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“Do you think you are making progress by eradicating the Moslem Brotherhood”? Interview with Abdel Fattah al-Sisi

CAIRO May 15, 2014 

Egyptian presidential frontrunner Abdel Fattah al-Sisi gave Reuters a wide-ranging interview. The following is the full text.

Text of Sisi interview with Reuters

Egypt's presidential candidate and former army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, looks on during an interview with Reuters in Cairo May 14, 2014. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

Egypt’s presidential candidate and former army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, looks on during an interview with Reuters in Cairo May 14, 2014.

CREDIT: REUTERS/AMR ABDALLAH DALSH

Q: How long do you think it will take to make real difference. What is your expectation as to the timetable before people start seeing real change?

A: The idea of 100 days. The Egyptians expected a lot of things. During two revolutions they were aspiring for bread, freedom, social justice. The Egyptians wanted to love this. I need to give them security and stability and complete development.

The truth is one hundred days is not enough. The challenges present in Egypt are so many. Programmes available in Western countries, the situations are much more stable in all fields compared to the reality in Egypt.

I believe that within two years of serious, continuous work we can achieve the type of improvement Egyptians are looking for.

Q: Is there a leader in past Egypt or anywhere around the world who you are trying to model yourself after? Do you see a Nasser, do you see a Sadat do you see somebody you have in your mind that would be a good model for what you want to be?

A: Every era and every stage has a leader to lead and succeed. The current time we are in the situation is very different than other eras. We need to work with seriousness to serve Egyptians.

Q: I guess the first challenge next week around the 26th is to see if a lot of people are going to vote. How important is voter turnout to your sense of being successful in the election?

A: We succeeded in the first step of the road map and the constitution and this was a very great constitution. It achieved a lot of what Egyptians had hoped for in their lives and their futures.

The number of Egyptians who voted was very considerable, in the millions. But we need in the coming elections a greater number than those who voted in the constitution.  So they can choose with their full will who will lead them in the coming stage.

Q: Is there a particular level of turnout you would consider successful?

A: I hope that all Egyptians vote. We have more than 50 million voters. I hope they all vote. This is an opportunity to express their will.

Q: So you are looking for 100 percent?

A: I hope so.

Q: The U.S. has been a strategic partner of Egypt for a long time.  What is your current assessment of the state of the relations with the United States? What areas would you like to improve?

A: Our relationship with the United States of America is a strategic, stable and steady relationship. It does not mean that during certain times, a state of confusion, that we cannot continue that. Of course not.

These ties are stable and the world now is interrelated. There is no room for one state to form relationships at the expense of the other. In Egypt we need to cooperate with all states as the amount of challenges in Egypt are very huge that need support and the participation of all.

Q: There has been a partial freeze on military aid do you anticipate that lifting once you become president?

A: Let’s be clear, I understand the European, Western and America standards concerning the freezing and suspension of equipment. Although this had a very negative reaction from the Egyptian people. The more time that passes the more the vision gets clearer to everyone.

People and the world realize what happened in Egypt was the will of all of the Egyptian people. The army could not have abandoned its people or there would have been a civil war and we don’t know where that would have taken us. We understand the American position. We hope that they understand ours.

Q: Is there anything in particular you would like to say to President Obama about the direction of Egypt that might be helpful in shifting the views there?

A: We are fighting a war against terrorism. The Egyptian army is undertaking major operations in the Sinai so that it is not transformed into a base for terrorism that will threaten its neighbours and make Egypt unstable. If Egypt is unstable then the region is unstable. I don’t think this is in the interest of security and peace in the entire world.

We need American support to fight terrorism, we need American equipment to combat terrorism. Not just in Sinai.

Today we are present and working to secure our borders which are long and stretch from the start of the Mediterranean Sea until 1,200 kilometres on the Libyan border, and similarly with Sudan. Aside from sea borders that stretch more than 3,000 kilometres. That needs real security. You see how unstable the region is.

Q: On Libya, there is a tremendous amount of instability in Libya. Do you see Libya as a threat?

A: The situation is not just Libya. We have to be wary of the spread of the terrorist map in the region. I imagine there is a role from the West on that. They have not continued their mission in Libya. There should have been a collection of weapons that are present everywhere until the country stabilises and has a government. Because there wasn’t sufficient soldiers or police so that this country would stabilize and enter a process of real democracy.

We have another situation that will take a long time if it is left like that. The international community, headed by the West, has to take part in this operation. I see that it has to resume its mission to achieve stability in Libya. Collect the weapons and enhance security before they abandon it.

Q: You have talked about a peaceful solution in Syria. Do you think Syria would be better off with President Assad remaining in office?

A: The peaceful solution is the appropriate solution. The unity of Syria is in the interest of the security of the region. Syria should not turn into an attractive spot for extremist terrorist elements. That will threaten the entire region. When I sit with my European friends, I tell them there are European citizens fighting in Syria. Their numbers are more than 1,000 to 2,000. 

