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» 01/25/2013
Young Egyptian leader calls on West to back anti-Islamist struggle
On the second anniversary of the Jasmine Revolution, millions of young people demonstrate across the country against the government led by the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafists. Since the fall of the Mubarak regime, nothing has changed. For Nagui Damian, a young Coptic leader, people are ready for anything to make their voice heard. There are fears that people might clash, even violently, with police.

Cairo (AsiaNews) - "Western nations must back our demands and support our struggle against Islamists," said Nagui Damian, a young Coptic Catholic leader of the Revolution, who spoke to AsiaNews about Egypt's tense situation.

"The Muslim Brotherhood does not care about the common good, only about power. Millions of Egyptians are protesting today across the country to show the world that the Jasmine Revolution is alive, that it did not end with Mubarak's fall."

Indeed, "People want real democratic change in the country and are willing to do anything to get it," he explained, but "We are afraid of clashes, even violent ones, with police."

In fact, elections and two referendums characterised by vote rigging and discrimination are not enough to make Egypt a democratic country.

For that goal, thousands of people have gathered in Cairo's Tahrir Square and in Heliopolis, where the presidential palace is located. Other demonstrations are expected in other parts of the city like Helwan, Shubra, al-Zawaya, Imbaba and Mostafa Mahmoud Square.

More demonstrations are also planned for Alexandria, Assuit, Port Saud, Suez, Sharqiya, Kafr al-Sheikh, he added.

To avoid tensions, the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafists will not hold back their members. Instead, they have decided to mark the anniversary with a populist action, launching a campaign to promote health, offering people free hospital checkups.

For the young Copt, Islamists are aware that they are losing popular appeal. "In two years, our demands have been unheeded," he said. "In the media, Islamists describe Egypt as a democratic country, but in reality they silence anyone who tries to criticise them."

A case in point is the Sharia-based constitution, approved in a "phoney" referendum that Islamists won thanks to clerical propaganda in rural mosques where more than half of the population is illiterate.

For Nagui Damian, "Islamists fear culture. For this reason, they are trying to discredit young revolutionaries."

What is more, "They have deliberately obfuscated the real content of the constitution, which still cannot be found in print in bookstores and libraries. Anyone who wants to buy a copy must rely on unofficial editions without the government seal." For the young man, this is one of the many examples of bad governance by the Muslim Brotherhood.

On the one hand, they want to be everything to everybody. On the other, "During the trials of those responsible for the massacres at the Maspero building and Mohammed Mahmoud Street, none of the accused, mostly military, has been convicted. Meanwhile, Salafists who continue to attack Christian villages in Upper Egypt enjoy impunity."

In light of the situation, Nagui Damian wants Western democracies to remain engaged in Egypt and help the thousands of young Egyptians willing to sacrifice their life to achieve a country that respects human rights and religious freedom and pays attention to the needs of the people.

Sadly, "The West believes in a process of change that does not fit reality," he laments. "Morsi's speeches on working with the opposition are pure propaganda meant to deceive Europe and the United States in order to get money from them." (S.C.)

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See also
11/26/2012 EGYPT
Morsi pitting Egyptians against one another, says young Copt
01/25/2012 EGYPT
Tahrir Square revolution one year on. State of emergency abolished in Egypt
01/17/2012 EGYPT
Petrol shortages could spark more unrest as revolution’s anniversary approaches
05/20/2011 EGYPT
Obama's promises are not the only solution to Egypt’s problems
07/13/2011 EGYPT
The military and the economy, the Egyptian spring’s enemies

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