Egypt: A setback or a correction?



Tariq Alhomayed

Published — Saturday 16 June 2012

Last update 16 June 2012 9:21 pm

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ANYBODY looking at the bigger picture in Egypt, away from previous positions or what is being repeated by some media outlets with regards to clichés and public polls, will find that Egypt is now — following the dissolution of Parliament by the Supreme Constitutional Court’s ruling — facing a very dangerous turning point. This means that Egypt is either facing a setback, God forbid, or an important corrective step.
Today, the delusions have been dispelled, and there are many such delusions in Egypt and elsewhere held by all those who are concerned by the Egyptian scene. The most prominent delusion to have been dispelled is the talk about a secret agreement between the Muslim Brotherhood and the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF). Another delusion that has been disproven is regarding the influence of “million man” marches, Twitter and Facebook. Indeed there is a long list of delusions that have established themselves in Egypt since the fall of the Mubarak regime that have been disproven. However, the story is not just one of delusions, but also the revelation of mistakes that have been made by everybody in Egypt, whether by the revolutionaries or the other political forces, and this includes — in fact this list is headed by — the Muslim Brotherhood. It seems that everybody has forgotten that a broad segment of Egyptian society did not appear in Tahrir Square or get involved in similar activity on social networking websites. This segment of society has real fears over the reality in Egypt today, not to mention the country’s future. Will the crisis worsen and the Egyptian economy collapse completely? This is a very dangerous but possible scenario. Will Egypt become a religious state, which means that the country will face decades of crises the likes of which God only knows?
These are important questions, and it is clear that most political forces in Egypt have failed to comprehend them, particularly as some of these political blocs were overcome by their unrealistic dreams, all the while the Muslim Brotherhood sought to predominate all of Egypt, from parliament to the Shoura Council, and even the presidency and the Constitutional Committee, in what represents an unprecedentedly stupid political policy. This confirms that the Muslim Brotherhood excels at the art of haggling and bickering, but they lack any political cunning, not to mention political rationality and an understanding of statesmanship.
If the Egyptian people accept the Supreme Constitutional Court’s ruling to dissolve Parliament and move forward in their participation of the presidential run-off, distinguishing between the choices of a civil state and a religious state, in addition to the fragmented political forces — particularly the youth — organizing their ranks in preparations for the forthcoming parliamentary elections, and prior to this, the battle over drafting the constitution, this would mean that Egypt is facing a large and important corrective movement, and everybody will benefit from this. The most important thing is for Egypt itself to benefit, particularly as the Egyptians must pay attention and be aware that they have gained a strong and respected institution today, namely the judiciary, which took the position it took against former president Mubarak.
If the Egyptians trade accusations of treason and continue to weave delusions over secret agreements and more, or boycott the presidential elections or promote the story of “remnants [of the former regime]” versus Islamists, rather than viewing this as being a choice between a civil state and religious state, then this — unfortunately — means that Egypt is on the verge of a severe setback and not a corrective movement! Therefore, the political forces in Egypt today should consider the mistakes they have made, and organize their ranks because this is a second opportunity, and these come along rarely!

The author is editor in chief of Asharq Al-Awsat.

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