I invite you to forgive him [Hosni Mubarak] as an act of faith, seeking the pleasure of our Lord, and giving precedence to mercy over justice.
“The day when some faces are blackened, and some faces whitened. As for those whose faces are blackened -- 'Did you disbelieve after you had believed? Then taste the chastisement for that you disbelieved!' But as for those whose faces are whitened, they shall be in God’s mercy, therein dwelling forever.” (Quran, 3: 106-107)
I know that I am playing with fire and that it may burn me. I also know that I may be labelled as a symbol of the counter revolution. And I realize how dangerous my message is, to the extent that it may lead some to legitimize my killing.
The most merciful among my critics are likely to be the ones who merely call me mad and submissive. But I will summon my courage, rely on my Lord, and go ahead and say it: Please forgive President Mubarak and allow him to spend the rest of his life without further torture, after what he has already been through.
Yet another person will yell to my face, “You fool, how can you ask forgiveness for someone who never feared God in the way he treated us On behalf of my dear readers, whose anger will only be calmed by cursing me - I will take care of that for you. Someone will say, “How can you be so cold? Did you not realize that we lived the worst days of our lives under the grip of that corrupt regime; a regime that was corrupt from head to toe?”
My answer: “Yes, I realize.”
Others will ask, “Do you find it acceptable that innocent martyrs have been killed just because they expressed their opinions in peaceful ways?”
My response: “I swear that I do not. I do not accept the loss of lives of those honourable victims. Just as I did not accept the killing of Khaled Said and other victims of the brutal torture crimes practiced by security forces whose hands are covered with our blood.”
Someone else will ask, “What about the wholesale embezzlement of our nation’s wealth, the inflicting of great hardship on our people, and leading Egyptians into the destructive trinity of poverty, illiteracy, and disease?”
I will answer that I acknowledge all of this evil and that I even suffered personally from the curse of the mob that ruled us for 30 years, during which it spread great corruption. As a street journalist, I witnessed first-hand how helpless Egyptians were denied access to medical services and how they begged for their right to employment only to be beaten using whips as though our country was a ranch owned by those mobsters.
And yet another person will yell to my face, “You fool, how can you ask forgiveness for someone who never feared God in the way he treated us,someone for whom our cries in demanding the least of our rights were never enough? How can you ask mercy for someone whose ears never listened to the pains of his people and who only paid attention to the voices of demons? The demons who include everyone from his chief of staff to his children, for whom he cried as he pleaded for their forgiveness, although we were all supposed to be his children.
Here too I will answer by swearing that I never lost sight of any of this. I still remember the youth in their prime who preferred death by suicide over a life amongst man-eating wolves. I never lost sight of the bodies blazing with despair having lost all hope in a better tomorrow. In fact, my ears are still pierced by the evil laughter of the ruling mob, as they heard of our woes and hardships.
If he receives a death sentence I think he will be more comfortable than having to live with the torture of being kept alive
Someone will yet poke a finger at my eye to remind me of the millions of young men and women who grew past the age of marriage without ever being able to finance a single room of a shelter to enter into the bond of holy matrimony. They were destined to a life of frustrated emotions. They were denied the right to cater to the call of nature. The monster within them ate away at their bodies, leading them either into the abyss of vice or into a life like castrated cattle void of any feelings.
To these too I say that I never forgot any of this. I will even add mention of slum dwellers who were forced to pile into shelter rooms that are barely fit for animals, let alone human beings. They were forced to drink contaminated water and to tolerate long queues for a loaf of bread, or even to die in the process.
I swear that I did not forget about the innocent detainees behind bars either, who were thrown into jail for crimes they did not commit. Neither did I forget the political and social oppression nor the election rigging or the disrespect and ridicule by the ruling class manifested in phrases like, “Let them play their games.” I forgot none of that and I remember a lot more.
Despite this I ask you to forgive former president Mubarak after collecting all the funds embezzled by his family and his aides. Let us think it through together. If we suppose Mubarak receives a sentence of 25 years in prison (and this is the minimum he deserves), it’s likely he will only survive a few days after the sentence and will die and meet his Creator and complete his judgment.
But if he receives a death sentence I think he will be more comfortable than having to live with the torture of being kept alive. We all read the news of his tears when he learned of his arrest and that of his children and wife and his remark to the investigators, “Do to me what you wish, but leave my children alone.”
We all read the news published by one of the newspapers about Mubarak’s transfer from his paradise of Sharm el-Sheikh to a military hospital. He trembled and panicked and cried hysterically when the officers entered his room. He clung onto his bed and said, “Will you lock me up?” He thought he would be carried to prison, as happened to his sons Alaa and Gamal.
His wife Susan caught onto the crying and screamed, “Enough, enough, will you lock us up?” The group of officers found no solution than to call their command in Cairo, which decided Mubarak can stay until he realized he will move from a civilian hospital to a military hospital.
I know perfectly well these tears were preceded by the cries and woes of millions of suffering Egyptians. But I invite you to forgive him as an act of faith, seeking the pleasure of our Lord, and giving precedence to mercy over justice. And, ultimately, so that no one claims Egyptian hearts were stripped of mercy.
Chivalry dictates that an oppressor be struck as he stood proudly, not as he lies helpless, face down. Our moral values, my dear brethren, tell us that “striking a dead man is inhuman.” Please, do not accuse me of working for outside forces, in that manner that has become widespread in recent times. Whenever someone voices an opinion that is unappreciated by others, he or she immediately become a foreign agent and orchestrator of the counter revolution.
I repeat: I am not assuming the role of defending the former president nor am I trying to rescue him. Little old me might, in fact, be one of the people who most attacked the tyranny, injustice, and corruption of the former regime during its prime days. But I just do not want to overlook the noble value of “forgiving when in a state of power.”