are those like you – there are many more that are not. You then made this about muslims. The Middle East is not entirely made up of Arab Muslims – just for an FYI. And what you call “left” in America is much different then those of the Youth in Egypt who started this revolution. It was about being treated pretty bad – as in “Police State” where your views could get you thrown into jail, or killed on the spot. There are many places where this happens in the Middle East. You don’t know that do you?

      You see, your view is very one sided. You see only from a “mouthspeak” of those who do little to understand the problem from what is really happening. There IS plenty of hate towards Israel, and a lot of problems are blamed on Israel – in the Middle East. This comes from a long time ago, and that same hatred towards Israel is why Israel doesn’t trust anyone and has become what it is today. But you do absolutely nothing in your comments but show lack of understanding the people of the Middle East – and when you do this, you do nothing but reinforce those opinions and hatred Jack. It isn’t all about Muslims. Again – the Middle East is much bigger then that. While there is a strong population of Muslims who goal is to oppress their members even more with religious views and rules to manipulate them, the Muslims are not alone in that. I know you hate to see any correlation in America’s own religious groups who prefer to manipulate their own for the very same reasons. In other words – there are radicals everywhere.

      War is war. It is never good. If you are a person in the military – your opinion would be that your purpose is to kill others. Perhaps – but you should also keep in mind that it is also to protect, and that includes those who are not fighting against you – who are only civilians and do no harm. It does not mean that those who do know harm will not be injured in killed – because we know that happens, but you do not walk around shooting and making comments with no regard to what it means to others when you do – as you did. Your attitude is not much different from those who suffer from war – who walk around in reactionary thinking – and promote more war and harm because you are infected from war. Not all do this, but surely some do.

      Now take a country that has lived thru many wars – and who has had to live under dictatorship – wear the leader controls your opinion, controls you enough to keep you poor, or at the very least unable to do more for yourself and your family. I can see you really do well with that yourself Jack and I am being sarcastic. Do not use “we” in your comments when you speak about Western Powers – there are many whom I know who do not think and act like you – even in the military. You are one step away from extreme yourself. West has changed and wants to change. Trade is more important the war – and the world is a global economy – America is not just America Economy and that goes for each country. It is not “you against us” anymore. Your opinion is exactly what we call the radical opinion because there is your way and no other way.

      Islam is not the problem here – it is the Leaders that make it difficult for their own people by trying to practice the same old ways. You have no idea of which you speak, and I can do more then just “google” Jack. Those who think they have a handle on what is going on by TV propaganda like your FOX news only hurts the worlds view of America. Now add to that the many conspiracy theories that people love and obsess over. They are in all spectrums and in every country. Some our purposely spread with the intent to manipulate – and there are plenty of those. You may be one of them, but with your lack and less savvy comment, I think you are more likely a strayed American who has been hyped up on fear so long, that you cannot possibly believe more then you do.

      Your analogy of the “left” in America is also untrue. There are many who do not want war – and condemn it. Those voices are true and are important because they need to be there to remind everyone what the goal should really be – no matter where America, or any country is – not wanting war and the deaths, injured and victims with it, is not a bad thing.

      Osama bin Laden’s death is done. It should not be celebrated because he is dead, but that more of a important part acknowledging what one man did to so many, and not just in America. He and his movement indoctrinated the poor and oppressed, while he also killed and used women to do so – and it wasn’t just America – it was everywhere. He helped put a bad face on the Muslim and Middle East population – the rest was from propaganda and fear. Easy to do anywhere – including America.

      Now – remember this. Remember what happened in America and how it made people be this afraid and reactionary. Put that same war, conflict and Dictatorship style oppression on those countries everywhere else – and you have the same. No trust, lots of fear and people reacting from it. You can then define exactly how people in America feel and place it in other countries more frequently. This is what you should understand.

      The people in Egypt may not be doing what you see as the way – but you must understand, it is their way, even if they screw up or make mistakes – it is their way. And you being from America should understand that importance and value of having the ownership of “the choice”. It might take Egypt and other countries longer to have the type of Democracy that is envision, but as it is in America – it is an ongoing process.

      To think there are people in the Middle East who do not understand what MB is, is saying they are not able to think. This is so far from the truth. While there are those who have been kept so poor and illiterate that they don’t understand what Democracy can mean for them may be true – but even those in America who are literate can be ignorant.

      Jack – if you really want to understand what is going on, you must try to understand the whole picture. That takes time and effort. Ignorance is not bliss.

    • ihedenius says:

      Jack:
      //
      And mostly Muslims have no idea because Greece translated more books from English to Greek last year than the entire middle east translated from English to Arabic in the last 100 years.
      //

      English to greek ? 100 years ? Maybe thats true. Here is what I read (Spain and a 1000 years):

      Quoted from “EnglishPressKit.pdf” version of UNDRP 2002 “written by arabs for arabs”. From the main text:
      //
      Currently, the Arab world translates only about 330 books annually, just one fifth of the number that Greece translates. Each year, Spain translates as many books as have been translated into Arabic in the last thousand years.


