4 common Misconceptions Egyptians have

It’s the golden age of rumors and misconceptions in Egypt these days, especially with the lack of credible “unbiased” news channels or sources for information. Add that to the nationalistic wave in the country, misconceptions do not only get viewed as fact, it actually leads to bad planning, policy and actions. Very few people will attempt to clear those misconceptions now without risking to antagonizing others, but it is a risk I am willing to take, because I cannot take having the same discussions over and over. Let’s go:

 

  1. The US is not against June 30

There is a strong held belief in Egypt that the US is against the June 30th alliance and government, and is waging war against it for the sake of MB. Egyptians perceive US discussion about cutting military aid as an aggressive gesture and are meeting it with extreme hostility usually reserved to slave owners by their freed slaves (It’s that level of intensity). They are complaining daily that the US is against them and supports the terrorism of the MB, and Egyptian social media has made mocking & insulting President Obama a national past time. Despite me being for any mockery of Obama, the reality is that the US is not against June 30th at all.

Here is what the US cares about: for Egypt to be run by a ruler that can stabilize it, and will form a government that makes their relationship look good. The very contradictory reactions the US regarding Egypt comes from two reasons 1.) The lack of any real foreign policy regarding Egypt and the Arab spring for that matter, and 2.) The legal conundrum they are facing now because of us. US law dictates when a military removes a democratically elected leader that is considered a coup, and any aid going its way must be stopped. In reflection of the facts, yes, the military did technically remove Morsi and is now holding him in a location even we, the people who revolted against him, do not know (you do not have him held captive in your basement, do you?), so the situation is meeting the legal definition.

The US administration, which is required to uphold its laws, has no actual choice but to cut the aid, and in order to avoid doing so, it has done impressive political gymnastics in order not to call it that. Watching the new and impressive ways they use to avoid using the “C” word in its statements and press conferences has become my latest guilty pleasure. My favorite moment was when in a recent press conference, a State department spokesperson’s reply to the question if the US has determined whether or not what happened in Egypt is a coup was, “we have determined we don’t need to make a determination.” Read that sentence again. Admire its beauty. It’s glorious.

Even after the violent disbursement of Rabaa and the clashes that day with Morsi/MB supporters and its death toll, which surpasses the daily death toll in a country like Syria at its worse day, the US still refuses to use the C word or cut the aid. The only thing they have been doing is push for a political solution to the problem, which would have to involve a reconciliation or truce deal with the MB, because it doesn’t want instability and would like us to help make the U.S. relationship with our country continue to make them look good or not embarrass them, which a)we are not doing at all and b) doesn’t seem to be one of our priorities, and the worst thing they came up with as a response was to cancel a joint military exercise. What’s worse is that they are bending over backwards for Egypt, despite facing media and political scrutiny for it, and they are not getting any leverage or credit for it. The friction we are seeing are simply the byproduct of a renegotiation of the terms of the special relationship Egypt has with the US, and the Egyptian government is initiating it. It’s that simple.

 

  1. There is no Giant global conspiracy against us

There really isn’t a global conspiracy against us; Europe is concerned because of the death and the overthrow and jailing of a “democratically elected” President, but they will not move beyond being concerned. Even in the UN Security Council’s special session on Egypt, the statement admitted that both sides of the conflict (i.e. government and MB) are using violence and called for mutual de-escalation. This means the UN is not buying the “peaceful warriors for democracy” narrative that the MB is producing, but also cannot condone the almost 700 dead in one day of conflict either, because it is a horrifying and indefensible number, so they went the route of balance. They are not happy with the high death toll and they will not condone it forever, which is important if you would like their tourists back, and you should: your economy needs it.

That being said, Turkey and Qatar are truly against us, so is any and every branch of the MB the world over, so you are not being completely paranoid here. I also hear that Iran and the Taliban are not pleased with us either. It is ok though, I think we can afford that.

 

  1. The International media isn’t in the MB’s pockets

Egyptian social media is filled with posts, pictures and videos that either a) hate the biased international coverage, or b) is comprised of videos or images with a message that we share this in order to “show the international media” the truth. The reason? The perception that international opinion provides excessive support for the MB, which develops at times to the belief that the international media is in the MB’s pockets. Their proof? The lack of coverage of the MB’s violent acts and that they are portrayed as peaceful protesters getting killed by the state. “Why is no one supporting us?” They protest, in complete denial that this is primarily their own fault. Oh yes. It’s true.

You see, in order for the international media to showcase your side of the story, you actually have to have a side of the story. Your new state needs to have a solid case why it overthrew the old one, which , fyi, is not being made in anywhere. For example local media, instead of doing pieces that document and explain why the population revolted against Morsi and his rule, is instead going with a simplistic narrative of nationalism vs. terrorism, and doing a remarkable job sensationalizing it. If they have zero intentions of being unbiased, which seems to be the case, they should try to explain and set in stone why the MB rule was undemocratic and criminal. It is not hard: An investigative piece on all the people arrested/killed/maimed by the police or MB during the Morsi reign, a 5 minutes video showcasing the attacks on Christians or the disdain for religion cases, a report on every single journalist or media personality that got persecuted by the Morsi presidency or their supporters, a short documentary stating all of the violations and crimes that the Morsi regimes committed, or maybe explaining the perils of theocracy and why we should never ever toy with its idea again. Hell, a simple you tube video explaining how we got here and what are the lessons learned will do at this point, and no one is doing it locally. Imagine what effects it could have on the international level.

To make matters worse, we are naturally engaging in our favorite national pastime of xenophobia, and are therefore becoming increasingly hostile to foreign journalists, who by the way are getting harassed, beaten and killed while doing their job. And naturally they find that the safest place for them to operate is within the marches of the pro Morsi protesters, because they actually want them to tell their side of the story, and are not projecting their own feelings of disappointment or anger towards them, like the June 30 crowd does. Also, foreign media journalists are more likely to cover protests in Cairo than cover what’s going on in the governorates, where Morsi supporters crimes are apparent, so all they see is clashes with protesters, from the side of the MB, and this is what they report.

Here is how you can remedy this: 1) Make your case clear, and it cannot simply be the MB are terrorists or criminals- detailed concise arguments would be nice, 2) Utilize every chance you get to make the case, and don’t waste an opportunity to do so. The Mostafa Hegazy presser today was a perfect example of a wasted opportunity, where he had all the media’s attention, and instead of making the case against the MB using videos, images, details, names and facts, he opted for generalized narrative. The man is an excellent speaker and handedly survived a very hostile press conference, but he should ‘have made the case and provided proof. Someone has to.

Finally, 3) BE NICE TO FOREIGN JOURNALISTS. If you keep attacking or insulting them, they have every incentive to not listen to you. Stop your xenophobia and embrace them as people who are simply trying to do their job in a very dangerous situation, instead of being part of the danger against them. If the people won’t do it, then the state should. Why aren’t foreign journalists being embedded with security forces during dangerous situation? This way they can finally tell if a) the police started the attack or the Morsi supporters and b) if the other side is armed, because it will be shooting in their direction. Simple things, really, but they will make a difference. It ‘is a war of narrative, and the MB are helping the narrative writers in every way they can, and you are either insulting them, demonizing them or attacking them. Not very smart, no?

 

  1. The War on Terror will not end this way

There is a reason why everyone is wary of the “war on terror” narrative, for a very simple reason: Wars on concepts cannot be called wars, because wars end and wars on terror don’t. You see, wars on concepts or ideas definitely do not end with bullets, they end with a counter idea that exposes or defeats the idea. What is your counter idea to Islamism/MB ideology? Whoever does not agree with you is a traitor and should be killed? Yeah, not a very good one, especially against Islamists, who are generally ok with dying for their beliefs.

So you can go ahead and think you can kill your way out of this conflict, and you may succeed to end all major confrontations with a high body count within the month (and become known as butchers for it).However, sooner rather than later you will start facing incidents that pop up everywhere, with a few dying here in an explosion, and a few dying there in a drive-by shooting, and it will not stop and you will never be safe. It will not always be the MB behind the killings, but rather the family members/friends of the non-MB Morsi supporter who got killed in one of the clashes / jailed for wanting to defend his vote and sees you stealing it and persecuting him for it.

The danger of what ‘is happening is not the MB going underground and starting a terror campaign, but that those supporters or their family members get radicalized to such a degree that he/she will resort to random violence. And in case you haven’t noticed, the MOI , besides being indefensibly ruthless in their actions, it ‘is also not in the best to fight this or provide the minimum semblance of security. Exhibit A) the burnt churches. Exhibit B) the burnt museums. Exhibit C) Their own police stations that they can’t defend and Exhibit D) your neighborhood where you no longer feel secure.

So please, start demanding a clear strategy to manage this conflict and the security situation, and don’t feel ashamed to do so, since this is your life and future we are talking about. Also, if people tell you the strategy is to eradicate them, please remind them that if the MB are only 80,000 people., Not only will it take a genocide to kill them all, you will also have to kill their friends and relatives, which is a whole lot of killing, and that is if we discount that there is the internet, where ideas can live forever. So, while its prudent to face those who use violence against you with violence, it is imperative not to help them recruit or win supporters. While many of the police are engaging in life or death battles and heroics to protect you, many of them act in a criminal manner and we should be able to hold them to account. Your best weapon against the MB is to create the state that they could not create, one of diversity, accountability, human rights, civilian rule and against corruption and nepotism. Only such an idea can one day end this war.

عن البلاغ المقدم ضد محمد مرسي بتهمة اهانة رئيس الجمهورية

توجهت اليوم على غير العادة إلى مكتب النائب لعام لتقديم بلاغ ضد الرئيس محمد مرسي لارتكابه الفعل الفاضح العلني وإهانة رئيس الجمهورية، وقد طالبت في هذا البلاغ بفتح التحقيق مع السيد محمد مرسي لارتكابه هذه الجرائم، وضم البلاغات المقدمة من رئاسة الجمهورية ضد أفراد بعينهم بتهمة إهانة الرئيس لهذا البلاغ. وأعلم جيداً أن البعض قد يسخر من هذا البلاغ، والبعض الآخر قد يرى أن هذا البلاغ أتفه من آن يتم التعامل معه بالجدية الكافية نظراً لوجود مخالفات اكثر جسامة من المفترض أن يتم التحقيق مع رئيس الجمهورية بشأنها مثل التعذيب أمام قصر الاتحادية وانتهاك القضاء. ولكنني أتفهم بالرغم من كل شيء هذه الرؤية، ولهذا قررت كتابة هذا المقال لشرح أسباب تقديم البلاغ والتأكيد على أن طلب التحقيق مع محمد مرسي فيما ارتكبه من مخالفات لا يستدعي السخرية ولا يجب النظر إليه كأمر تافه وغير مهم، الحقيقة ان هذا البلاغ هو رد رمزي للمشكلة الاكبر التي سوف نتطرق لها و التي بسببها تقدمنا بهذا البلاغ ( اهانة مرسي للرئيس مرسي) و الذي يعتبر رمز لشعب مصر و بالتالي اهانة الشعب المصري.

ولكن تفهم أسباب البلاغ تحتاج أولاً لتفهم السياق السياسي الحالي وتوقيت تقديم البلاغ. في الفترة الأخيرة قدمت عدة بلاغات ضد مواطنين من إعلاميين، وصحفيين، وكتاب بتهمة اهانة الرئيس من خلال عرض تصريحاته، وانتقاد لغة خطابه، والتعليق على أداؤه الحركي. ونتيجة لانقضاض رئيس الجمهورية على السلطة القضائية، وقيامه بتعيين نائب عام بطريقة تخالف القوانين والأعراف وتهدر من هيبة القضاء، قام النائب العام المعين بموجب إعلان دستوري يفتقد للشرعية بتشكيل نيابة جديدة تسمى نيابة حماية الثورة، ويكون من اختصاصاتها التحقيق في تهم إهانة رئيس الجمهورية. ومن المنتظر أن تبدأ اليوم محاكمة صحفيو اليوم السابع بتهم إهانة رئيس الجمهورية بعد ثورة قامت من أجل وقف مثل هذه المحاكمات. ومن ثم، فمن يرى أن هذا البلاغ هو نوعاً من العبث، فهو بالضرورة لا يقدر حجم العبث الذي تتعامل به سلطات الدولة الثلاث (تنفيذية، وتشريعية، وقضائية) مع الشعب.

شئنا أم أبينا، محمد مرسي هو الرئيس المنتخب لمصر، وهو يمثل الشعب والثورة والدوله بعد تقلده أرفع المناصب بها. وبالتالي فالرئيس محمد مرسي ملزم بما يحتم عليه منصبه من واجبات. وبما أن رئيس الجمهورية منصب عام يمثل ملايين من شعب مصر، فمحمد مرسي مسئولاً على الحفاظ على هيبة هذا الشعب وهيبة المنصب الذي يمثله. فمن المتعارف عليه سياسياً أن الشخصية العامة تكون هناك قيود على تصرفاتها وتصريحاتها، فما يسمح به للشعوب لا يسمح به بالضرورة للرؤساء. ولكن ما فعله محمد مرسي أمام رئيسة وزراء أستراليا لم يراعي فيه الحفاظ على هيبة هذا الشعب وعلى الآداب العامة التي اتفق هذا الشعب على احترامها. وبالرغم من أن ما فعله محمد مرسي من ملامسة لأجزاء حساسة في جسده علناً هو فعل يقوم به البعض في مصر، إلا أن هذا لا يجعله فعلاً مقبولاً من رئيس جمهورية، كما أن استخدام محمد مرسي لمصطلحات قد تحمل إيحاءات جنسية مثل “يعملوا حاجة غلط في حارة مزنوقة” لا يليق بخطاب وهيبة رئيس جمهورية. فكيف يمكن أن تعلم ابنك أن لمس هذه المناطق من جسده علناً مرفوض إذا كان رئيس الجمهورية يفعل ذلك على الهواء بكل أريحية؟ وكيف يمكن لأسرة مصرية عادية تحرص على الآداب العامة أن تشاهد خطاباً لرئيس مصر دون أن تصدم من استخدام الرئيس عبارات خادشة للحياء، اترضاه لأسرتك؟

ويستوقفنا في تهم إهانة الرئيس الموجهة من الرئاسة ضد أشخاص بعينهم، أن هؤلاء الأشخاص لم يقوموا بفعل ما هو أكثر من عرض تصريحات وتسجيلات للرئيس دون المساس بمحتواها. فمن قامت الرئاسة بتقديم بلاغات ضدهم لم يرتكبوا أكثر من عرض ما يفعله مرسي بكامل إرادته، وهو ما يعني أن من يقوم بإهانة محمد مرسي وينال من هيبة رئيس الدولة هو محمد مرسي نفسه. والجدير بالذكر أن ما كان يصدر من الرئيس المخلوع من سقطات إعلامية كان يحدث في لقاءات ودية، وليس في زيارات دولية وخطب رسمية مثلما فعل مرسي ولم يعتذر عنه.