I imagine after the situation ends in Syria, regardless of how it will end, they will return to Europe. What will they do? What will the situation in Syria turn into? Will they attack us, will they attack Saudi Arabia, Jordan or Israel? We have to be aware of this radical ideology and activity and its effect on security and stability in the Middle East region.

Q: Do you think of a solution that will resolve the problem that would not involve Assad?

A: This matter requires a dialogue and extensive talks because it is more dangerous than just expressing an opinion on it. We have to see the full picture and have in front of us the issue of the unity of Syrian lands.

A peaceful solution so that region does not get more complicated. The issue of dealing with extremist elements what will we do? Otherwise we will see another Afghanistan. I don’t think you want to create another Afghanistan in the region.

Q: How are relations between Egypt and Israel now? How do you see that progressing under your presidency?

A: Let me tell you that our relationship with Israel and the peace treaty has been stable for more than 30 years and had faced a lot of challenges yet it remained stable. We respected it and we will respect it. The Israeli people know this.

We see there a real opportunity for peace that will prepare the region for an era of peace and cooperation between states. This is what I see.

The question of whether we would be committed to the peace treaty is over. The issue is stable among all leaders and the public opinion in Egypt. What we need is to build on it.

We need to see a Palestinian state. We need to move on peace, which has been frozen for many years. There will be a real chance for peace in the region. We are ready to play any role that will achieve peace and security in the region.

Q: Do you have a plan in mind to build the Egyptian economy?

A: We have to admit that the economic situation in Egypt is difficult, and not just over the last three years. Egyptians were aspiring to a more stable life than the reality we are living in.  More than 50% of the Egyptian people suffer from poverty. There is a lot of unemployment. Our entrance according to our programme would be to create job opportunities for Egyptians and fixing the minimum and maximum wage.

The minimum wage in Egypt is considered very small to achieve an appropriate social standard. The subsidies provided by the Egyptian state need to be distributed fairly. The rich get more from the subsidies than the poor. The programme aims to spread the population beyond the 6% of the land it lives on now. We need to provide more work opportunities. And to give opportunities for Egyptian, Arab and foreign investment.

I am addressing this to the West and all friends. Egypt needs your help in this phase so that it gets out of the circle of poverty it is suffering from.

Q: Do you see a continued role for the army in making sure that money from the Gulf is used in the economy?

A: We need all state institutions to take part in the development of the community. All state institutions are involved in this as the challenge is huge and we have to overcome it.

Q: So for the time being is the army the best institution to do that?

A: The army is very busy combating terrorism in the Sinai and on the western border and the southern border. But if there is an opportunity for it to help with engineering work and roads there will be a benefit from its capabilities. There is talk that the army owns 40% of the economy. This is not true. It does not exceed 2% of the economy.

Q: Do you see a way of reducing subsidies?

A: We are in a fearful situation now in regard to these subsidies and the way they are distributed. But we won’t be able to pressure the poor people more than that. But we can revise the subsidies to make more of them go to the poor and not the rich.

Let me give you an example. On the subsidies that the rich get. If a man owns a car above 2000cc the amount of fuel subsidies he gets in Egypt, which is in a difficult economic situation, 3,000 or 4,000 pounds a month. The same goes for electricity. The only citizen that does not benefit is the poor who has no car. We need to move and revise these subsidies to go to the poor.

Q: What type of change are we talking about?

A: Look at the embassies. They go buy fuel that is subsidized. The government pays three quarters of its cost. All citizens, anyone who goes to a gas station, gets these subsidies. There are many people and sectors who don’t need this and we will try to correct it.

Q: Do you have any plans to reduce the influence of businessmen who dominated under President Mubarak?

A: We are a country that always works in the framework of law and the constitution. We want to work within this framework now and in the future. We never want measures that would scare anyone. We also need to have measures that would provide equal opportunities for everyone.

Q: What would draw international investment into Egypt in the next few years?

A: Normally Egypt is a big country with a special status. There is a large labour force. A young country. The number of Egyptian youths is huge and they are capable of work. It is a big market. Investment can be very successful. It is a gateway to Africa. There is a real promising opportunity for investment in Egypt. We will respect our commitments, provide a convenient environment and laws to secure investment.

Q: Do you think the Egyptian pound should float free? Is it an impediment to the economy?

A: The more the economic situation improves the more the currency will improve and vice versa. We need measures to stimulate the economy and pump a lot of money through its veins so that real improvement happens that would be felt by the citizen and Egypt enters a better phase.

Q: For how many more years do you expect aid from Gulf countries?

A: Let’s be honest with each other. We don’t see this as a good thing frankly and hope it ends as soon as possible. It is not just me. All Egyptians think this way.

Q: Would you say ideally two years or five years or ten years?

A: This will depend on results.

Q: You have spoken about eradicating the Brotherhood. Do you think you are making progress?

A: We feel very sorry about how these people express or introduced or presented our Islam. Very ugly face. Look at the global map of extremism and terrorism in the world. You will find that this issue has become rejected and unacceptable for most countries of the world.