      The whole Arab world translates about 300 books annually, one fifth of the number that Greece translates. The cumulative total of translated books since the Caliph Mamoun, is about 100, 000, just about the number that Spain translates in one year.
      //

  105. Odins Acolyte says:

    Thank you. I was afraid you would never return after the long vacation. I have relied upon you as a sane voice in Egypt. Best wishes. Now go and be a Thomas Jefferson for Egypt.

  106. Valerie says:

    Thank you, cyberstorm.

    Jack,

    One of the things that amazed me and made me very proud of our American military is the way they turned around the situation in Iraq after the UN left and the diplomatic portion of the US government, the State Department, declined the assignment.

    In essence, we required our big, strange-looking warriors who did not speak the language to invade a country prepared to hate them, and make peace with them. Their normal mission IS to break things. And, in the process, they blew things up and busted in doors and scared (angered) the local people. After all that, then they had to convince those same people that our intentions are good and that we have a better way of life to offer to them, and ask them if they would please embrace the principles of free speech and fair elections?

    It was a learning experience, for everyone involved.

    The key turned out to be that our warriors found out that Iraq’s warriors were dedicated to protecting their homes and families. When they learned enough to know they respected the courage, sense of responsibility, and honor of the local Iraqi men and tribal leaders, it was a simple matter to learn how to show that respect. The discovery of mutual respect between our forces and the responsible adults in Iraq was the foundation of such movements as the Anbar Awakening.

    Egypt is also full of respectable, responsible adults who will be our allies, provided we have sense enough to show them the respect they deserve. It’s no accident that Mubarak stayed in office so long, despite the growing corruption in his government and the unprofessional behavior of the local police. Every time there would be popular disapproval for the very real flaws in his government, he would point to Iran, and to Lebanon, and to Fatah, and say “do you really want to risk being like them?” And the people of Egypt kept deciding they’d put up with the ills they had, than let the Muslim Brotherhood and other nuts have a chance at making things worse.

    You are responding to an advertising campaign by the Muslim Brotherhood to convince all Muslims that they have a religious duty to kill their neighbors and conquer every square inch of land that was ever ruled in the past by a “Muslim” regime. That’s a provision of the Hamas Covenant, and the advertising campaign has been in place since about 1986. You are allowing your view of Islam to be shaped by perverts.

    I don’t blame you for taking them seriously because they are serious. However, I warn you that, if you assume that all Muslims subscribe to that harmful nonsense, you will be unable to distinguish among your enemies and your allies. You will play into the Muslim Brotherhood’s hands. You will insult people you should respect, and you will weaken our effort to get rid of the threat posed by the Islamists.

    • Valerie; Great post! By spewing such poisonous filth; Jack is playing into the hands of the radicals. His anger may be justified but it needs to be more focused on those that deserve it instead painting all with the same brush.

      People around the world just want to be free and provide for their families. It is the few that lust for power and to control the peaceloving. It is far better to work with civil than convert them to radicals.

      • I know of only two ways of dealing with radicals.

        One would be for society prone to radicalism gain some balls and fight its illness.

        Another would be to create conditions for more radicalism in hope that saturated massed will cancel itself off like rats in a barrel.

        I personally prefer former, but I do not intent to wait for you forever for like you correctly stated I have a life to live.

        • thewiz says:

          Leo you left out another way to stop radicalism. That is to encourage the different factions to fight it out among themselves. Let them debate issues and scream and yell at each other. Permit them to blame each other for the ills that afflict their society. Make it mandatory that they select their own leaders to see if they can improve things. And then remove them if they fail in that endeavor. And continue this process until they get it right.

          In short, its called democracy.

          • thewiz,

            I do not think you offer drastically different solution here “That is to encourage the different factions to fight it out among themselves.” as an alternative to my “Another would be to create conditions for more radicalism in hope that saturated massed will cancel itself off like rats in a barrel.”.

            What is unexpected and strange however is the fact that you presume process will be a democratic one. If your radicals such hard core democrats what’s precluding them today from listening to moderate majority like yourself?

  107. thewiz says:

    Leo; I presume nothing. In fact, I fear that radicals will take over as this is a precarious situation. But democracy has a way of defeating radicals. When people have a voice in their own government, when a free press discusses all sides of an issue including the failings of its own government instead blaming the Jews or the west or the boogy man of the day,, when people can change their government on a regular basis, people become less radicalized.

    Radicalism is formed from frustration and a sense of desperation. Religious fervor can be manipulated by a tyrant and a controlled press, especially when the religious authorities are also corrupted in an unholy alliance with the tyrants.

    Even if the MB or similar group takes power, the people will have expectations. If these are not met, some may become radicalized but against the fundamentalists instead of against the west. A victory by the MB may be a very dangerous thing for them. Its easy to talk a good game from the outside but they will have to produce should the gain power.

    I see difficult times for all of the ME. I believe the MB or some other fundamental religious group will gain power for some time ahead. But then a second wave of revolution will toss them aside and a democratic movement will then take hold. It may take ten years, maybe twenty.

    So the question becomes how does the rest of the world deal with it. The rule of the west is to make sure that whoever gains power be held responsible for whatever results they generate and not allow them to blame the world for their shortcomings as has been the methodology of the passing class of tyrants.