والأخطر من ذلك أن ما يرتكبه مرسي من أخطاء لا يؤثر فقط على هيبة رئيس الجمهورية، بل هو ينال أيضاً من سمعة مصر على المستوى الدولي. ولعل ما ارتكبه مرسي من أفعال كملامسة جسده والتي أدت لموجة من السخرية من رئيس مصر على التليفزيون الأسترالي، أو ما صدر عنه من تصريحات كتشبيه السياسة الدولية بالمكرونة الاسباجتي، أو قوله أن فيلم كوكب القرود من أكثر الأفلام المؤثرة التي شاهدها، ولكن محمد مرسي ذكر مشهداً لم يكن موجوداً بالفيلم في الأساس. وقد ساهمت مثل هذه الأفعال والتصريحات في حصول محمد مرسي على أعلى نسبة رفض في استطلاع مجلة تايم، فقد صوت ٢ مليون شخص ضد اختيار مرسي كشخصية العام، وهي أعلى نسبة رفض في تاريخ هذا الاستفتاء وضعف النسبة التي حصل عليها بشار الأسد الذي يقوم بقتل شعبه يومياً منذ ما يقرب من عامين، أو وجوده ضمن قائمة أسوأ خمس رؤساء في استفتاء مجلة فورين بوليسي. فما ذنب المواطن المصري الذي شعر بالفخر بعد الثورة ورفع رأسه عالياً بين دول العالم لكي يدفع ثمن ما يرتكبه مرسي من اهانات في حقه؟ ما ذنب الثورة؟

وإذا ما نظرنا لكل ما تم ذكره على سبيل المثال وليس الحصر، نستطيع أن نرى المشكلة الحقيقة والتي كانت السبب الرئيسي وراء تقديم هذا البلاغ، وهي ببساطة سوء الأداء. وسوء الأداء هذا لا يقتصر على أداء محمد مرسي كرئيس للجمهورية، ولكنه يمتد لأداء حكومة محمد مرسي، ومستشارين محمد مرسي، والنائب العام الذي جاء به محمد مرسي. فهناك سوء أداء في قرارات محمد مرسي، وبسبب سوء الأداء يقوم القضاء بإلغاء هذه القرارات لعدم قانونيتها، واستكمالاً لسوء الأداء قام مرسي بمحاولة للالتفاف على الضعف القانوني في قراراته من خلال تحصينها بدلاً من تحسينها، ثم يستمر مرسي في الأداء السيئ من خلال تبرير تحصين قراراته لمواجهة مؤامرة يقوم بتدبيرها أربع أشخاص غير معروفين ، فمرسي قرر اللجوء لإعلان دستوري قمعي أدى لانقسام الشعب لمواجهة هذه المؤامرة المزعومة، وكأن مصر قد خلت فجأة من كل الأجهزة الأمنية المناط بها مواجهة هذا النوع من المؤامرات. وهذا السوء في الأداء بدأ الشعب المصري أن يستشعره في إدارة الشئون السياسية والاقتصادية للدولة، ولكن الشعب المصري يواجه الآن حقيقة عدم امكانية الاعتراض أو الاحتجاج أو التظاهر ضد سوء الإدارة دون التعرض لخطر الحبس بموجب قانون حماية الثورة، وبعد كل ذلك يحدثوننا عن هيبة الرئيس!

فالهيبة مثلها مثل الاحترام، تكتسب ولا تعطى أو تؤخذ أو تنتزع بأحكام قضائية أو إعلانات دستورية. نحن أمام رئيس أصر على تمرير دستور يقر دوراً للدولة في الحفاظ على الآداب العامة ثم يقوم بارتكاب أفعال وأقوال تنال من هذه الآداب. نحن أمام رئيس أقسم على احترام القانون ثم ضرب بهذا القانون عرض الحائط. نحن أمام رئيس ندرك جميعاً سوء إدارته للبلاد ولكنه يطالبنا بالرغم من ذلك بعدم الاعتراض حفاظاً على هيبته، فعن أي هيبة تتحدثون؟

من أجل هذه الأسباب قمت بتقديم البلاغ الذي أعلم جيداً أن النائب العام لن يقوم بالتحقيق فيه لأنه لا يحقق في البلاغات المقدمة ضد الرئيس أو أهله وعشيرته، ولكن لكي يكون هناك معنى بناء لما فعلته، سوف اقوم بتقديم بعض النصائح للرئيس محمد مرسي لعله يستمع.

  • -          المجهود المبذول لإفزاع الناس و إقناعهم بعدم إهانة الرئيس بتشكيل نيابة  حماية  الثورة ومحاكمتها للمتظاهرين والمعارضين يُعد إهداراً للمال العام ولن يؤدي إلى استقرار الأوضاع، حيث أن منع أي أو كل وسائل  التعبير عن الرأي في ظل سوء الأداء الحكومي مستحيل عملياً، وسوف يؤدي إلى تطرف وعنف الدولة والشعب في غنى عنهم. الاسهل والأوقع هو تنفيذ الرئيس لواجباته بالشكل الجيد الذي  يحفظ هيبة الرئيس و الرئاسة لأن الاحترام والهيبة تكتسب بالأداء وليس بالبلطجة . من الاخر يعني, امشي عدل يحتار عدوك فيك.
  • اقترح على الرئيس جديا  الالتزام بشهر من التدريب على  الخطابة والبروتوكولات الدبلوماسية وكيفية التعامل مع الإعلام على أيدي ذوي الخبرة في هذا الشأن، ولو لزم الأمر الاستعانة بخبراء ممن ينتمون للنظام البائد فلن تكون هذه مشكلة، فنحن نعرف من تعيينات محمد مرسي أنه لا يمانع أن يعمل معهم.
  • اقترح على الرئيس تغيير طاقم المستشارين القانونيين الذين يعملون معه ويورطونه بسوء أداءهم، واستبدالهم بأهل الخبرة وليس أهل الثقة، فطاقم المستشارين الحالي فشل حتى في إصدار قانون ديكتاتوري (قانون حماية الثورة) يكون خالي من العوار، فارتكبوا أخطاء في الصياغة حين قاموا بذكر أبواب من قانون الإجراءات الجنائية غير موجودة من الأصل في القانون، بل هي منصوص عليها في قانون العقوبات الجنائية غير المذكور في قانون حماية الثورة، ومن لا يعرف الفارق بين قانون الإجراءات الجنائية وقانون العقوبات الجنائية من غير الممكن أن يكون خبيراً قانونياً في المقام الأول.
  • وأخيراً، أطالب الرئيس بالحد من تحدث كل من خيرت الشاطر ومحمد بديع في شئون الدولة، حيث أن ظهورهم المتكرر يؤكد الفكرة المنتشرة أن السيد رئيس جمهورية مصر العربية هو في الحقيقة الرجل الثالث في تنظيم دولي، ويرأسه على الأقل الشخصان المذكوران. فإذا استمر الوضع في المنطقة مضطرباً سياسياً، قد يجد أعضاء القوات المسلحة أنفسهم في حالة حرب تحت قيادة قائد أعلى لا يعرفون إذا كانت قراراته نابعة من المصلحة الوطنية أو من الالتزامات الدولية لجماعة الاخوان المسلمون.

سيادة الرئيس محمد مرسي، أنت رئيس مصر. عليك أن تتفهم معنى ذلك جيداً وتكف عن إهانتنا.

صيغة البلاغ

السيد المستشار / النائب العام

تحية طيبة و بعد,

مقدمه لسيادتكم /

ضد السيد /محمد مرسي و الذي يشغل منصب رئيس الجمهورية
حيث انه فى ظل دستور يعد من مكتسبات الثورة ايدته الاغلبية الجامحة من جموع الشعب المصرى فاصبح وثيقة ثورة الخامس و العشرين من يناير التى وقفت ورائها القوات المسلحة الى أن أنجبت أول رئيس مدنى منتخب و الذى أصدر قانون حماية الثورة ممن يحاول العبث بتلك المكتسبات و الرموز.

نلتمس من سيادتكم
إجراء التحقيق الجنائي في الاتى‏:

اولا: الفعل الفاضح العلنى:‏

انه فى يوم الخميس الموافق 27 سبتمبر 2012 عرض مقطع فيديو –مرفق بالبلاغ- للرئيس محمد مرسي يلمس أجزاء حساسة من جسده خلال لقائه برئيسة الوزراء الاسترالية جوليا جيلارد.

‏ و قد نصت المادة 278 من قانون العقوبات‏ على أنه “كل من فعل علانية فعلا فاضحا مخلا بالحياء يعاقب بالحبس مدة لا تزيد على سنة او بغرامة لا تتجاوز ثلاثمائة جنيه”.

و حيث أنه بقيام السيد الرئيس بذلك السلوك المتضمن عمل مادى أو حركة أو اشارة من شأنها خدش حياء الغير يكون قد توافر الركن المادى للجريمة .

كما ان الفعل الفاضح العلني يتطلب بالإضافة إلى توافر الفعل الفاضح المخل بالحياء توافر عنصرى العلانية والقصد الجنائى, يكفى قانونا لتوافر القصد الجنائى فى جريمة الفعل الفاضح المخل بالحياء أن يكون المتهم عالما بأن فعلته من شأنها أن تخدش الحياء أما عن شرط العلانية فقد أوتي بالفعل اثناء لقاء رسمى تناقلته وكالات الأنباء المحلية و العالمية وصفحات التواصل الاجتماعى.

و حيث أنه لا عبرة بالباعث على الجريمة و أن ما تم عرضه فى ذلك المقطع يتنافى مع ما للمجتمع المصرى من عادات و تقاليد لذلك نلتمس من سيادتكم سرعة اتخاذ اللازم قانونا.

ثانيا اهانة رئيس الجمهورية:

و ذلك من خلال بعض الأفعال و الأقوال و التى من شأنها الإخلال من شأن رئيس الدولة:

حيث صدر عن السيد الرئيس الفعل السابق ذكره و الذى علق عليه مذيع القناة الاسترالية العاشرة

قائلاً: “إنه يبدو وكأنه يحاول أن يثبت نفسه في اللقاء”، على حد قول المذيع.

و حيث استخدم السيد الرئيس عبارات فى خطابات رئاسية تحمل دلالات جنسية مثل قوله: “يروحوا فى حارة مزنوقة علشان يعملوا حاجة غلط” مما يتنافى مع تعاليم ديننا الحنيف و يؤثر سلبا على احترام رئيس الجمهورية.

و حيث انه أدلى لصحف عالمية وللتلفزيون المصرى بتصريحات تمس الرئيس نفسه, تجلى ذلك فيما اعقبها من تعليقات ساخرة بعضها مسىء على صفحات التواصل الاجتماعى و في مقالات و رسوم كاريكاتير مرفق بعضها بالبلاغ .

ذلك و قد اصبحت تصرفات رئيس الجمهورية مثار سخرية الرأى العام و هو ما أقرته ضمنيا مؤسسة الرئاسة فى بلاغاتها المقدمة ضد اشخاص تتهمهم بالمساس برئيس الجمهورية لقيامهم بعرض مقاطع فيديو من خطابات الرئيس نفسه أو استعراض تصريحاته.

 و حيث ان إهانة الرئيس كما عرفها الفقه القانونى هى: كل فعل أو لفظ أو معنى يتضمن المساس بالكرامة أو الشعور أو الإخلال من شأن رئيس الدولة.

‏ و قد نصت المادة 179 من قانون العقوبات‏,‏ علي أنه‏:-

يعاقب بالحبس كل من اهان رئيس الجمهورية بواسطة احدى الطرق المتقدم ذكرها.

لذلك، حيث أن الأفعال السابق ذكرها يعاقب عليها قانون العقوبات وتخالف نص الدستور حيث نصت المادة 11 من الدستور على:-

“ترعى الدولة الأخلاق والاداب والنظام العام والمستوى الرفيع للتربية والقيم الدينية والوطنية والحقائق العلمية والثقافة العربية والتراث التاريخي والحضاري للشعب وذلك وفقا لما يحدده القانون.”

حيث تعد اهانة رئيس الجمهورية من الجرائم التى تختص بها نيابة حماية الثورة حيث تقع ضمن الجرائم المنصوص عليها بالباب الرابع عشر من الكتاب الثاني من قانون العقوبات و قد نصت المادة الرابعة للقانون رقم 96 /2012 أنه “تختص نيابة حماية الثورة أو من يندبه النائب العام أو أعضاء النيابة العامة بالتحقيقات في الجرائم المنصوص عليها في المادة الأولى من القانون وكذلك الجرائم التالية: الباب السابع والثاني عشر والثالث عشر والرابع عشر من الكتاب الثاني…

لذلك نتقدم لسيادتكم بهذا البلاغ ، لطلب:

1- ضم البلاغات المقدمة من مؤسسة الرئاسة ليتم نظرها كوحدة واحدة مع هذا البلاغ.