This form, the idea of killing, destruction that is present in many countries, I believe you understand that humanity and civilization does not accept this. And logic does not accept this.

Q: Is the best approach a military one or does there need to be education. What approach works best?

A: This issue requires a multi-dimensional plan. The security angle is not the decisive aspect. Education. Economy. Culture. Awareness. We need to move on all of that in Egypt. That confrontation requires everyone to participate. You had a role in supporting democracy.

You want to create democracy in many countries. This is a good thing. But it won’t succeed in the way it is needed, except through good economic support and proper support for education. I was present in the United States and before it in Britain … And I wrote an article on the future of democracy in the Middle East …

Are you ready to open your countries for us for more education that won’t be expensive. To send the intelligent ones among our children to be educated in your countries, to see and learn. This is a form of developing and supporting democracy. Democracy is not only to educate the youth but to create an appropriate atmosphere to make this democracy works, are you ready for this?

Are you ready to provide opportunities in a country like Egypt for people to work so that poverty can ease? And that would be a programme to support democracy in Egypt.

Are you ready to see and participate in the problem of the slums in Egypt so that there would be a real environment for real democracy? Or like what I told to Cathy Ashton that you are paying very small amounts and wash your hands from the issue of democracy. The environment in this country has to be fit for democracy to develop and live.

Q: Can we just pick up on one piece of that? Are you saying that Western countries have become too restrictive in permitting Egyptians and other people from the Middle East to go to universities in the west? In other words post 9-11 restrictions?

A: Yes of course. This is part of the issue as the amount of delegations that get offered … Let’s talk about 27 European countries if every country gave Egypt 30 students each year. We are talking about 2,100 students to be present in European universities.

And if 10 or 20% of America universities gave a similar number we will find that the numbers become huge. We will send the intelligent ones of our children, our best youths to go and see and learn and return to us with science and culture. If you want to help us, there are many things to talk about any real aid to develop democracy in the Middle East and Egypt. But there will be a cost.

We want the student who can’t pay to get an excellent education and they become the society’s elite afterwards to lead it. Take care, you have to have a real contribution in the democratic progress of Egypt.

Q: So if education goes hand-in-hand with security, is it a sensible approach to ban the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, or does not that risk driving these people underground, perhaps making them more radical and more of a problem?

A: The problem is that they lost their connection with the Egyptians, lost sympathy from the majority of Egyptians, and that is an issue we too have to be aware of. Unjustified violence towards Egyptians made them not only lose any sympathy among Egyptians but also meant they have no real chance of reconciliation with society. And this is the reality we are talking about.

The problem is not mine frankly. I assure you. The problem is with the Egyptian people and we have a great opportunity and I ask you to go talk to the simple ordinary Egyptian citizen and ask him. You will find that he is very angry and rejects any form of reconciliation. And frankly during this stage and the coming one, no president can act against the will of the people.

Q: You are known to be a very religious person and you have talked a little about this, can you talk a little bit more about how you see religion interacting with government in Egypt and the role it plays in civic life but also the role in government? What is the appropriate role of religion in government in Egypt?

A: Ask my colleagues in the War College and ask my colleagues in Staff College in Britain, how I interacted with them. I did not deal with them on the basis of religion or race or sect. On the contrary and not only me and my family and I don’t see there is a problem that we all live together like that and that is not a humanitarian address although that is acceptable and needed but this is a religious talk.

Religion cannot clash with humanity as we see now. The entire world has become a very small village and we would not be able to live together with this sort of radicalism and extremism and the inability to comprehend and disagree.

Q: Can I just ask you about the trial of the Muslim Brotherhood members. There has been a large number of executions ordered in courts. Do you feel that the judicial process was a fair one, do you support these decisions?

A: I know the Western culture and I know the humanitarian logic you have and I understand it.

First of all I am an Egyptian citizen now and I am not an Egyptian official and I hope that you accept this as I say it and trust me.

Secondly, I am not going to talk about this case in particular but I want to say that we are founding a state based on the rule of law.

We respect the judiciary and its independence and we do not interfere in it. This is very important … and that is something I appreciate and understand, but also I hoped that we were concerned about the number of victims from the other side.

Q: It is kind of unpleasant topic but you did mention two assassination attempts against you. I haven’t heard any of the circumstances behind them or the background. Can you elaborate a little bit on any of them?

A: It is a radical way of thinking and it doesn’t accept mutual understanding or cooperation with the other. It is not ready for mutual understanding, it considers itself as the only true way and anyone else is not. That’s the problem. Without going into details into the assassination attempts, the assassination attempts will not end.

Because, please look at the world around you, the West has to pay attention to what’s going on in the world and the map of extremism and its expansion. This map will reach you inevitably.

Q: How do you go about dealing with that extremism in the Sinai and the borders around Egypt? What practical steps will you take should you become president?

