Cairo (AsiaNews) - The arrest of Mohammed Badie, the spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, has sparked a new round of criticism from Western countries and Turkey against the military hard line, which so far has claimed the lives of 900 people. International press restrict their reporting of the conflict to the leading factions, pitting the army against the Islamists who continue to incite their followers to violent protest. The real outcome of this war of words are the hundreds of dead in the streets of Cairo and Alexandria, many considered martyrs of the Revolution, as well as attacks against Christians who have become a scapegoat for the defeat and the fall in popularity of Muslim Brotherhood elected in 2011.
What is really happening in Egypt? What is the reality for those who are not divided along political or religious lines? Mohamed Elhariry, a young Muslim businessman from Cairo, speaks to AsiaNews about the growing unity between Muslims and Christians who want to rebuild a nation where different ethnicities and religions have lived together for 1400 years.
All of us Muslims were impressed by the attitude of Catholics, Coptic Orthodox and Protestant victims of the violence of the Muslim Brotherhood. The Christians did not ask for help from other countries of the same religion, instead they believed in themselves and in the Egyptian people. Everything that is happening in Egypt remains in Egypt. In contrast, the Muslim Brotherhood has made the rounds of the various Departments of State and put pressure on the interim government chosen by the various components of the Egyptian society.
We Muslims offered to protect churches and religious buildings, but our Christian brothers and sisters said: "Do not waste your souls, they are so precious to us. We have closed these buildings for now. Together we will rebuild our churches once we have eradicated terrorism." I am convinced that what is sacred to one of my neighbors is also sacred for me. I have respect for him and his free will.
The various elements of Egyptian society have lived together for 1,400 years. There have been many conflicts over time, both within Islam, between Sunnis and Shiites, and with Christianity formed by Coptic Orthodox, Catholics, and Protestants. Sometimes they behave like fans of different football teams, to the point that some sanctify the "Egyptian religion" (concept of nationhood ed), while others condemn it. Whether Christian or Muslim.
What is happening to our country? It all starts January 25, 2011, when a huge revolution stirred every level of Egyptian society. For months the people demonstrated against the regime of President Hosni Mubarak. This event united people of different ideologies: imperialist, socialist and religious extremists. With the triumph of the revolution these extremes began to divide. Muslim Brotherhood, religious capitalists and socialists have no place on the Egyptian political stage.
During the transitional government led by the Supreme Council of the armed forces - who have a string foothold in the world of politics and economic power - each party tried to destroy its opponent. The Muslim Brotherhood waited for the exclusion of the Mubarak-era National Democratic Party before making their official entrance onto the national political scene. It opened the door to fair elections, but only from a technical point of view and not moral one. With the victory in the parliamentary elections of 2011 and the presidential election of 2012, the Brotherhood began leading the nation down a road to the unknown.
To rule they leave the Sinai in the hands of terrorists and, regardless of the deteriorating economic situation, build and finance their positions of strength within the governing and judicial apparatus, filling posts with their own nominees. They attribute everything to the leader who is fifth in the hierarchy of the Muslim Brotherhood. However, with the approval of the new Constitution, the Muslim Brotherhood show their true face. Their goal is total control of the state. In November 2012, the Egyptians took to the streets against the adoption of a distorted Constitution and demonstrate in front of the palace of the Constitutional Court.
The fall of Morsi and the popular uprising embarrassed the Muslim Brotherhood. In recent months they camped in the neighborhood of Rabaa, next to their mosque regardless of the will of the people. Now, the Islamists threaten everyone with terrorism, proclaiming death and destruction, ignoring the fact that the army and police have sided with the majority of the population, who took to the streets on June 30. The Muslim Brotherhood are not seeking legitimacy through dialogue, they do not respect the will of the people that is at the root of democracy.
On August 14 , the army and the police decided to clear out the Muslim Brotherhood camps with the support of much of the population. The first casualties were members of the security forces trying to respond to Islamist gunfire.
Undeniably, many civilians and unarmed people were present at the Muslim Brotherhood demonstrations, as human shields for armed militants. It is also documented that many Islamist militants were killed from friendly fire.
Throughout the country, people who did not belong to the Brotherhood were killed in Islamist attacks; for example, against Christian churches, police stations, including army and police posts in the Sinai.
In recent weeks, Islamists have done everything to discredit the army in front of the world, but failed to do so before Egyptians. Recent attacks against Christians are, in fact, an attempt by Islamists to unleash a new conflict to destroy the country.
In recent weeks they have done everything to discredit the army in front of the world, but not in front of the Egyptians. The attacks against Christians are, in fact, an attempt by Islamists to unleash a new war to destroy the country.
Many people wonder if it is possible a dialogue with the Muslim Brotherhood. I cannot speak with a terrorist who carries weapons and threatens my safety, my family, my country and my will. But I feel ready to discuss with those who accept these conditions: the good of the country is more important than any other issue, there must be a willingness to accept each other without engaging in a struggle to impose individual ideologies, my interlocutor must admit deliberate Islamists attacks against the police.
Unfortunately we will have to wait for reconciliation. However, we are a people with a weak memory. We do not like to remember. For 80 years we have suffered the interference and violence of the Muslim Brotherhood, and nonetheless we voted them to power in the elections of 2011 and 2012. (S.C.)