Egypt’s civil forces and the persistence to blunder

Posted: November 18, 2012 in Uncategorized

By Abdel Latif El-menawy

The Muslim Brotherhood wouldn’t have been able to assume power without the help of the civil forces.

The civil forces didn’t necessarily support the Muslim Brotherhood directly or voted in their favor, as others did, but the state of division and fragmentation helped.

This wasn’t the only mistake. The civil forces lost the opportunity granted by the military council to the different fighting powers to run the country when the military men expressed their will to get out of the picture during the transitory period.

These forces didn’t seize the opportunity when the army declared that it will refrain from shooting the demonstrators even if they storm the presidential palace. The army was looking for a power support in what can be described as a political romance and it was expecting to see all civil forces gathering around it, but was surprised to see dozens of political parties, and more than 300 youth coalitions, each looking for a leadership role, claiming to be the sole owner of the revolution, refusing to listen to others.

Within this division, fragmentation and fighting, the Muslim Brotherhood with its pragmatism was ready to jump and ride the wave of the revolution. It convinced the military council that it was ready to support it whenever it needed popular backing as it was the most organized and the most competent to run the country.

The civil forces, gathered in Tahrir Square after January 28th and stayed there until February 11th 2011 without agreeing on a unified leader, considered this as a good thing so that nobody could steal the people’s revolution, but as the days went by, the Muslim Brotherhood was more organized.

The mistake committed by the civil forces, to refrain from being unified around one group or one leader, caused harm to them after February 11th.

The French Revolution, which started with clear principles and a set of goals, was unified around specific leaders and was also preceded by a big awareness movement.

In Egypt, there was a clear will for change but without clearness and this was something I wrote about after the parliamentary elections in 2010.

I stressed on the importance of change, saying that change was an action that one either leads with or be led by it. Like the wild horse, it will either freely run or it can be tamed and obedient.

I warned that if we were willing to move forward, we should be the ones to lead the change, and take control instead of finding ourselves dragged behind the concept of change.

But because the former regime didn’t listen, it didn’t react to the demands of people and dealt with the need for change as the antithesis of stability and not a motive to enhance and strengthen it. It was inevitable for the regime to fall, and those, who were most prepared to benefit from the fall to access power, were ready while the civil forces were struggling.

The real problem is not that the governing group stopped listening, but that the civil forces, which can be called as opposition forces, are still insisting on the same mistake they committed on February 11th 2011 and the mistake they committed afterwards at the parliamentary elections towards the end of 2011.

The biggest mistake was committed during the presidential elections held in mid- 2012 when they were divided and fragmented.

It seems that they are still committed to remain divided without learning the lesson and realizing that this will give the governing group the opportunity to further tighten its grip on power.

Egypt is prone to a huge event if the Muslim Brotherhood and hardliners insist on adopting the constitution in its actual anti-freedoms format and biased to a religious instead of a civilian state.

The next referendum will be the real challenge to the civil forces to gather all its power to reject the constitution either by choosing to vote against it or exert pressure to cancel the constituent assembly with clear alliances and demand the establishment of a new constituent assembly more representative of Egyptians.

Community discussions and attempts to attract some of the opposition leaders are nothing but another formula to convince Egyptians that there is a broad acceptance to the constitution, although this is not true. The civil forces should realize that the fate of a new Egyptian constitution is not in the hands of the ruling party, but in the hands of the civil forces, if, and only if, they unify.

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