Professor Nasser Kotby skriver fra Cairo

Dear Samih,

Happy Ramadan!

Many thanks for your messages regarding happenings in our country, Egypt.

May I disturb you by the following narration with my point of view, as a resident in this unfortunately plagued country.

We did not have peace of mind since Jan. 2011. Despite all sacrifices we are going from bad to worse on all fronts.

The following is a summary of what we have passed through specially during the last year of Muslin Brothers rule.

The last year of Muslim Brothers (mb) rule – from June 30, 2012 to June 30, 2013 – was a cheer catastrophe for us. It was a total failure in security, economy, culture and other aspects of life. There was power cuts, which we did not know of, shortage of fuel, of water, of supplies. There was crack down on the judicial authority and the media. The rights of minorities (Christians and women as an example) were under a threat and restrictions. The mb managed to “cook” a constitution which was voted “yes” by only 30% of the voters, due to low attendance! This constitution is not really a constitution, but a heap of regulations that encroaches on basic liberties, the rights of minorities, and simply putting us under a new form of “holy inquisition” in the 21 century. They “sold” our national security in favor of their branch “Hamas” in Gaza and other “islamists” groups. They allowed extremist groups to roam freely in Sinai practicing all types of terrorist acts, even against our armed forces! The government of the muslin brothers (mb), who came by a slim majority, failed to keep promises or to deliver services. A total collapse.

What to do?

During the last 3 months the dissatisfied communities/groups launched a popular campaign of “no confidence” in the failed government of the mb. This campaign was mobilized mainly by the youth! They collected 20 million(+) signature of “rebellion” /”Tamaarud” against the government, ( I was one of them!). They called for a mass demonstration on the 1st anniversary of the president (June 30) to declare a list of demands, including resignation of the president and early elections. On that day, 17-20 million moderate Egyptians (I was one of them going with my cane) rallied in the streets of all the cities and villages of Egypt against the mb rule. We wanted to “regain” our country. The goal of the mb is to “dissolve” Egypt into a global muslin caliphate of emirate. This is simply a sick fantasy belonging to the first millennium AD. The “rebellion” campaign declared July 2 as an ultimatum for the president to conform with the demands, or there shall be a general public disobedience, which would have meant simply a total collapse of the state with its ailing economy.

At that moment of time, the armed forces intervened with another ultimatum calling all parties to compromise. But the president and the mb were in no mood to compromise. What followed is an attempt on the part of the armed forces to keep order when the opposing rallies faced a possible confrontation, and to protect the national security which is seriously threatened specially in Sinai. The armed forces were also responding the people’s “General Assembly”, (the multimillion rallies), to restore the derailed democracy. The armed forces declared clearly that it shall not be part of any government. A committee of the majority of the political powers conferred and declared on June 3rd a road map for an interim civilian government and a clear plan to re-write the constitution and restore democracy in about 6 months. Most urgent was our demand to have an effective coalition government capable of delivering.

The mb are lamenting this recent development as a blow against legitimate democracy. One should not forget that democracy is not only a majority by the ballot box, but also the ability to deliver and perform. The failure of the latter may reverse the former! This mechanism we see not infrequently as governments fall by a “no confidence” vote, or by a president resigning after mass dissatisfaction, despite a land slide victory by the ballot box that brought him/her to the office!

Still, major international media, except the interview of Tony Blair in the BBC Global on July 8th, consider what happened as a coup. I believe it is not a military coup, but it is a popular impeachment of a failed president and system by the millions who rallied in the streets and signed petitions to remove that president. This was the only available measure in the absence of a parliament.

On the other hand, I opposed to any plans to detention or unjust trials either of the deposed president or the mb leadership. But, justice must take its role in handling any irregularities that happened during the last year.

I am also opposed to any restriction on the media, even if it is sometimes calling for a civil war. It is always a “word” against “word”. No violence.

Our life is still disrupted by thousands of mb “sitting down strikes” and cutting major roads in the capital city. Peaceful demonstrations are globally accepted as a legitimate tool of expressing thoughts and ideas. But, “sitting down strikes” are not . In all instance the police will remove those sitting down strikes, as we have witnessed in New York in Wall Street and in Madrid and other places.

What is more serious when those sitting down strikes are directed to the military installations blocking it, threatening it, and attacking it. Is it not an accepted rule that military installations are red lines not to be crossed by the populace? When, and if this happens, does it not represent a direct threat to national security?! And, when and if these installations are attacked, is it not the duty of the military to protect and defend it and even repel the attackers?! This is what, unfortunately, happened on the dawn of June 8th. following the attack of the mb, supported by some members of Hamas and other “jihadist” who were allowed by the government of the mb to infiltrate the country with their weapons and supplies during the year of their rule.

Bloodshed, either performing it or calling for it,  is an ugly and a serious matter, totally refuted by the reasonable citizen.

What shall happen when a certain group (mb) is urging its followers to kill, destroy, and burn?! This latter is the declared and repeated call/cry of the mb.

In face of such medieval aggressive calls what moderate civilized citizens should do?

Kindly advise.

On top, and as expected, there is a good deal of foreign intervention in the local affairs of our independent country. This is indeed unimaginable in the 21 century!

I am in distress!

Please pray of us. God bless us all.

Love to the whole family. Greetings to all our friends in Denmark.

Please keep in touch.