The largest populated country in the Arab world is deeply polarized like never before, writes Mohammed Kahiye.
Hundreds, if not thousands, of people have been killed in a brutal crackdown by the Egyptian army, security and police forces which began on Wednesday 14 August. Since the ouster of the first democratically-elected civilian president in the history of the country by a military coup in July, Muslim Brotherhood (MB) supporters have been holding peaceful sit-in protests mainly in Rabaa al-Adawiya and Giza.
According to the military, it acted on the foundation of “saving the country from civil war” by ousting the one year old MB led government, and on the other hand, supporters of the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) took to the streets of Cairo and other major cities across the country to defend what they believe as safeguarding their democratic rights and the rule of law.
Both the opposing views have validity. The military does not want a situation where their nation is plunged into turmoil similar to Syria or Libya. Therefore it is fulfilling its constitutional mandate of safeguarding the interest of a peaceful and stable Egypt by restoring law and order.
On the part of MB supporters, there are no doubts that they are also right in their largely peaceful demonstrations against the military coup which removed Morsi.
Considering the “democratic principle” which justifies a majority ruling over a minority, the FJP had won in a free and fair electoral process and the only legal way to remove them from power could have been through a re-election. The MB’s reaction towards the removal of Morsi should have been in a responsible manner for the safety and security of the country.
Egypt is not only important to Egyptians, it is also very important to the rest of the world, especially the west and the wider Muslim world because of its historic, its unique cultural, educational and strategic location in the region.
Its disintegration and collapse means the degeneration of ninety million people and the destruction of the center of Islamic history and world civilization.
We can’t afford yet again the fragmentation of one of the largest, strongest and best equipped militaries in the Muslim world.
The situation in the surrounding the region is very volatile and further chaos is expected post Arab Spring after the destruction of several Muslim countries such as Palestine, Iraq, Syria and Libya which is being torn apart by civil war, sectarianism or foreign and Zionist occupation.
Taking this into consideration, there are more issues that unite the larger Egyptian political spectrum than divide them. Watching the daily number of deaths increasing and widening social and political division among the Egyptian society is worrying and upsetting. It is no longer a battle between the military and the anti-coup alliance, Islamists versus secularists, it’s about a battle for the future of Egypt’s stability and prosperity.
It will be very painful and unnecessary to see unjustified bloodshed in Egypt in the name of politics and religion. Let the interest of the nation come first, and for this to happen all parties involved should begin an open dialogue without preconditions attached or external interference.
No one wants to see images of mosque raids and the burning of churches and schools again.
Actions such as above signals danger because of their nature, the destruction of places of worshiping could easily lead to a never ending religious based conflict if it hasn’t already.