Thank you President Morsy for helping Egypt’s major non-Islamist political parties into creating a National Front to confront your very own new constitutional declaration!
I actually want to take this occasion to thank President Morsy for firing up sentiments and resurrecting the spirit of the January 25th revolution. Yes! Morsy’s latest constitutional declaration has reignited revolutionaries and, more importantly, united all non-Islamist political parties like never before. This is exactly what Egyptians needed…to be jolted out of their impasse and to realize that a decision has to be rationally made: what do YOU want your future country to look like? Do you want an Islamist, quasi-fascist (or fascist), limited personal freedoms country? Or do you want a country that deems all citizens equal regardless of religion, gender or ethnicity? A country that bases its citizenship squarely on “Egyptian identity” or one that gives preferential treatment based on your “Islamic identity”? Yes, it’s a tumultuous and climactic time in Egyptian history. It’s time for Egyptians to finally “think” of their own future.
Morsy’s latest constitutional declaration stipulates that all laws and decrees as well as presidential declarations are immune to appeal in any way or by any entity. It also protects Egypt’s Shura Council and the much slammed Constituent Assembly, from effectively being declared unconstitutional. Nothing has sparked the fury of non-Islamist parties, as well as the Press Syndicate and Supreme Judicial Court more than this controversial declaration, which in effect prevents the judiciary, or any other entity from challenging Morsy’s decisions! In effect, a new Pharaoh is now reigning in Egypt, one that is so much more daring and downright audacious than the deposed Mubarak himself.
Thank you President Morsy for helping Egypt’s major non-Islamist political parties into creating a National Front to confront your very own new constitutional declaration! This new Front has declared that it will not engage in dialogue with Morsy until the declaration is annulled. The new Front includes the Dostour Party (led by El Baradei), the Social Democratic Party, the Socialist Popular Alliance Party as well as the Strong Egypt Party (led by Abul Fotouh). The Front will hold a million-people march to Tahrir this Tuesday, November 27th, to make their dissent and demands loud and clear. To counter this Tahrir march, the Muslim Brotherhood is having its own million-man march scheduled for the very same day near Cairo University! And so, dear reader, Egypt is now being divided into two clear camps: you are either with a “civilian state” or with an “Islamist state”. And yes, you have to take a side now because the confrontation is not between revolutionaries and an ageing dictator anymore, but rather between two state-systems or political ideologies.
I remember the numerous times when revolutionaries and pro-January 25th Egyptians lamented the fact that young protesters were disorganized and perhaps even naïve and disillusioned. And how civil political parties were fragmented, and how every famous politician was being egotistical by refusing to merge or to unite with like-minded parties. I also remember the many people who opted to vote for Morsy in order to erase all vestiges of the ancien regime, claiming that the Muslim Brotherhood will be easier to overthrow than an ex-military man, i.e. Ahmed Shafik. Oh well, now, finally, many Egyptians are seeing the true colors of the Muslim Brotherhood. They were never about inclusion, but about exclusion and self-serving policies.
Tahrir is back in the news, with protesters setting up their tents in the central square, tear-gas is once again filling up the air in Qasr El Eini Street, and the revolutionary fervor is building up once more. Only this time around it’s an ideological “face-off”. It’s the ideological battle that I have long been waiting for. It’s time for Egyptians to learn to steer their own wheel, instead of relying on others to do the steering and thinking for them. It’s the battle for Egypt’s very own identity.
Ranya Khalifa is a freelance writer and blogger on Egypt's current affairs, democratic transition and women's empowerment. Ranya's Twitter handle is @RanyaKhalifa, and her personal Blog is www.ranyakhalifa.webs.com