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