Much has changed in the nearly two and a half years since Egyptians took to the streets to topple the thirty-year regime of Hosni Mubarak. Much has also remained the same – or gotten worse. These observations go doubly for the one year since Muhammad Morsi became Egypt's first freely elected president. No one expected the years following Mubarak's fall to be a cakewalk, yet the virtual security vacuum across the country, the plummeting Egyptian pound, and hour-long queues at gas stations are pushing the country to the brink.

Amid this turmoil, a grass roots campaign – “tamarod” or “rebel” – emerged demanding that President Morsi resign and call early elections. Having collected an unverifiable 15 million signatures in support of their cause, the tamarod movement, which has garnered the backing of most non-Islamist opposition groups, now turns to – what else? – street protests in the hopes of actualizing their demands. And so, this Sunday, June 30th, mass rallies are planned across the country with the stated goal of ousting the current regime.

How did we get here and where are we headed? Even full-time Egyptian analysts, activists and observers have a tough time giving a straight answer to these questions, but here's a rough outline of key issues to be mindful of:

Nearly Everyone in Egypt is Either Angry, Disheartened, or Depressed

If you're not a hardcore backer of the Muslim Brotherhood, you're likely quite frustrated with Egypt's current state of affairs. As a recent Pew Research poll indicated, Egyptians are by and large dissatisfied with the way things are and the direction the country is going. This is especially so with regard to the economy, which has been in tatters since the 2011 uprising as foreign investment has dried up and tourism dollars have faded. While such hardships may be expected in the aftermath of a regime overthrow, other seemingly reconcilable grievances are also mounting – most prominently, the build up of garbage on already unkempt streets and nightly burnings of trash heaps that add to an already suffocating level of air pollution.

That virtually every Egyptian has by now felt the brunt of the country's malaise sets the present impasse apart from previous political showdowns. Whereas before a vocal youth contingent and cadre of political (mostly secular) elites were at the forefront of anti-government demonstrations, the current movement draws on a wide cross-section of the disaffected Egyptian populace. The narrative this time is no longer based on lofty ideals or divisive ideologies, but is rather focused on a more fundamental charge that the current government has been derelict in its duties and, therefore, is no longer legitimate. This more basic appeal speaks to a much broader audience, many of whom are experiencing great hardship, who have pledged to get off the sidelines and join in the frontlines.

There are Valid Points and Notable Deficiencies on Both Sides of this Divide

The current political climate is replete with zero-sum thinking. Nearly every article written on the present crisis has highlighted the growing divisiveness across Egypt. This milieu has already led to outbreaks of sectarian and political violence. Claims of “You are either with us, or you are against us” have gained a lot of cache among both pro-government and anti-government partisans. The latter see Morsi and the Brotherhood as incompetent and engineering a slow-motion authoritarian power grab, while the former considers itself under attack by secular usurpers bitter from multiple electoral losses. As always, the reality is far more nuanced.

With regard to Morsi and the Brotherhood, it is clear that expectations were a bit inflated and faulting the current regime for all of Egypt's ills is simply not reasonable. The frequent power outages are a result of a poor power grid whose problems were well documented under the Mubarak regime; the falling value of the Egyptian Pound was clearly going to be one of the immediate by-products of Mubarak's overthrow and is arguably owed just as much to instability caused by constant street protests as any decision/indecision on the part of Morsi; and asserting control over the wide state security apparatus was going to be no easy task for whoever was in power. Indeed, much of the anti-Morsi, anti-Brotherhood rhetoric seems to hardly consider what portion of Egypt's current problems are directly owed to the actions of those in power and what portion can be attributed to decades of corruption and mismanagement. This is to say nothing of the fact that Morsi is working without a complete Parliament after the lower house was dissolved by a court ruling that many felt was politically motivated.

