Egypt’s revolution: Seven years on, the questions pile up
What Egypt witnessed in January 2011 was the rejection of the stagnation that had occurred because of the state’s refusal to consider change because it considered that to be synonymous with chaos and the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year regime.
The situation was complicated further because of the general feeling that, even if Mubarak stepped down, the status quo would continue as his son would become his successor.
The fact that many Egyptian people saw no hope for real change even after Mubarak’s departure is what created the atmosphere for the first outbreak of angry expression.
Regardless of whether the groups of young people who led that first expression were trained and prepared for such a day or not, the truth is that the atmosphere was ready.
Their demands had a low ceiling, but the regime was clearly unaware of the potential for protests, and clearly unprepared, which was a main cause of the protests’ consequences.
But what about the Muslim Brotherhood?
It is well-known that the Muslim Brotherhood, in an act of political opportunism, announced that they would not participate in the demonstrations of Jan. 25 but went back on their word when they discovered the size of the demonstrations, deciding they would lose credibility if they did not declare their participation, despite their prior arrangement with state security. One party to that arrangement was Mohamed Morsi, a former member of the Parliament at the time.
So, why did the Brotherhood rush into the post-Jan. 25 demonstrations? The answer lies in the absence of intelligence in the political management of events at the time. The Interior Ministry issued a statement at midnight in which it put the blame entirely on the Brotherhood, although it was common knowledge that they participated only in the last moments of Jan. 25. But it seems that the leadership of the Interior Ministry at the time thought it was an opportunity to discredit the Brotherhood by publicly accusing them of being responsible for the events of the day.
However, that accusation simply forced the Brotherhood into a position where they had to confront the regime. Thus, from Jan. 26 onward, members of the group infiltrated Egypt.
The leadership of the international organization mobilized and declared zero hour for the implementation of their plan. The development of events in Egypt helped determine the time to make their move. And they made it with a great deal of opportunism, exploiting the mistakes of the regime, and most importantly exploiting some opportunists in the youth movements; manipulating the innocence of many young Egyptians who came out to express their desire for change.
Muslim Brotherhood moved with a great deal of opportunism, manipulating the innocence of many young Egyptians who came out to express their desire for change.
It was significant that the Brotherhood did not employ any religious slogans at the time, but it dominated the movement in different squares. All this was done with the support and direct supervision of the leadership of a state that claimed to be Egypt’s sister country, Qatar, along with the blessing of America to implement its new strategy in the region.
By Jan. 28, the Brotherhood was in full control of the uprising, and continued to exploit the youth. Using its knowledge of counter-security measures, it began to implement its task of burning Egypt, taking advantage of people’s overwhelming anger, which prevented many from realizing what it was actually doing.
So many were deceived by what was happening, and the problem is that they remained deceived for a long time. Even those who began to guess what was going on had no choice but to continue the process of destroying the state beyond the toppling of the regime.
Once they realized what they had done, some tried to repent and turn back, after they had pushed their country into the unknown. They woke up and joined the true Egyptian revolution in order to restore Egypt.
That set the scene for June 30, 2013, which I will address in my next column.
• Abdellatif El-Menawy is a critically acclaimed multimedia journalist, writer and columnist who has covered war zones and conflicts worldwide. Twitter: @ALMenawy
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