Archive for April, 2013

gavelAbdel Latif el-Menawy

He who fails at protecting the institutions which still provide hope is committing a mistake. I am, in particular, referring to the army, judiciary and al-Azhar in no specific order. I think we can clearly note the continuous attempts of the Brotherhood to control these institutions, or at least neutralize them or dwarf them in order to remove any obstacles that may hinder their inordinate ambitions.

The cases of political “molestation” that Cairo and other Egyptian cities witnessed, and which were represented by the phenomena of “cleansing the judiciary,” are nothing more than an act of throwing dust in the eye to implement the scheme of controlling the judiciary. This is being done by taking measures through their council, in which the legitimacy of the said institutions are questioned, it is a council which handles legislation on behalf of representative in the presidency and upon the orders of the Olympus God. Excuse me, I meant the Muslim Brotherhood’s Moqattam. The Brotherhood does not fool us with its game of distributing roles among its members and among other parasitic individuals that claim they are independent from the Brotherhood. The latter know well that this is a huge lie and they are aware that they are merely chess pieces.

A suffering judiciary

What is certain is that the Egyptian judiciary is suffering from persecution and from attempts to forcefully control it by political factions that either belong to, or support the ruling regime. These factions are carrying out such attempts bluntly but the judiciary is not intervening to force these factions to respect the sovereignty of the constitution and the law, as well as the independence of the judiciary and its men.

“What is certain is that the Egyptian judiciary is suffering from persecution and from attempts to forcefully control it by political factions” Abdel Latif el-Menawy


This truth was voiced in a statement issued by the Youth Committee of Judges and the general prosecution. Its importance lies in the fact that it frankly and sharply analyzes what is happening in Egypt. They describe an operation of intimidation against the judiciary’s “clerics” and youths, this is in fact true. They are aware of the Brotherhood and its followers’ destructive schemes which aim to prevent them from protecting their institutions. The Brotherhood wants to achieve this by passing its draft on judicial authority, by having one of its followers adopt it and present it to the Shura for quick approval and by making use of the tear gas they are firing at protests.

What is happening now is nothing more than an introduction to a massacre against the judiciary. The Brotherhood’s former guide presaged this massacre when he challengingly announced that 3,000 judges will be dismissed. This massacre will be an introduction towards resuming a massacre against the entirety of Egypt.

A repeat of history?

I think that what is happening now is similar to what happened in the 60’s. Back then an incident dubbed “the judges massacre” took place, and it left behind a dark mark on the memory of that phase despite all justifications and explanations made. It occurred on August 31, 1969, following the Naksa of 1967 ( Israel’s victory in the 1967 Six-Day War). “The judges massacre” had a grave psychological impact on all people, including men of the judiciary. So the Judges Club issued a statement calling for the rebuilding and reform of what was corrupted, the club also voiced the importance of not committing previous mistakes which led to the Naksa. This included respecting the sovereignty of law, providing independence for the judiciary, cancelling double standards in it, providing the citizens with the right to stand before a judge and cancelling all exceptional courts and laws. Back then, weak men in the judiciary conveyed the issue to former president Abdel Nasser in a distorted manner. It is unbelievable how current events are similar to what occurred in the 60’s!

At the time, a commission was formed to recommend dismissing around 200 professional judiciary officials, including the entire board of directors of the Judges Club.

The decision, issued by Abdel Nasser, stipulated dismissing all judicial officials and then reassigning them. It stipulated sacking 200 judges by either having them retire or transferring them to civil positions.

There is a huge resemblance between what happened back then and what recently happened in Egypt. The 60’s period, with all its achievements and mistakes, remains one of the most important chapters of our history. But the style adopted by the Brotherhood trespasses all that was adopted before. The regime in the 60’s did not dare defy people’s, and judges’, feelings to the extent which the current regime is doing.

Exploitation of the judiciary

The current regime has, since day one, underestimated the judiciary, its rulings and its value in an unprecedented manner. No country has witnessed terrorism and intimidation operations against the judicial institution in a manner similar to what is happening today in Egypt because of the Brotherhood.

Back to the warnings of the Youth Committee of Judges. They expect that judges will be pressured in all legitimate and illegitimate ways to accept that the Shura Council, members of which were assigned by the ruling party without holding elections, will discuss the amendment of the rules regarding the judicial authority. The pressure will be made under the excuse of achieving the judiciary’s independence. However, what is being planned is the mere exploitation of the judiciary.