A: I want to say it will only be more measures. We were keen that Sinai does not turn into a base to launch for attacks which threaten Egypt’s neighbours. This is against Egypt’s sovereignty on its soil and against the peace treaties that we’ve signed. We understood the reaction from their side when some limited operations took place against Israeli soil.

But we on the other side inside Sinai undertook and undertake very wide-ranging operations to fix the security situation and to deal with the terrorist elements present there. Either by detaining them or by dealing with them. But there are two points we are keen on, it’s very important you know them:

The first point, we never want to resort to unjustified acts of violence. And we don’t want violations of human rights. We don’t want killing of innocents so that won’t become an excuse for the expansion of these operations. That’s what makes it go on and also, as we’re speaking of this. There is equipment that we need the United States to give to us. And I believe that this matter must be reviewed now and be accomplished as soon as possible.

I am talking about Sinai now. I am not talking about a border longer than 1,000 kilometres. The other side in Libya don’t have to the opportunity to secure the border appropriately. And we have commitments to Egyptian national security, to the security and stability of this poor citizen so that his life and the life of his children will not be targeted, that won’t work.

This is a point that we need not just America to understand, but the West and the entire world. This is why we extend our hand to every country of the world to help us, we must combat terrorism practically and succeed in this confrontation.

Q: You talk a lot about the frustration of the Egyptian people and impatience. How much time do you think the Egyptian people will give you to show that you’re making a real difference?

A: Egyptians are a very patient people and a great people. And remember it’s a 7,000-year-old civilization. On the condition that there is hope that is realized and achieved on the ground, they will be ready to be patient. I call on the West to look in an appreciative way towards the development and growing and the support of the Egyptian economy to complete the road map for the future of democracy in Egypt. I hope this message reaches you.

(Created by Michael Georgy)

Note: Jonathan Wright, former head of Reuters’ Cairo bureau, had the following great observation on:

“You have spoken about eradicating the Brotherhood. Do you think you are making progress?”

It is the exact same question that was asked to Hitler by a British newspaper to Hitler (1938) –

“You have spoken about eradicating the Jews. Do you think you are making progress?”

Worse than During Morsi? Students and minors detained

As Egypt prepares for a brand new presidential election and amends its suspended constitution, hundreds are being rounded up and detained, including many students.

Twelve students were sentenced to 17 years last week on charges of possessing light weapons and raiding and vandalizing Al-Azhar, the most prestigious Islamic institution.

Arwa Gaballa posted on Aswat Masriya this Nov. 18, 22013

Students and minors detained in post-Mursi Egypt

CAIRO, Nov 17 (Aswat Masriya)

Hundreds were arrested last month on the 40th anniversary of the October Six War, where thousands rallied to celebrate the army’s victory while others marched to denounce what they view as a “military coup”.

Abdullah Hamdy, 20, is one of 46 students who were arrested on October 6, where some of the detainees were as young as 12 and 14 years old and over 10 of them were under 18.

According to Hamdy’s detention records, supporters of ousted President Mohamed Mursi and Muslim Brotherhood members tried to raid Tahrir Square but were stopped by civilian volunteers who then clashed with them.

The records say that the detainees fired shots and rubber bullets on the residents as well as the police and army forces who were securing the area.

They add that police and army forces intervened to disperse the confrontations between the rivals and arrested the 164 defendants.

Hamdy has denied that he was armed and said that civilian volunteers handed him over to the authorities around midday “for no apparent reason” and “not from clashes”, his older brother, Ahmed, told Aswat Masriya.

Hamdy, a Mechanical Engineering student at the AUC (The American University in Cairo), said he was in the vicinity of the university’s downtown campus when he was captured.

The 164 detainees mentioned in Hamdy’s records were arrested in different areas and at different times but all charged with the same allegations.

Other records of this nature were created at different police stations across the capital on the same day.

Associate Professor Lamyaa El-Gabry, who taught Hamdy Applied Thermodynamics, described him as a mature student who took responsibility for his actions.

“In class, Abdullah was polite, punctual, attentive, and engaged. He was honest and candid and never tried to negotiate his way to a higher grade or an extension or any of those things that are not uncommon among students,” she said.

El-Gabry is also the faculty advisor of the Mechanical Engineering Association where Abdullah was the head of the Academics Committee.

“Abdullah always struck me as a very quiet and humble young man but under that apparently timid smile was someone who has depth and a commendable sense of service to his community,” Professor El-Gabry said.

Hamdy, like many Egyptians, voted for Mursi and although, according to his brother, he does not belong to the Brotherhood, he is critical of the “coup”.

Egypt’s army ousted Mursi in July in response to mass demonstrations across the country and the collection of millions of petitions asking him to resign.

Since Mursi’s ouster, his supporters and Muslim Brotherhood members have been staging demonstrations to denounce the army and call for his reinstatement.

Some of those who join these demonstrations did not support Mursi and do not belong to the Brotherhood but are against military rule.

