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On Avoiding Hunger Revolts (PART II)

 

On Avoiding Hunger Revolts (PART II)

Was published in Arabic in Februray 14, 2016

Translated by ahmed Fathy

 

 

He said to me: In accordance with an Islamic reformation point of view, how Egypt can be spared a destructive hunger revolt or civil strife?

I said to him: Reformation in all fields requires power.

He said: What do you mean?

I said: Please remember the persecution inflicted upon us when we called for religious reform in Islam using the Quran. We were imprisoned and persecuted; attempts on our life repeated, and our reputation is still tarnished in Egypt until now. If our reformation movements had power to apply it in Egypt, persecution of us should have not happened.

He said: What evidence do you have of this from the lifetime of Muhammad?

I said: If Muhammad were heading Yathreb without the power of believers in it to aid him, he would have been expelled from it. Hypocrites were the masters and leaders in Yathreb controlling it. They wished to expel Muhammad from Yathreb. "They say, "If we return to the City, the more powerful therein will evict the weak." But power belongs to God, and His Messenger, and the believers; but the hypocrites do not know." (63:8). What stopped them from expelling Muhammad was the powerful persons around him among inhabitants of Yathreb. God describes this fear inside the hypocrites as follows: "They swear by God that they are of you. But they are not of you. They are divisive people. Were they to find a shelter, or a cave, or a hideout, they would go to it, rushing." (9:56-57).

He said: How did the power balance moved for and not against Muhammad?

I said: Muhammad was weak and helpless, i.e., with no supporters within the Meccans, in the city Mecca. That was why his religious reform did not succeed in mecca at first. Conditions were different in Yathreb. Muhammad did not immigrate to Yathreb until Islam spread there first within powerful people, even during the existence of equally powerful hypocrites. Power balance tilted toward Muhammad, and he managed to establish the Islamic city-state. Hence, in this example, power went hand in hand with reform.

He said: Do you find contradictions in the case of Egypt?

I said: Yes; power is centered solely in the Egyptian military, with all security forces, media, religious institutions, State legislative bodies, executive authorities, and judicial authority under it. This monopoly of power is used by the military to abort any call for religious, economic, or political reform as well as reform in the education system.

He said: What is the solution then?

I said: As happened with Muhammad; power should stand for, not against, reform.

He said: How is this possible?

I said: Raising awareness is the route for every reform, as we understand from the Quran.

He said: Could you please explain this plainly?!

I said: A new type of awareness was raised by Muhammad in Yathreb; an awareness of one's rights and dignity. Everyone learned the value of never kneeling or submitting to any other human being. They learned values of justice, equality, and freedom. That was why the hypocrite powerful ones in Yathreb lost the notional and intellectual basis of its control. They lost the notion of submission of the majority to them; the majority learned their rights, and thus, their new awareness changed them radically. They withdrew from the culture of enslavement and its oppression and submission. When their minds and souls changed for the better, their bodies were controlled by souls; they regained rights due to them when awareness was raised. This is the summary of the history of the city-state of Muhammad in Yathreb.

He said: Do you mean to tell me that the majority of people in Yathreb were empowered by such awareness, and hence, conditions changed for the better?

I said: Of course. This is the meaning of the term 'Balance' in the following verse: "We sent Our messengers with the clear proofs, and We sent down with them the Book and the Balance, that humanity may uphold justice. And We sent down iron, in which is violent force, and benefits for humanity. That God may know who supports Him and His messengers invisibly. God is Strong and Powerful." (57:25). We understand from this verse that one of the reasons of sending messengers and prophets, by God, is to make people apply justice; the term 'humanity' here refers to the majority that suffers oppression, unfairness, and injustice. Such a majority should stand up for their rights and for establishing justice.

He said: What does the term 'justice' mean to you?

I said: Justice is four types in relation to our fellow human beings: 1) political justice via direct democracy so that no citizen is above other citizens, 2) judicial justice that ensures that every citizen is equal before the law, 3) social justice that entails care for the needy, and 4) religious justice that ensures absolute religious freedom for all citizens. All human beings differ in ideas and creeds; this should not be a cause for litigation. The reason is that any judge is having his/her religious views that differ or match those of the defendants. Thus, the judge can never be neutral in such cases. All persons on earth differ in views toward religion. It is not fair to judge one another based on religious views or on freedom of expression. All of us should postpone the judgment on creeds until the Last Day, when the Eternal Judge, God, will judge all humanity in the Day of Judgment. Justice in relation to God is in terms of faith/belief, acts of worship, and call/preaching. Every individual is to have absolute religious freedom, because each of us will stand before the Almighty to be judged alone in the Last Day. As for rights of society and its individuals, they are to be protected by law; violators should be prosecuted. This is just and fair; what concerns us here is general agreement within a given society on how to apply justice for all with no religious mottos at all.

He said: If justice for all does not prevail, what will happen?

