Egypt: A Victory For Revolution or Counterrevolution?

The following two block quotes must be weighed against each other:

... its gravest mistake was to ally itself closely with the Salafist groups during the process of writing the constitution, thus alienating many of the secularists, liberals, as well as Christians even though the MB did not care much about the constitutional ideological battle. Its motivation was not to be outflanked by the Salafis on the Islamic identity of the state. To accomplish this objective, the MB lost most of the others.

That is exactly what I repeatedly tweeted to Morsi long before the Muslim Brotherhood and he made the huge, huge error of foregoing real freedom of religion.

... the secular and liberal opposition and many youth groups and their supporters argued that their protests followed by the ouster of Morsi by the military was analogous to the overthrow of Mubarak. But this argument conveniently ignores the fact that Mubarak was not a legitimate president or elected by the will of the Egyptian people while Morsi, whether one supports or opposes him, loves or hates him, was duly elected in free, fair, and contested elections that the entire world observed and accepted.

Furthermore, Mubarak killed hundreds of youth in order to stay in power, while dozens of youth were killed in the streets defending the legitimacy of Morsi's presidency. In addition, most of the people and groups who oppose Morsi today after one year in power, never lifted a finger during Mubarak's 30-year reign. Mubarak's security apparatus used thugs to terrorise his opponents and oversee fraudulent elections, while the same thugs today attack and terrorise unarmed supporters of Morsi.

While official and government media outlets and corrupt businesspeople and judges supported Mubarak for decades, the same government-supported media, businesspeople and judges attacked Morsi from his first day in office.

Liberals, democrats and human rights activists have been preaching to Islamists for decades that democracy is the only legitimate system for peaceful political participation and transition of power. In 1992, when the Algerian military intervened and canceled elections after the Islamic Salvation front (FIS) won it, the West, led by the USA and France, looked the other way. Meanwhile, Algeria was engulfed in civil strife for over a decade, a conflict that resulted in more than 200,000 deaths.

Two decades later, whether or not one agrees with its political program, favours or despises the MB, there is no doubt that the group played by the rules of democracy and embraced the rule of law. It did not employ or advocate the use of violence. Yet, it is the height of irony that the ones who called for, encouraged and cheered the military intervention to oust a democratically elected president are the secular, liberal and leftist parties and individuals such as ElBaradei, Amr Mousa, Naguib Sawiris, Ayman Noor and Hamdein Sabbahi, as well as human and civil rights activists who frequently advocate for free media and freedom of political association.

The international community looked the other way when the will of the Algerian and Palestinian people were thwarted when they elected Islamists in 1992 and 2006. This is the third time in two decades Islamists are dislodged from power. It remains to be seen if the West will take a strong stand against the military's latest attempt to prevent Islamists from holding power. It may indeed define the relationship between Islamist groups and Western governments for the foreseeable future.

The message such stand would send to people around the world will be profound. Either the West stands for democratic principles and the rule of law or it does not. When President Obama called Morsi on June 30, he admonished him that "democracy is about more than elections". But what is equally essential to recognise is that there is no democracy without respecting and protecting the legitimacy of its results regardless of its outcome. [Source: Egypt: A victory for revolution or counterrevolution? Views from the Egyptian left | Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal]

That's all very important, but none of it negates the first block quote. The last line of that second block quote is completely incorrect. "...regardless of its outcome" is completely wrong and an undemocratic, ignorant concept.

Electing a party or leader based upon the party's and leader's promises does not then allow the reversal of those promises except under the most dire of exigencies, none of which prevailed in Egypt at the time.

The Muslim Brotherhood and Morsi could have, and should have, worked much harder on a Constitution that would best balance the most reasonable of the needs and wants of the Egyptian people. It was, and is, either that or don't attempt democracy in the first place.

The way forward is convincing Muslims that sharia is an error.

One day, the real law will be written upon everyone's heart. Then, and only then, peace will finally reign.

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  • Tom Usher

    About Tom Usher

    Employment: 2008 - present, website developer and writer. 2015 - present, insurance broker. Education: Arizona State University, Bachelor of Science in Political Science. City University of Seattle, graduate studies in Public Administration. Volunteerism: 2007 - present, president of the Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project.
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