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Parasites In The Lands Of The Infidels

Egypt’s Resilient and Evolving Social Activism

Why did Trump strike Syria?

In an interview, Amr Adly discusses his recent Carnegie paper on Egypt’s large private enterprises.

It’s Time to Take a Hard Look at the U.S. Relationship With Egypt

As we work to eradicate ISIS, Iraq's Christians, Yizidis need our help now more than ever

Should America’s Refugee Policy Put Persecuted Christians First?

Muslims Were Banned From the Americas as Early as the 16th Century

Review: ‘I Am Not Your Negro’ Will Make You Rethink Race

Inside Trump’s shadow national security council

Turkey in Transition (?): Before and After the Attempted July Coup

Trump Signs Executive Order Curbing Obamacare

Lion's Den :: Daniel Pipes Blog

Ur-Fascism

Aid in reverse: how poor countries develop rich countries

35 Entrepreneurs Making a Difference in the Arab World

Trump could cause ‘the death of think tanks as we know them’

The Arabs had a country

The Islamic State is attaining its key goal, and U.S. media find the story of “limited interest

While the Muslim Brotherhood gets all the ink, the Salafists go on a rampage.

Egypt, I like your style

The warning bells are ringing

To the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces

A test for the Muslim Brotherhood

Egypt’s changing foreign policy

Egypt beyond Mubarak

The dissolution of the NDP

Remaking Cairo from below

Why Egypt should join the ICC

No citizenship without social justice

Mubarak's message

A new era for US-Egypt relations?

The old regime must be prosecuted

Revolution Interrupted? Liberating the media

The Brotherhood on the edge of reform

Brother-tarianism

Buying the People’s Assembly

What do Salafis really want?

A state of counter-emergency

Minimum wage a cure for 'corruption'

Beyond the referendum

Reform security, secure reform

The Tunisian Revolution: Initial Reflections

The Egyptian Revolution: First Impressions from the Field

Lest the revolution turn into a wasted opportunity

The U.S. Should Not Get Involved in Libya

Five positions on the revolution

Urbanised Islam behind Pakistan's Sufi shrine bombings

Rethinking Internal Security in Egypt

Leo Strauss and the Grand Inquisitor

Push ahead now for a solution in Palestine

The Ongoing Attacks on Egypt’s Coptic Christians

SAUDI ARABIA'S ECONOMIC NEEDS AND THE PRICE OF OIL

Saudi Arabia and the Spectre of Protest

America Quiet on the Execution of Afghan Christian Said Musa

Egypt’s Copts in Al-Qaeda’s Sights

The Worldwide Danger of Religious Fundamentalism

Tread Softly

RECLIMING WOMEN'S RIGHT TO DIVORCE IN ISLAM

HOW SHARIA LAW PUNISHES RAPED WOMEN Hasan Mahmud

The global force behind Mumbai’s agony is in our midst

Some Discussions about Qur’an, Violence and Fitnah

Terror in the Name of God

The Adventure of an Islamic Reformer at Oxford, London, and Istanbul

Thank God for Justice

Using C hristian Principles to Enhance Economic Theory and Practice:

Worldwide Hate Speech Laws?

Freedom Agenda In Flames

Commentary: Candidates should seek votes of Muslim-Americans

Why Barack is Winning?

Indian Muslims and 'Terrorism': Some Searching Questions

Taqlid, Ijtihad, and Democracy

Election 08: Senator Obama, American Muslims and IslamophobiaStatement of Concerned Scholars about I

Struggling against sectarianism: Shia-Sunni ecumenism

“Happy Eid” from Turkey

Book Review: Islam in Post-Modern World

The Concept of Jihad in Islam

Downhill in Afghanistan:

> How Not to Toast a Tyrant

How Not to Toast a Tyrant

Manufacturing 'Terrorists' The Indian Way

Madrasas: Reforms a Must

AZERBAIJAN-TURKEY-ISRAEL RELATIONS: THE ENERGY FACTOR

Fort Lauderdale's Anatolia Cultural Center endeavors to 'show the real Islam'

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Book Review: Aurangzeb Revisited

America wants Iraq’s last drop of oil

Terrorising Muslims in the Name of Countering Terrorism

A proposal for new Iraqi/US co-operation and a suggestion of how this can be achieved

How will the Georgian struggle affect Iraq?