When discussing the law and the suggested amendments, some parties that support the ruling party volunteer to submit drafts on the amendments made. These drafts will of course represent the epitome of extremism. This is where the ruling party intervenes by presenting a draft law and attempting to make it look like the latter achieves the judiciary’s independence. Such a move will of course be supported by parties that support the Brotherhood.
The amendments

Some of the amendments are lowering the retirement age to 65, increasing the number of those assigned to the judiciary who are not members of the general prosecution, imposing restraints on the jurisdictions of courts’ general assemblies and limiting the jurisdictions and specialties of the Higher Judicial Council in addition to increasing the number of its members through holding elections. These amendments may seem merciful, however torture lurks behind them.

When judges oppose this draft, they will be accused of corruption and of inciting to commit corruption. And then the judges affiliated with the regime will come into the picture and rush to announce that they fully support the draft law and they will appear on all media outlets to try and convince the public that the judges who oppose the draft law are corrupt people whom the judiciary must be cleansed of.

After the judicial authority law goes into effect, thousands of judges who are over 65 will be dismissed and as the judicial year begins in October 2013, it will be revealed that chairing criminal courts will be of two degrees as per the constitution. Therefore, these courts which judges of appeal work at, will need more judges since thousands have been dismissed due to the “cleansing operation.” Even the current judges, who are below the age of retirement, will not be able to fill the numbers needed.

And then there is the final chapter to achieve the aspired end. According to the draft which the Brotherhood came up with, it is allowed to assign judges in appeal and cassation courts, the top courts of the country where the judiciary’s “clerics” work. And later, huge numbers of lawyers will be assigned to these courts and one of the basic requirements for the assignment is that they are affiliated with the Brotherhood.

It is a conspiracy from A to Z. So are we, that is the individuals and institutions that care about Egypt, going to just observe and complain of the phase we are going through? Or are we going to take action?


imagesAbdel Latif el-Menawy

We are living through days that only God knows where they will lead us to. I and many others think that the Egyptians are suffering from a great deal of depression and of strange mixed feelings of anger, despair, futility, the desire to scream and the desire to approach God and pray that he rids us and rids the country of the heavy burden we have been suffering from. This however will not prevent us from always trying to maintain hope of restoring the country to its sons with no discrimination or elimination in order to have a country for all citizens.

An aspect of holding on to our country’s features is the permanent recalling of its original culture and celebrating it without looking at whether this culture is Muslim or Christian but rather that it is an Egyptian culture.

The homeland

Egypt, our homeland, carries its culture within it. Egypt has been capable throughout history to respond with all cultures that passed through it or lived in it. And this is how the unique fabric of the Egyptian character developed.

Thus, Egypt acquired its own special taste in dealing with cultures and religions. Each culture and religion that entered Egypt acquired a pure special taste. No culture survived in Egypt except by responding to the nature of the centrist moderate Egyptian character that has its special spirit.

When Christianity arrived in Egypt, the Day of Resurrection was introduced and the Egyptians’ celebration of their day came right after it. So the Copts celebrated Easter on Sunday and “Sham Ennisim” fell on Monday. The latter is a day that Egyptians inherited from their ancestors, the pharaohs. Celebrating this feast has been inherited by generations throughout all eras. It is celebrated by carrying out the same rituals and by abiding by the same traditions and habits that have not been even slightly altered since the era of the pharaohs until now. After Islam was introduced to Egypt, Egyptians, whether Muslim or Copts, celebrated this Egyptian day after they all celebrated the Day of Resurrection.

Sham Ennisim

The word “Sham Ennisim” is an old Egyptian word that means “Harvest Season.” Many think that the word is Arabic. In fact, it is an ancient Egyptian word. And the “Harvest Season” means the day which ancient Egyptians believed to have been the day the world was created in.

“Egypt, our homeland, carries its culture within it. Egypt has been capable throughout history to stand strong against cultures that attempted to conquer it.”  Abdel Latif el-Menawy

When Christianity spread throughout the entirety of Egypt by the 14th century, the Egyptians faced a problem over when to celebrate this Egyptian feast (Sham Ennisim) because it always fell on Lent, which comes before Easter. Lent is distinguished with extreme asceticism, seclusion and worship. And of course, Lent is distinguished with the practice of abstaining from all foods of animal origins, including fish which is considered an important aspect in celebrating Sham Ennisim. Thus it was difficult to celebrate it during Lent. So the Egyptian Christians thought then that celebrating Sham Ennisim must be postponed until after Lent. And they agreed to celebrate it after Easter Day which always comes on a Sunday. And thus Sham Ennisim always falls on the Monday which follows that Sunday.