Security forces violently dispersed two pro-Mursi sit-ins in August, killing at least a thousand people, and hundreds of Brotherhood supporters have been arrested in the past three months.

The Brotherhood’s Mursi became Egypt’s first democratically elected president exactly a year before his ouster upon defeating Ahmed Shafiq, who served as Hosni Mubarak’s last prime minister.

Mursi and his top aides are now standing trial on charges of inciting violence during the past year.

Hamdy and the others were first kept in military detention of very poor conditions where they had to take turns to sleep, as at least 50 people were crammed in one room, until they were sent to prison where each now has their own bed.

Those who are under 18 were then released for not meeting the legal age of detention.

Now detained in a room of 70 beds at the Marg Prison, Hamdy, who is in his 3rd year of studying Mechanical Engineering at AUC, is visited by his family every week.

Professor Lotfi K. Gaafar, who taught Hamdy Engineering and Project Management in the spring semester of 2013 and Production and Inventory Control this fall semester until his arrest, said, “The charges levied against Abdullah were even more shocking. They are totally out of sync with Abdullah’s low profile, humble, and peaceful personality.”

Professor Gaafar added that Hamdy would often visit him in his office to discuss his future plans to sell souvenir items engraved with messages of peace and hope.

“Egypt needs people like Abdullah in the forefront not in captivity,” he said.

A prosecutor adjourned Hamdy’s case to December 7 last week.

According to a Facebook page created by his family and friends, the 20-year-old is staying strong and says, “Fear is defeat and despair is betrayal.”

Ahmed Ezzat from Egypt’s Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression said that many students are being put on trial on charges of political nature.

He added that the judiciary must be neutral and not involve students in the current political struggle as not to hurt their futures.

The lawyer and rights activist described the 17-year sentence that the 12 Azhar students received last week as “very harsh”, explaining that it violates the criminal code.

Note: This November 2013, Egypt banned peaceful demonstrations, altogether.

No to Sunni version of Wilayat Fakeeh in Egypt

Mohammad Morsi has been deposed by a military and mass protest that lasted more than a week. He had fled from prison two years ago as Mubarak was sacked.

Cartoon showing Morsi sleeping by Mubarak, and Mubarak telling him “Close your eyes and do as I did

The extremist Supreme Guide murshid of the Moslem Brotherhood, Mohammad Badi3, is detained, along with 300 its cadres.

All the religious TV channels are temporary suspended.

Within a year, the elected president Morsi acted as if the executive branch for the Supreme Guide in all the critical political decisions.

Morsi quickly wrote a constitution to the Brotherhood dictates, alienated the Constitutional Supreme Court, dismissed the Prosecutor General, and broke diplomatic relation with Syria at the instigation of  Mohammad Badi3.

During an entire year, Morsi demonstrated to the Egyptian that Egypt has substituted its political system to an Iranian Wilayat Fakeeh, the Sunni version and ruled by the imams and clerics of the Moslem Brotherhood.

It is to be noted that Iran took advantage of 8 years of protracted war with Iraq of Saddam Hussein to manage a transition to a Wilayat Fakeeh orientation.

Morsi wanted this transition to be done within a year, and with no war to back this emergency situation.

As millions of protesters converged on the streets of Egypt on June  30 to peacefully and boisterously demand the downfall of Egypt’s first elected  president Mohammed Morsi, deadly clashes broke out in several spots  across the volatile nation. Around midnight, the Muslim Brotherhood’s international headquarters, located in  Cairo’s upscale Moqattam district, was in flames.

Mohannad Sabry posted for Al-Monitor this July 2, 2013: ” The Muslim Brotherhood Fights For Legacy, Not for Morsi”
The six-story building declared as the Muslim Brotherhood General Center in  2011 — after decades of underground operations and being hunted down by Hosni  Mubarak, Anwar Sadat, and Gamal Abdel Nasser’s security — was attacked by dozens  of rock- and Molotov cocktail-hurling protesters.
The attacks ensued despite the  obvious security precautions taken by the Brotherhood youth over the past week:  they covered the building’s windows with street-war like sandbags, chain-locked  the gates, wielded their weapons and bunkered inside.

As massive clouds of smoke blew out of the iconic Guidance Bureau of the  worldwide organization, the movement’s disciplined, listen-and-obey youth  continued to fire live ammunition at the assaulters. No more Brotherhood  reinforcements arrived at the burning headquarters, and armored vehicles of the  Interior Ministry stood watching from a distance, a clear message that the  police would no longer protect the ruling clique.

Eight anti-Morsi protesters were killed by live bullets, mostly to the head and neck, and more than 35 were wounded by live rounds and birdshot.

Calls for  blood donations to the battle-neighboring hospital continued to circulate social  media websites for hours. How the Muslim Brotherhood fighters evacuated their  positions remains unknown, but one of them was caught by protesters trying to  escape and was brutally stripped naked and stabbed before reaching the police  station in  critical condition.

