Archive for August, 2013

Who is the murderer in Egypt?

Posted: August 28, 2013 in Alarabiya
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It is not defense of a right, or steadiness of a stance, or a war for the sake of Islam. It is simply a state of shock resulting from the loss of power and insatiability to restore it. This is the simple truth ignored by hesitant people who do not condemn the group that violated patriotism. He who is following up on the crisis which the Brotherhood created ever since the Egyptians’ June 30 revolution ousted them will realize that the motive was never anything else than a mere desire to attain authority.hqdefault

The Brotherhood still does not believe that it has lost authority due to its stupidity, permanent denial and unprecedented monopoly of power. This understanding is not based on negative emotions towards the Brotherhood or towards the concept of political Islam. It is instead a stance linked to the understanding of the Brotherhood – an understanding that has even been reached by the groups who have the same ideological basis and who were once Brotherhood allies. Ahmad al-Shahat, a leader of the Salafist Daawa, even expressed that when he sharply criticized the Brotherhood leaders saying: “All criticism is directed towards the Brotherhood leaders who are narcissistically directing [events] as per their interests. To begin with, they are the ones who created this dark series when they did not recognize that the people’s will towards Doctor [Mohammad] Mursi has changed. [They] thus refused all solutions…and accused us of the most hideous of crimes just because we called for a referendum or for early elections – although they are the ones who are now making these demands. We have more than once warned them that [a] delay in accepting the proposal makes the latter void of value.”

The Brotherhood used to swear that the armed forces were incapable of dispersing their protest. It even provocatively defied them

Abdel Latif el-Menawy

As I mentioned in my previous articles, the Brotherhood’s most dominant characteristics since it attained power were stubbornness and arrogance.

These characteristics made the Egyptians take to the streets to oust it from power. The Brotherhood’s next move is what led it to lose any opportunity of returning to participate as a political party. It established a huge obstacle between itself and the rest of the Egyptian people. The rift between them increases daily due to the blood being shed and the terrorism that has become a daily aspect of Egyptians’ lives – an aspect contradictory to the people’s nature. Before we reached this phase, there were several ongoing attempts to convince the Brotherhood to accept reality, but the Brotherhood surprised everyone by refusing to understand and accept any initiatives. It continued to say: “We know exactly what we are doing, and we will restore our rights in full.” As its protests resumed for weeks without being dispersed, it thought the state was incapable of implementing the law and protecting its people. It thus escalated its rhetoric, seeking foreign help and demanding foreign intervention. It seems that some Western parties gave signals hinting that they support it in its attempt to restore power. This was a strong motive for the Brotherhood to resume and escalate its activity. But dispersing protests happened too late. Hundreds of Egyptians fell victim. Hundreds who were fooled by the leaders of the Brotherhood which never hesitated to use these simple men as fuel for their battles over power which they says is ephemeral but in fact dwells within them in a manner that even surprised those who once thought they knew the Brotherhood.

Provoking the armed forces

The Brotherhood used to swear that the armed forces were incapable of dispersing their protest. It even provocatively defied them and mocked statements that demanded the Brotherhood end its sit-ins. As proof to that, it used to point out the cabinet’s weakness and the latter’s inability to deal with the situation. The Brotherhood’s online forums were full of lies regarding defections within the army and on coup attempts within the army against its leadership. There were also other lies such as those saying the army lost control over Sinai and that General Sissi was preparing to flee through the airport. They were pushing the situation towards a phase of bloody clashes. A person who participated in the previous international political efforts to peacefully end the sit-ins said the Brotherhood’s second best option is that thousands of their supporters die in order to play the role of the victim. This is what the Brotherhood sought, and it did not take into consideration the blood of the victims whom it deceived and convinced they were fighting for Islam and shariah. The truth is, it is a war over authority which the Brotherhood wants for itself. It is a war of vendetta against the Egyptian people who were quick to expose its truth and oust the group.

