It is not a military coup, it is a democratic coup

When Sisi delivered his announcement, the leaders of Al- Azhar Mosque, Coptic Church, liberal, secular and some salafi parties were all present.

By MAGDY AZIZ TOBIA
July 8, 2013 23:41
4 minute read.
Egypt's Defense Minister Abdel Fattah al-Sisi

Egypt's Defense Minister Abdel Fattah al-Sisi 370. (photo credit: Reuters)

 
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The ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi was met by deep concern from the Western World, pertaining to the feasibility of democracy in Egypt as well as the army’s role in the political landscape.

Some analysts and anchors, wrongly and cursory, applied the rules of well-established democracies to the fledgling Egyptian democracy, thus, speciously defining what happened in Egypt as a military coup. In fact, there are a myriad of factors and events, which if taken into account, would categorize this coup as a singular “democratic coup.”

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On the Muslim Brotherhood side of things, Morsi was initially elected with a slim majority of 51 percent, half of this percentage was retaliatory voting against his runner up, a Mubarak-era figure, Ahmed Shafik.

Instead of attempting to reach out to all Egyptians, Morsi alienated himself from them, and only reached out to his Islamic electoral bases. In one year in office, Morsi terribly abused his powers and resorted to all imaginable and unimaginable non-democratic practices. He first committed perjury by rescinding the constitutional declaration according to which he was sworn in, and later unilaterally issued a new one which gave him sweeping powers. This crime alone amounts to felony in any truly democratic country.

Later on, his party rushed in writing a non-consensual constitution and besieged the supreme court. Two acts which undermine any democratic underpinnings. This was followed by “brotherhoodizing” of all the institutions, particularly the judiciary, where neutral judges where dismissed and replaced by loyal ones.

Egypt was not only being raped democratically, but also economically.

Ministers and senior officials were being selected on basis of their affiliation and not qualifications. The result was an incompetent and ineffective administration that inundated Egypt with external debts, credit-rating downgrades and energy and food crunches. This material desperation, which certainly comes before democracy, is the overarching theme that brought people out onto the streets.



The fact that 22 million took to the streets to demand Morsi’s removal emphasizes that a democratic channel to remove him was impossible.

He did not open up space for his opponents. People believe that the credibility of any future elections under the auspices of the Brotherhood is highly questionable. The constitution that was passed in a public referendum is the evidence.

There was no full judicial supervision and according to NGO reports, many voters – particularly liberals and Christians – were intimidated in order not to cast their votes.

On the military side of things, its intervention was governed by two elements. First, protection of the legitimacy, and in that case it was the legitimacy of the people who took to the streets and signed on Tamarod (“rebellion”) forms. Second, safeguarding Egypt’s national security.

Social peace is an integral part of the national security of any state.

What social peace can be mentioned when Egypt was on the brink of a civil war? The Brotherhood’s call for jihad in Syria alerted the army that radicalization of young Egyptians was imminent. Morsi, in his last month, sought the help of terrorists, whom he unleashed from prisons to terrify his opponents. Those are the same persons who appear on the channels that were banned by the army. They promote hate speeches and divide people along sectarian and doctrinal lines. The heinous killing of four Shi’a in Cairo in June was the result of instigation against Shi’a, which started in mass rally that Morsi attended. Even further, on June 23, Ismailia Court found new evidence that Morsi, along with 34 Brotherhood officials, corroborated with Hamas and Hezbollah during the January 25 Revolution to spread havoc, set prisons on fire and release Brotherhood figures.

The continuous incidents of kidnapping or murdering Egyptian soldiers in Sinai can never be dismissed from the picture. This shows that the Brotherhood, although in power, never ceased to resort to violence when needed.

It is crucial here to quote an article from the constitution of Germany, a country which has witnessed a fascist regime not very different from the Brotherhood, that reads: “Parties that, by reason of their aims or the behavior of their adherents, seek to undermine or abolish the free democratic basic order or to endanger the existence of the Federal Republic of Germany shall be unconstitutional.”

The Brotherhood would have been disbanded by now if it was in Germany.

Moreover, the army did not carry this coup alone. According to Sisi’s Communiqué, the decision of toppling Morsi was a consensual one which was agreed upon by all the national forces. When Sisi delivered his announcement, the leaders of Al- Azhar Mosque, Coptic Church, liberal, secular and some salafi parties were all present.

Indeed, the army’s communiqué was received by jubilation and fireworks.

But, failure of this interim government to score in major files will never be welcomed by Egyptians. Wasting any more time without moving forward, could result in disastrous consequences for the country. One should only hope that the army learned the lesson of the past interim period and that it won’t spare any effort to make interim period different from the previous one.

The writer is a post-graduate student of Anthropology at Cairo University.

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