All that said, Morsi's tenure has thus far been rife with failures. For instance, there is the flat-out lying: from the Brotherhood fielding a candidate in the first place after publicly stating that it would not, to ignoring their pledge to nominate a woman or Coptic Christian as vice president, to reneging on their commitment to build an inclusive, consensus government. On this last point, some apologists have claimed that it is the president's right to fill the cabinet with whomever he deems fit. That is true enough, but when you are the first administration to take power after a popular revolution, it seems prudent (if not just plain decent) to aim for a broad coalition rather than recklessly wield the club of majoritarian rule. What is even more frustrating is that despite being surrounded by his supporters, Morsi has nonetheless taken to passing the buck rather than owning up to his failings. Even if some of the current problems are not his fault, they are all nevertheless the president's responsibility and he simply has not seemed up to the task of meeting these challenges.

Thus, there are certainly legitimate grievances that the opposition can rightfully point to – though their path is no less tarnished. Fundamentally, what the tamarod movement is calling for is unconstitutional and extra-democratic. They claim this is the only option remaining to counteract the Brotherhood's authoritarian tendencies. In effect, then, they seek to undermine the democratic process because they are afraid that the democratic process will be undermined. If that was not self-defeating enough, they are doing nothing to curb this appearance of mob rule by, for example, calling instead for Morsi to put his presidency to referendum, which would actually be a constitutionally valid mechanism for his removal. Instead, what the opposition/tamarod (they are virtually indistinguishable at this stage) has offered is a vague plan for transition that involves the president of the Supreme Constitutional Court taking over executive affairs for a term of six months until new elections are held. Therefore, an opposition that has thus far offered few alternatives and has constantly been at one another's throats will all of sudden coalesce and make nice with an Islamist bloc that was forced out of their freely elected position in office, all while the country stabilizes and “revolutionary” goals are finally realized. Undergirding this magical thinking is a similarly fanciful notion that “things cannot get any worse.” They surely can.

The Four Scenarios to Watch for in the Coming Days

1) Mass protests cripple the country and exert too much pressure for Morsi to remain in office, so he concedes to tamarod's call for early elections.

This, to be blunt, is a pipe dream. Even those in the opposition camp realize this. The Brotherhood is simply too entrenched and will not be keen to give up their power unless forced to do so. Who will force them, you ask?

2) Demonstrations not only impede everyday life, but usher in a wave of violence between pro-government and anti-government groups that forces the military to take control of the state – effectively, a coup.

Any honest supporter of tamarod realizes that this is their only shot at “success” – another round of military rule that ousts Morsi but does not necessarily follow the opposition's “plan,” such as it is. What is more, violence is a key factor for this scenario to come to fruition. It is distressing how many protesters are sanguine toward -if not supportive of- violence toward their fellow citizen to reach their goal. Hardly any seem to be objectively considering the ramifications of this outcome, not least of which is the terrible precedent it would set. What if, down the line, an Islamist bloc garnered large scale support and sought to overthrow a freely elected president that did not meet their social vision? I wonder, would they, too, be regarded as “revolutionary” and “democratic” by those who are now demanding Morsi's overthrow?

The likelihood of these events playing out is perhaps not as high as some in the protest movement would like to believe. The military may indeed not be in Morsi's pocket, but they are still keen to maintain stability and legitimate rule. Thus, if things get really bad, Morsi's ace in the hole is to call for a referendum on his presidency. This may not appease his die-hard opponents, but it would certainly placate the “silent majority” that, while dissatisfied, would not want to see the country descend into utter chaos. Moreover, Morsi's opponents would be outright admitting that they could not defeat him electorally if they would refuse such an olive branch.

3) Protesters lose a battle of attrition against oppressive heat and the start of Ramadan.

One of the reasons that #Jan25 was ultimately successful is that it was not #June25. Temperatures in Cairo are already regularly exceeding 100 degrees Fahrenheit. There is certainly enough anger and resentment to bring people out in full force this weekend, but how long can these potentially large numbers be sustained – especially when protesters are not only braving the elements, but their religious obligation to fast, too? Still, it is hard to believe that after all this build-up that demonstrators would simply go gently into that good night and leave the status quo be.