Is Obama a man of action as well as words?

Can moderate Iraqis believe Obama’s promises?

Can Iraq be ruled successfully by a Shia/Kurdish coalition?

Name of the Book: Issues in Madrasa Education in India

Dangerous Portents in Jammu and Kashmir: A View From Doda

London School of Islamics

Rethinking Kashmir Politics

Norman G. Kurland, J.D

Sir Salman Rushdie's fatwa against freedom of expression

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Muslim Women: The Dangerous Triangle

Judeo-Christian "Rights of Liberty" (and Muslim "Rights of Justice," as well ???)

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Captive to a Discarded Cause

Egypt's sexual harassment 'cancer'

The Origins and Legacy of the Movement to Fight Religious Persecution

LEBANON'S MILITIA WARS

A secular state must deliver

“Islamic Economics” – Islam less, economics more-1

Exploiting the Muslim- Jewish divide is the wrong way to win votes.

How To Win The War Of Ideas (Glassman, WSJ)

The Olympic Games—Political Games?

Me without my Hijab

The changing face of American Islam

An Islamic case for a secular state

Getting a read on moderation

RETHINKING THE REVOLUTION?

Muslim Ghettoisation

Hurting their cause

Allah's Miracles in the Qur'an

Allah's Miracles in the Qur'an

Things are calm, time to talk

Awaiting China ’s implosion

The view from Bali

Why Blame Muslims Alone for Terrorism?

Consequences of Religious Extremism and the Lack of Democratic Principles

Cultural Accumulation and Modern Reading

Liberation Without War

Gaza's New Residents: Terrorists from all over.

Turkey in radical revision of Islamic texts

From the Archive
We Say the Following about the Debate about Quranists between the Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi and the Head-Sheikh of Al-Azhar
The Absolute Truth in Relation to Human Knowledge within this Transient World
Fatwas Part two:
A Statement From
Rules, Rules, and more Rules
Fatwas: Part Four
When One Buys Eternity in Hell with One's Own Money
Muhammad Does not Embody Islam, Let Alone Muslims
Why Did Libya Vote Against the Muslim Brotherhood?
A Reproach to the Moderate Muslims of Egypt
The Al-Saud Family and Their Repelling Others Away from the Sacred Kaaba Mosque
Harmful Mosques, Again
These four messages were emailed to President Obama
Lessons Drawn from the New Zealand Massacre: The Weak Ones Who Are Unjust towards Both Themselves and the Lord God
On the Special Sharia Laws that Applied Only to the Prophet Muhammad and his Wives
10 Questions for President Obama
In Condemnation Of the Extremists Campaign Against Switzerland Conce
A Response to the Previous Article Titled: (My Father Is My Problem!) from the Father who Writes (I Am Not the Problem, I Am the Victim!)
Behaving Proudly and Arrogantly Without Justification (2 of 2)
Similar Quranic Verses and Definitive Ones in a Practical Study: "It Is but a Revelation Revealed." (Quran 53:4)
Yes.he is right - Hello I and my sister never known our biological father , we Grow up a... ......
Confused - its important to find someone to answer me asap,,, i am muslim (unti... ......
it is Halal - Asalam alakyum A question for Dr Sobhi Is it halal or haram to wor... ......
Lest the revolution turn into a wasted opportunity

  by: : Alaa Al-Aswani

 

 

Lest the revolution turn into a wasted opportunity
 

Following the successful 1919 revolution and after the British occupying forces succumbed to the will of the Egyptian people, King Faruq established a committee to draft a new constitution. The committee was appointed rather than elected. Nationalist leader Saad Zaghloul objected, demanding that a constituent assembly be elected to ensure the constitution reflects the will of the people. But King Faruq insisted on his position. The appointed committee drafted the 1923 constitution, which gave the king the right the dissolve parliament at any time. This grave constitutional deficiency ruined political life by turning parliament into a tool for the king. Zaghloul’s Wafd party, which held a majority of seats in parliament, took power only once over the course of the next 30 years.