2- فتح تحقيق عاجل مع السيد: محمد مرسي ، والذي يشغل منصب رئيس الجمهورية لارتكابه الفعل الفاضح العلنى و اهانة رئيس الجمهورية ، لعقابه طبقا للمواد المذكورة ، مع رجاء إفادتنا بما تم في هذا >البلاغ ، باعتبار مقدمى البلاغ أصحاب صفة ومصلحة كمواطنين مصريين يبغون حماية الثورة و يخشون أن تهان رموز الوطن.

وتفضلوا بقبول وافر التقدير و الاحترام.

Happy New Year, Infidels!

“Those who speak of Bankruptcy are the Bankrupt ones”

So Said Morsy to thundering applause in his speech to the newly-appointed-already-Illegal Shura Council, as he laid out his vision on the state of Egyptian economy. I couldn’t suppress my laughter as I watched him say this from a café in Heliopolis, nor could I suppress my falling on the floor holding my belly from laughter as I heard him talk about how great Tourism is doing, and how, for the first time, our debt is only 87% of our GDP. Only.

Morsy is hilarious. It’s an undeniable fact. He is even more hilarious when he gets exposed.

That same day, as if on cue, the Central Bank of Egypt issued a statement stating that the financial situation is, to put it mildly, catastrophic. The Tourism Board heads and Hotel Owners flooded the TV Channels, talking about how low the reservations are, and how they are not expecting any new tourists for another quarter. Highly anticipated news reports of untapped wells filled with Tourists in Sharm ElSheikh, Hurghada, and Luxor did not materialize, unfortunately. Wherever those tourists are, they sure are hiding those sneaky bastards, with the help of the lying god-less media, of course.

Two days prior, the Central Bank of Egypt issued a Bond Sale that got cancelled because no one bought anything, thanks to the new credit rating for the country that has put it in the same economic league as Greece. That same day, Pakistani President Ali Asif announced that his Party will not allow the implementation of the “Egyptian model” in Pakistan. And yesterday, the Egyptian pound plummeted against the dollar, reaching its lowest official level in Egyptian history, with people not being able to find dollars in exchange offices to replace soon to be worthless Egyptian pounds.

But we are the bankrupt ones.

Egypt is about to face an economic nuclear winter, a crisis the levels of which are unprecedented and for which the current government is completely and totally unprepared for. Interestingly enough, this is happening just as the Sharia Constitution has gloriously passed, and Islam has finally strengthened its foothold in the land of the Pharaoh –worshipping infidels. God will surely send manna from heaven at any minute now, given that this depraved atheist country has finally seen the light and the way. After all, our President is a praying President, and one day this country will see the glorious economic stability and advancement of similar non-oil-wealthy Islamic states like Afghanistan, Somalia and Sudan. Praise Allah and hide your dollars.

In other news, in a much ignored segment in Khairat AlShater’s press conference during the constitutional referendum “Fitna”, the country’s real President said and I quote “Production needs to be resumed, investments revived, and those businessmen who have escaped abroad must reconcile with the government and come back. But how can I do that without legislation? This is why we need the constitutions to be passed, so we can elect a parliament and issue that legislation and start working.” In another interview, a government official stated that they are about to start the “final 5 year development plan” that Mubarak’s regime put in place. When asked why they are using Mubarak’s plan instead of the MB fantastic Renaissance Project, he ignored the Renaissance project and said that the Mubarak plan is a great plan and should be implemented. I guess that the Renaissance project and the 200 billion dollars investments that were coming with it were more phantasmal than fantastic after all.

But we are the bankrupt ones. Indeed.

Personally, I see no reason why the MB government should reconcile with evil Islam-hating businessmen, not should they hold a national dialogue with the immoral Allah-hating opposition on the economy. I personally recommend the President instead stick to his Islamic economic vision, and hire the next government fully from the Islamist camp. I recommend the appointment of Hazem Abu Ismael as the Minister of Justice, Mohamed Hassan as Minister of Finance, and Yasser Borhamy as the Minister of Tourism. Those are the best people for the job, since they all pray and have beards. Who needs economic policy, or education, or experience, when you have Quran- memorizing men running the country? We will see immediate results. Allah willing.

I also recommend that all of you non-islamists to keep your decadent evil ways and not repent at all. I believe you should keep your bankrupt ideas and useless education to yourselves, and maybe go to other God-hating countries to join them in their orgy of sin. Also, please don’t buy from MB owned businesses or hire Islamist leaning employees if you voted no to the constitution; you don’t want to pollute their God-approved payroll with your devil-worshipping money. After all, the unprecedented prosperity that the Islamist rule will bring in any minute now will surely bring stability and will not end in a hunger revolution two months maximum from now. I, being from the bankrupt evil immoral wicked minority, am already jealous and envious of the glorious path ahead of us, and of the unprecedented love and hugs that Morsy will get from people all over this country. Jealous and envious I tell you. Just like those damn Christians and their evil Church.

Happy New Year, Infidels!

The Powers That Be

It’s hard to keep your sanity in Egypt with everything that is going on these days. As the Battle for Egypt’s rule and future drags on into its second year, it’s impossible not to feel exhausted, especially that the pace of events keeps getting faster and faster. The feeling that you are in a car that is driven by an inept driver who is too busy arguing with his “backseat driver” to notice that they are about to hit a dead-end is one shared by many. That’s why there is an eerie silence in Cairo and on the social networks these days; the people feel that there is a storm coming; a storm of many forces preparing for a final showdown. In the middle of all the battling Powers that be, two men stand firm in the eye of the storm, causing the state of flux that is taking shape: A Salafi disqualified presidential candidate called Hazem Salah Abu Ismael, and A young 25 year old Hero, called Sayed Moshagheb.

…………………………..

It’s hard not to disengage from reality when observing or experiencing the Egyptian revolution; through it we have lived all of our Hollywood cinematic fantasies. The story-arcs we have experienced so far in this theatrical saga include the following: inspirational peaceful revolution, Romantic comedies, Family drama, generational conflict, human rights struggles , Gang warfare , vigilante society, Courtroom drama, political thrillers, Media Thrillers, Freedom of Speech battles, Tales of Corruption & deceit, Zombie attacks (as far as the police’s point of view is concerned), Religious persecution, election sagas, and now we are entering the civil conflict & civil war section. All of this, in two years that also included a man who wrestled with a lion, 4 churches that were attacked / burned because a woman left her husband, and the brave tale of one man who, in retaliation for their killing of an Egyptian soldier on the border, climbed a 10 story building to capture an Israeli flag off of the embassy, a moment hailed by all as a great victory against the Zionist entity, to the point of giving him a hashtag, and an apartment for free as a reward to his great achievement. Yes, I forgot to mention that we also do absurd comedy.

There is, however, one man, who seems to be misplaced by the producers of our insane saga. A man, who truly belongs as a villain or a leader of a science fiction post-apocalyptic movie, and has the personal army of followers to prove it. A man whose first name literally translates to the following words: Firm, steadfast, resolute, tough and gritty.

A man called Hazem.

…………………………………

In the realm of the Salafis, things are not going well. They are currently at war, and are fighting for their lives on all fronts: The local Media, the international media, the police, the army, the revolutionaries, the NGO’s, the independents and the Felool – the whole world basically- seems to be against them. Sure, they have their own media and Sheikh’s, but they are nowhere near as effective as the impure whores of the secularist media. They could launch horrid attacks (using Quran, profanity, ridiculous hyperbole) on the channels and with all of their Sheikhs’, and then comes Bassem Youssef and destroys it all in less than an hour, without using a single profane word. Even the Mosques, their undisputed domain, their source of power, are being invaded by those secular demons when the Sheikh’s try to use the sermons for political guidance. To have Adballah Badr cornered in a mosque is one thing, but to have Al-Mahallawy, the great symbol, the man Sadat mentioned him as an enemy by name in the 70′s, cornered in HIS mosque as well? What is the world coming to?

What makes matters worse is the amount of internal divisions taking place on their side thanks to that half-assed islamist constitution that they have to sell, not thanks to the cursed Muslim Brotherhood. This constitutional draft is nowhere near the kind of constitution they envisioned, and many in their camps are becoming vocal about how this is not even close to being the Sharia constitution; not to mention the Jihady salafis, who didn’t only attack the constitution for that reason, but attacked the whole concept of elections & referendum as anti-islamic to begin with. On top of all of this, the Sharia constitution gets a 44% No vote in the first phase and ends up with a total No vote of 37%? No to Sharia is almost half and to win in three states, including the capital? With all of the tricks that the MB pulled to rig it? Nope, things are not good at all. The situation is terrible.

And then there are the antics of Sheikh Hazem…

Very few of the secularists saw Hazem Abu Ismael coming, and even fewer understood his real power and reach, but everybody in the Islamist camp did, and watched with increasing alarm as his followers grew all over the country and across all kinds of segments, but especially with the Youth.

It’s not hard to grasp if you consider the real appeal of his project for a broad number of followers, especially that no one else seems to have one: The Leftists don’t, the Liberals don’t, the Salafis have a very vague notion of one, and the MB have one that’s dying. What’s his political project? Well, Revolutionary rhetoric + Nasserite (we shall live with dignity and show the world) rhetoric + Islamist rhetoric. Think Islamist Gamal Abdel Nasser, and you are starting to get the picture. For young non-affiliated islamist- & revolutionary-minded youth, who else is there?

Between his reach amongst the population, the amount of AlQaida members that have joined his movement, and the murmurs about his dealings with the Syrian “revolutionaries” who pay him to send his members to fight with them, it’s safe to say that he is planning to be a force to be reckoned with. And no one, not a single soul amongst them, can rein him in. So, they must approve and support his actions, no matter how insane they seem. They can’t afford to have dissent showing amidst the ranks now, especially that so much of it exists thanks to that stupid MB constitution.

Ironically, his antics had one benefit, for now: They are distracting the media from the fact that the supreme majority of the salafis are boycotting this constitution, because it states that sovereignty is for the people, and not God, and for stating that all citizens are equal, which allows Christians to run for presidency. To do damage control, the good Sheikh Yasser Borhamy had to zigzag throughout all of the governorates- going at times to two governorates a day- to convince salafi voters that through specific words inserted in the draft that this constitution will implement Sharia.

It’s not really working.

Sure, the constitution will pass. The so-called Muslim Brotherhood will make sure of it. However, they will have to start challenging them on Sharia implementation the second this constitution is in effect, or they are doomed. After all, there is growing resentment amidst the salafi ranks at the MB for using them as their foot soldiers and attack dogs, and the legitimacy of the Sheikhs are being challenged for towing the line with those diet Islamists. There really is no alternative to clashing with them. No wonder AlArian is talking about arming the MB youth. He is terrified.

But one battle at a time. This is only the first step. And God is on their side.

………………….

A disturbing journalistic story that was being shared all over the social media rattled the nerves of revolutionary symbols. The Story listed in details the creation of a new islamist Ultras Group, called Ahrar, a joint venture between Ultras Zamalek, Hazemoon, and the most hated revolutionary at the moment, AbdelRahman Ezz. This group attacked the revolutionaries in the Itehadeya Clashes, with Ezz pointing out the revolutionary symbols so that Ahrar would target them. The freak-out was due to their feelings that they have lost the Zamalek Ultras as a revolutionary force with them, as if they were theirs to begin with.

Sensing the danger, the revolutionary symbols went to work immediately by tweeting and retweeting the news story, while expressing how freaked out they were about it. Some were so freaked out, they even posted it on facebook. Somehow, all of this energy didn’t manifest itself in them seeing the value of organizing themselves in any meaningful or useful way, or do any effort in that regards. God Knows that would make sense, so why do that?

Those revolutionary symbols were freaking out because deep down they realized how useless and irrelevant they have become. Because people have stopped listening to them, and will completely ignore them soon enough. Actually, more than anything, those revolutionary symbols were freaking out, because at this point, those symbols are now far more useful to the cause as martyrs than leaders.

Those same symbols always spoke about how people were getting sorted out between who is with or anti the revolution, and how this sorting is happening all the time, and other such poppycock. Those symbols suddenly realize that the sorting phase is now over, and that they are now entering new territory. The Elimination phase.

…………………

Sayed Moshagheb is a Hero. If you don’t know who he is, then you don’t know your Ultras.

Sayed is a Capo in Ultras Zamalek, and the most beloved and respected one at that. When the old Capos disappeared around 2009, during Zamalek’s darkest time, it was Sayed who held the group together. He dedicated his life to the group, went to all the Games, was in a new governorate almost every day to coordinate events, and even delayed his own marriage for almost two years for the sake of the group. He was all heart, purpose and dedication, and he shined when he would lead the tens of thousands of Zamalek Fans in chants during the games the same way he did when he lead his men through the battles of the January 25 revolution. He is their Hero.

He is also in his early twenties.

Sayed, like many youth, had Islamic leanings. So, like many Islamic-minded youth, he joined the Hazem Salah Abu Ismael movement “Hazemoon”, but wouldn’t let it affect his decisions: When the Mohamed Mahmoud clashes started, all the Sheikhs ordered the youth not to engage with the Police. Sayed publically ignored the order, told everyone that he is going to stand by his revolutionary brothers, and all the Zamalek Ultras followed him there. He didn’t leave Mohamed Mahmoud for the four days of clashes. He was there, always on the front line, always inspiring his men. He was so loved and respected, that when he joined Hazemoon for their sit-in in front of the Ministry of Defense, the Zamalek Ultras went and joined the battle despite not fully believing in it. To them it was enough that Sayed was there, and they wouldn’t leave him fight a battle alone; He wouldn’t do that to any of them. They are all Brothers, no matter what, and you are always there for your brother when he needs you.