4) Morsi offers meaningful concessions and everyone soldiers on toward parliamentary elections later this year.

This is perhaps the most hopeful outcome. If Morsi is humble enough to, for example, revamp the constitution and make meaningful changes to his cabinet, and the opposition is smart enough to accept, then Egypt can continue on it's democratic transition, bruised but not beaten. Morsi will get a shot in the arm, the opposition will have greater say in the country's trajectory, and all parties have their chance to appeal to the electorate ahead of parliamentary elections, which could shift power away from Islamists in a democratically sound fashion.

Hope springs eternal, but I unfortunately do not see things shaping up in this fashion.

***

Egypt is in a precarious position. The already weak state took a severe blow in early 2011 and another shock to the system of that magnitude could be crippling. At the same time, things cannot go on as they have been over the past year. Something has got to give, but what it will be, to what degree, and to whose political benefit is anyone's guess.

Between the Brotherhood's arrogance and the opposition's naiveté, the prospects for an orderly resolution are unfortunately slim. Morsi has shown time and again that it is his base that he is most concerned with and sees no need to appeal to the large segments of the population that do not buy into his political ideology. At the same time, the opposition has been so politically inept to the point that it is still unclear, even given all the troubles that Egypt is going through, what the alternative to Morsi and Brotherhood rule would even be. A leaderless revolution is all well and good, but “revolutionaries” need to realize that legitimacy does not reside in the street, but in democratic institutions that are populated by elected representatives.

Egypt deserves so much better. This is a real staring-into-the-abyss moment. It is time for both sides to grow up.

32 Responses

  1. TruthSeeker2001

    JazakAllah khairun for this article brother Youssef, although I disagree about whether the blame for the current situation is as evenly apportioned as your article might make it seem.

    The Islamic groups have made mistakes. But even just admitting that they are not infallible is beyond the secular opposition.

    For 70 years whilst the Islamic groups were tortured, imprisoned and killed by the Government these Secular elite sat around and did nothing. They even took part by propping up the Government and concentrating power and wealth in their section of society.

    Now, in the first year that the tables have been turned they have launched more than 9000 protests, strikes and violent clashes. They have killed Islamic group members and burnt offices. They have openly called for a return to military coup. The judiciary is busy letting Mubarak off the hook and shutting down parliament.

    One side made mistakes but has been against tyranny for 80 years and is building Egypt now. The other side did nothing for 80 years and is now doing all it can to stop anyone from an Islamic group having power in Egypt. There is no equivalence here in my humble opinion.

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    • Youssef Chouhoud

      W/ayyak. I appreciate that opposition groups have done little to help move Egypt forward, yet that does not lessen the responsibility that Morsi and the MB shoulder for Egypt’s current state.

      Ever since Morsi came into power, he has done next to nothing to endear himself to anyone but his base. The main, at times the only, criterion for being appointed to government positions was loyalty to the Brotherhood. Then there is the constant reliance on the tried and true tactic of conspiracy theory and deflection (his recent speech was full of such counterproductive claims). And, of course, there is November’s constitutional declaration, which for all the (quite debatable) points one can make about it’s temporary nature and necessity, you can’t really defend the heavy-handed way Morsi went about it.

      So the Islamists use ham-fisted majoritarianism to give the non-Islamists the impression that they are after indefinite domination of the political system while non-Islamists resort to street protests and extra-legal mechanisms thereby giving Islamists the impression that they are under existential threat. And here we are, stuck in a feedback loop that’s more and more resembling a death spiral.

      At the end of the day, the buck stops with Morsi. He is the only one that can pull Egypt back from the brink now.

