Opinion

What Western Media Doesn't Get About Egypt

Ousting of President Mohammed Morsi was a coup, but one supported by the people.

By Azza Sedky, 27 Aug 2013, TheTyee.ca

Young protestors in Egypt

Democracy may be hard to achieve, but Egyptians believe they are on the right track. Photo by Monasosh.

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Since June 30, western media has called Mohammed Morsi's ousting a military coup, assumed democracy a lost cause in Egypt, divvied blame equally between the victim and the victimizer, and predicted the worst as Egypt's imminent future.

Foreign Policy's baffling headline reads "Morsi is the Arab World's Mandela." The American Conservative infuriates Egyptians by asking "Does Egypt even matter?"

"The military coup is a 'cancer' eating away at Egypt," is another headline upsetting to many whom consider the army their saviour.

The West, and the western media in particular, doesn't seem to get it, and Egyptians feel snubbed and slighted.

Democracy and legitimacy may be difficult to implement in today's Egypt. The Muslim Brotherhood's desire to be the exclusive power has destroyed the dream of accomplishing such basic notions. And yet Egyptians believe that, with the events of June 30, they are on the right track.

A citizen-backed coup

Western media has called Egypt's demand for change a military coup. "A coup is a coup" has been the approach. Egyptians would prefer to call it a people's coup if a coup at all. A coup is the sudden disposal of an existing ruling system by a group of renegades.

However, the "military coup" in Egypt was advocated and backed by leaders of all sects and religions, the judiciary system, and the youth movement, which had collected 22 million signatures on the "Rebel" form.

More importantly, the citizens at large backed it. Dissatisfied with Morsi's performance, millions went to the streets and asked him to step down; Egypt was at the brink of a standstill (See aerial footage of Cairo that day). The army intervened because Egypt would've remained at an impasse until an action was implemented.

The western media have also proclaimed legitimacy dead in Egypt. Morsi was elected legally, and Egyptians should have waited until the next round of elections to rid themselves of him.

True, in 2012, Morsi was elected the first civilian president. However, the first thread in a yarn of deceit was discovered, disappointingly, after Morsi had become president.

In Jan. 2011, Morsi escaped from Wadi el Natroun Prison in a jailbreak that freed 34 Muslim Brotherhood members whilst killing 14 guards, officers, and inmates. The question of whether he conspired with Islamist Hamas of Gaza on this attack dogged him throughout his first year in power.

Egyptians, while unable to impeach Morsi then, questioned his conduct; a man of integrity would've turned himself in to avoid being incriminated as an accomplice, they say. However, with the jailbreak focusing on releasing only Muslim Brotherhood prisoners, it is obvious that it was a planned escape. Allowing militants, foreign ones, to attack a prison and kill inmates and guards is treason in any country.

Morsi's many blunders

Morsi's presidency was flawed, his blunders many. During his year in power, Egypt suffered the worst decisions and a gnawing division between Egyptians.

Maybe this is not enough to call for his ousting; however, Morsi showed evident bias for the Muslim Brotherhood and its philosophies, watched Copts being terrorized and never moved a finger, came up with a despotic decree that named him the indisputable commander of Egypt, and had a Mickey-Mouse constitution hastily brewed overnight, again to the benefit of Islamists.

Morsi's worst flaw though, lay in his being a puppet in the hands of the Muslim Brotherhood clan whose ultimate aim is to rule first Egypt and then Middle East, as the emblem on its flag suggests: two crisscrossed swords, the Quran, and the words "Be prepared..." as in be prepared to fight.

Rabaa Square was the location of a sit-in where the Muslim Brotherhood encouraged violence and invoked terror. The western media made the protestors in Rabaa Square look as though they were innocent, peaceful ones. Although excessive force was indeed used to disperse the sit-in, innocent, peaceful protestors they weren't. More than 47 policemen were killed in the dispersal. As the square was being evicted, dozens of decomposed bodies were discovered, as were stacks of weapons and ammunition.

Western media are also calling for the release of detained Muslim Brotherhood leaders. Meanwhile, the Egyptian police force is combing the land in search of other Muslim Brotherhood leaders accused of inciting terror.

At the Rabaa Square sit-in, Beltagi, a Muslim Brotherhood leader, promised to halt all attacks in Sinai if their demands were met.

Al Qaradawi, another Muslim Brotherhood leader, announced a fatwa on Al Jezeera that "If he, who has disobeyed the ruler, does not repent, then he must be killed," inciting his members to kill. And they did.

Hundreds of Egyptians died in Sinai in ambushes by militant Islamists. Churches, schools, mosques, and even blood banks were torched and destroyed. The correlation between what their leaders say and the killings is obvious.

A road map for Egypt

And now that Mubarak has been released, (after which the Muslim Brotherhood declared a "Day of Martyrs") the western media is perceptively putting two and two together, and presuming the military intends to bring back Mubarak's rule. Amusingly, CBC News called the infirm 85-year-old "The most dangerous prisoner in the world."

Under Egyptian law, a detainee cannot remain in custody for over two years if not sentenced. Mubarak has been detained, with no sentencing for over two years. His cases are pending, and he may still be sentenced in the future. Until then he is under house arrest, at this point a military hospital in Cairo.

The final point against the media lies in its vision of Egypt's future, which assumes that the military junta will never let go of power.

Egypt has a non-military government with an interim president governing. The residing government has written up a road map leading Egypt to a presidential election in less than eight months. The army has not participated in the decision-making. The army is playing a significant role, mainly to protect Egypt from the onslaughts occurring daily.

Egyptians want the world to see what happened for its true worth: a move in the right direction. They are hoping that the media would support them in getting their message across to the world. Egyptians wish not to be criticized for fixing the wrong but to be supported in their plight against terror.  [Tyee]

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