This is why when Sayed joined Ahrar, an islamist youth Ultras movement started by Hazemoon, many of the Islamic-minded Ultras followed him as well. The group was made of revolutionary youth who was at all the battles, who simply wanted the revolution to win and for Sharia to be implemented. They were not controlled by any Sheikh or political group, and their actions were purely revolutionary driven. When they attacked the Judges for example, they did that because the Judges were corrupt remnants of the previous regime who wanted to stop the revolution. This was all fine and dandy, until Ahrar went and joined the side of the Muslim Brotherhood militias at the Itehadyea Clashes. Suddenly you had Ultras Zamalek members side by side with the MB, fighting against Ultras Zamalek members standing side by side with other revolutionaries, many of which were Ultras Ahly, their arch nemesis. The Revolutionaries were appalled that there were Ultras standing with the dictatorial MB against them, while Ahrar were appalled that their revolutionary brothers were joining forces with Felloll no matter what the cause. Each side saw the other side as traitors to the revolution.

There was a crack in their brotherhood. What was worse is that Sayed was rumored to be there, fighting on the Islamist side. No one could confirm it though, but the rumor was enough drive an unprecedented wedge within the group. Civil war loomed amidst the Ultras. All that was needed was a spark, and the spark would be a confirmation that Sayed was indeed there.

And then the news article on Ahrar came out, and it was so detailed, with names and locations, that it gave the Interior ministry enough info to go after Ahrar, albeit clandestinely. A secret campaign arrest was started, with Ahmed Arafa being the shiny example of it, but the target was Sayed. After all, not only is he in Ahrar and Hazemoon, but the ministry had an old vendetta against him for being the Ultras Capo that humiliated them time and time again. He was their top target, and they went after him, even storming his house and terrifying his family and baby girl.

But Sayed was not there. He was on the run. And the Police were after him. For all the Zamalek Ultras, this was enough reason to cast aside their differences and the divide for now. Their Brother, their leader, their Hero was in trouble.

And you are always there for your Brother when he needs you….

The civil war will have to wait, for now, until they all make sure that Sayed is fine.

Both sides are preparing for it though.

It won’t be long.

…………………………

The Police General sat in his office inside the Ministry of Interior, reviewing today’s newspapers. Satisfied with the public outcry regarding the MB’s militias and the Hordes of Abu Ismael, he continued reading the field reports coming his way from his officers. They have been successfully towing the line between not antagonizing the new ruling party and the revolutionaries. Of all the parties in play, the only real winner has been the Ministry of Interior: Their profile is on the rise, especially with refusing to clash with Itehadya Protesters during their marshes, while having a stand-off with the Hazemoon people when they tried to attack the Dokki police station. Despite his wishes to the contrary, he knew they couldn’t arrest Abu Ismael, since the Presidential palace gave them strict orders not to touch him. Fine, will tow the line, but the orders do not include Hazemoon, and the Minister of Interior has used that distinction to wage a silent war against them.

The General couldn’t shake his distaste towards his new bosses, especially the so-called President, who used to be dragged from his house by officers much lower in rank than him back in the day. His officers shared this distaste, and even the most violent amongst them did not look forward to following Sharia orders from bearded men. Sure, they have no problems with torturing or raping or electrocuting people, but this cutting of hands and stoning to death business is just so…messy, if not backwards.

He knew that the powers behind Morsy were certain that the MOI was not in their pockets, or that the current Minister was not their man, and that both are playing for their sake and their sake only. He knew that they fear the MOI would join forces with the revolutionaries against them, and become their organized armed wing (despite how unlikely that is due to the ridiculously utopian nature of the revolutionaries), and that such an alliance would completely challenge their power. He knew that if the revolutionaries let bygones be bygones, they would do that in a heartbeat, and has been sending them signals to that regard for the past month, which didn’t escape his new bosses. He knew that the current Minister will be removed soon, to be replaced by a more MB loyal candidate to help them “cleanse” the MOI. He knew that all of this was coming, and he and his men are waiting for it, so that they can start wreaking Havoc all over the country against the MB and their allies. They couldn’t fight a revolution, but a war of attrition with Islamists? That’s something they know how to do quite well, and they would really like a repeat performance.

All in good time, he thought. All in good time.

…………………………

Inside the real MB Headquarters, the Guidance Council member was not happy. Sure, the situation so far seems under control, and the plans to forge the elections have gone impeccably well, but the loss of support on the ground has been very worrying. What’s even more worrying is the refusal of the Cairo MB members to show up in support of the President at the Itehadeya clashes, turned off by the guidance council tactics and increasingly sectarian tone. They keep bussing more and more people in from the governorates, and relying more and more on the Salafis. The Cairo University Protests were 90% Salafis. Not good. Not good at all.

They had no choice though, he said to himself. They had to pass the constitution this way and right now, otherwise they might not be able to ever pass one, especially not in another 6 months. The Economy is not doing well, and their friends in Qatar and Turkey are not stepping up their financial support as they should. If they didn’t move fast, they risk losing the parliamentary elections completely, and they need to have those yesterday to fully control the country. Also, if anything happened to Morsy now, they have lost everything. They need a parliament head from the Brotherhood to ensure their stay in Power if Morsy’s health deteriorates further. If he dies now, the presidency moves to the head of the Supreme Court, and they would be out of the game. And if they are out now, they are out forever. That cannot be allowed to happen. They will fight that until the last Salafi.

He is not too worried about the Salafis; if they overstep their bounds, the MB will unleash the MOI on them, who would love to tear them apart. Not Abu Ismael though. His group has many ex-AlQaeda people, and if they go against him, AlQaida will declare them apostates, and start a war against them. It should be noted that too many Mujahdeen have entered the country those past two years. They were beneficial in making the MB look like moderates back then, but now they are becoming a threat. Thankfully, the US recognizes that they are the ones holding the Mujahedeen and Hamas back, and will continue to support them. And if you have the US on your side, you don’t need much else.

…………………………..

S/P Memo 56734

Global

13/12/2012

Subject: Egypt

S/P currently has no new recommendations regarding the situation in Egypt. While President’s Morsy’s actions have been troubling, especially that they have been taken the day after Secretary Clinton’s visit, the political developments have not provided us with an alternative to the current regime. As called for by the Secretary, this memo examines: whether there is a course for action advances the transition to democracy in Egypt; whether the new developments would be benefitted by such course for action; and finally, the impact of such action on American interests in the country.

The US currently has three strategic interests in Egypt: 1) Maintaining Regional stability, 2) Maintaining the strategic partnership with the Egyptian Military, and 3) Ensuring the continued operation of the Suez Canal for the next Five years. Providing support for the liberal opposition in Egypt- if such support is even possible- would not guarantee the serving of those interests. The Opposition is still divided and fragmented, and there is no clear leader to negotiate with. The National Salvation Front has emerged as an attempt to provide a counterweight to the Brotherhood, but their alliance is fragile, their rhetoric isn’t unified and their performance sophomoric. There is genuine doubt in the alliance’s survival beyond the proposed constitutional referendum.

Even if the US chooses to support them regardless, the options are still very limited. Imposing conditionality on the aid would provide us with no positive outcome, for if they meet our bluff we would have to either cut the aid, which loses us leverage, or not cut the aid, which would allow them to ignore any such future pressure. Not to mention, given that the US government is tied with 5 year contracts with the defense contractors for Egypt’s military aid, cutting it would still require us to fulfill our monetary obligations to our contractors, while losing all strategic advantages from our relationship with Egypt.

It should be noted that at this juncture the situation in Egypt is low priority in the rapidly shifting geopolitical map of the middle-east, specifically in relations to the coming conflict with Iran. Egypt is and will remain solidly in the Sunni camp regardless of who is in power, so the focus should be on the grey countries, specifically Syria, Iraq and Bahrain. To focus on the political developments in Egypt is as inconsequential to our goals as focusing on the score of a soccer game when your real concern is maintaining ownership of the field. Hence, in light of the current state of affairs, it is recommended to stay the course until further developments arise.

…………………………

About a week ago, there was a meeting between the Egyptian Minister of Defense and the Egyptian Naval command. Upon entering the meeting, the Naval Command chiefs wanted to discuss the recent political developments, especially Hazem Salah Abu Ismael. The Minister curtly cut the talk, informing them that the army should stay away from discussing politics. The Chiefs responded by stating that they were not there to discuss politics, but rather National Security. They expressed their astonishment at the Army not taking action against Hazemoon until now, given that they are breaking the law so blatantly and publically. They stated that had the army sent in two 777 platoons, they would have easily taken out the entire population of Hazemoon during their siege of the Media City. They informed the Minister of Defense that the lack of government response towards Hazemoon and their antics puts their own families and the families of those they command in danger, and that if any of them gets hurt or terrorized, they will not wait for permission to mobilize their troops and weapons against them, or any other similar group.

The Minister of Defense did not comment, but a storm was brewing inside his head. He knew that there are undercover MB officers in the army that command units and platoons, and that he doesn’t fully know who they are. The Army intervening in what’s going on in Egypt could risk splitting the military institution, a risk he was not prepared to take, hence his inaction. Now he has to contend with the possibility that the institution might split if he doesn’t do something as well, and the ineptitude of those in charge of the Presidency is pushing the country into the Precipice. He is doomed either way, and time was running out.

………………………….

Tarek works for an NGO in Alexandria that provides charity and local developments to the poorest villages in the Governrates. About a month ago, a group of his colleagues, which were working on a different zone than his for the past 5 years, were approached by a group of Salafis. The Salafis informed them that they control this area now, and that if the NGO wanted to continue to work there, they would have to work through them or not at all. His Colleagues chose to ignore them, and a week later, while delivering the sustenance bags to the needy, were ambushed by the salafi group, got held up with swords, beaten and roughed up, and had all of their supplies stolen by them. True Story.

Tarek has similar problems in his zone, but with a unique twist: The Salafis informed him that if he doesn’t work with them and works with the MB, then all of their mosques will be closed to him and his group. In turn, the MB has informed him that if he works with the Salafis and not them, they will make his life hell through government intervention. Tarek, so far, has played them off each other, but their pressures on him are increasing by the day, and he has no idea what to do the day he is forced to choose.

………………………….

The Phones have not stopped ringing at the Offices of the Central Bank of Egypt, with everyone from public and Private Banks calling to get confirmation on whether the Bank’s chairman, Farouk Al-Okda, has really resigned. The intensity of the phone calls reflected the panic that the financial community has been living in for the past few months. Al-Okda has been keeping the economy afloat for the past two years, at the cost of the rapidly depleting financial reserves. Before the revolution, the reserves were 36 $ Billion, now they are down to 15 $ Billion; 4 $ Billion of which are in Gold, 5 $ Billion are in various securities that if touched would signal the country’s bankruptcy, leaving only 6 $ Billion in actual financial liquidity. Taking into account the financial obligations of the government in terms of salaries, subsides and loan servicing, accompanied with the record low growth rate, the evaporation of FDI and the shortage in foreign currency replenishment due to the deterioration of the Tourism industry (having Islamist burn Churches & then electing Islamists to power does not bring in tourists), it is safe to say that Egypt is one foot in the economic grave.

Due to IMF pressures, the government has adopted really strong austerity measures in the shape of new tax laws and subsidy cutting, but froze it on the same day due to fears that it might cause people to vote against the constitution. The freezing of the laws made the IMF believe that the Egyptian government is not committed to the agreement, and is now moving into rejecting Egypt’s loan request. Without the loan, the government will not be able to cover the pensions, salaries or remaining subsidies, or cushion the inflation of the Egyptian pound. This brings us to the nightmare scenario of rising prices of goods, of which many will vanish from the supermarkets and sold in the black market, coupled with a drastic decline in value of the Egyptian pound, and the inability of the government to meet its financial obligations towards its employees and pensioners. A perfect economic storm.

Expected financial outcome will include any or all of the following events: the vanishing of the US dollar from Banks and exchange offices; Bank runs that will bankrupt public and private banks; Unprecedented losses in the stock exchange; Disappearance and/or increased pricing of basic consumer goods; Layoffs; Bankruptcies; Lack of liquidity in the Market for new or existing projects; Huge increase in Unemployment rates; A lower credit rating for the country that will further drive away serious investors; drastic increase in petty crime; Social Upheaval; Huge economic protests; and the ever so looming scenario of a hunger revolution. The Panic is justified.

No wonder the phones keep ringing.

…………………………

The MB Constitution has passed, thanks to massive fraud and a deeply sectarian campaign on the hands of the MB controlled Government. The Yes votes are 64% , the No votes are 36% and the voter turnout was 32% of all eligible voters. Out of every 100 Egyptians, 20 have said yes, 12 have said no, and 68 didn’t even bother to go and vote.

Mohamed was one of those 68% that didn’t go vote. He is a government employee by day, and a Taxi driver by night, who spends every waking minute of his day trying to provide for his wife, 3 children and sick mother. Mohamed didn’t vote. Mohamed didn’t vote because he didn’t think it mattered, and that no matter what he chooses the outcome will be Yes anyway. Mohamed didn’t vote, because like all of his friends and neighbors, he has become disgusted with the tug of war between the secularists and the Islamists, and how all they care about is power, even if it means pulling the country into a civil war. Mohamed didn’t vote because he knows that neither side cares about him or his family, despite what they always say in their speeches, before and after the revolution. Mohamed didn’t vote because all the hope he had at the beginning of the revolution was gone, replaced with bitterness and anger, and he would rather spend the time scouring the streets of Cairo for a fare that might help him cover his ever increasing expenses. What good is a constitution to a bunch of hungry mouths anyway?

