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On June 30, the focus of most people and governments were on the Tahrir Square, in Cairo, where the scheduled mass demonstrations were to be held in opposition to the Egyptian president, Mohamed Morsi, and against the dominance of Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt’s political life. Millions of Egyptian protesters flooded into Cairo’s squares and streets, and other major cities, calling for the dethronement of President Morsi, the democratically elected Egyptian president, and his Islamist government just after one-year in office.
Given the unexampled size and intensity of the revolt (believably, in two-digit millions) and thus its instantaneous triumph, a new-sprung state of political perplexity about the future of Egypt and hence the Arab region, have re-emerged throughout the world.
Many people think that the past two-year-old wave of Arab protests and demonstrations, known as the Arab Spring, is a new phenomenon to Arabs. Actually, Arab revolts have been very active against foreign occupations and colonial rule as old as the 19th century. However, it was July 23, 1952, when the first internally aimed Arab revolt, known as the “Egyptian Revolution”, sprang up in the heartland of the Arab world, upon which the king of Egypt, Farouk 1, was overthrown.
The success of Egyptian revolution and coup d’état of 1952, which was masterminded and led by the late charismatic Gamal Abdel Nasser, had created sweeping momentum throughout the Arab world at which several Arab countries, like Syria, Libya, Yemen, and others, followed Egypt’s revolutionary route to change the political ruling systems of their countries.
Bringing to memory that the Egyptian revolution of that time was the fruit of a joint operation between the Free Officers Movement headed by Jamal Abdel Nasser and the Muslims Brotherhood supported by the U.S. administration, which was actualized through a CIA covert project, known as “Project FF” (FF a short form for “Fat Fucker”), led by Kermit Roosevelt, Jr..
Nevertheless, after two years of that political interconnectivity, the Muslims Brotherhood undertook a failed assassination attempt on Nasser’s life because of his firm refusal to Islamize Egypt and share power. Actually, this homicidal attempt had provided Nasser and his revolutionary council with enough excuses to crucify and ban the Muslims Brotherhood for the next two decades or so.
Again, in 2011, the Egyptian army and Muslims Brotherhood, with the U.S. go-ahead, jointly orchestrated the takeover of Mubarak’s regime–as they did in 1952. However, this time the Muslims Brotherhood managed to sideline the armed forces and manipulate other opposition groups to win the parliamentary and presidential elections of which they solely ruled Egypt until the second of this July.
However, in an attempt to consolidate their governing dominance, President Morsi and his Muslims Brotherhood party were defiantly imprudent in stuffing their fellow brothers in most prominent positions of the country’s policy-making structures—let alone dismissing all adversaries. To make it indigestible, they utilized their political gain to gradually Islamize Egypt, notwithstanding the high-voiced calls of tens of millions of Egyptians, Muslims and Christian alike, for a democratic and developed state.
All along the last year, the Egyptian opposition and civil movements could not twist the political will of the Brotherhood, which pushed them to stood fast against the Islamic ruling party and thus boycotted President Morsi. In a smart move, the opposition coalition front was successful in adopting a popular youth civil movement, known as “Tamard” (Rebellion), which collected 22 million signed petitions demanding the dismissal of Mr. Morsi. In addition, the opposition front has managed to formulate an understanding with the army leadership in which they support the planned sit-in demonstrations against the Muslims Brotherhood, while in return the army leadership becomes the kingmaker of post-Morsi era and Egypt’s national heroes.
In every practical sense, there are some new considerations and actualities that are very consequential to the political future of pivotal Egypt, the Arab region and the world that need to be crystallized so that to perceive the Egyptian lesson
However, before discussing those new considerations, one has to decode the sleepwalking role of the U.S. administration and its destabilizing effects. The world has witnessed a disconcerted U.S. management in dealing with the Islamist issue, Arab uprisings and other Middle East problems. Obviously, the U.S. administration needs to drop its current double standards policy the soonest so that to regain its leading role in the world, and hence stabilizes the chaotic Middle East region.
Unfortunately, Obama’s Administration is falling short to cope with the Arab track of political change and revolts. Seeing that, it imposes, in the name of fighting down armed Islamist groups, a worldwide embargo on arms delivery to Syrian Islamist rebels, most of whom fight for democratic rule, at one instance. While, it supports the dominance and uprisings of other Islamists like in Libya and Egypt, at another instance—this time in the name of supporting democratic change. Notwithstanding that, though Islamic groups use different cups to serve fundamentalism; yet they drink from one well and seek to achieve almost the same goals.
In short, Arabs and non-Arabs alike, expect from the free world, the U.S., in particular, to support all democratic endeavors everywhere–as they proclaim, irrespective of whom democracy might elect to power.
Back on track to name a few of those new considerations, the first one is that the age of Arab civil hibernation and political dormancy will end soon. Arab people are now intolerant of despotism and sociopolitical ascendancy much more than yesterdays.
Most Arabs and Muslims know that Islamic fundamentalism and other radical notions, which were promoted as the only solution to Muslims’ misfortune has failed to serve even its cheerers. A look at what is happening in Egypt, Tunis, Libya, Yemen, Syria, is enough to delete the Islamic state idea from all minds.
Nowadays, the mood of Arabs and Muslims, at large, is in favor of having a modern democratic state, though the general political mindset still needs more time and guidance to accept and practice democracy as it is.
Obviously, there is a need to demagnetize the assumption that having free elections will automatically yield the benefit of democracy from the minds of Arab commonalty. And that, the election process in itself would not deliver the longed for freedom, justice, human rights and human development.
On their road to democracy, Arabs should consider the pros and cons of the Egyptian case carefully, which has proved that the best way to political change is through peaceful civil practices. The Egyptian case will also prove soon (hope not) that when the military is involved, involved they will persist.
Democracy will prevail only when it is built on the democratic reasoning that upholds and honors its resultant afar from who wins or lose. Democracy will prevail only when it is considered the base to deliver liberty, justice, and human development to the people.
Otherwise, no purpose.
Author’s Note: This article is also published at Arabian Gazette