People in Egypt continued to celebrate this feast until after Islam was introduced in the country. So it remained an inherited tradition that carries the same rituals and traditions which have not been changed since the days of the pharaohs.

This caught the attention of British Orientalist Edward William Lane who visited Cairo in 1834. He described the Egyptians’ celebration of this feast by saying: “They go early to the neighboring countryside. They stroll in the Nile and head north to smell the breeze. They think that the breeze – on this day – has a beneficial effect. Most of them have lunch in the countryside or in the Nile.” These are the same traditions the Egyptians practice today.

Egypt continues to be that homeland which was born to stay, and Egyptians continue to be this homeland’s adornment. May all Egyptians be well at this time, next year.

430141_148983255224099_601152695_aAbdel Latif el-Menawy

A few months ago, we talked about distraction plans as a means of ruling the country. This has become clear in the past stage where unnecessary problems are fabricated in order to keep the people busy while the regime takes advantage of the arising controversy to usurp more power control more the state institutions.

“The problem lies in the Brotherhood-ization of the country and attempts are monopolizing power in major state institutions like the police, the army, and the intelligence as well as the absence of security” Abdel Latif el-Menawy


In fact, liberal and civil groups play an important role in allowing the Muslim Brotherhood to implement this plan. They are preoccupied with side issues that create rifts in their ranks, thus providing the Muslim Brotherhood with the perfect opportunity to divide them. The examples are numerous. The issue of Mubarak’s smile and the fact that the court ordered his release in one of the lawsuits, which was not actually put into effect since he is detained on other charges, are just attempts to drag the opposition into endless disputes and this is exactly what the Muslim Brotherhood wants.

Mubarak’s smile

I follow closely emerging associations and their stances on several current issues and I will refer here to a statement issued by the Arab Center for Integrity and Transparency and in which its members expressed their surprise at the reaction of Islamist factions to Mubarak’s smile and the release verdict and the way they focused too much on those two issues especially regarding the unjustified fierce campaign they launched against the judiciary for the court order.

“Islamist factions,” said the statement, “Found in those two issues a means of distracting the people from their failure in running the country, which is on the verge of collapsing on both the political and the economic levels. That is why we found them talking at the Consultative Assembly about Mubarak’s smile and found radical Islamists and former terrorists vow that the former president would not get away with what he did. Others even said that the former prosecutor general is the one who paved the way for the court even if without specifying how that was possible.”

This, the statement added, is nothing but a way to divert the attention from the regime’s failures and possibly also to pass certain laws without stirring the indignation of the people. It is no longer about how Mubarak looked or how he will be tried, but the problem lies in what it has all boiled down to in the country and which is demonstrated in soaring prices, nonstop crisis, election laws, and the IMF loan.

Uniting civil factions?

The problem lies in the Brotherhood-ization of the country and attempts are monopolizing power in major state institutions like the police, the army, and the intelligence as well as the absence of security. The problem lies in this political crises in which the opposition is totally ignored and in which a people staged a revolution to demand freedom and social justice then ended up with a totalitarian system that is no different from its predecessor the former ruling National Democratic Party.

“That is why we are warning the Egyptian people of taking this bait and allowing themselves to be distracted from the real objectives for which many sacrificed their lives and to allow the hijackers of the revolution to reap the fruits. This is part of a plan to monopolize power and the people will be the losing party since they will suffer from more hunger, division, and weakness while they face a group that is an expert in conspiracies, deals, and manipulation.”

When former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafik, considered one of the symbols of the old regime, announced his willingness to join the main opposition bloc the National Salvation Front, the front’s reaction to this statement and their preoccupation with it betrayed its members’ unawareness of this plan.

All civil factions need to unite if they want to keep the Egypt we have always known and we have always wanted to see.