Mohamed hated the revolution. Mohamed hated that his neighborhood became infested with crime and thugs, and that the whole city soon followed. Mohamed hated the absence of the police unless they wanted a bribe, a practice that has increased after a revolution that claimed that it will stop it. Mohamed hated the state of Chaos the country has been in for the past two years, and the hours he wasted in traffic caused by marches and sit ins and clashes that don’t seem to ever stop. Mohamed hated that there are no tourists anymore, and that when he gets a foreign customer it’s usually a Syrian refugee who hassles him over the fare, unlike the days when the Americans and the Gulfie tourists used to populate the city and pay him generously for taking them around. Mohamed hated that they were gone, and has lost hope that they will ever come back.

Mohamed barely meets his expenses, and has no idea how he survived those past two years. Mohamed panicked when he heard that the prices of goods were going up, only to relax hours later when he was informed that the government cancelled the increase. Had those prices increased, Mohamed would be completely unable to feed his family, and what kind of a man would that make him?

Mohamed is scared, bitter, angry, hungry and tired. He knows one thing for certain: if things get any worse financially, he will lose it. He will take the gun he bought two years ago, and kill the Islamists, the secularists, and all of those people who have the luxury to fight over stupid shit on his and his family’s expense.

Mohamed will show them the exact amount of consideration and mercy they have showed him, which is none.

Mohamed will have his Justice, and he is not the only one.

…………………………

Ah, love, let us be true
To one another! for the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night.

Mathew Arnold

 

The End


 

Game Over

Tomorrow is the Referendum on the MB’s constitutional draft, which the great President Morsy wishes to pass on two phases with a week in between the results of the first phase and the second, which makes no sense in terms of security and Voter manipulation. But for him, and his people and allies, this is it. This is the end Game. In their silly little mind if they pass this referendum by hook or crook they have won everything.

I am of the argument that they have already lost. Here are my reasons:

  • They don’t have the votes: Given that the secular side in Egypt has finally unified itself, and are all against the referendum, there is no way the Islamists can win this vote fair and square. Their numbers are 7.5 million votes, the combined votes of the secular voters is beyond that of 14 million (sabahy, moussa, shafiq and abulfotouh votes, all saying NO). Which is why they will attempt voters fraud..and about that..
  • They don’t have the legitimacy: The constitution is approved by an illegal Constiotuint assembly, created by an illegal parliament elected in an illegal election, and 1/3 of its members are opposed to it. There are no international Observers, the Majority of the Judges are not joining, with reportedly only 20% of Egypt’s judges will supervise, which is why they need to conduct it on two phases, which is not only logistically disastrous, but also technically illegal: The referendum is supposed to be held for one day only. Everyone expects fraud, especially with the absence of the minimum voting requirement to pass this. No one sees this as a legitimate referendum.
  • They don’t have the bases: The MB has divided the referendum states on the two phases, with all the solidly and leaning NO governorates in the first phase, and the Islamist strongholds on the second phase. This way if the results are overwhelmingly NO in the First phase, they can fraud the vote as they wish in the second phase. They are delusional. First of all, everyone is wise to their trick, so people will be keeping a closer eye on the second phase anyway. Secondly, the second phase governorates are also now against them, and they will find out the hard way.
  • Their tools no longer work: The Islamists have long depended on Mosque mobilization and Guidance of religious leaders, both of which are being challenged by the people. Mosque sermons by Imams trying to push for a YES vote are being interrupted by the mosque goers, with clashes ensuing. Today it happened in Tanta, Mahalla, and Alexandria, where the Salafi symbol AlMahallawy is still hiding in the mosque from the clashes that took place after his YES vote sermon. Imagine this happening in Egypt? Islamists no longer scare Egyptians, which is why the Islamists are so terrified.
  • Their propaganda sucks: Where to start? From the MB claiming that all the protesters and rejecters of the constitutions are Christians? Or from their twitter accounts showing a photo shopped pictures of Pornstar Gianna Miachaels as an Egyptian expat yes voter? Or that Gehad Hadad, their face in western media, was quoting Nazi propagandist Carl Schmitt today on his twitter account?
  • There will be no stability with this constitution: Already people are fighting on the streets over it, do you think those people will magically disappear if the constitution passes? Even the Stability voters are getting that message.
  • They have bet all against the House: You want to rule Egypt? You can’t fight with all of its institutions at once. You can not alienate the people, the opposition parties, the Media, the workers, the army, your own advisors and ministers and try to incite sectarianism and expect that everything will work out your way. You never take the House. The House always wins..

It’s Game Over, Islamists. If this referendum fails and it will fail, prepare for the wrath of the people and the in-fighting amongst your very loose alliance. You have shown your hand, and the people don’t want what you are selling. Best of Luck. You will need it.

 

A simple update regarding our constitutional referendum

The constitutional draft that was created by an illegal Constituent assembly is on referendum this saturday. Until this moment we don’t know the following:

1) Who will supervise: More than 90% of the Judges -who by law must supervise- are refusing to supervise the referendum. The remaining 10% are in no way enough to cover the entire referendum.
2) Who will monitor it: Until now No info has been given to NGO’s or journalists to get monitors passes
3) where people will vote: Until now people have no clue which polling stations they are supposed to go to.
4) When will people vote: The Presidency until now hasn’t decided if the referendum will be on one phase or two phases, and if it’s two, there will be a week separating the first half from the second with results coming out for the first phase a week before the second phase. Very dangerous.
5) Who will secure it: The Army is now responsible for securing it, but said they would only do it for one day, the two phases situation is not in its plan.

Again…The referendum is on Saturday. Today is Wednesday..

 


I am on the assassination list of Ansar AlSharia

This is so cool. I am very proud to be on this list. J

Imagine

Imagine sitting at a friend’s house, watching the President address the nation after a week long crisis, with his supporters just the night before opening fire on civilian protesters in Heliopolis in horrifying clashes that spanned the whole day. Imagine finding out that he issued the illegal constitutional declaration that enflamed and divided the entire country, because- and I quote- one of the suspects in the Camel incidents –who was declared innocent by the courts- had a meeting with 3 other unnamed people in his office. The President that has under him State security, general intelligence, military intelligence, the ministry of Justice, The Police and the General Prosecutor office declaring that he had no choice but to issue this declaration because four people had a meeting. And then as he swipes the page of his speech on his IPad, he instinctively licks his finger first as if he is turning a paper page. Imagine.

Imagine that this President saw that the situation was so urgent, he called for a national dialogue meeting with the opposition in two days to resolve the crisis, one that all of his allies and none of the opposition attend, and he walks in, talks for 5 minutes, then leaves the dialogue he called for immediately, telling people to talk to his VP and that he is leaving to guarantee the “neutrality of the dialogue”. Imagine that his group’s uber-intellectual, Fahmy Howeidy, shortly after leaves as well, because he had another important meeting to attend, and that this group of clowns come with a solution after midnight that isn’t a solution, drafted by ex-Presidential candidate Selim Al-Aawa, who wrote the Sudanese constitution that eventually led to Sudan getting divided into two countries. They fronted that guy. Just Imagine.

Imagine that the next day, you are no longer greeted with the President face, but with those of the Supreme Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood, and his second man Khairat AlShater, who both hold press conferences defending the President in hiding, while the army builds walls around the Presidential palace. Imagine watching the Supreme Guide claiming that all who died in the clashes are Muslim Brotherhood, despite there being dead Christians in the clashes, and AlShater talking about how hard it is to get investment into this country and blaming the whole crisis on the Christians and the church. Imagine knowing that those are the people who run the Order that is running your country at the moment. Imagine.

Imagine knowing that your President, the first civilian democratically elected post-revolution President is a puppet for that group, and his puppeteer is the second man in this order, and not even the First. Imagine that this group has its people, for two weeks, wondering openly on TV talk shows about why are the people, after a revolution, cannot tolerate having a temporary dictatorship for a few months, since they endured it under Mubarak for 30 years. Imagine them being unable to comprehend that because simply you won an election by 1%, you can’t just do anything you damn please in the name of democracy because you are the majority. Imagine them openly stating that this constitution, since it supports sharia, will have 90% support in terms of votes and that the opposition are all Christians and agents and no more than 40,000 in the entire country and want to repeat the constitution writing process to allow gay marriage. Imagine.

Imagine that this group is still pushing for a referendum over a constitutional draft that is created by an illegal constituent assembly that a third of its members withdrew, while an entire country goes in flames over it, with hundreds of thousands of Egyptians in the governorates are protesting and clashing with this group’s supporters. Imagine that with this referendum being 4 days away, and the Presidency has no judges to supervise it, doesn’t have the schools to host it, did not open the door for journalists or observers to go in and observe the process, and gave no way for the voters to find out where they are supposed to vote. Your country’s constitution. Imagine.

Imagine that the secular side is the majority for the first time, with people in the streets all over Egypt viewing this as a referendum on the Muslim Brotherhood and Morsy and want to vote No on both and teach them a lesson. Imagine them finally rallying behind a unified opposition front, called the National Salvation council, who just yesterday issued that they will boycott the first referendum they actually have a great shot of winning, because they think it’s an illegitimate referendum and we shouldn’t dignify it with our votes, despite it being the country’s constitution and everything.

Just freakin Imagine.

 

Tuesday is the New Friday!

 

Dear Egyptian Islamist Forces,

First of all, I would like to thank you. If it wasn’t for the massive organized effort and insane amount of money that you poured into having a strong showing in Giza and Alexandria last Saturday, and the full Panic mode that you put all the secular people of Egypt (who are now the majority after 5 months only of your rule), we wouldn’t have seen yesterday’s massive, nay, colossal turn out in all of the governorates. Not only did we pack Tahrir, we completely covered the huge area surrounding the Presidential palace (despite security checkpoints placed there by your security forces to divide the crowds & make the numbers look small, and which were naturally removed by the protesters), not to mention the massive turnout in Alexandria, Asuit, Minya, Daqahliya, Suez, Port Said, 6th of October, Mahalla, Hurghada, Sharm AlSheikh, Damanhour, Damiettia, Aswan and others. This is not surprising if compared to the turn-out last Tuesday in Tahrir, but definitely compared to the turn-out last Friday, which marks the first symbolic change of the second wave of this revolution: Tuesday is the New Friday.

It makes sense when you think about it: When we were all on one side, Friday made sense since we were mobilizing after Friday prayers, a tactic that you pioneered. The switch to Tuesday showcases the symbolic change in demographics in the revolution, after the Independents finally joined our side, who go down to the streets after work instead of getting bussed in after Friday prayers. Friday was the day we demonstrated with you, Tuesday is the day we demonstrate with all of Egypt, because-unlike you- we don’t need the Mosques to mobilize our people. Hell, we don’t even need to plan or provide Logistical support or pay people to increase the numbers: Our people come down on their own, and they are LEGIONS. If by your count the people you brought to the streets last Saturday were Six million, I estimate our people count by your Math to be around two Billion. Yeah, that sounds about right.

In light of Yesterday’s events, we urge you to convince your President to withdraw the constitutional declaration and cancel the referendum. I am sure you will find him very agreeable to this notion after his daring escape from the Presidential Palace yesterday. It must be very hard on him after to be the first Egyptian President to escape from the Presidential palace, especially 5 months after he stood in Tahrir opening his suit to prove the absence of a bulletproof vest as a show how unafraid he is from the people. But then again, he did escape from Protesters at a Mosque near his house last week, and before that from Prison, so escaping is kind of his thing. I would also scale back the threatening Jihad talk from now on, because, what will you do, exactly? You don’t obviously have the numbers to control the streets of Egypt, so your only option is Terrorism, which, meh, we’ve been through before in the 80′s and 90′s and survived it with no problem. And if you go down that route, it won’t be the MOI that will hunt you down, it will be the people this time, who will view you as an enemy and act accordingly by bringing you from your houses. You will lose. You will die. We don’t recommend it. Back down.

Also, don’t go on the media and try to maneuver your way out of this and try to have the referendum anyway. If all of those people went out against the constitutional declaration yesterday, then there is no consensus on the constitutional draft and it shouldn’t even be put on a referendum. Even if you go through with it, we know that the majority is with us, so you will either lose or you will forge it, and we will go after you and bring you down. What are you counting on? And why do you have people like Beltagy go on TV talking about how the protesters should abide by the rules of democracy? You mean the same rules of democracy your President broke by giving himself unprecedented powers, by sending his supporters to prevent the constitutional court from doing their job as a check on his decisions and by trying to push through a constitution that is rejected by everybody outside his base of support? Why do your Sheikh’s talk about conspiracies by the church in your media? Yes, naturally we have Christians in our demonstrations, like we have representatives of every other group in Egypt in our demonstration, because they are Egyptians, and as we keep telling you, we are a diverse population. Come to our rallies and you will find it representative of Egypt, while your rallies only have Islamists. And then your President speaks about how you have the majority? What Majority? He won the presidential elections by 1% with the help of non-islamists. Get a grip on reality.

Yesterday was called “The Final Warning”, and it was just that: our Final warning to you to back down from this insanity. We were at the gates of the Presidential palace and we could’ve stormed it, and we chose not to, and instead Grafiitied all over it to let you know that you are not untouchable behind palace walls. Our symbols have given you until Friday to back down on both the referendum and the declaration, a generous offer that you frankly don’t deserve, but we really find it distasteful to get into violent conflict with other Egyptians, and we really don’t want to bring down the first democratically elected President after only 5 months; But we will if we are forced to. If you don’t back down by Friday, then prepare yourselves for the wrath of an entire population next Tuesday. And Just in case you forgot, here is a friendly reminder: January 25 was also a Tuesday. ;)

I hope you listen.

