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The reason I wrote this article
President Al Sisi and What Will Follow Him

President Al Sisi and What Will Follow Him

First: Sisi and Eastern Authoritarianism

Authority is always temporary. Whoever comes to power is destined to leave it. It makes no difference if that person is a King or a president. It makes no difference if he/she dies while still being an arrogant autocrat or an autocrat hiding behind sweet talk, or even a democratically elected president. In any case, they think they are above the people, exercise their powers, and one day will leave their position and become a captive of the past.

In democratic regimes, one is jailed if one insults an ordinary citizen, but one has the right to criticize and mock public servants, whether he/she occupies the presidency or any lower position. As long as they agree to be public servants, ordinary citizens have the right, in fact it is their duty, to criticize public servants. If they rather not to be criticized, then they should not fight to be in the spotlight. Since public servants have the power to affect ordinary citizen’s daily lives, then they have to bear the burden of criticism.

The opposite is true in the so-called Muslim countries. Any citizen could be jailed if they criticize the autocratic leader or anyone in their cabinet. On the other hand, there is hardly any punishment for insulting or hurting the weak or the poor. In Egypt, the state media called me a traitor, an infidel, and accused me of receiving foreign funds while I could barely afford my living expenses. My friends repeatedly advised me to sue them, but I worried the judge would put me in jail for standing up against my “masters.” This is the reality: they are the Masters who cannot be criticized. In Islam, all prophets are humans who can make mistakes, but they do not consider themselves humans. So they do not suffer any criticism while in power, and once they leave it they are considered the ardent villains; no middle ground.

In less than a year of ruling Egypt, Sisi joined the dictators list. Like any dictator, he started his reign with sweat talk and soft language, but he showed the other face and reinstated the junta rule and the police state in a way that surpassed all his predecessors, including Nasser.

Mubrak ruled Egypt as a representative of the Juntas. He used the police to secure his reign while stealing Billions of Dollars for himself, his family and gang. Sisi came to power through the Juntas bluntly. He secured the Military position in the Egyptian economy even further and made it the main manufacture, merchant and owner of the Egyptian land and people. Currently, Egypt is occupied by its own military because of the Juntas. The military has the right to confiscate any land from people, and if anyone complains or fights back, they also have the right put them in jail through military judiciary. No one can ask about their budget, the profit they make or the commissions they take on arms’ deals. No one knows the limits between the military budget and the state budget. These are all dangerous and unspeakable questions, for whoever may ask them has to face the public prosecutor and eventually the prison.

Egypt, after more than thirty years of degradation, is in a dire need of eminent reform that lasts for two decades at least. Instead, Egypt was destined to be ruled by Sisi, a dictator worse than Mubarak or Nasser. Sisi promised religious and educational reform, and I supported such promises until I realized they are void of any true intention of reform.  Just in few month, he imprisoned and committed gross human rights violations worse than what Mubarak made in thirty years.

What is the Solution?

The January 25th revolution that ousted Mubarak gave the Muslim Brotherhood an edge, but the Military was smart enough to let the brotherhood rule and show their failure, and wait to offer the alternative. This was Sisi’s mission, and he succeeded so far. He is focusing now on eradicating the remaining opposition and keeping the population busy with grand long-term projects like the new capital. He is also working on small project that improve the delivery of certain public goods, but all of these are painkillers that do not tackle the real problem and will not solve it because of the economy that is surviving on foreign aid. The revolution that I predicted back in 2012 is almost here.

What Egypt is going through in its’ path towards democratic transformation is much less than what Europe went through. Democratic transition in France also took long decades starting with the French revolution (1789:1799) and beheading Louis the sixteen (1793), then Napelon’s consolidation of power (1800:1804) and his demise in 1818. He was followed with the Borbon family who repeated the same mistakes. France went through many other failures and until Charles De Goul and the fifth republic (1959:1969).

Egypt needs educational reform that establishes democratic culture and awareness instead of the current Wahhabi culture. This is inevitable because of the internet.

Back when I was in Egypt, I used to say that reform can only be done through a top-down approach, since I was persecuted by the top. I knew of their corruption and how reform threatens their status quo, but I wanted to expose them. Real reform is reform of the silent and passive majority to be proactive and demand their rights, no matter how dangerous. Such reform is advocated by writers, thinkers, and activists, each one in their field. Reforming the silent majority will enable them to realize the problem with military rule or mixing religion with politics. This is the mission of thinkers and activists, and their work will shorten the transition periods as much as possible.

Failing to satisfy such role, writers, thinkers and activist became like white slaves and history will have no mercy on them, nor will Allah (SWT) “And do not incline toward those who do wrong, lest you be touched by the Fire, and you would not have other than Allah any protectors; then you would not be helped.”

Finally

I lived during Nasser’s time. I used to worship him until I woke to his demise in 1967. I witnessed Sadat as he is destroying Egypt by making it follow Saudi and the US. I also suffered from Mubarak. Now Sisi is ruling as I am about to leave this life as a historian and a witness of this time. Hence, I hope I never write again about Sisi’s disappointments. He does not deserve it, unless he starts true reform, and that is impossible. It is impossible for a dictator who jailed tens of thousands, slaughters thousands of Egyptian, and shared Mubarak’s corruption to be a reformer.

This is the last article about Sisi. I will compile all my articles about him into a book “A witness to few months of Sisi’s era.”


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