Protesters seen through a damaged window  from inside the Muslim Brotherhood’s headquarters after it was attacked by  protesters opposing Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi in Cairo’s Moqattam  district, July 1, 2013. (photo by REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh)

Certain that the office-turned-barracks had been abandoned after hours of  deadly fighting, opposition attackers and random angry passersby raided the  building, and looted everything they came across. Stacks of confidential Muslim  Brotherhood documents were photographed and set free to virally circulate the  Internet. One document listed millions of dollars of financial gifts and grants  made by Qatar’s Prime Minster, Emir Hamad Bin Jassim Al-Thani, to top Brotherhood and Morsi  administration officers.

The authenticity of the document was never confirmed but the incident was  definitely reminiscent of raiding the clandestine fortress of Hosni Mubarak’s  State Security in March 2011; the freshly obtained Muslim Brotherhood leaks will  virally spread for weeks.

Surprisingly, thousands of devoted Brotherhood members holding their sit-in  a few miles away didn’t mobilize to protect their sabotaged minaret. Top  officials like Khairat El-Shater, the organization’s most influential  financier and deputy chairman, did not order their subservient youth to march in  defense of either Islamic Sharia or political legitimacy, as they once did in  December 2012 when they attacked an opposition sit-in at the east Cairo  presidential palace, leaving a dozen protesters dead.

“They are in a state of shock, serious and unprecedented shock,” a sacked  Muslim Brotherhood official who worked with both Morsi and El-Shater told  Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity.

“They underestimated June 30, but it turned out to be a surprising blow that  paralyzed their plans,” said the source who insisted on hiding his identity  fearing Brotherhood retaliation amid the ongoing instability. “After months of  undermining the opposition and people, no one could imagine the numbers and  momentum of protests, and accordingly no one had a backup plan.”

The former Brotherhood official says the movement fears a disastrous  post-Morsi future. “They will be hunted down and sent back to prison, by law for  crimes committed during Morsi’s year in power, or in a state of lawlessness that  the country will turn a blind eye on because of widespread and apparent hatred.  They are coming to realize that they will reap what they sowed.”

“The developments were too fast, so that they didn’t have a chance to flee  the country, like Mubarak’s officials who jumped ship early in January 2011,”  the source said. “The military and police apparently locked Egypt up and  Islamists are now on a turf that definitely doesn’t belong to them anymore,  despite Morsi, who is now in a palace that doesn’t obey him, more of a temporary  lock-up.”

Such anti-Morsi developments are not only limited to the Muslim Brotherhood  in Egypt.

The powerfully strategized, multibillion-dollar organization with its  deep-rooted divisions in almost every country in the Arab and Islamic world and  its worldwide businesses, either official or clandestine, is not fighting for  Egypt’s presidential seat: It is fighting for an 8-decade global legacy that  will imminently suffer the aftershocks of the popular quake jolting its murshid’s [supreme guide’s] historical  fortress in Cairo.

“This is a major element in the Brotherhood’s calculation and this is their  greater battle,” retired Col. Khaled Okasha, a security analyst and former head  of North Sinai’s Civil Defense Department of the Interior Ministry, told  Al-Monitor.

“The Egypt command, which is the only global command, has always been the  source of power to all sub-divisions in other countries,” added Okasha. “If the  Supreme Guide and his Cairo bureau are hit hard by Morsi’s downfall and all of  the current situation’s political and social consequences, they will become  nothing but a counselor to the international divisions that will then start  working independently according to their pure domestic circumstances.”

“Egypt’s presidency, the biggest win in the Brotherhood’s history and the  recently yet internationally recognized political umbrella for the Brotherhood  worldwide, will be gone with Morsi leaving office.”

Okasha disputed that Morsi and his Islamist cronies will suffer exceptional  oppressive measures after their much anticipated ouster. “Such exceptional  oppression requires a decades-strong dictatorship like Mubarak’s, which you  cannot build in a few weeks. That dictatorship was brought down in January  2011.”

“This orchestrated fear is mostly Morsi’s last card to maintain his  supporters’ morale. The Brotherhood is leading a smear campaign against every  scenario involving Morsi’s downfall.”

Okasha believes that, legally, the Muslim Brotherhood officers including Morsi, in  case of his resignation, will stand dozens of trials that could extend for  years, a scene very similar to Hosni Mubarak, his sons and regime members.

Over the past week, unconfirmed reports of Egypt’s Islamist figures on  travel ban lists and Qatar demanding the departure of Youssef Al-Qaradawi, the influential Muslim Brotherhood  cleric, have shed some light on repercussions that might possibly hunt the Muslim Brotherhood wherever they are.

The Gaza Strip’s Hamas Movement, the  closest of the Middle East offshoots to the command in Egypt, stands first in  the line after Morsi and the Guidance Bureau, and is desperately trying to avoid  the looming domino effect.