The Brotherhood did not stop at the borders of the protests which they themselves turned bloody, but it decided to transfer the confrontation to the rest of the country. It proved wrong its allegations of peace and publicly carried arms. Violence can only be met with equal violence and arms cannot be confronted except through arms, as the Brotherhood says and as its morals confirm. It decided to defy the state of law and the people’s desires. Before that, it decided to punish the people. Is it difficult now to answer the question: “Who is the murderer?”
 

This article was first published in al-Masry al-Youm on August 28, 2013.

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A scorched earth policy is a military strategy that involves “burning” anything that might be useful to the “enemy” while advancing through or withdrawing from an area.

The term originally meant the burning of agricultural crops in order to prevent the “enemy” from using them as food supplies. But now, the term implies the burning of food products and the destruction of major infrastructure, like shelters, transportation and telecommunications facilities and industrial resources.Abdul-Latif-Al-Minawi

Destroying the “enemy’s” resources in a punitive manner is one of reasons the scorched earth policy is implemented.

Notice how this policy is always directed towards the “enemy.” If we apply this concept to the recent behavior of the Muslim Brotherhood towards Egyptians, we’d realize the group has been committed to the policy and we’d understand the extent of their hostility towards those who are supposedly their own (as Egyptians).

Disbelief

At the beginning, I didn’t want to believe the news confirming that the Brotherhood command gave orders to all of the groups’ leaders in Cairo and different provinces to launch an attack against the state’s facilities and vital institutions and to burn and destroy them.

News reports said the attack also included burning all national and private newspapers and all ministries and police stations, targeting the ministry of interior and raiding and destroying the media production city.

Scenes of Cairo on fire after one of its own sons set the fire are painful to observe.

Abdel Latif el-Menawy

Brotherhood supporters adopted the “scorched earth policy” as a basis for the organized terrorist operations they carried out for days. These operations included burning institutions and private and public property in a manner that reflects a state on fire and that displays lack of carelessness in property and lives. It was a clear message to anyone who opposes the Brotherhood’s path. Raiding, destroying and looting public institutions is the second form of violence practiced by the Brotherhood against the state and its citizens. Blocking major roads to obstruct traffic was the third strategy.

In an act that reminds us of the burning of police stations and raiding prisons in January 2012, the Brotherhood targeted police stations and state institutions burning them and destroying them as part of their clear plan to attack security institutions and harm the state’s prestige. Attacking churches and the Egyptian Christians’ property is a new take on an old style for the Brotherhood and its allies; historically it has practiced violence against the Copts.

The situation is not limited to Egypt. Intelligence apparatuses have detected that the international organization of the Brotherhood have made clear statements announcing a “state of alert” in all Arab countries where Brotherhood members are present. The announcement of this “state of alert” was made after the pro-Mursi protesters were dispersed.

Responsibility

What’s currently happening is an accurate implementation of a plan in which I do not want to believe. The Brotherhood is implementing chaos at the expense of its people and its country by expanding the zones of confrontations with security forces in order to confuse them and exhaust them.

What the Brotherhood doesn’t realize is that the scorched earth policy has only increased their isolation. Many Egyptians feel shocked that this group once governed them. A large number of Egyptians hold the Brotherhood responsible for the dangerous escalation which killed and injured dozens, including security forces members. They see the Brotherhood as responsible because they rejected local and foreign initiatives to contain the crisis and resort to dialogue.

The door to participate in drawing Egypt’s roadmap for the future has remained open since day one after Mursi’s ouster. But the Brotherhood specified that its loyalty lies outside the country’s borders. It refused to do anything other than destroy and burn the land behind it. One member said that they will either rule Egypt or burn it. Scenes of Cairo on fire after one of its own sons set the fire are painful to observe. Brotherhood members are unaware that by practicing the scorched earth policy they are in fact creating a state of hostility that’s difficult to easily overcome.

This article was first published in al-Masry al-Youm on August 17, 2013.

Two major issues which marred Eid al-Fitr prayers in Egypt last year were notably absent from this year’s prayers.