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    • Hassen

      I agree 100% with TruthSeeker. While the Brotherhood definitely have their faults, he blame isn’t equally proportioned on each side. I’m also a little surprised that Youssef agrees with some of the criticisms of the non-Islamists. For example, when the Brotherhood initially claimed they would not promote a candidate from their party, only to promote Morsi a few months later… I’m sure with all the political developments that took place in those few months they had legitimate reasons to change their mind (supposedly, they were going to support a non-Brotherhood candidate, but none of their choices accepted). Is changing your mind considered lying now?! Composing such a weak argument like this (along with others) reflects the desperation of the opposition to come up with any criticism to make the Brotherhood look bad. To be honest, I think it reflects an inherent hatred of anything Islamist that a lot of people in this camp harbor (and I say this having just returning from Egypt and experiencing these sentiments first-hand).

      With all the uncertainty in Egypt these days, the only thing that seems certain is that whoever is on the truth will prevail at the end of the day, by the will of Allah. So far, whether it’s been the results of the parliamentary elections, presidential elections, constitutional elections, and other major decisions the country has made, the victories have all been on one side. Perhaps this is a sign of who is on the truth… wallahu a’lam.

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      • Youssef Chouhoud

        Hassen – There are indeed many who are against anything Islamist or anyone with a beard. That should not lead you to believe that there aren’t legitimate gripes with the current administration.

        What it comes down to is poor governance and an overly alienating brand of politics.

        As I mentioned, aside from the MB’s diehard supporters, no one in Egypt sees themselves as better off than they were at the beginning of Morsi’s rule. What’s more, Egyptians (and I don’t mean secular elites or bitter revolutionaries, but normal, impartial Egyptians) are hard pressed to name ONE thing that has improved in the passed year. That does not mean that nothing has – my cousin, for instance, tells me that disbursement of government subsidized bread and cooking gas is more efficient than in the past, but that is clearly the exception to the rule.

        Then, in addition to the sense that nothing has changed, Egyptians are more and more coming to believe the MB is positioning itself so that nothing will change. Their reliance on an us-versus-them mentality, the propagation of divisive rhetoric and the execution of clearly provocative political actions has left them on an island all their own. It is, indeed, them versus Egypt at this point.

        I want to emphasize, if it wasn’t clear from my article, that I don’t support the opposition’s stated remedy to these troubles. Yet, to ignore the issues that have been fermenting for the past year under Brotherhood rule and go on with business as usual is not an option either.

        People are fed up.

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      • Hassen

        SubhanAllah, I just wrote a very long response and an error occurred when I clicked to post my comment. Alhamdulillah, what can I do… But basically, here were my main points:

        - I did recognize the Brotherhood’s mistakes in my previous post… no disagreement there.

        - Egypt is just emerging from almost 60 years of military rule, where corruption has embedded itself so deeply into the psyche and basic way of life of Egyptians. This is definitely hindering the new government’s efforts to enact change, in addition to intentional efforts by opposition figures with power (Corrupt judges, Major Businessmen, Heads of the Police Forces, etc.).

        *I personally know of a distant relative who was a head of a police division who decided not to work (while still collecting his paycheck, of course) until the Brotherhood was out. I wouldn’t be surprised if he props his feet up at night while watching any of the number of anti-Islamist political commentators, complaining that the Brotherhood are the reason Egypt is no longer safe!

        - The Brotherhood have probably contributed to the ‘Us vs. Them’ atmosphere you mentioned, but I think they’re at least trying to bridge the gap with other parties (e.g. holding national unity meetings to create a means of communication). They’re inexperienced and this is definitely evidence of the growing pains they’re going through in this transition to democracy. The anti-Islamist political and media figures, on the other hand, seem to be much more concerted in their efforts to create this divisive atmosphere (e.g. ignoring calls to engage in dialogue or propagating lies about the government). I personally believe this is founded in an inherent and deep dislike of the guys with beards and any talk of Shariah. Btw, I’m saying this having lived in Egypt the last few years and experienced this first hand. Also, I think it’s relevant to point out that those who support the opposition voice are practically nonexistent in the masajid, and for me that’s a clear sign that they are not on the side of the haqq (although I recognize that they may be correct on a few things), wallahu a’lam.