Oddly, Zaghloul accepted the 1923 constitution, despite its defects. As Egypt’s uncontested leader at the time, he could have called on Egyptians to insist on their right to a just and democratic constitution. But the opportunity was lost.

After the 1952 revolution, Egypt wasted another opportunity for democratization. The anti-democracy current within the Free Officers dominated the revolution and on 16 January, 1953, they issued a decision to dissolve all political parties and confiscate their money and offices. The Wafd party was the majority party at the time and could have mobilized the public against dictatorship, in which case the officers would have retreated and Egypt’s democratic system would have been preserved. But the Wafd party did not raise any objections. This was another wasted opportunity for Egypt. Instead, the country remained under authoritarian rule for the next 60 years.

Unfortunately, Egypt’s history is replete with lost opportunities for democratization. We now have another opportunity, which I hope will not be lost. The 25 January revolution forced Hosni Mubarak to step down. Hundreds of Egyptians sacrificed their lives for the sake of freedom. Since its inception, however, the revolution was confronted with a vicious counter-revolution — both inside and outside of Egypt.  

A few days ago, the Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Dar reported that Egyptian authorities are under massive pressure from Arab rulers, especially from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, to ensure that Mubarak is not tried. The report asserted that these Arab states had directly threatened to freeze all relations with Cairo, cut all financial assistance, and withdraw their investments from Egypt. They even went as far as threatening to dismiss the 5 million Egyptians working in those countries, if Mubarak were to be tried.

For its part, Israel always defended Hosni Mubarak, one of its best allies. The Israeli press does not conceal its concerns about meaningful democratic change in Egypt. The US administration has a similar position. Both American and Israeli officials recognize Egypt’s potential and know it will become a powerful regional force in a matter of years, if it becomes a democracy.

Writing for The Guardian, prominent American intellectual Noam Chomsky argued that the United States supports authoritarianism in Egypt not because of it fears of Islamic extremism, as it usually claims, but because it fears an independent Egypt that is not reliant on American support. The US administration will work hard, Chomsky added, to ensure that Egypt’s next president remains faithful to American interests.

In addition to the international threats against Egypt’s revolution, there are also serious domestic challenges.  The bases of Mubarak’s regime are still intact. The ex-ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) remains entrenched across Egypt. Hundreds of thousands of NDP members will do their best to regain power, albeit under a new label. Hundreds of state security officers, who have fled their work places, are now free to cause a great deal of destruction. Tens of thousands of municipal council members, governors, university presidents and deans (appointed by the security apparatus), media figures, heads of companies and fraudulent labor unions, are now conspiring against the revolution.

What are the objectives of the counter-revolution? Mubarak’s statements to the international press, before he stepped down, are particularly telling.

“I want to step down but I’m worried about chaos in Egypt…I’m worried that the Muslim Brotherhood might come to power.”

The counter-revolution is now executing a plan to bring to life Mubarak’s fears in order to show the ex-president was right. This plan includes:

1.    Inciting chaos and terrorizing Egyptians to make them feel insecure. This is intended to make them weary of the revolution and push them to accept half-solutions for the sake of stability. This plan began with the withdrawal of police forces across Egypt and the freeing of 40,000 criminals from prison, who were armed and given instructions to attack civilians. The plan remained in effect during Ahmed Shafiq’s tenure as prime minister. When Essam Sharaf took over, several incidents of vandalism and sectarian tension took place, thereby humiliating the government of the revolution. Despite the great efforts undertaken by the new Interior Minister, Mansur Al-Issawi, the police force remains largely absent. The refusal of the police to protect this nation constitutes treason. Police officers can only abstain from doing their jobs if they are given orders to do so. It’s clear that those instructing police officers not to do their duties have more influence than the Minister of Interior himself.

Incidents of thuggery in Egypt are not haphazard. They’re mostly planned and targeted. For instance, security personnel in the front the Moqatam polling station did not intervene when reform advocate Mohammad ElBaradei was attacked by NDP supporters on the day of the referendum. In Shubra, during the two days preceding the referendum, thugs were allowed to block roads, terrorize people and fire random shots, leading to several deaths. Not a single police officer or army soldier intervened to protect citizens. Does the fact that many Copts live in Shubra and that Coptic leaders had announced their opposition to the constitutional amendments have anything to do with these attacks? Were the attacks intended to terrorize Copts to force them to accept the amendments or were they meant to punish them for insisting on Egyptians’ right to a new constitution?

