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Egypt: failure of one-sided agenda

July 07, 2013

SO the inevitable has happened in Egypt. You cannot enforce a one-sided agenda on a pluralistic society as it will backfire sooner than later. And in Egypt it got all reversed within one year.

We all know that initially the Muslim Brotherhood were not part of the revolution which overthrew Mubarak’s dictatorship. They joined the winning bandwagon at a later stage and prevailed in the elections only because of better organisation. As Muslim Brotherhood was the only established seasoned political party while liberals were disorganised and couldn’t get under one umbrella, therefore, the result was obvious.

But even then Morsi won with a very thin majority. He could have been acceptable to other factions of society provided he had behaved as president of Egypt, not just a devoted leader of the Muslim Brotherhood.

He was in conflict with the military and the judiciary from day one but had he taken the media and liberal forces onboard he could have saved the day.

However, he preferred to play a four-pronged war against the military, the judiciary, the media and liberal forces.

After the last week’s events, the Muslim Brotherhood needs to understand that its founding members’ views might have helped to spread extremism all across the Islamic world but Egyptian society is not willing to go by that route.

His government’s agenda should have been to boost economy, reduce unemployment, strike down on sectarian/religious conflicts but he concentrated on implementing his party’s one-sided programme.

It is a pity that the army is again in control, thanks to Morsi’s misadventures. But for liberals, it is not the time to celebrate. They will not let the Muslim Brotherhood become a political victim at the hands of the army that will ensure their return with triumphant majority.

Also, it is time for the army not to dream of golden old days. If a few million-strong crowd at Tahrir Square and elsewhere can bring down secular and religious dictators, then the new rulers should feel as thogh they are sitting in a house of cards.

Also, the IMF and other donors will come forward to save the Egyptian economy from further collapse.

The ouster of Morsi should serve as a message for right-wing governments in Pakistan – don’t bank on public relations’ stunts to survive such as ordering the inter-city buses to stop during prayer times. Their only agenda should be to fight the menace of terrorism, not to appease them.

M. KHAN Jubail

‘Democracy in danger’ YOUR editorial ‘Democracy in danger’ (July 5) was to the point. On the face of it, it looks as if the army came to help ‘people’s power.’ But I have my doubts. Also, I am disappointed that the opposition has embraced military forces, which has wielded too much power since 1952.

The military was the force behind Hosni Mubarak, and then became the protesters’ protector when Mr Mubarak was overthrown.

Subsequently, the generals became the interim government only to incur the people’s wrath when they proved inept at governing yet clung to power even after Mr Morsi was elected.

I find a parallel of events of 1977 in Pakistan when the army dismissed Bhutto’s government and promised fair elections within 90 days. As it turned out the 90 days’ wait lasted for more than 10 years.

As a liberal, I was disappointed that Morsi was elected, but my faith in democracy tells me not to trust military boots. I hope the events in the coming months prove me wrong.

SHARIF LONE Nidderau, Germany

Outlook OUSTING of Mohamed Morsi, the democratically elected president of Egypt, may be regarded as a right step in the right direction due to the number of anti-Morsi protesters gathered at the Tharir Square and on various streets of Cairo on the call of the Tamarod movement. Worsening social, political and economic conditions compelled the people to make alliance against him demanding his resignation to get rid of him and the Muslim Brotherhood’s policy of governance based on some Islamic jurisprudence that had isolated and neglected other faith groups’ representation.

Ongoing demonstrations against Mr Morsi convinced the military to intervene and remove the president and the Islamic-backed constitution, forming a group headed by the chief justice to run the state’s affairs as the interim government till the new election is held as promised.

Military announcement celebrated by the Egyptians gathered at the Tahrir Esquire implies that people are leaning towards a secular form of governance to have representation and participation of all faith groups living in Egypt.

Mr Morsi and his proponents are calling this changeover a ‘coup’ but, in reality, the military has not taken over absolute power in hand; rather formed a council to run the country for the time being.

Supporters of Morsi may try to destabilise the country by creating lawlessness or civil agitation but at the end moderate forces will emerge to succeed in forming a secular government in the country for the betterment of all Egyptians.

Muslims need to segregate religion from state affairs and opt for a policy of pacifism and tolerance avoiding bigotry and violence to succeed in the world.

M. ASHRAF Canada