Abdellatif ElmenawyAbdel Latif el-Menawy

I am not trying to pick on the Muslim Brotherhood’s former supreme guide Mahdi Akef, but I am quoting him because his statements are the most honest amongst those of other group members. His bluntness and sometimes his impatience drive him to say what he feels without beating around the push. You can almost hear him saying, “This is how we are. These are our ideas and our plans and to hell with whoever does not like them.” This is what most his statements, which are the most representative of the group, imply even though he does not say this in so many words. In this context, I would like to stop at his last statement about the residents of Sinai and which he described as “Bedouin.” Regardless of the negative or positive connotations of the term, I have always believed that if we are going to refer to a group of citizens with their geographical location, we need first to mention their nationality so that they become Egyptians from Sinai, Egyptian Christians, Egyptian Nubians, and so on. First and foremost, they are Egyptians. That is why I have always has reservations about labeling residents of Sinai “Bedouin.”

Now back to the alarming statement that reflects the Muslim Brotherhood’s stance on Sinai. He said, “Sinai does not have Jihadists only. I visited Sinai and I know from reliable sources that the Sinai Bedouin are divided into categories: one with the Mossad, a second with the intelligence, and a third with national security. They are all fighting and they are the reason for the turmoil there.” This is how he summarized his and his group’s view of the Sinai people, with the exception of course of Muslim Brothers there. I call upon our people in Sinai not to feel indignant or think they are the only ones targeted by the Muslim Brotherhood.

Justified fury

This is how the Brotherhood sees people outside or belonging to groups that are not allied to it. That is why it is understandable when some leaders from Sinai threaten to kill the former supreme guide if he does not apologize for his derogatory statements, they reflect the state of justified fury that prevails among them, but this is not the solution to the problem. What he said is part of their ideology and which is based on looking down upon whoever is not one of them. That is why we are all in the same place. An apology will not change anything for it will not change this ideology and because he is not the only one who thinks that way.

“The Muslim Brotherhood, which is used to underground activities and assassinations, cannot rule the country while rejecting its culture and borders and considering it only a part of a bigger project.” Abdel Latif al-Menawy


The real problem lies in the Muslim Brotherhood’s arrogant attitude towards the rest of the Egyptian people be they Muslims, Christians, Upper Egyptians, residents of coastal areas… etc. According to them, none of those belongs to that superior group that monopolizes faith in a way that reminds us of the authority of the church in the Middle Ages, the Dark Ages of Europe, or the Second World War when the alleged supremacy of the Aryan race ignited a war that took the lives of millions of people.

For the new rulers, belonging transcends national boundaries to encompass their own perceived nation. Let me remind you of what the current Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Leader Mohamed Badei said to Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haneya when he received him in Egypt last year: “I wish you were the prime minister of Egypt.” This is not really different from another proclamation by the former supreme guide, whose controversial statements we are addressing here, when he said he does not mind if the Egyptian president is Malaysian or any other non-Egyptian Muslim. The current supreme guide, however, said something more dangerous when he promised Haneya to give Hamas leaders the Egyptian nationality. He was also reported to have said that Hamas members will be allowed to settle in Sinai, yet the Brotherhood denied this later. Even if I believe they did not say this, I and many others are still suspicious about their intentions and those suspicions are valid and based on evidence and signs.

Ideological deviances

Members of the Muslim Brotherhood need to rethink their ideological deviances, as far as the concept of the homeland is concerned. They need to depart from ideas they regard as “constants” and which date back to the time of their alleged “martyrs.” They are now in power and this in itself necessitates a revision of all their previous stances.

The Muslim Brotherhood, which is used to underground activities, intrigues, and assassinations, cannot rule the country while rejecting its culture and borders and considering it only a part of a bigger project. They cannot consider all the people, with the exception of their members, a group of outlaws. They need to know that they are not God’s “chosen people” and that those people out there are the Egyptians who have lived in this country for thousands of years and who absorbed all sorts of cultures, rulers, religions, and occupying powers. Everything goes and only the people and the homeland remain.

To our people in Sinai: we are all together in this and sanctioning the bloodshed of one leader or another will not change much of the reality. Egyptians, be patient!

430141_148983255224099_601152695_aBy Abdel Latif El-menawy

When a hurricane hits, it doesn’t spare anyone. Again I warn that the present leaders of Egypt are pushing it quickly to the edge of a cliff, and they are wrong if they think that this action will put them in a better position and allow them to have full control.