2.    Holding selective trials, most of which are done under the spotlight of the media. State media (which was also under the control of the state security apparatus) rushed to photograph ex-NDP members Ahmed Ezz, Zoheir Garana, and Ahmed Maghrabi in their prison uniforms, during their investigations. Leaving aside the fact that this went against all professional standards, the purpose was to absorb the anger of Egyptians and convince them that justice was being served. With all due respect to the general prosecutor, there are several unanswered questions in this regard.

Why hasn't Mubarak or his family members been investigated? Why haven’t ex-NDP leaders Zakaria Azmi, Fathi Sorour and Safwat al-Sherif been put on trial? Why hasn't the general prosecutor investigated the 24 complaints lodged by civil aviation workers against Ahmed Shafiq on charges of wasting public funds? During Ahmed Shafiq’s tenure as prime minister, why did the general prosecutor not order the investigation any police officers on charges of murdering protesters? After Shafiq was sacked, why did the prosecutor’s office release those officers accused of murder? Won’t their release allow them to conceal evidence that might be used to indict them? What's the point of trying corrupt officials and murderers selectively?

3.    Egyptians were not allowed to elect a constituent assembly to draft a new constitution that reflects the will of the people and moves Egypt into an era of democracy. Instead, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces surprisingly adopted Mubarak’s proposal to institute limited constitutional amendments. The process of drafting and approving the amendments was plagued by a series of shortcomings. First, members of the amendments committee were not selected on the basis of any clear criteria. Second, the referendum was held hastily following the announcement of the proposed amendments, making it difficult for people to fully comprehend the issues involved. Third, citizens could only accept or reject the amendments as a package. Fourth, the Muslim Brotherhood and the NDP were united for the first time in approving the amendments. The Brotherhood demonstrated its readiness to change its position depending on its interests. After collecting signatures for months to support ElBaradei’s reform campaign, the Brotherhood turned its back on him and allied itself with the NDP.

The principles of Islam seem to be suspended for the Brotherhood during election season as it's prepared to do anything to gain power. The Brotherhood has accused its opponents of being foreign agents. It has distributed sugar and oil to some voters, terrorized others, and even went so far as labeling some of them apostates. The Brotherhood's strong showing, even if it does not accurately represent their influence across Egypt, is serving the aims of the counter-revolution. On the one hand, the Brotherhood is polarizing Egyptians on the basis of religion. It is undermining the national unity that the revolution has nurtured. On the other hand, the Brotherhood demonstrates to sympathizers of the revolution in the West that Hosni Mubarak was indeed the final bulwark against extremists.

Those who were frustrated with the media's warm reception of Islamic Jihad leader and killer Abud al-Zumur following his release from prison last week must recognize that the his image offers support for the counter-revolution. Al-Zumur, whose long beard is reminiscent of Osama Bin Laden's, announced on television that killing in the name of religion is legitimate. This statement terrified millions of Westerners who sympathized with the Egyptian revolution, but are now ready to accept the return of the old regime in the name of protecting Egypt from extremists.

Those in favor of the constitutional amendments have won the referendum. My happiness with the great voter turnout and my respect for the voters aside, it is my duty to assert that proceeding with the transition process at such a rapid pace is against the interests of Egypt and the revolution.

If those in power truly want to support democratic change, our candidate-centered electoral system must be changed. This current system will allow the NDP and Muslim Brotherhood to win most of the seats in an election. That they should be in charge of drafting Egypt’s new constitution is unacceptable. Most legal scholars have argued that a constitution drafted by a parliament that is elected through the existing system will not represent the Egyptian people’s will. Their advice must be taken seriously. Egypt’s great revolution will not become another wasted opportunity. If the transition process takes us backwards, no one will be able stop the Egyptian people, who forced Hosni Mubarak to step down, from achieving their freedom.

Democracy is the solution.