Hamas’s popularity in Gaza and Egypt continues to sink because of their shameless interference in defense of the Muslim Brotherhood and Morsi and  creating animosities with almost every non-Islamist power in Egypt. In addition  to politics, the relations between the peoples of Egypt and Gaza were negatively  impacted,” said Ahmed Ban, a researcher of Islamist movements who heads the  Political and Social Movements Unit at the independent Nile Center for Strategic  Studies.

“Hamas should hastily apologize to the Egyptian people and attempt fixing  what it broke by interference in Egypt, if that’s possible, and if the situation  worsens, it could be a start to the gradual end of Hamas’ rule over Gaza,” Ban  told Al-Monitor.

“Moreover, the 80-year cartel imposed by Egyptians on the global Supreme  Guidance in Cairo and the Guidance Council will be ended, possibly moved to  another country, and accordingly limiting the majority of direct supply,  political endorsement and the post-January 2011 refuge for Hamas.”

Signs of Hamas’ worsening situation have also surfaced in the past week.

On  June 30, Egypt’s military deployed tanks at the Gaza border; the first  appearance of Egyptian tank divisions in Sinai’s military-free Zone C since the Israeli withdrawal in 1982.

The exceptional deployment was ordered by the military shutting down the underground Rafah tunnels feeding Hamas’ armed militias with weapons and other  logistics, and it coincided with the arrest of three different groups of Hamas  armed members in different locations around Cairo on the same day, one the  detained groups occupied an apartment close to the destroyed Brotherhood Cairo  headquarters.

“They are in the heart of the Muslim Brotherhood’s battle to defend what  remains of their temple, a battle viewed by Hamas as their own,” said Okasha,  the retired colonel. “Morsi and the Brotherhood’s rule was a special,  unprecedented win for Hamas, I don’t think they will rethink their position and  withdraw from the scene at such a critical moment.”

As soon as the Egyptian military stepped in and declared a 48-hour ultimatum  for Morsi to satisfy national demands, the sacked Muslim Brotherhood member  reached out to Al-Monitor.

“The military just opened a less disastrous exit for Morsi, but he won’t take it,” the source said. “The Muslim Brotherhood is too blind to realize how weak  its cards have become.”

Hours later, a presidential statement rebuffed the military’s clear  warning.

Mohannad  Sabry is an Egyptian journalist based in Cairo. He has written  for McClatchy Newspapers and The Washington Times, served as  managing editor of Global Post’s reporting fellowship Covering the Revolution,  in Cairo, and contributed to its special reports “Tahrir Square” and “Egypt: The  Military, the People.” On Twitter: @mmsabry

Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/07/egyptian-muslim-brotherhood-fights-survival-morsi.html#ixzz2XzyAJ18A

Stay tuned on the Egyptians: Perpetual successful revolutions

Since 2011, I declared that the revolution in Egypt will become the trademark of the successful upheavals in this century. And the Egyptians are back at it, one year after the election of Muhammad Morsi. https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2012/12/07/morsi-of-egypt-has-to-deliver-on-his-promise-if-the-people-gather-in-tahrir-square-as-during-the-intifada-on-mubarak-i-will-certainly-step-down/

June 30 proved to be very different from January 2011: This current mass uprising is dwarfing the previous huge and steady uprising. making it look like a minor protest in comparison. Tens of thousands of  protesters spent the night in the epicenter of Egypt’s uprising, Tahrir Square. By noon, the square couldn’t take any more protesters, as dozens of marches kicked off  from almost every neighborhood in Cairo. Until nightfall, masses continued to  march to the presidential palace, everyone demanded President Mohammed Morsi’s  downfall.

Mohannad  Sabry posted for Al-Monitor this June 30, 2013: “Millions of Egyptians Demand Morsi’s Downfall

Protesters opposing Egyptian President  Mohammed Morsi wave Egyptian flags and shout slogans against him and members of  the Muslim Brotherhood in Cairo, June 30, 2013. (photo by REUTERS/Amr Abdallah  Dalsh)

Chants condemning, mocking and harshly insulting Morsi and his organization,  the Muslim Brotherhood, echoed across every major street in  Cairo as the city was paralyzed by the marching masses.

The thunderous mantra,  “The people demand the regime’s downfall,” was the only scene reminiscent of the  18-day January 2011 uprising that toppled Egypt’s three-decade dictatorship of  Hosni Mubarak.

In January 2011, hundreds of thousands of Egyptians held their ground in  Tahrir Square until Mubarak resigned, but on June 30, significantly bigger crowds continued to occupy the square and hundreds of thousands occupied the  streets surrounding the eastern Cairo presidential palace, a much anticipated  scenario that forced Morsi to attend to his duties from the al-Quba Presidential  Palace, a few miles away from where he usually appears.

Mohamed ElBaradei, Egypt’s 2005 joint Nobel Peace Prize winner and former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, along with Munir Abdel  Nour, the prominent Wafd Party figure and former minister of tourism, and Ahmed  Said, head of the popular Free Egyptians Party, led tens of thousands of  protesters who gathered and marched from Giza’s Mohandessin district to Tahrir  Square.