The first of last year’s issues was a feeling of frustration and fear for the future in the shadow of a group that decided to treat citizens like cattle. The second was the Brotherhood’s controlling all squares where prayers are performed. They appeared extremely proud of their power. They stood at the squares’ entrances deciding who the preacher would be, and leading their people however they wanted. Anyone who prayed last year in any village where the Brotherhood controlled the town’s major mosques and youth centers will remember this. The Brotherhood dominated everyone through controlling these centers and mosques. This led to a general state of frustration and fear of the unknown under the Brotherhood’s governance.Abdellatif Elmenawy

The situation this year provided a clear contrast to last year, especially in the countryside. This indicates the importance of the countryside and villages in future decisions. Egypt is not only Cairo and the governorates’ capitals. It’s not Tahrir, Rabia al-Aadawiya, Ennahda squares or El-Qaed Ibrahim Mosque.

The Egyptian countryside is the basis of Egyptian society and the origins of the Egyptian people.

Abdel Latif el-Menawy

Egypt is a country consisting of more than 5,000 villages where tens of millions of people live. Concern for the countryside will be a decisive factor in the country’s future. A friend of mine who investigates the affairs of Islamist groups noted a few months ago that the threat, back then, did not lie in the Brotherhood’s power but rather in the influence of extremist Islamist groups. They are here preparing a new generation of extremists as they focus on recruiting young men. Such groups are still widespread and this is a phenomenon that needs to be addressed in order to protect the future.

An atmosphere of real comfort held sway in the squares where prayers were performed last Thursday. Some attributed this comfort to the fact that they are celebrating Eid without the Brotherhood in power – something they’ve prayed for all year. God was generous towards the Egyptians and the Muslims and responded to their prayers. The Egyptians felt calm and reassured over the future despite the fact that there are still threats resulting from the tensions the Brotherhood insists on creating. People went to pray in major squares and there was no Brotherhood – neither in presence nor in slogans. The Brotherhood has abandoned these traditional squares. Those Brotherhood members who attempted to go to these squares were unwelcome due to their stance on the June 30 revolution and due to their attempts to obstruct progress towards the future.

Backlash against the Brotherhood

In Egyptian villages, residents performed the Eid prayers in the usual squares. In some towns, the Brotherhood attempted to control the squares and expel the residents from them. In others, residents decisively refused to hang Eid banners signed by the Brotherhood or any of its leaders. The situation in some villages escalated into clashes, and residents pursued Brotherhood members. This particularly happened in towns where residents have been killed by the Brotherhood or their terrorist sympathizers in Sinai, like Kfour Najm in al-Ibrahimiah. Residents were overwhelmed by anger and frustration to the extent that they announced their intention to prevent Muslim Brotherhood members from participating in organizing this year’s Eid prayers and from contributing to honoring the Eid rituals or hanging banners congratulating people for Eid. This town has lost one of its sons in a terrorist attack on a military unit in Sinai.

Therefore, Brotherhood members were pursued, outcast or secluded in Egyptian towns during the Eid prayers. Some have decided to isolate themselves from the countrysie residents who reject them. These incidents have important consequences that must be taken into consideration.

The Egyptian countryside is the basis of Egyptian society and the origins of the Egyptian people. The Brotherhood occupied Egyptian towns in the absence of the state and the institutions’ abandonment of their roles. The extremist understanding of Islam reigned in the absence of a moderate voice and the extremists’ seizure of podiums at mosques. Mosques turned into factories producing a generation of terrorists and movements with a misguided understanding of Islam.

The reality of the Egyptian countryside must be understood and taken care of because it can now be the starting point of the centrist Egyptian state, just as it was before it became the starting point of the Brotherhood’s expanded seizure of power. Countryside residents have realized the Brotherhood’s reality and expelled them. An example of that is what happened during this Eid’s prayers. If we really want to save Egypt, then this is the chance to build new bridges of trust and respect between the state and its towns.

This article was first published in al-Masry al-Youm on August 11, 2013.

What kind of “jihad” are they talking about?