Best Regards,

Mahmoud Salem

The Game no one wins

As the country continues to be horrified over the events of the past few days, and braces itself for the “epic showdown” that is supposed to take place on Tuesday, I find myself, as always, in awe of this country and what happens in it. The nature and the rapid pace of developments that took place over the past few days tells me that this country and revolution will continue to surprise me for a long while to come. I have spent the past year and a half studying other revolutions and their history, and let me assure you, what’s happening here has not happened in the history of any revolution before. Egyptians, you are still Pioneers; pat yourselves on the back.

We have a President who, after some praise from Obama over resolving this week’s episode of the Ghaza crisis, decided that he will grant himself the power to do anything he wants in the land, and then the consequences. The consequences are what’s new: 1) Clashes over the decision erupt all over Egypt, and not just Cairo as usual ; 2) His Presidential Team almost all quit, to the point that people joke that his wife will quit next; 3) His Islamist Party’s Branches got attacked and raided all over, with people finding election ballots, utilities receipts with a special party discount, and on more than one occasion female lingerie items; 4) His newly appointed Prosecutor General, and the head of the Shura Council- who is not only a member in the President’s party, but also his relative and In-law –both coming out against his decree, 5) Our Ministry of Interior, who has for decades persecuted and killed Islamists, is now killing for them ; 6) Our constituent assembly has now less than 50 out of the 100 people that are supposed to work on the new constitution in and it’s still hasn’t be resolved legally; and 7) The secular side has almost unified its front, to have the same people (leftists, anarchists figures and 6th of April) who promoted electing Morsy for President, are still trying to divide it, as if an Islamist Dictatorship will somehow differentiate between Shafiqistas, Independents or Revolutionaries when it comes to oppression or as if you don’t need every single able body in this fight.

What people don’t get about the declaration is this: It literally empowers the President to do anything he damn pleases. It’s not simply about shaping the government institutions to his whimsy, but will also move to the Private sector and Syndicates, the latter for which he issued a new syndicates law yesterday that will remove all the elected heads of the syndicates and having him appoint them. Morsy can now strip people from their citizenships or hand it out to others, try them in “special courts” for vague charges, shut down Private enterprises or Media outlets or seize them, reshape our judiciary branches and their roles singlehandedly, and even change your last name, and no one will be able to legally question or stop his decision. Granting yourself this level of Power is so in the essence of Fascism that President Morsy’s new nickname is Morsilini. It’s as if he is stating that while the old regime was autocratic, dictatorial and secular, thankfully the revolution happened and we are no longer secular.

Even the old regime couldn’t just do what Morsy is doing, because it always had to play the part of being a state. When Mubarak wanted to change the constitution for his liking, new amendments had to be discussed in parliament, and then a referendum had to be had over them. Even the SCAF had to have a referendum in order to grant themselves such Powers. Morsy didn’t even do that and now we are experiencing street warfare all over the country. And The sad part is, it didn’t have to be this way. Morsy did not have to go this route this quickly, but he did which is why his reign, even if he shuts down the current uprising, will not last , and if the Islamists are removed from Power, chances are that they will never be voted in again, iof there wasn’t excessive Violence and justified oppression against them from now on. We are now playing a game where there is no winning, only degrees of losing, and that’s not even the real problem.

If you want to know what is, imagine Egypt as a woman who was married for a long time, and her Husband cheated on her, lied to her and abused her throughout the relationship. She finally managed to get rid of her Husband, only to have Her Father insist that she gets remarried again ASAP, without going into the necessary therapy. A whole bunch of ill-suited individuals, who fit her Father’s insane conditions, propose to her, and when there were two of them left, people on each side pressured her to choose one over the other, not because their choice was good, but because they hated the other guy with a passion. She finally marries one who promises her the world, and the right to divorce him if he betrays her trust, and then within a few months, while she is still traumatized and Paranoid, he starts exhibiting similar behavior to her first Husband. When she confronts him, he assures her that it’s all in her head, until one day she catches him erasing and changing clauses in their marriage contract. When she accuses him of treachery and demands a divorce, he informs her that they are married and whatever God Unities, no man can separate, and then places a Gun on the table, threateningly. She will naturally fight it, he might kill her, but she will most likely get rid of him first. The Problem, the question, then becomes, how do you convince this woman to get remarried ever again?

Why the Salafis agreed to the constitution

Up until very recently the Salafi parties were planning to vote no on the constitutional draft that is being called to referendum in two weeks, on the basis that it’s not Islamist enough. The Salafi Parties wanted a strict implementation of Sharia, including Sharia judgments, in the constitution, and yet there is no clear article that states this in the proposed constitution. However, upon closer scrutiny, one find it hidden, in two unassuming words in article # 76 in the constitutional draft.

Article 76 states the following:

Penalty shall be personalized. There shall be no crime or penalty except by virtue of a constitutional text or of the law. No penalty shall be inflicted except by a judicial sentence. Penalty shall be inflicted only for acts committed subsequent to the promulgation of the law prescribing it.

Now please pay attention to the words “by the virtue of a constitutional text” here. The constitution doesn’t include penalties for crimes, that’s the law’s job. Even crimes that are listed in the constitution do not have the punishments in them as much as a reference to the law that regulates such punishment. So, if it was simply the law, why would anyone put in the words “constitutional text” instead of referring directly to a crime punishable by an existing law? The only reference is then for punishments for crimes that don’t exist in the law. So, how would that work exactly?

Simple, really: In this case, the search for a legislation that doesn’t exist in civil law will refer directly to article 2 , which states that “Principles of Islamic Sharia are the principal source of legislation” . Those Principles of Islamic Sharia are in turn explained by article 219 “The principles of Islamic Sharia include general evidence, foundational rules, rules of jurisprudence, and credible sources accepted in Sunni doctrines and by the larger community” , which means that if there is any Sharia-based judgment that exists in the 1600 years of Islamic jurisprudence or stated by a “credible source”, then it shall be found to be in accordance of this constitution. This includes anything from the famous punishments for theft , adultery, idolatry or murder (cutting hands, whipping, stoning to death, paying your way out, respectively) to less famous ones that include social crimes that no functioning moderate Muslim today knows to be crimes. It is the constitutional equivalent of allowing the punishment for witchcraft set by the Catholic Church in the middle ages, since it is part of historic Catholic jurisprudence.

If this Constitution is passed, Cairo will truly become Kendhar, with the blessing of the Egyptian President and the Muslim Brotherhood. Hope that Gaza cease-fire was worth it, dear President Obama.

 

Down with Sharia in the constitution

With every semblance of what is commonly referred to as “the civil forces” (The churches representatives, the secular parties & members) withdrawn from it, the Egyptian constituent assembly’s fate seems more precarious than ever. While many speculate about its fate and the fate of the constitution it is supposed to present to the public soon, it is safe to say that the current draft is not satisfactory for neither the islamist or the secular factions, each believing that the constitution is too secular or too islamist, respectively, because of the argument of the meaning of the word Sharia in it. Having followed its news with increasing boredom like the rest of you, I have reached a sense of moral clarity towards it: I don’t want the word Sharia , or any amendment that refers to it, to be in our constitution. I want all of it, gone, and here are my reasons for this very unreasonable request.

First of all, I would like a solid definition of what Sharia actually means from the islamist side. I am willing to bet that if you gathered a representative from every islamist political party and asked them for their vision and definition of Sharia and what it means in terms of governance and implementation, they would come up with very different answers from each other. Islamic jurisprudence and schools of thought is a vast field with many contradictory interpretations, hence why there are so many islamist parties in existence in Egypt today: they all think the others understand or implement Sharia the wrong way. If you think the secular side has problems uniting and unifying, then you should try uniting or unifying the islamist side. It should be a hilarious experiment. They all think each other are extremists or infidels.

The constituent committee tried to side-step that by creating an amendment that states that AlAzhar’s Scholars should be the ones that interpret what Sharia means and how it should be implemented, which brings us to the second reason behind my decision: I do not trust AlAzhar with that role either. It was an AlAzhar scholar who came up with the Fatwa that would allow strange men and women to share office space if the women breastfeed the men. It was an AlAzhar scholar who came up with the Fatwa that any journalist that criticized Mubarak would get 40 lashes. Both cases were based on flimsy reasoning or interpretations for purposes of insanity in the former and corruption in the latter, and both came from AlAzhar.

If we choose to ignore insanity for a second (despite having Islamist politicians who see nothing wrong with kidnapping a 14 year old Christian girl & claiming she converted & marrying her off without parental consent, or others who see nothing wrong with having AlQaeda operating in Egypt as long as they don’t attack us), we will have to face the Problem of corruption. AlAzhar scholars can be as corrupt as any other institution in the fantastically corrupt entity referred to as the Egyptian state. There are Scholars who tailor fatwas for reasons ranging from gaining favor from whomever is in power, to whomever pays them more. Are they all like that? No, of course not, but given that Fatwas are based on interpretation, a scholar could easily come up with two opposing fatwas based on the same “evidence”, which creates a very flexible environment for corruption to grow and prosper, in a land that already suffers from a corruption epidemic in its government. Here is another fun experiment: try to bribe an Azhar scholars for a tailored Fatwa and see if he will have a problem with it.

This brings us to the final reason why I am against having Sharia in our constitution: I don’t trust our government one bit , and I believe this distrust is commonly shared by Egyptians all over after the events of the past two years, especially after the Asuit School bus incident. The question then becomes: how do you trust this fabulously corrupt government not to abuse its powers under the cover of Sharia? Hell, my level of distrust in them is so high, I don’t even want them teaching our children religion in public schools, especially with an Islamist President in office. Our public school teachers find it acceptable to beat up their students, cut their hair because they were not veiled, and have them clean their shoes , examples of which we all saw in the past few months, so do you trust those people to teach the next generation of Egyptians- your children- religion? Do you even trust them to not mess with the curriculum to have it suit their political ends?

I had no problem with keeping the Sharia clause in the constitution before, but it has become increasingly obvious that the islamist parties won’t just contend with having it there, but will increasingly try to use it to “fix us” , which is something I am totally opposed to. I am not the one who wants to sleep with children or finds it acceptable to kidnap teenage girls & marry them off without the consent of their parents. I don’t need fixing, and neither do any of you. The level of potential abuse of power that having even the word Sharia in the constitution with the islamists in charge is so high that I fear we will continue witnessing horrifying events, laws and justifications- like the ones we have been hearing for months- for years to come if it stays in its current form. So ask yourself this question today: Does that seem like a country you want to live in?

 

 

The Rights of the Martyrs

As the first anniversary to the Clashes of Mohamed Mahmoud approaches, my social media timelines are bombarded with the images of the martyrs who died there and how we should never forget until we get back their rights. As the pictures and the names keep rolling in, it becomes impossible to distinguish the faces and the names anymore, and all that you are left with is a blurry memory and a sense of helplessness and guilt for being alive and unable to get their rights back. You are then left with two questions: 1) how do we get the rights of the martyrs back and, more importantly, 2) what does that even mean?

When revolutionaries talk about it, it’s placed in the following context: Desire for Justice for those who died a quest for revenge and accountability against those who killed them. However, nobody wants to publically admit that both are impossible at this point. Judicial Justice would require having real investigations into the conditions of their deaths from the day they died, which didn’t happen, and would also require non-corrupt Police & judicial institutions to transact this Justice, which we don’t have either, and don’t seem like we will any time soon, since we haven’t done any real efforts in that area for the past year and a half. And once you reconcile those two realizations, you are then hit with the third: in the context of the revolution, there is really no such thing as the rights of or Justice for the martyrs.

When we went down in 18 days or in the subsequent events of the revolution, we knew that we were placing ourselves in the face of mortal danger, and we had implicitly reconciled ourselves with the fact that we might die for the cause of getting rid of the Mubarak/Military rule. We were soldiers in a war, not looking for martyrdom but knew that death was always a possibility with the regime we are dealing with. And we were also Ok with that, if our death was the price that needed to be paid for a better Egypt: One with functional institutions, better governance, and a future. The Supreme majority of us survived it physically mostly unharmed (psychologically most of us are still reeling), but there are those who didn’t and were martyrs for that Cause, a cause that we are nowhere near achieving. And instead of focusing on it, we are fighting to bring their killers to a justice that is administered by institutions that facilitated their deaths.

The revolutionaries figured out before anyone else that most of our governmental institutions were mirages of the real deal and beyond reform, and set their sights at exposing them and destroying their credibility, which is fine, but only half of the equation. The Other unfulfilled half was the building of parallel institutions with policies and methods that actually function to replace those that were being destroyed. And we had the people as well, some of the best young minds in their fields who wanted to do it, but they were dragged into protest, and then sit-ins, and then battle, reducing them to numbers and cannon fodder in battles that both sides would lose. Those who attempted to build those institutions or form new ones were scoffed at, were told that this isn’t the time for such endeavors, labeled reformists or sell-outs, and guilted into participation for their desire to not leave their friends and comrades alone in danger. And then, the inevitable conclusion: nothing got built, the institutions got destroyed, but with nothing to replace them with they were left to continue to function, and we ended up with even more martyrs on our hands.

You don’t destroy a state unless you are ready or willing to built one to replace it, the same way you don’t start a revolution unless you intend on ruling, but we had symbols and intellgentsia who steered us to the path we were in, side-battle after side-battle instead of focusing on winning the war, because they simply couldn’t stop being the opposition. They had won, removed Mubarak, and were still doing protests and making demands, instead of enforcing their will as winners. We followed them because we couldn’t comprehend the truth at the time: They didn’t have the desire, capacity, knowledge or experience to rule or build institutions; they just wanted to stay as the opposition. If you think I am too harsh, consider this: They are the same people who told us to vote in for Morsy- a president who values and goals have nothing to do with us or theirs- so we can oppose him later, and are now opposing him. Joy.

