26 May 2017
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  • » 01/25/2013, 00.00

    EGYPT

    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

    26/11/2012 EGYPT
    Morsi pitting Egyptians against one another, says young Copt
    Liberal and secular-oriented parties have been clashing with Islamists in the past few days, leaving two people dead and 60 injured. For the first time in the country's history, political groups are facing off in the street. Nagui Damain, a young leader in the Jasmine Revolution, fears a civil war.

    25/01/2012 EGYPT
    Tahrir Square revolution one year on. State of emergency abolished in Egypt
    The head of the Military Council, Hussein Tantawi, has decreed the end of thirty years the law that allowed arrest and detention without trial. Two thousand activists sentenced by military courts in recent months are released. Among them the blogger Maikel Nabil, after 130 days of hunger strike.

    17/01/2012 EGYPT
    Petrol shortages could spark more unrest as revolution’s anniversary approaches
    With the loss of foreign funds, Egyptian authorities might have to cut subsidies for petrol, diesel and gaz. This could lead to a huge jump in prices and further stoke an already high inflation (9.5 per cent). With Islamist groups roaming Egyptian cities unchecked, the tourist industry is taking a nosedive. Between 2010 and 2011, bookings are down 90 per cent.

    20/05/2011 EGYPT
    Obama's promises are not the only solution to Egypt’s problems
    For Fr. Boulad, an Egyptian Jesuit priest, the most serious problem is the religious conflict between Copts and Muslims, fomented by men of the old regime. Respect for human rights and a aid plan attentive to cultural differences, the key to change the country.

    13/07/2011 EGYPT
    The military and the economy, the Egyptian spring’s enemies
    People are unhappy with the military. So far, no official involved in the death of 900 people killed in Tahrir Square has been tried. Young people continue to protest in favour of a new Egypt; they are the only hope for the country’s future at a time of economic crisis.



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