“Morsi is gone, long gone in the hearts, minds and lives of Egyptians; he is  nothing but a nightmare that we just awakened from,” said Mohamed Abdelhakim, a  36-year-old engineer who pledged to remain on the streets until Morsi’s  downfall.

“Soon, he will be kicked out of our presidential palace; he will live and die  in disgrace,” said Abdelhakim as thousands chanted, “Leave, leave.”

The massive crowd was joined by thousands who marched from Giza’s Boulaq district, a few minutes before meeting tens of thousands heading to Tahrir Square from Giza Square. None of the three marches arrived at their target destination, Cairo’s famous Qasr al-Nil Bridge that witnessed deadly confrontations between Mubarak’s riot police and protesters on Jan. 28, 2011, which today was blocked by crowds that extended for hundreds of yards into the square.

Passing by police stations and security checkpoints, protesters shook the  hands of officers and soldiers who waved victory signs at the marching  crowds.

“Everyone hates him, even his own police who are known for corruption and  brutality; everyone wants him to resign,” said Emad George, a 29-year-old  accountant. He continued, “The Muslim Brotherhood accused us of being remnants  of Mubarak’s dictatorship; we showed them that we are Egyptians, Muslims, Copts,  atheists, even Islamists who are ashamed of Morsi, and how he divided the  country and stood watching as people killed each other.”

In Cairo, it wasn’t only Tahrir Square — every major square hosted thousands  of protesters. Other cities including the Mediterranean coastal city of  Alexandria, the Nile Delta’s Mansoura, Mehalla and Tanta; Suez Canal’s Port  Said, Suez and Ismailia; and Upper Egypt’s Assuit, Sohag and Menya witnessed  unprecedented numbers marching in locations that have become known as  revolutionary grounds since January 2011.

Violence was reported in Upper Egypt’s mainly Coptic city Beni Suef, where  several Morsi supporters led by a Salafist cleric attacked an opposition march  using firearms. One death and several gunshot wounds were reported among  opposition protesters.

Dozens of angry protesters attacked the Muslim Brotherhood headquarters in  Cairo’s Moqattam district; they hurled Molotov cocktails and rocks at the  well-barricaded building. Unconfirmed reports alleged that Brotherhood members  fired live ammunition at the attackers, no injuries or deaths were reported.

Ministry of Interior spokesman Maj. Mohamed al-Tonoubi told the local ONTV  cable channel, “Police forces continue to secure the streets surrounding the  Brotherhood office and curb any further violence.” He added, “Several men in  possession of live ammunition, guns and Molotov cocktails were arrested earlier  in a neighboring building.”

Meanwhile, a press conference held at al-Quba Palace, where Morsi was forced  to relocate on June 29, triggered more anger among protesters and the opposition  leaders.

“President Morsi recently called for national dialogue; we fully welcome all  initiatives applied through the constitution and law,” said Ehab Fahmi, Egypt’s  presidential spokesman.

“Dialogue is the only language to reach common understanding,” he added. He  further threatened, “The state will not tolerate any form of violence or  breaking the law.”

Fahmi denied rumors of sacking Prime Minister Hisham Qandil and his cabinet  or appointing Defense Minister Abdul Fattah al-Sisi as a successor.

He added, “The military is responsible for securing the borders, and the  presidency does not need their mediation with political parties.”

As Fahmi read the presidency’s lax message, military helicopters continued to fly at low levels all around the capital, especially above Tahrir Square and the  eastern Cairo palace, where hundreds of thousands had gathered.

Several opposition parties and movements including the Wafd Party, April 6  Revolutionary Youth and Tamarod [Rebelion] Initiative, replied to the presidential  statement by announcing their open-ended sit-ins until Morsi’s resignations.

“In the name of the Egyptian people, the National Salvation Front endorses  the will of the masses that demand the downfall of Mohammed Morsi’s regime and  his Muslim Brotherhood movement,” said a statement by the National Salvation  Front, the opposition umbrella, in reply to the presidential  remarks.
“The Egyptian people will continue to pursue its revolution and  impose its will that was clearly shown in liberation squares across Egypt.”

Hamdeen Sabahi, the Nasserite presidential candidate who competed with Morsi  in the first phase of the 2012 presidential elections, sent a short, loud and clear  message from Tahrir Square. “Morsi should willingly resign, or he will be forced  to.”

Mohannad Sabry is an Egyptian journalist based in  Cairo. He has written for McClatchy Newspapers and The  Washington Times, served as managing editor of Global Post‘s  reporting fellowship Covering the Revolution, in Cairo, and contributed to its  special reports “Tahrir Square” and “Egypt: The Military, the People.” On  Twitter: @mmsabry

Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/06/egyptians-demonstrate-in-large-numbers-against-morsi.html#ixzz2XocRXQtv

Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/06/egyptians-demonstrate-in-large-numbers-against-morsi.html#ixzz2XocjPgaf


adonis49

adonis49

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