They are wrong if they think that the policy of indifference and neglect of the others’ concerns fits with their own interests, regardless of the cost. They are wrong if they expect to succeed this way as they will be the first to fall off the cliff they’re leading the country to, and as I always say, the volcano will not ask for permission to erupt.

Deadly mistakes from the former regime

Based on this brinkmanship policy, we can assess the method used by the government during the sectarian events, namely the Cairo cathedral attack. The events are very representative of how things will develop when sectarian strife hits. First and foremost one needs to admit that this is one of many dangers facing Egypt for many years now, and maybe the deadly mistake of the former regime was that it has always dealt with this issue as a security problem. It put the solution in the hands of the security forces and never took any step towards finding a real and practical solution to ease sectarian tension in spite of the genuine goodwill that was interpreted by constitutional reforms, considering citizenship as the foundation of the nation.

The second mistake of the former regime was the continuous attempts to win the applause of religious movements, which cost us and the regime as well, a hefty price. As a result of these mistakes, the concept of citizenship wasn’t elaborated through a series of laws and regulations in order to create a real civilian state, with the citizen as a foundation, and citizenship as the only reference that dictates the relationship between the citizen and the government, as well as the relations between the citizens themselves.

The former regime collapsed, bringing down with it all the steps that were taken in favor of enhancing the concept of citizenship, and we are facing since them a new regime that has built a high wall between it and all citizens; it doesn’t recognize anyone except those from “its family and tribe.”

“The police that succeeded in defending the different centers of the Muslim Brotherhood and their Headquarters in Cairo, is the same apparatus that failed in protecting the premises of the al-Azhar chief’s residence and the cathedral in tough times” Abdel Latif el-Menawy


What we witnessed in the last few days is an example of this childish government system, which will only lead to destruction and collapse; starting with the tone of speech used by the security officer responsible for the Egypt town of al-Khoussous – which witnessed deadly sectarian clashes last week. The officer said that the beginning of the unrest there cannot be described as a sectarian strife, and this denial seems to be the key message used by all officials of the present regime. This doesn’t allow them to grasp the real dimension of the problem and its complications, and find a suitable solution. You may add to this the stunning approach of the police while dealing with the explosive situation in the cathedral during the funerals, which doesn’t seem to be quite innocent.

The police that succeeded in defending the different centers of the Muslim Brotherhood and their Headquarters in Cairo, is the same apparatus that failed in protecting the premises of the al-Azhar chief’s residence, and it is the same apparatus that failed to protect the cathedral in tough times, but on the contrary, it decided to contribute in further escalating the situation through using newly-imported tear gas! These situations are really worth analyzing to give a convincing answer to the Egyptians, who this country belongs to.

In a stance that lacks basic of political sense, the assistant of the president for foreign affairs made a statement in English, with the purpose of addressing international observers who are noticing the huge mistakes committed by its Egypt’s leaders. The official accused the angry Christian mourners of attacking pedestrians and cars on Ramses street, which forced some of the people who were near the cathedral to throw stones and shoot which further escalated the situation and initiated fire exchange.

He added that the surveillance cameras caught the images of persons armed with weapons and Molotov cocktails at the top of the cathedral and outside, and inside, which forced the police to interfere to disperse crowds by using tear gas. And as usual, like in all previous events, nobody puts any blame on the “pure and innocent” member of the Muslim Brotherhood and its allies; the criminals are all those who are not part of this group and its allies, regardless of their religion, as it doesn’t matter if they are Muslim or Copts.

I think that what happened is more proof that the Egyptian state is speeding away from enhancing the principle of citizenship. Real citizenship will not be realized through the sweet words said by the ruling group’s officials and their followers, who claim that all citizens are equal towards the law and similar empty statements.

Real citizenship can only be achieved when the country is for all of its citizens, and when the government is for all, not for a group that holds the citizenship seal, granting it to those it favors, and denying it to those who oppose them, be it in religion or in politics. What’s best is a state for its citizens, not a state for a group, even if they consider themselves as the only believers.

Abdellatif ElmenawyBy Abdel Latif El-menawy

One of the fatal mistakes committed by the previous regime was its underestimation of the public’s ability to vent its anger and its capability of affecting the government’s strength. Sometimes, this wrong estimation reached the extent of underestimating people and dealing with them as per formulas void of a humane factor. When those who ran Egypt’s affairs dealt with Egyptians in terms of mathematical formulas and statistics, the real results were not predictable as public opinion is not a programmable laptop or iPad. And so, the regime either collapsed or did not find support from its friends to confront the scheme to topple it.