Under the premise of “jihad,” they didn’t fast during the month of Ramadan.

Under the premise of “jihad,” they arranged for the murder of women at their protests to enable them to play the victim card.Abdellatif Elmenawy

But, they overlooked this question: Why did you hide yourselves behind these women, and let them protect you?

The Brotherhood’s “brave men” hid behind women as a cheap media ploy. Who died? Not the men, that’s for sure.

If these men had been human, would they have used their women as shields?

A female Brotherhood leader stood during the funerals of the women killed during the protests to say that they are willing to offer more martyrs to their cause. And they will not hesitate to sacrifice their children as martyrs in order to restore Egypt’s Mohammed Mursi.

Children carrying coffins

The most recent ploy from the former ruling party is placingchildren at the front of protests and forcing them to carry coffins.

This is a cruel picture that the Brotherhood thought would help them gain global sympathy as the world watches.

It seems that they have not consulted their foreign expert who runs their media battle. This move was and continues to be yet another product of their mentality.

This is the reason that they did not realize that they were violating human rights by exploiting children. Their move is a violation of human and children’s rights and they can and should be subject to legal investigation.

I do not think that this concerns them much; there are many, many reasons they should be pursued, one more won’t even scratch the surface.

These children’s parents were either brainwashed by the Brotherhood’s leadership or convinced that their children will go to heaven or were paid for allowing their children to participate in the protest.

Does the Brotherhood know that it is assassinating the epitome of innocence and deceiving the parents with the dream of the martyrdom?

When I saw the face of a five-year-old dressed in white and carrying his coffin and innocently smiling out of happiness because he’s participating along with other children in a big game, I felt disgusted. These people are willing to murder children and hide behind women in order to make gains.

The statements from the female Brotherhood member about martyrdom exposed the Brotherhood’s exploitation of children and their use as human shields during their marches.

Although they are the ones pushing them to the front rows of clashes, the Brotherhood aims to exploit the injury of children and market it to the world public opinion as an aggression against children.

Instead of raising children with moral, humanitarian and religious values, they are being raised with the impression that they are future martyrs.

Bringing children to participate in Rabaa al-Adawiya’s protest and making them carry coffins is an inhumane scene, a crime displaying lack of morals and the assassination of children’s innocence.

What are the limits?

Exploiting children does not end here. Children are also being used for other purposes. They see it as a game when in fact these scenes are a clear and flagrant violation of their rights. There has been news that some orphanages affiliated to the Brotherhood involved orphans in this battle. This is a criminal violation of human rights. People close to the area of the Brotherhood’s protest confirm that Rabaa al-Adawiya’s protesters are accused of exploiting children. They have also confirmed that the Brotherhood is using children to collect rocks and break them to use them in “battles” against the army, the police and the people. This act is a clear exploitation of children. It’s a crime tantamount to human trafficking. The state must carry out its role in protecting children if their families are subjecting them to danger.

Violations have limits. However, the Brotherhood is currently committing violations with no limits. These immoral acts force the state to carry out its responsibility towards the future of these children who will become a violent generation that will later be a real threat to national security.

UNICEF voiced its deep concern over reports that children are being dragged into violent protests in Egypt in a manner that subjects them to destructive repercussions in the long run. In its statement, UNICEF also warned that such acts may have negative physical and psychological harm against children long term. The National Council for Childhood and Motherhood did well when it announced its condemnation of the Brotherhood’s exploitation of children. It also voiced its disappointment over violating children’s rights, using children in armed clashes to achieve personal gains and sabotaging the country for the sake of keeping a government that people reject.

The council also submitted an official complaint to the attorney general calling on him to take the necessary measures to forcefully evacuate children from the area of Rabia al-Adawiya. The presence of children there threatens the system of children’s rights in Egypt and the number of children increases despite health, security and moral threats. Monotheistic religions and proper humanitarian behavior, in addition to children’s laws and all international conventions, criminalize such acts against children.

The state must perform its duties.

This article was first published in al-Masry al-Youm on August 3, 2013.