The Martyrs wanted accountability, not just for their deaths, but for those who die daily due to our governments’ ineptitude. They wanted Justice, not just over their murder, but for every single Egyptian who would survive them. They wanted not to be forgotten, but not as our fallen comrades, but as the price we had to pay for our complacency towards tyranny and corruption. The Martyrs died for a better Egypt, one that they entrusted us to build and wanted their memory to fuel our desire to do so, and we didn’t. And had we did, had we done the work, built the state we wanted, we could’ve had a shot to actually bring justice to their killers, instead of simply demanding it. The battle to bring justice to them is a symptom of a disease, not the disease itself, and we occupied ourselves with the symptoms instead of treating the disease. We are not responsible for their deaths, we didn’t kill them, but we did nothing real to bring true justice to them, and that is our Guilt. That’s what we have to live with.

Open Letter to the Egyptian President

Dear Morsy,

Like many Egyptians, I was looking forward to your government’s attempt to implement its decision to close down shops at 10 pm out of the sheer comic value it would’ve presented. I had set up an observation post in front of my building in Roxy Square, chairs, Shisha, et all, to have a front row seat to the Tom & Jerry-style shenanigans that would take place the moment you tried to shut down the shops there. And then the news came in that your government backed down on its decision and were delaying it for another week, which at first got me into a fit of laughter, which to my amazement got replaced with increasing levels of anger as time went by, with a single thought dominating my head: Have you no shame, at all?

The Point of any state is its ability to enforce its authority on the ground; it is what is referred to as political will. Any state that doesn’t do that is basically turning itself into another Mirage state, one that only exists on paper, which is not what the Egyptian people signed up for when they went to the election polls. The people wanted a functioning government: one that has a vision, runs the country based on that vision and can enforce rule of law, which your government fails on all fronts. Is the Decision to shut down the shops a bad idea? Yes! Absolutely; but here are the options that any government has when it gets such a bad idea: 1) Don’t propose it at all, or 2) Go through with it and try to enforce it, even if it is doomed to failure from the beginning. Since you decided to propose it, I wanted you to try to close the shops, and fail, but at least you would’ve failed with some semblance of dignity or self-respect. Your government now has neither and has become the laughing stock of the entire country, which brings us to the real question: Dear President, what the Hell are you doing exactly?

What exactly was the point of the MB running you for President in the first place? To be in Power? What Power? What’s the point of power if you are incapable of exercising it or enforcing it? So far me and every Egyptian I know can count at least 5 major decisions that you or your government took in the past 4 months and couldn’t enforce. And it’s not like those decisions were great ones and there is a conspiracy preventing you from executing them; they were simply bas decisions, either legally or practically, and they showed an embarrassing amateurish style of governance. If you can’t handle the trappings of power, why go for it? So you could give us a weekly sermon every Friday? So that your governments gets us more in debt and executes shady international business deals that we know very little about? I mean, we get that the grand ambition of the MB is to have the same kind of business corruption that the NDP enjoyed, and that unlike every other Egyptian, the top honchos in your secret society are enjoying ridiculous sudden economic prosperity, but at least the NDP were trying to make it look good, and they were not scared to enforce their will, two things your people can’t seem to do. And yet again, is that really all there is to you? Did you not learn from your predecessor at all?

Listen , when the people elected you they didn’t do so in order to watch you make a mockery of the national symbol of the Presidency by having you touch your privates, nor did they do it so that you can give us religious sermons that, are not only boring, but are falsely interpreting the Quran verses you are citing as well. They elected you so that you can make things better, fix the country, and create a functioning government. They basically elected you to work, your Excellency, and you are not doing your job at all, and it’s starting to show. Not only that, but the people are slowly getting the message that this is a government without vision, plans or tools to execute or enforce their laws and decisions, and will start ignoring you. And then the question won’t be whether or not the opposition will be able to unseat you or your party in the next elections, but whether if there will be a point to another election in the first place, because nobody wants to be part of a government that has no power of execution. And why would they? If they wanted a place to go exchange ideas and draft laws that won’t be implemented, they would start a Think Tank or a social club, and it would be one where they don’t have to debate with idiots whether or not a 9 year old is eligible for marriage because she had her period. It’s not only you that’s failing, it’s the entire concept of the state, and if that falls, well, good luck bringing that back. Am I getting through to you? Do you understand what’s at stake here? Do you get that you are taking the country into anarchy?

And mind you, anarchy will not bother me nor my friends. We will adapt, get guns and electric generators and generally be fine. Others won’t be though. We will turn into the land of do as you please, and the supreme majority of the country- some of which are MB- will suffer greatly. Is that what you want? No? Then stop being such a joke, and work. Do your job. Or step aside if you are unable to. Whichever choice you make, you better make it quick. We have serious problems that require serious solutions implemented by serious people, and so far you have shown that you neither have the solutions nor are you serious about finding them. You better change that quickly, because we can’t take 4 years of this. It has been only 4 months and we are already cracking.

Sincerely yours,

Mahmoud Salem

 

The First Egyptian Revolution

It is said to have started sometime around 2181 B.C. , although the exact date cannot be pinpointed for sure. The first Egyptian popular uprising took place around then, thus ending the reign of the 6th dynasty and the era of the old Kingdom. It overthrew the rule of King Pepi II, who has ruled the country for a very long time, some even say into his 90′s, with the documents usually describing him as an ageing King secluded in his palace and disconnected from the outside world. Stop me when this starts to sound familiar.

The causes behind the first Egyptian revolution were as follows: The long reign of the King created problems with succession in the royal household, where there was no clear heir apparent who could hold the keys of the Kingdom and stop the infighting that had plagued the royal court for years. The Infighting was mainly due to the weakening of the King and the centralized authority, which lead to emergence of many forces and individuals who were part of the royal court but started to act with impunity, prompting many to question the authority of the King. Extravagance and corruption reigned supreme all over the land, along with extensive injustice and class discrimination. The agricultural based economy was getting controlled by Feudal Lords who cared very little for their workers, and who were more interested in conflicts over political influence and economic prosperity between each other than the well-being of the country. These conflicts dominated the life of the general Egyptian population until one day they had enough, and started the first Egyptian revolution.

Like any revolution, the first Egyptian revolution had its negative and positive consequences. On the negative side we have the complete destruction of state authority and institutions (local and central), the collapse of the security and judicial apparatus, and unprecedented wave of crime and looting. This lead to the eventual economic breakdown, with production collapsing and internal and external trade halted due to production and security issues, and the people refused to pay their taxes, which lead to the complete failure of the little state services they had. This, in turn, lead to the collapse of the religious and moral values that defined the Egyptian society for decades, and to a wave of atheism unprecedented amongst the Egyptian population, with many of them feeling that if the gods existed, then they have forsaken them.

The positive consequences were mainly in the area of rising political awareness of the population, with the ideas of equality and rights taking hold amongst them against the previous stringent class system that existed before, and with the establishment of schools of political thought, which aimed to come up with policies that would ensure good governance of the land and the rules rulers must follow. This era was also marked with the emergence of new artists, who brought new styles and interpretations to classical Egyptian artworks and archoitecture.

The first Egyptian revolution spanned 4 different dynasties, rising, trying to rule the country, and failing, to the point that Manheto, a historian of the Ptolemaic era, describes a period in it where 70 kings ruled for 70 days. This era was marked with a divided Kingdom filled with civil strife and conflict, not to mention attacks from invading tribes from our Asian and Libyan borders. The general weakness of the country, and the insufficiency of regional and minority rulers, made Egyptians very wary and tired of localized governance. Eventually Egyptians decided that what they needed was a strong centralized monarchy that doesn’t infringe upon their rights, which paved the way for the 11th dynasty to take over the country in absolute monarchial rule once again, under Menuhotep II , who unified the country and ushered in the era of the middle Kingdom, which was marked as an era of great wealth and prosperity, ending the revolution.

The first Egyptian revolution lasted 141 years, with the people, in the end, demanding the return of the monarchial rule that they revolted against in the first place. If you are a believer that history repeats itself, and this information is disturbing you, please remember one thing: they didn’t have internet back then.

 

 

 

 

The Circle Jerk

 

Just the other day I was contacted by my good friend (whom we shall call here A.) to inform me that he intends to marry his foreign girlfriend (we shall call her B.) and mother of his future twin babies the next day, and asked me to be his witness during the efficiation of the marriage with the egyptian government. I was naturally honored to be chosen, but also intensly curious, since he intended to have an Egyptian “civil marriage”, which is the same as the regular one, but instead of going to an Islamic efficiarry to register his marriage, he would do it directly with the Egyptian department of Justice. Given eternal fascination with Egyptian beauracracy, I couldn’t let the opprutunity go to witness it in action, especially in a civil marriage situation. The experience that I went through with them, the one I will share in this column, has been nothing short of affirming to my commitment phobia.

When A first went to the DOJ, they simply informed him that they needed simply his and her ID, and the embassy’s approval of theiur marriage, with them confirming B. citizenship, religion and marital availability. This required A to go get papers from everyone that he knew stating that they knew him and verify him, as well as all his personal papers, and then go to our ministry of foreign affairs, to get it stamped. After stamping it, he had to take the papers to a MFA-certified translator to translate everything, then back to the MFA to get it stamped again, then take it all to the embassy to start the paperwork cycle and get the confirmation regarding B. The embassy took a month and a half to process the papers and interview them, and then informed them that they can give them everything that the Egyptian government needs, except the religion of B. since the government there is secular and it has no reason to keep records of its citizens’ religion. So, in order to satisfy the requirement, B. went and converted to Islam, to get that ball rolling. After finishing all the paperwork, they went back to the DOJ to finally get their marriage contract, a journey which I accompanied them on.

After submitting all the papers, and verifying that everything in order, the government employee started to go ahead with the paperwork, when he noticed B’s baby bump, which started this exchange:

“You are pregnant?”

“Yes.”

” Are you married?”

“No”

“Were you previously married?”

“Ehh..No!”

“Ehh…then how could you be pregnant?”

“I am not sure..It’s a mystery!”

It took the government official a few minutes to get that she is kidding and that he isn’t witnessing an immaculate conception, before informing her and A that he can’t go through with the paperwork unless they were originally married. After pointing out that this is insane, since they are there to get married, he informed them that they need to create a urfi “custom” marriage that is dated before the pregnany so that he could go through with giving them an official marriage certificate. Ignoring the fact that the government employee is asking them to forge a piece of paper, they asked him how could they get Urfi married right now, to which he informed them to go to the bookstore in front of the ministry, where they sell the Urfi Marriage forms. So, we went to the bookstore, bought the form, filled it, and then submitted it. Satisfied that now the couple in front of him are officially not having babies out of wedlock, and thus not sinful infidels that should not grace his presence, the government official started asking B. about the conditions she wants in her marriage contract.

B simply wanted to state in the contract that she has the right to travel with the children when she pleases, which the official informed her is illegal, since the marriage contract conditions can not cover future conditions, and since there are no children yet, and she could miscarry, this condition could not be inserted. When she asked what she can have as conditions in the contract, he informed her that she has the right to 1)Divorce him if she wishes , 2) to work without his permission, 3) travel without his consent and 4) keep separate finances. He then assured her that Islam protects her right as a mother and that she will have equal control over her children by the law and religion, and when she asked him why he can’t add that to the contracts, he informed her because it would be illegal to do so. You figure it out.

After 3 and a half hours, and a ton of signitures and photocopies and paperwork, we were finally in the stage of printing the marriage contract and signing it. The female government official handeling that aspect noted the exhaustaion that all of us were in, and then asked me what was the problem. When I informed her that the process simply took longer than originally anticipated, she told me “By the way, this is very quickly. Did you know that had they come in two months ago, they wouldn’t be able to get the marriage certificate before a week of submitting their papers?” Astonished, I asked her what happened to change this. Was there a new law that we were not aware of? Or is the new minister maybe pushing for more efficiency? She snorted at the notion, and told me : “No. we are the ones that were bothered by it, and staged a meeting with upper management to change the delay, since it made no sense to delay people who wanted to get married.” “And they agreed?”, I asked, and she replied with a smile, as she is giving us the marriage contract, “Of course. They had no choice when they realized we were all united here on this. Didn’t we have a revolution to make everything better? ”

Ahh, man. Faith truly gets rewarded in the strangest of places….

 

Hope

 

Legend has it that when Prometheus stole fire from heaven, Zeus took vengeance by creating the first woman, Pandora, and presenting her to Epimetheus, Prometheus’ brother. With her, Pandora had a jar which she was not to open under any circumstance. Impelled by her natural curiosity, Pandora opened the jar, and all evil contained- every kind of disease and sickness, hate and envy- escaped and spread over the earth. She hastened to close the lid, but the whole contents of the jar had escaped, except for one thing which lay at the bottom, and that was Hope. When she opened the Jar again, Hope sprang free, and flew out into the world, a world that now held Envy, Crime, Hate, and Disease – and Hope.

We are comforted by the seemingly happy ending of this legend, but the truth is, it’s a false and misleading ending to the story. You see, hope is not what we think it to be. Hope was locked in Pandora’s jar for a reason. Hope was not a force of good, but rather the worst evil of them all; a demon so vile, it was hidden and buried deep in the bottom of the jar. Hope was a demon that fed on human suffering, and aimed to prolong man’s torment as much as possible. It clutches itself to humans in their darkest hour, and whispers in their ears to wait, to be patient, that the misery and suffering in the world must end, and that all will be magically well some day. And the humans believed the demon and grew to feel comforted by its whispers, so when misery and decay takes over their lives, they remain calm, still and hopeful, and end up suffering longer then they would, had they just confronted the evil that’s in the world. They lied to themselves and let it into their hearts, even though what they needed to do to fix the world didn’t require it one bit.

