The press and media have become one of the most important means to terminate revolutions in modern and post-modern times
Popular revolutions in history have been distinguished by being ethically pure and for upholding human values like dignity, freedom, justice, and honesty. Were these not also the slogans of the Egyptian revolution of January 25?
Popular revolutions erupt against governmental corruption and all kinds of lies by autocratic regimes and absolute authority. This absolute authority can not emerge or prevail over the state and people unless through means of oppression, deception and control over millions of people by means of military, economic, political, cultural, intellectual and religious power. The press and media have become one of the most important means to terminate revolutions in modern and post-modern times. International, Arab, and Egyptian governmental media protects corrupt governments and international colonial powers, together with local puppet states, cooperate in preying on any popular uprising to derail its deeper revolutionary aim for complete radical change and to turn it into a superficial reform movement, making cosmetic changes to corrupt regimes without uprooting the fundamentals of corruption.
Just look at what Egyptian government newspapers, so-called major national newspapers publish nowadays. How remnants of the old regime, defeated by force of the revolution, seek to abort revolutionary goals in the name of the great revolution. Headlines on the front page of main newspapers support the Mubarak trial and the freezing of bank assets of Mubarak, his family and cronies’ and its repatriation to Egypt. Now, turn the page to find another fat headline, “One of Mubarak’s great cronies is giving a speech on Mustafa Mahmoud square”, directly contradicting the headline from page one. -. We see pictures of a number of employees carrying pro-Mubarak banners depicting him as the victorious hero and nominating his august self for the upcoming elections. On another page we see former US Defense Minister Robert Gates on a visit in Cairo together with Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) and its supreme leader, the Field Marshall.
In yet another case we read a long and incomprehensible article by the editor-in-chief, one of Mubarak’s former mouthpieces and a master in justifying corruption. Assuming he knows- it-all, he lectures the youth, praising their revolution in phony rhetoric: “Does revolution mean chaos, security vacuum, and bringing the wheel-of-production and tourism to a stop?” he asks; raising doubts in the youth’s minds about their revolution. “It’s easy for the youth to mobilize million-man demonstrations but they find it difficult to take positive steps to help the country to overcome the current crisis”. Colonialism prefers religious revolutions to civil socialist revolutions. Religious revolutions are less dangerous to colonialists and to their local puppet governments than civil, economic, and political revolutionsJust moments ago he had called the revolution great, now it is the ‘current crisis’ in his eyes. He expresses fears about security problems although the absence of security isn’t the revolutionaries fault but that of the police of the former regime. He warns of sectarian strife and church burning, while fully aware that the revolutionaries never burnt a church or harassed a girl! And in fact – the church burning and the harassment of women were the actions of the former regime’s police and their aides in the US and Israel!’ He warns of the deteriorating economic situation telling the youth to go home, to work to increase production and revive the tourism industry instead of calling for mega demonstrations. He forgot to mention, intentionally or unintentionally, that without these demonstrations the head of the regime would not have been overthrown, no one would have lent the youth’s demands an ear and the ousting of the regime’s ministers and the unveiling of their billion-worth thefts would not have been possible. Thus “Mr. Editor-In-Chief” carries on hitting the revolution in his super-long editorial with honey-coated, devious words, mixing truth with lies - and all journalists in the leading press and media follow his path.
Press and media heads that supported corruption, justified or at least covered it up and failed to unveil it had been expected to fall. Yet they are all still in their positions, serving the old regime, collaborating with it secretly as well as publicly. Their [the press and media leaders] voices are just as loud and clear as before and their profits untouched. Now, they shamelessly hand out advice to those who made the great revolution, forgetting that not only were they unable to launch a revolution, in fact, they even betrayed it. And yet they declaim patriotism and rebellion, more so than the revolutionary youth. Who protects them? Who keeps them in their positions? The SCAF? Or the new government? The government we see or the secret one that is in the shadows?
History tells us that every revolution has its enemies, they prey on it to abort it, The Egyptian revolution will not be converted into a religious revolution because the young men and women who carried it out are totally aware of the importance of Egypt becoming secular, separating state and religion, and for everyone to be equal in the eye of the constitution and the lawto regain what they lost or could be lost should the revolution succeed and achieve all its goals. They [the enemies of the revolution] would be removed from their positions. This is why they continue with their hypocrisy, which remains the best way for them to profit from all those who possess power, that by habit has become part of their personality.
Yet I believe in the ability of the young men and women who made this revolution and toppled the head of the regime, to topple the former regime’s body, arms, fingers and tails. No power, inside or outside, will stand in the face of the revolution. If the US and Israel mobilize their armies, even if Former Defense Minister Gates comes to Tahrir Square to deal the revolution blows below the belt, or if churches are burnt to instigate divide between Muslims and Christians who united in brotherhood during the revolution. Even if clergymen, trained on the colonial ‘divide and rule’ philosophy, are suddenly “showing-up” in Egypt to preach to the millions after the revolution’s victory. Which foreign powers sent him? Did he come to impose himself on the revolution, trying to lead it without having had a role in it? To turn it into a religious revolution although it is a political, economic, and social revolution - upholding the values of justice, freedom, dignity, a secular constitution free of any paternal, religious articles that discriminate between Muslims and Copts, men and women?
An American journalist asked me: “Could the Muslim Brotherhood change the course of the revolution towards a religious one as happened in 1979 in Iran?” I said that the Egyptian revolution will not be converted into a religious revolution because the young men and women who carried it out are totally aware of the importance of Egypt becoming secular, separating state and religion, and for everyone to be equal in the eye of the constitution and the law. Even the new generation in the Muslim Brotherhood believe in a civil and not in a religious state. The Egyptian youth have learnt from the Iranian experience; how their political, economic, social, cultural revolution turned into a bloody destructive religious revolution. They have realized how the French together with the American and British colonial powers cooperated to send in Khomeini by plane to Tehran to abort the revolution. These colonial powers realize the danger of a civil revolution that seeks to eradicate a hierarchal paternal system, foreign colonialism, and its local cronies. Colonialism prefers religious revolutions to civil socialist revolutions, because they better serve the paternal class inside and abroad. Internal and external colonialism uses religions to justify injustices and oppression in the name of God, deceiving millions, trading on religion in politics, stealing, and killing. Theocratic states, mainly the Jewish state of Israel, play a role in using biblical texts to steal land, plunder, and kill its inhabitants. Therefore religious revolutions are less dangerous to colonialists and to their local puppet governments than civil, economic, and political revolutions. The Egyptian revolution will not be fooled and will not turn into an Islamic revolution, as planned for by those against the revolution – both inside Egypt and abroad.
The Egyptian revolution will also not give in to military rule as represented by SCAF who is temporarily in power. Neither the US, Israel, nor any foreign colonial power will be able to turn the Egyptian revolution into their favour. The revolution has reunited the Egyptian people and Tahrir Square washed away all religious, political, gender, class, and paternal differences among the people. That is why the revolution will not be defeated and will continue to achieve all its goals for radical and not merely superficial change. The battle goes on, the revolution goes on and revolutionary purity will prevail over the deceit of the conspirators wherever they are.
Editor’s Note: This article was written on March 14th, 2011
Nawal Saadawi is a leading Egyptian feminist writer, activist, physician and psychiatrist. She is one of the most widely translated contemporary Egyptian writers, with her work available in over 30 languages. El Saadawi formed the Arab Women's Solidarity Association in 1981. The AWSA was the first legal, independent feminist organization in Egypt.