بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيمِ
“Dengan menyebut nama Allah Yang Maha Pemurah lagi Maha Penyayang”
TEACHER’S NOTE: I’m extremely weary of the bullshit high-school philosophy type essays that make the news suggesting that the Muslim Brotherhood was culpable for Egypt’s coup and the military-instituted pogrom that ensued. I won’t link to any, not because I don’t want to call out the fatuousness of these arguments, but because a rebuttal of the assertion that because Mohammed Morsi was a pretty mediocre president the coup became inevitable and desirable would involve me reading back over my GCSE law and morality textbooks. And they got burned immediately after my exams.
Here’s my high-school run down of Egypt right now:
1. Egypt’s “battle” – so far as an army wailing on unarmed protesters can be described thus.., isn’t between political forces. It is not hard to understand; the side with tanks is running over the side without them. (Come to think of it, this is more like 4th grade stuff).
2. There is no Liberal vs. Islamist wrestling match going on here. What we have in Egypt today is the group that grew up under and complied fully with 30 years of military autocracy vs. the group it oppressed.
3. The junta that seized power has murdered hundreds, arrested thousands, banned the biggest and one of the oldest political organisations in the country, taken its assets, locked its leaders in jail, released Egypt’s previous dictator and is seeking to pass a law that will ban protests. None of the things I just wrote, in any language, under any interpretation, constitutes a revolutionary action.
4. People who tell you otherwise are part of the social elite – privileged or otherwise, who were so enraged after the poor, illiterate Islamist peasants their ancestors spent two generations oppressing beat them at democracy that they decided upon an entirely predictable recourse for getting their way – remove the unpredictability of a voting system and run whining into the malevolent arms of their military overlords.
5. Let’s say the Muslim Brotherhood weren’t perfect – weren’t even good.., but they were still elected. Let’s say Morsi was slightly worse than useless – but he was still elected. To say the Muslim Brotherhood got what they deserved is to borrow from the lexicon of rule and governance perfected during 30 years of tyranny. I bet you didn’t even realise you were doing it.
6. It’s become fashionable to state how the Muslim Brotherhood didn’t govern with consensus and ruled too autocratically. All the cool kids are doing it. The fact is the Muslim Brotherhood offered government roles repeatedly to opposition members and had a smaller percentage of its members in its cabinet than there are Mubarak cronies in the current cabinet.
7. Elections in Egypt – whenever the junta allows them to occur.., will take place now with the biggest and most popular party banned from competing. This is not more inclusive. (NB: The Brotherhood competed in elections in which Mubarak NDP affiliates also ran).
8. In democracies – imperfect democracies, as they all are.. if you have a problem with a political opponent, you vote him or them out. Egyptians would have had parliamentary elections by now were it not for the coup. If you really believe that public opposition to Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood was sufficiently vast (and if you believe 33 million protesters marched on June 30, or that Tamarod got 22 million signatures, there’s a good chance you do, bless) then what, precisely, did the Brotherhood deserve? That’s right: It deserved voting out. Give yourself a gold star.
(It did not deserve to be wiped from existence by a blood lusty junta).
Democratic norms suggest that if the opposition was really that strong it would’ve engaged in the democratic processes of competing in elections and it would have won. The reason this didn’t happen? Because opposition to the Muslim Brotherhood consisted of the NS, a group so dysfunctional and so smeared in feloul odour that it fought among itself before it fought elections. What do you do when you can’t beat ‘em, kids? (I know in English we say “join them”, but in Egypt the correct ending is: Annihilate them.)
9. People who supported the removal of Morsi knew about the coup and the blood that would be spilled and also supported this. Don’t let them weasel out of it. That’s what bullies try to do.
10. Do not believe the vapid, morally relativist arguments of the entitled Liberal Left. Egypt is very easy to understand. You either support or excuse the use of murderous force, crackdowns on media freedoms and the jailing of all political opponents by unelected junta maniacs, or you stand up to it. You will all go on to be trained to think in very complex ways about the Middle East and what you think now to be self-evident truth and morality will be thrown all out of sorts. People who seem knowledgable and nice and media-friendly, especially on Egypt.. will tell you things that seem ludicrous and you’ll wonder why the rest of the world doesn’t see that (although you’ll have to wait until A-Levels to have this process explained to you).
Egypt is simple. Follow your conscience. . Simple Right.?