You see, upon further reading, we discover that Hope, the demon succubus of our souls, alongside with every other evil that was in that jar, can only be truly vanquished by Tabbris, the Angel of self-determination, choice and free will. The truth that nobody told you was this: You don’t need hope. You never did. Even at your darkest hour, it wasn’t necessary. What you truly needed to overcome it was determination; to make the choice to face the evil and the suffering head-on, without blinking or hesitation, or hope. We urge you to remember the evidence of this throughout the history of humanity; that those who fought the great wars of old, those who faced the might and machines of evil men, they did it without hope, and they confronted it directly and fiercely regardless, which is why they won.

So, if what’s going around in your life, your country, or in the world, is terrifying you, and the situation seems so gloomy and ominous, to the point where you admittedly claim to have lost all hope, well, be glad, for getting rid of it is half the battle. Once you are at that point, all that is left for you to do is to make a choice. You can either decide to vanquish the rest of the evil, the source of your suffering, if you wish to live, or you can choose to run away, forever a quarry to suffering and misery, and a possible prey to Hope once again. If you make the second choice, you will live the rest of your life a victim, without having any power over it, which, when you think about it, isn’t a way to live, at all.

 

So please remember, when the world is at its darkest, when your friends fail you, when your allies betray you by their malice, cowardice or surrender, when your best-laid plans fall into disarray and all seems lost, please, abandon all hope, for it only buys evil time…

 

..and make the choice, to live or not, once and for all.

 

 

The view from here

    

Dear World,

I have a confession to make: while the whole world was transfixed on us, yet again, due to that whole attack the embassy business, I was going through a tumultuous emotional journey, alternating between bewilderment, horror and shock-based laughter, ending with the most unexpected of feelings: Pride. I must say that currently I am filled with a sense of ironic pride with my country and my revolution, for the status both have achieved over the past 19 months. The attention and importance given to Egypt, well, it has been nothing short of overwhelming. We sure have wow-ed you.

Sure, the scenes on your screens might be so disturbing , that some of you openly wonderd if we are going through a second revolution or something, but let me assure you with both facts and personal experience: There is no second revolution, there are no open riots on the streets, the action was totally confined to a 250 meter radius around the embassy, with people going to eat, drink, smoke hookah right nearby it. This whole video thing didn’t affect us at all, with the majority of the 2500 stationed around the embassy in the following clashes were the Zamalek Ultras (Super Football fans) who were there simply to clash with the police the following days. Really. Nope, in reality, we are doing just fine.

Sure, there are scary indications of things to come, like the attack on the MFO camp where the AlQaeda flag was hoisted, the same flag that became a Tshirt being sold in Tahrir; or the arrest of Alber Saber, a guy whose crime was sharing the trailer of “innocence of Muslims” on his facebook page while being a copt and an atheist as well, and whose house was attacked by a mob as this glorious movie shows, but such things are trivialities compared to our other Problems.

I mean, sure, it’s brilliant that we have AlQaeda now openly operating in Egypt, or that a revolution that was organized by a facebook page presenting ideas that the previous regime thought offensive and dangerous for national unity would end up with a government that actually arrests a guy for sharing content on facebook that it considerd offensive and dangerous for national unity, but really, such things are besides the point. What is the point you may ask? Well, the fulfillment of the Pakistan model of government in Egypt, of course. How we are slowly becoming a dangerous broken rogue state, just like them. We are implementing the Pakistan model here, you see, and the results have been fantastic. Just yesterday we had a salafi member of the constuient assembly (the people who are writing the constitution) talking about efforts to remove or change the amendment of human trafficking to allow the bringing down of the legal Marriage age for girls to the moment they reach puberty and have their first period, even if she was as young as 9 years old. Yes, we might end up having a constitution that grants us Child marriages. And you thought you had a culture war.

But this all sounds horrifying ,you say? Where would such pride that I spoke of come from, you ask? Well…

For me, and others, the most fascinating aspect of all of this has to be our effect on the American elections, and how suddenly we became an important campaign issue in the snoozefest that is the Obama vs. Romney elections, primarily against Obama. How Obama, he of the message of peace and understanding with the Muslim world, must now contend with islamist rage fueled by those whom he – and a million thinker, analyst and pundit- referred to as a moderate Islamic group, the Muslim Brotherhood. The same moderate Islamic group whose people met with his people over 14 times this past year and a half, who convinced them that they should support them because Salafis and Liberals are unpredictable and undesirable, and because they will bring peace to the region. The same moderate Islamic Group who actually called for and facilitated the protests at the US embassy on the anniversary of 9/11, all the while pretending to have nothing with it to the English-speaking world. The same moderate Islamic Group that now controls all aspects of Egyptian government, and the source of his current dilemma. How in 4 years Obama’s name went from the praised American President who wasn’t Bush, to the target of hostile chants by religious extreemists that utilize the “Obama/Osama” rhyme scheme, the one pioneered by anti-Obama American religious extremists, in anti-US demonstrations. If this ends up becoming a hot campaign issue, and Obama loses, pundit and historians will say that the Obama presidency started with Egypt and ended because of Egypt. As an egyptian political geek always enamored with international Political Theatre, well, how can I not be proud of that? How awesome is that?

The cherry on the cake in this whole Obama/Embassy affair has to be the role that the MB had in this attack, and how it provides fantastic fodder for conspiracy theorists and political analysts alike. Here is what we know: A bunch of Mulsim Brotherhood and Salafi figures started making an issue of this movie, who no one heard of before, a few days before the anniversary of 9/11. A call for protests was made by both the MB and supported by the salafis at the US embassy was made on the anniversary of 9/11. That day, as a friend who works for the embassy has informed me, the employees who left at 4 pm noticed that both the Police and the Army forces protecting the embassy had both vanished, followed by the attack that you all watched on your television. The following days the MB would praise the attackers in Arabic media and condemn the attack on their English language media, prompting a testy exchange between the US embassy and the MB’s English twitter account, and for Obama to inform the world that he no longer views Egypt as an ally.

Damage control by MB operatives and apologists was exerted, asking the world to understand Muslim anger (the demonstration again never exceeded 2500 people from a city of 20 million)and blaming the affair on the Police who assured them that they had this under control. Any person with half a brain would’ve asked about why the army- who Morsy now fully controls- didn’t defend the embassy, or why Morsy didn’t fire or even reprimand a single employee of the Ministry of Interior for failing to fulfill their duty, but really, no one botherd because no one believes the MB on this. While analysts and conspiracy theorists scrambled to come up with a theory explaining why the MB did this, and how maybe the MB hopes to have Obama lose since having Romney would give them the external enemy that they can use to silence internal dissent, the rest of us marveled at the circus that took place internationally because of it, one that we know will lead to nowhere, like all such manufactured crises, just like the Danish cartoon affair, although far more entertaining: We now have a call to reinstate the emergency law, again, and a call to boycott Google, which is so absured it’s hilarious. I wonder if they will have Gmail account deletion parties and android-phone-burning events soon.

For real, how can I not be proud of all of this? On how, my little country, is affecting the world the way it is? How we inspired the world with our revolution, and then broke its heart? How, because of us, a at least half a dozen other uprisings, not to mention general social upheavals, took place all over the world, at a time when it simply can’t afford them? How the images that occupied news about Egypt changed from a cute flag-waving westernized-looking Egyptian girl, to the image of Previous Grand Marshall Tantawy in army uniform, looking like the dictator of some African banana republic, with the image of the army beating up protesters in the background, finally ending with the bearded image of our newly elected President, Mohamed Morsy, with images of islamist protests in the background, to the horror of anyone who was still watching? How we became another cautionary tale, your favorite world drama, the harbinger of bad things to come, the uprising that singlehandedly saved journalism internationally, changed governments, broke international markets and now threatens the US elections, and whose twists and turns rivals that of the Game of Thrones? How my little country, my beloved Egypt, did all of this with one peaceful revolution. Imagine.

Sure, it is safe to say that the original revolution is now over for the time being, with the secular minded revolutionaries, so abused and traumatized by the bloodbaths carried against them by both the MOI and the Army , are now solely focused on holding the army and the police accountable, instead of actually working to create the country of rights and freedoms that they originally set out to do. Sure, it is safe to say that with Islamists in power, the whole child-marriages amendment affair is nothing but a taste of the horror we are bound to see under their rule. Sure, it is safe to say that the dream of a modern functional Egypt is destined to remain just a dream at this point, and that this breaks my heart in ways I can’t even begin to describe. But, on the bright nihilistic side, we will continue to amaze you for the time being and you won’t be able to to be smug about how much of a broken state we have become for long, because you are joining our ranks very very soon.

You see, when we called for this revolution we were dissatisfied with the conditions of our country compared to those shiny clean advanced first world countries of yours, and many were driven with the desire to fix this country so that we-as a country- can advance and hopefully one day keep up with you. But now, looking at the ensuing economical tsunami that is bound to hit this entire world- especially first world countries- the hardest, we realize that we don’t have to worry about advancing to keep up with you anymore, because you will be brought down and regress to our level very soon. We don’t have to come to you; you will come to us. We will all be miserable equally. That horrifying Egalitarian Ideal. And we started it. US. We broke the world. Without Armies. What a remarkable achievement. How can I not be proud?

Egypt is firmly in the big leagues now, people. Get used to it!

Best Regards,

Mahmoud Salem

Internal Memo 21581-2012

Dear (Redacted),

 

Oh man, things went insane after you left your post a few days ago, but thankfully we got the situation under control, and we removed the old bag of bones and his henchman. I can’t believe he wanted to stay as minister of defense after the decades he spent in his post and the insane things he made us go through the past year and a half. I mean it’s bad enough that all the lower ranks couldn’t get promoted for all of these years because those two stayed in their posts, but to want to continue, after the damage your actions did to the army and its image? Tantawy had to go with his boy, and thankfully the rest of the group chose me as the next Minister of Defense and we made the deal with Morsy to appoint me, in exchange of giving him all the powers we had, to end this circus we have been living in for the past 18 months.

I mean can you imagine us continuing to go through what we went through the past year and a half? For all of those meetings, and media appearances, and the journalists, and the friends and family members who all want to be assured one way or another, to continue? Why? We didn’t sign up for this. All that we wanted in all of this is not to have our mode of operations messed with and to keep our business empire. That’s it. And we haven’t been doing that. The Army is one of the country’s largest and richest business empires and it is too integral to our economic interests to have it ran this way. We have veered off course with our revenue targets because of this whole ruling the revolution business, that I can’t fathom how much we lost when I review our balance sheets. Do you know how much we spent on buying gas for those whiney under-paying gas guzzlers the last year and a half alone so that they wouldn’t complain? Unless we forgot what we are doing here in the first place, we are here to make money and to keep our guns and prisons to mess with anyone who threatens that. Can you say that we have been doing this efficiently lately? I can honestly say that the environment at work lately has been as toxic and destructive as I have ever seen it.

And that supplementary constitutional declaration business; don’t even get me started at that. The country now has a president from the Muslim Brotherhood, which means they will get off our backs, and we have completely managed to defame all the political parties and annihilate all of those Tahrir creatures that wanted to review our books. Why would we continue this ruling business? We don’t want to be Turkey. We have seen how this film ends. It’s better not to be in the public eye when you are running the kind of racket we have been, especially that this close scrutiny is causing us great embarrassments. It’s bad enough that we had to excuse what happened at Maspiro by stating that our soldiers freaked out and ran over those copts, but Sinai? They were surprise attacked while eating? Those kinds of fiascos are bad for our image, and they might encourage people to start asking to review what we are doing here, and we can’t have that. I mean we have the occasional good apples, but those kids in recruitment today are not the caliber of yore. Plus, we don’t want to get involved in this securing Sinai business. That’s, as Mubarak used to say, “Israel’s problem”. Why would we want to assume responsibility for that? I will end up having one those incidents once a week. I think us stepping away from the spot light is for the best, and that we should focus on repairing the damage done to our image in the mean time. That’s why I earmarked 1 billion EGP from our budget for Sinai as this year’s CSR campaign. We are hearing good buzz about it already, and less on the news that we are not really hunting the rafah killers and that we are bombing sand dunes to make it look like we are fighting them. And honestly I expect our revenue projections to rise dramatically when we raise the prices of our products because of “inflation”, like we actually pay wages or taxes or anything. That’s what’s so great: Nobody is paying attention to us anymore, and everyone is focused on Morsy and “the Ikhwanization of the state”. Oh how I love journalists and political analysts. They really do believe anything we tell them.

Unfortunately we will have to sustain some damage for a while, with people continuing their tradition of making legends about us and believing them to be true. Like how we are getting infiltrated by the Brotherhood for example, which completely ignores that 75% of all armed forces men come from outside of Cairo and Alex, and many of them have some seriously conservative religious point of view. Or how they believe that we will be affected by them, completely ignoring that we are with whomever is in charge. We were socialists under Nasser, capitalists under Sadat and Mubarak and we have no problem becoming islamists under Morsy, just as long as he doesn’t actually think that we will fight in any wars any time soon. But I am expecting people to continue making theories about how “SCAF” is doing this or the “Deep State” is doing that, like there is an entity that actually plans and really works in Egypt. Like we don’t have Egyptians running this Institution. Oh well, let them entertain themselves. The best analysis I’ve heard lately was that us going back to the shadows is to have morsy be totally responsible for the sad state of this country; like, Idiot, isn’t that what you wanted in the first place? To end military rule? Why are you complaining? Freakin political analysts. They are the worst.

Either way, I hope all is well with you and your kids, and please don’t forget to call every now and then. And don’t worry about Tantawy and Anan, they are ok with this: they get to keep all of their money, and enjoy it, and not go to prison. It’s an excellent deal, really. Why would they be mad?

Oh, and before I forget: regarding that thing you asked me about, we did investigate your suspicions regarding Mohamed Abu Hamed, and you were right: he is an alien. From Mars, we think. We are checking it out. Will keep you informed.

Sincerely Yours,

Abdel-Fatah El-Sissi

Minister of Defense of Egypt