Mission & Name
US Foreign Policy (Dr. El-Najjar's Articles)
Egypt in Danger, 8 Reasons Why
By Abdul Rahman Rashdan
On Islam.com, July 11, 2013
Egyptians are again amazing the
whole world with their abilities to change their political realities; yet
this time might be to the worse.
The military coup that took place
in response to the mass demonstrations in Egypt which lasted for few days
came in to mark a new fundamental change in the political life. It seems now
that the streets have become the ballot box, and military helicopters
have now become the tool for counting the vote, while the
results get announced by uniformed military personnel.
why Egypt reached this stage are numerous and can be tackled in another
analysis, yet what is more important now is to underscore the looming danger
that the country is heading towards.
Here are the reasons why I
think Egypt's political future is in danger:
1 -Military coup is
different from the January 25 revolution:
Egyptian people are
divided now between supporters and opponents and each side has its own
reasonable arguments. It is not black and white as it was before, not a
dictator that has been abusing his people for 30 years.
boxes lost credibility:
Egyptians that have stood in endless lines
for hours to cast their votes in three elections and two referendums have
their votes simply replaced by the eyes of the military looking down their
helicopters for the past few days to estimate the number of people on the
streets, and determine which bloc has the majority: the opposition or
supporters of the democratically elected president.
same time, there is a big portion of the masses supporting the Islamic
movements, especially youth, which only participated in the democratic
process because it was the only option available although they see it as a
mean that contradicts Islamic Shari'ah. The military coup just proved them
right now; they have all the Islamic and pragmatic reasons to reject
democracy. I wouldn't be surprised if new solutions found increasing
popularity in Egypt soon.
3- Referendum on early presidential
elections not considered:
Detentions and media bans after the coup
was launched say a lot about the democracy and rule of law that Egypt will
witness for the upcoming period.
If the opponents of President Morsi
represent the majority of Egyptians, as claimed by the military coup, then
why did not the military allow all the Egyptians an equal chance to say
their opinion about conducting early presidential elections? This way it
would have been a democratic process to oust Morsi instead of an army boot
stepping on the mouths of all other Egyptians, who have also filled up
streets in masses since July 1st.
4- Unholy relationship between the
opposition and Mubarak's regime:
It is a return of Mubarak's
regime in a new face, if one wishes to say it bluntly. In reality, Dr.
Mohamed al-Baradie - opposition leader who was invited during the military's
declaration of the coup - declared it clearly days before the June 30th
demonstrations; he said that Egyptians have to start a process of national
reconciliation with "what is called the old regime," except for those who
Considering the fact that most of the figures of
the old regime have been surprisingly granted acquittals from charges levied
against them, so al-Baradie won't have a problem in letting them on board,
contributing again to pushing the political wargon. In fact, , scores of
influential figures from Mubarak's regime did participate in the June 30th
demonstrations that culminated in the removal of Morsi through being in the
streets or propagating it through media.
So it would not be a
surprise to witness, very soon, well-funded and publicized political parties
with Mubarak's men on top, or appointed in key positions and ministries.
5- Absence of unifying national figure to lead the country:
last time all Egyptians stood together hand in hand was during the 18 days
of the January 25 Revolution. Since then, divisions have been increasing by
time with figures rising and others falling; the division reached its
unprecedented peak during the June 30 events where some members of Islamic
and other groups got killed in the streets in day light for their
Now, after the military coup, Egyptians
stand even more divided between supporters and opponents of the coup. It is
absolutely impossible to reach national agreement, or even comforting
majority, on any figure, which brings Egypt to presidential elections
results close to the level that brought Morsi to power -almost 52
percent - and the cycle repeats itself.
6- Military above the state:
For the second time in two-and-half years the military comes in to
settle, mainly peaceful, political disputes. The June 30th demonstrations
asked for the intervention of the military from its beginning, some
demonstrators were even camping in front of the ministry of defense in an
attempt to pressure the defense minister to step in.
intervention in the political life sets a golden rule for Egypt: the state
is still under the military and not vice versa. In fact, this has been the
sole demand of the January 25th Revolution, to make Egypt a a civilian
state after decades of being ruled by presidents with military background
Not only that Egypt has failed again to create a
healthy and democracy-based relationship between its government and
military, it has reached a worse situation where people beg the
military to take over and sort out matters that are supposed to be
originally and purely civilian and peaceful in nature.
It is a return of
Mubarak's regime in a new face.
In one of the international
reactions to this event, the British Foreign Secretary William Hague noticed
the looming danger; he told BBC, "If one president can be deposed by the
military then of course another one can be in the future - that's a
7- Weakening the military:
intervention in the political life will definitely make the Egyptian
military distracted from its sole purpose: protecting the country
against foreign enemies. The resources of the military are getting consumed
in internal struggles while Egypt's borders are heating up from almost all
its fronts, east, west, and south.
8- No clear roadmap:
Although the Defense Minister Al-Sisi declared the presence of a very clear
road map in case the political parties were not able to settle their
dispute, 48 hours before the coup, he failed to state any dates for any
step, including the presidential and parliamentary elections. This reminds
Egyptians with the promises of Tantawi to hand in the state to an elected
government very soon, which turned out to be a painful year-and-half.
Not only that, as soon as the Sisi military coup was broadcasted on the
television, pro-Morsi channels were blackened-out and their staff detained,
and the Freedom and Justice Party newspaper banned. This is in addition to
the reports of arresting and detaining big number of Muslim
Brotherhood leaders and placing them on travel ban; something that
says a lot about the democracy and rule of law that Egypt will witness for
the upcoming period.
There are hundreds of
thousands of pro-Morsi supporters still holding their grounds in the streets
amid complete media blackout. Their news is being leaked through social
media and some non-Egyptian satellite channels that have not been cutoff. It
is not up yet; events are escalating hour-by-hour as people are increasingly
realizing that Egypt is back to square one.
Rashdan is an academician of the Future University in Egypt. He
holds a Master's degree in International Affairs and a Certificate in Middle
East Studies from Columbia University. (This article was first published in
OnIslam.com on July 04, 2013)