“We believe that Egypt is a state, country and civilization and that it will never be part of their bigger country. Its people will not allow the leadership to dwarf it and it will not be an emirate led by a ruler” Abdel Latif el-Menawy

I mention the previous regime because the current one has trespassed all limits trespassed by the former regime. The current regime has moved beyond all that falls within the acceptable. If we are to consider that the previous regime made wrong calculations, then the current regime has not made any calculations at all! It has dealt with a great deal of carelessness with all its opponents. That aggrandized feeling of power and desire to avenge is the manual of the Muslim Brotherhood’s behavior, and they abide by it whilst ruling us. It doesn’t end here. The former Supreme Guide of the Brotherhood, who is in fact influential, has through his new statements confirmed this stance. He proved that it was not a slip of a tongue when he said “Egypt shouldn’t even matter.” This vision of Egypt seems rooted in the group’s morals, and it surfaces in moments of truth despite their attempts to hide it by embellishing words. The statements, attributed to the former Supreme Guide, Mohammed Mahdi Akef, confirmed that vision and revealed the Brotherhood’s real character as he denied his statements. He accused the reporter and the daily, which published the statements, of lying. The daily and the journalist however brought forward the recorded audio of his speech as evidence. Not only that, but the daily also published parts of the speech that it did not reveal before because it considered them to be beyond the acceptable.

An unacceptable speech

To confirm or explain what I mean by comparing the current regime with the previous one, let me touch on some of what the prominent influential figure, Akef, said.

The biggest surprise he made at the beginning was his emphasis that the “Renaissance” project, announced as Egyptian President Mohammed Mursi’s electoral agenda, cannot be implemented without the “brotherhoodization” of the state institutions. He emphasized that the president, regardless of some state institutions’ lack of cooperation and of the fierce media and judicial attack against him, will remain in his post despite the spiteful people’s will.

In his speech, Akef – the former Supreme Guide, said that requests to dismiss the attorney general were “shameful.” He said; “disbanding the people’s council which was elected by 32 million Egyptians is evidence that the judiciary is sick.” He added; “all judges are afraid. When a parliament [is elected] a decision will be made to [sack] 3,500 judge and consultants.” Let me remind the reader that the ruling party’s legal committee is working on a draft law on judicial authority and this draft law includes lowering the judges’ retirement age. This will lead to the ouster of many judges. Akef told the daily “Al-Jarida” that “3,500 judges will be [dismissed] soon.”

Akef also said that “the U.S., through former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, provided 10 million dollars for the Egyptians to vote with a ‘no’ on the constitution [referendum] but the Egyptians still voted with a ‘yes’.”

When asked about TV host Bassem Youssef, who is accused by the general prosecution of contempt of Islam and insulting the president, the former Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide said; “this Bassem is frivolous. I watched his show once. He is frivolous and he has insulted his masters.”

On the accusations that current Supreme Guide Doctor Mohamed Badih is the one ruling Egypt, Akef said; “[you think] the guide has time for you? The Brotherhood is in 80 countries. Mursi is not a ruler enough?” He also said that the guide is busy with important matters like global organization and the guidance office is a small part of this organization. He describes Mohamed Mursi as Egypt’s “ruler” but he does specify his vision of Egypt which is “smaller” than their international organization. Is it an emirate, a suburb, a street or an alley?!

Borders with Sudan

There are previous statements made by Akef regarding the borders with Sudan. He said: “the Muslim Brotherhood does not consider that there is a problem among Arab and Islamic countries regarding their borders which were imposed upon them by colonization when Arabs and Muslims were inattentive.” He emphasized that this principle is rooted in the Muslim Brotherhood’s morals, clarifying that it is not acceptable that brothers fight over few meters here and there no matter what the situation is. He also said: “Egypt’s problem with Sudan, regarding the Halayeb and Shalatin Triangle, has been fabricated in order to disrupt relations among brothers and create aversion.” He went on to say, “the Sudanese side has itself covered borders from the Ethiopian and Eritrean side in order to confront this rebellious man who receives aid from all countries.” Unfortunately, this aid comes from most Arab countries. This aims to keep Sudan busy [and drive it] to pull away its army to the North. Therefore, the Sudanese people do not want this problem to cause a war between the two brotherly countries. The Sudanese people are among the most loyal people to Egypt and its people.”