  108. thewiz: “But democracy has a way of defeating radicals. “

    People willing democracy have a way of defeating radicals and if this is what you mean than I agree. But I also must add that people have to understand what democracy and freedom means and must be willing to fight and even die for it. Otherwise waiting radicals out may take very long and not even all that certain that it will ever happen.

    “Radicalism is formed from frustration and a sense of desperation. “

    By most part yes, but regardless of its origins if society does not allow for radicalism to flourish it will never take power. Besides, speaking of frustration and subsequent radicalization you cannot control what others think and feel, but society can and must keep its radicals at bay.

    “The rule of the west is to make sure that whoever gains power be held responsible for whatever results they generate and not allow them to blame the world for their shortcomings as has been the methodology of the passing class of tyrants.”

    I am not going to speak for entire West or whoever else, but only for myself.
    For me it does not matter how you wish to handle your internal affairs and whether you have democracy, tyranny or whatever. As long as it does not spill over it is your problem. However, if I am forced to deal with it, then I will do it in the manner of my choosing.

  109. cyberstorm says:

    Blah Blah Blah “radicalism”.

    Every country has to deal with it. You can’t go around trying to pretend that no one does have it – and you can only work to unite people. That is not easy – no matter who, what and where you are. AND there are always those who will try to incite that radicalism.

    so – that’s it in a nutshell. Period

    • thewiz says:

      cyberstorm; true there are always radicals, throughout history and in every society. But the current brand of Islamic radicalism is heightened by both its international reach and the ease of mass casualties. And it is fed by the tyranny that rules throughout the Islamic world. These angry people are fed propaganda against the west their entire lives. Every problem, real and imagined, gets blamed on the west of the Jooooos.

      In a freer society, the people will have multiple sources of info and will better see the root of their consternations. This will both mollify and redirect their anger to the true source of their problems, ei the tyrants that rule over them.. The net, sat phones, sat tv, and cell phones will help in penetrating the news block aid that has served the tyrants well until now.

  110. Sandmonkey; You need to have a huge unity rally at Freedom Square.

    I have been watching the news about the burning of the Coptic churches and backlash that resulted. Your country is being torn in two, which I am sure is part of the plan of the MB. They are expert at rising up from chaos and they expect to do so again in Egypt. They will continue to stir up hatred and violence until the society collapses so they can rebuild it in their vision.

    You need to have a unity rally to try to unite the country against this madness. The people need to stand together and face down this evil movement. It is far better to stand now before things spin out of control than to attempt to fight for democracy after all hell breaks loose. Perhaps a massive rally can turn the momentum in your favor.

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  112. People’s brain is trained to see what they are used to!

    Last week I saw a scientific brain lecture.
    The lecture experiment showed people watching magician tricks ignoring a large gorilla moving in the background.
    People’s brain is trained to see what they are used to!

    The west media and people are used to think according to western democracy and values.
    They refer to the Arab world demonstrations and uprisings as a revolution for western style of democracy.
    They fail to see that the masses are interested solving unemployment, cost of leaving, and social issues regardless of government style.

    The media interview activists speaking English that describe desire for democracy while in the background- people speaking Arabic expressed their desire for Islamic governments- such as the Muslim brotherhood.
    The people in the West and media see their own values trained brain vision. In reality that is a big chance that within 10 years the Arab countries will be lead by radical Islamist go

  113. Part 2
    The media interview activists speaking English that describe desire for democracy while in the background- people speaking Arabic expressed their desire for Islamic governments- such as the Muslim brotherhood.
    The people in the West and media see their own values trained brain vision. In reality that is a big chance that within 10 years the Arab countries will be lead by radical Islamist governments with anti western agenda and values.

    Muslim brotherhood agenda includes;
    * Islam religious conceal will monitor that the elected government follows Islamic guidelines.
    *Woman will be educated to perform Islamic home duties.
    *Christians will not be permitted to be manager on top of Muslims.
    * “A Muslim can come closer to Allah by waging jihad against all non-Muslims,Christians,Jews, atheists, in every possible manner.
    Dr. Ahmad ‘Abd about Al-Walaa Wa’l-Bara
    *Muslim brotherhood leader speech in Cairo before 1 million people
    “Hitler didn’t finish the job- The Muslims will finish the Job”"
    (BBC broadcasted this speech in Arabic one month ago)

    The ME in 2020?
    One option-Iran Islamism and Arab countries lead by Muslim brotherhood join forces.
    How to prevent it?
    People worldwide should request that parties with such ideologies should be out law!

  114. Sir, your insight into Egyptian society is unique and most helpful. But you are wrong in assuming that the US and Israel are now engaged in disrupting the process. Who stands to lose most if Egypt slides towards chaos and violence? Those very ones.
    And by the way, Amru Musa is detested by the Israeli political establishment, ever since he made the Israeli nuclear capability the central issue during his time as Arab League chief.

  115. Mona khattab says:

    As I came to the end of this blog entry I had goosebumps. Your words are inspiring and full of hope. Long live the revolution! Long live Egypt!

  116. You can’t go around trying to pretend that no one does have it – and you can only work to unite people. That is not easy – no matter who, what and where you are.