I said: As in 57:25, iron, scientifically said to be coming from the outer space into the Earth, contains violent force and benefits. This fact is mentioned along with the divine messages sent by God. we conclude then that without justice, unrest, troubles, and strife reign supreme.

He said: Some raise the banner and mottoes of justice to deceive the weak ones who dream of justice, and once reaching the throne, they turn out to be unjust tyrants helped by other men in unjust ruling retinues. What is to be done in such cases?

I said: We assert the importance of raising awareness of people within a given society. This will end hero worship, deification and sanctification of rulers, and the culture of enslavement. Within raised awareness, not rulers can deceive people, who will be guardians of their rights. Governments should fear the ire of people, not the other way round.

He said: Well said, but how such awareness is raised so that the masses should stand up for their rights?

I said: Awareness is present now in Egypt, but not to the degree of making people choose between dying of oppression and dying of resisting an army fighting with its weapons the armless nation. It is a matter of time; the point of such a clash might draw nearer. Awareness entails more knowledge of the strength of one's foes who are controlling and monopolizing power and wealth.

He said: Do you mean that the foe is the military that rules Egypt since 1952 and control all State institutions and the whole nation?!

I said: No; we mean the group of men controlling the military. The military and the police force consist of a pyramid of authority. On top of this pyramid is the generals; they are the root of corruption. This group includes no more than 50.000 persons. The medial and lower positions or strata in this pyramidal hierarchy include a larger number. They are mostly oppressed ones, following orders blindly. If such a majority would acquire raised awareness, things will change for the better. This will happen sooner or later.

He said: What if civil wars or internecine strife occurs?!

I said: To prevent this, the raised awareness must reach the top generals in the military and the police, as well as the top people in the media, higher personalities in the judicial system, businesspersons, and men of the religious institutions.

He said: Most of them are learned and educated; why do you suppose that they lack such raised awareness?

I said: On the contrary, they lack acute awareness of the danger looming around them. Conditions as they are now can never go on like this. They are bound to change. There are only two ways of change: peaceful reform or civil strife that begins with hunger revolts.

He said: How are they going to be convinced that their interest lies in peaceful reform? They are a corrupt junta who know perfectly well that reform begins with their removal from power first!

I said: They worry about the near future. Ghosts of their countless victims haunt them; we are in the era of collapsing of regimes in the Middle East. Egyptians managed to oust Mubarak and they brought three ones after him within four years. We believe that the current president might not complete his presidential term. Egyptians chose him, but he turned out to be worse than his predecessors, in our opinion. Levels of injustice and fear are increasing now. We can guess that the military might get rid of him by replacing him with another one who will be a failure and a blood-thirsty one. We predict this based on our belief that no good would come out of the men raised up by Mubarak for 30 years among generals in the military and the police among other cronies in power. They excel only in corruption and failure.

He said: How can they feel secure about their future?

I said: By making an agreement with them to leave power and authority safely without their being chased or litigated as criminals. This occurred before in South Arica.

He said: What about billions of money they stole?

I said: The larger part of it should return to the State Treasury; their lives should be guaranteed to be safe in return for their retirement from public life. Tyrant who fled away with ill-gotten money lost their souls and their money as well as lives of their progeny. They will never feel secure and safe anywhere. If such an agreement is ever reached with rich generals and their cronies, they can feel secure about their lives in Egypt along with their progeny and sufficient money. Interim government should take over to apply legislative reform as its first mission, within democracy of rights of citizens. This solution will make Egypt avoid the dangers of civil strife that might cost bloodshed and mass-destruction. The very first victims of such strife would be the generals and their offspring and cronies.

He said: Who would convey this message of secure surrender of power to the generals?

I said: We have written about the same message to Mubarak and his regime before 2010, but with no reaction or response on his part. Others conveyed the same message to him in public. Mubarak was known for his bovine stupidity and awkward hesitation; that is why he was humiliated and deposed in the shameful manner we witnessed during his ouster in 2011. If he responded positively, he would have spared himself such humiliation, and Egypt would have saved bloodshed of its killed sons and daughters as well as billions of lost money.

He said: Would the generals accept the offer of this solution?

I said: Generals of Mubarak forced him to step out, and they rule now. They allowed overtly the terrorist MB to rule for one year to expose them. Later on, many terrorist MB members have been imprisoned after the ouster of their MB president. Generals rule once more. We believe that they have re-introduced the Mubarak regime in a worse, more failed, and more corrupt way. The Egyptians have trusted the generals because the Egyptians hate the evil terrorist MB members. We believe that the generals have deceived the Egyptians. If they do not accept the solution we offer as soon as possible, their fate would be worse than we imagine.

He said: What are your expectations? Would they accept or refuse?!

I said: Let us wait and see. We hope the best for Egypt that is mentioned in the Quran several times. One of these times is linked with safety and security: "…Enter Egypt, God willing, safe and secure." (12:99).

He said: God says nothing but the Truth.

       


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