He concluded by saying “whether Halayeb and Shalatin are considered as Sudanese or Egyptian land, I do not see any problem in that as per my knowledge of the opposing parties. The future is that of one nation which is unified by this religion and this language and which the vein of the Nile runs into.”

What is certain is that this orientation is not only Akef’s but it has become a provocative style used by various members of the Brotherhood to compete. They compete to the extent that we look to the mistakes of the past and realize that the latter are nothing compared to what they are doing now.

We believe that Egypt is a state, country and civilization and that it will never be part of their bigger country. Its people will not allow the leadership to dwarf it and it will not be an emirate led by a ruler.

By Abdel Latif El-menawy,d.ZWU&psig=AFQjCNFHANAsteF3frb6do4XI4UGq97H3A&ust=1366028629337570

I will never get tired of warning that the next step in the plan to seize control of all state institutions is subjugating al-Azhar, one of the most important guarantees of the civilian and moderate character of the state. A civilian state, in fact, would not exclude the most prominent religious institution that constitutes an integral part of Egyptian history and the same applies to the Egyptian church. It is important for al-Azhar to maintain its independence from politics and to resist attempts by the new rulers to control it as part of their comprehensive plane to monopolize power in all state institutions and dwarf the role of its scholars, particularly its Grand Imam Dr. Ahmed al-Tayeb.

No public figure was welcomed in his official position like Tayeb. Even though there had been objections to his appointment at the time, those disappeared in the midst of the enthusiasm with which he was greeted owing to his pleasant traits and to hopes that he will restore al-Azhar to its historic status that has earned it respect all over the world.

Tayeb’s character

I personally admired Tayeb since he was the grand mufti. I met him in his office back then and saw in him a true Egyptian, not only because of the kindness that shows on his face, but also because of how representative he is of Egyptian history, culture, and tolerance. That is why I hoped that he would be chosen as the grand imam of al-Azhar.

“The plan to control al-Azhar, which prioritizes the ouster of its grand imam, is part of a larger Brotherhood-ization strategy that does not miss a chance to achieve its goals.” Abdel Latif el-Menawy


Tayeb’s character combines traits that might be seen as contradictory yet turn out to be extremely harmonious, for he is a mixture of the strictness of Upper Egypt, from which he hails, and the flexibility and tolerance of a city dweller. He is also as ascetic as the Sufis to which he belongs. His family is financially modest yet very distinguished on the scientific and social levels. Almost all his ancestors were scholars and he says that he inherited his traits from his great grandfather, the venerable scholar who died in 1956 at the age of 100. The southern town from which he comes, called al-Qarna, is neither a village nor a city but a blend of both as well as Egypt’s successive civilizations starting with the Pharaohs.

Therefore, Tayeb is a product of the deeply-rooted Egyptian culture, known for its moderation, and closely related to Sufism, which started in Egypt, and his thoughts are inspired by the true spirit of Islam.

Controlling al-Azhar

The plan to control al-Azhar, which prioritizes the ouster of its grand imam, is part of a larger Brotherhood-ization strategy that does not miss a chance to achieve its goals. That is why the incident in which several students at al-Azhar got food poisoning offered the perfect opportunity to call upon Tayeb to resign. They are talking here about political responsibility, the same concept of which we talked when our soldiers were killed in Sinai or when more Egyptians were killed during clashes in front of the presidential place or in Port Said. If the political responsibility argument was applied on those and other incidents, officials of the current regime, on top of whom is the president, should have been held accountable.

It is important now to stress the importance of al-Azhar and its grand imam in the Egyptian state as the institution that represents the Egyptian culture away from political and partisan affiliations. It is also important to protect al-Azhar from becoming one of the bounties the new rulers are attempting to win and to defend the grand imam as an integral component of this institution.

The first steps towards restoring the dignity of al-Azhar grand imam involve stressing his position in state protocol. The grand imam receives officials and is the representative of al-Azhar with all what this institution stands for.

This is not about defending a person, but defending a value in order to protect the nation from those who are trying to change its features. Very few remaining voices and institutions are still trying to protect the Egyptian state as we have known it and as we hope to see it. Al-Azhar is one of those. That is why it has now become a national duty to protect and defend al-Azhar.