        - The first years of a new democracy is about setting foundations. There have been more positive developments than the distribution of bread and cooking gas you mentioned, although of course Egyptians hoped for more immediate improvement to a lot of the problems in Egypt (the list is massive!). It really bothers me to hear people say they’re “fed up” when it should be clear that significant change takes YEARS to happen. Of course Egyptians want to see their country flourish and achieve it’s massive potential, but we can’t plant a seed and expect a fruit-bearing tree the next spring. Significant social/political change takes time. I’m surprised, Youssef, that you are mirroring this sentiment, given your phd studies in political science and international relations. If possible, can you cite any examples from the past century of massive social/political change taking place in the first year of a major democratic transition, similar to Egypt’s? I would be pretty surprised if such an example existed. We’re talking about changing an entire corrupt political system, which is deeply entrenched in the psyche and way of life of the Egyptian people. It’s not just an issue of implementing the right government policies and programs, so I don’t think it’s realistic to expect the kind of change you’re implying should have taken place in Morsi’s first year, wallahu a’lam.

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  2. Mehdi

    *Comment by Comments Team removed due to violation of MM Comments Policy*

    *Mehdi: Please consider this a warning to keep your emotions in check and remain civil*

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    • idesireranks

      Assalamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

      Are you Mehdi Sheikh brother? Or are you a different Mehdi? Please repost your comment in a way that they will allow it so I can read what point you were trying to make.

      *This comment was edited by the MM Comments Team in order to comply with our Comments Policy*

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  3. Fritz

    It would interesting to see an economic analysis of the situation. I mean why is garbage left on the streets? Who still owns the majority of monied interest in the country? Some of these are intractable. If the wealth is concentrated amongst a small number of goons, you can elect all the people you want but their ability to enact change will be zero.

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    • Youssef Chouhoud

      The largest single economic player in Egypt, according to most informed sources, is the military. I’ve read that they control around 40% of the economy. They don’t seem to be a problem, however, as they would obviously like to see Egypt’s economic situation improve. In fact, one of the reasons that was thrown around for their reluctance to open fire on protestors during the 2011 uprising was that, in effect, they would be killing their consumers. Cynical, yet not out of the realm of possibility.

      The problems, by and large, stem from poor management. Brotherhood members hold all significant posts in government and it is well known that they do not have the prowess to manage an economy. Many of them are excellent businessmen, yet that does not necessarily translate to being adept at handling macro-economic challenges.

      As for the specific reason why the trash has been piling up, your guess is as good as mine. It seems a simple enough fix and one that could pay dividends in multiple realms – health, economy, environment. If I find any specifics, will be sure to post.

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  4. ZAI

    First off, let me agree with the author that the opposition is resorting to the wrong
    strategy. One cannot simply erupt in protests every time a government does something
    one doesn’t like. Part of the give and take of democracy is that there is a give and take.
    You get some of what you want, others get some of what they want and there is a legal
    process within which all of that plays out. Democracy isn’t simply about a vote, it is also about the
    PROCESS of governing and respecting institutions. You don’t like Morsi & co.? Then vote them
    out during the NEXT elections…

    That being said, I DO recognize ONE of the oppositions claims and ONE reason why
    they feel, perhaps, that they HAVE to resort to these protests. The reason is the CONSTITUTION
    Morsi pushed through. That is NOT a constitution for Egypt…it is a Brotherhood ideological document. It is TOTALLY unfair to the segments of the population who do NOT wish to
    live under an theocratic state which adheres to an Islamist political model PERMANENTLY. This is not simply about laws, it’s the constitution ITSELF.

    This is important because constitutions are very HARD to change. In theory the Brotherhood can
    be defeated in the next election or any election after that, but it will be very difficult to change
    their constitution. They are sure to win enough seats to block any amendments, even if they have lost the majority. Right here in the states you need unanimous 2/3 majorities passed in EVERY state
    to change a constitutional amendment. It is simply not fair to the 50% of the population who did NOT vote for Islamist parties.

    A constitution should not be an ideological document which dabbles in STATUTE laws. Statute laws should be left to parliaments/politicians and the courts who engage in a give and take model. Constitutions should be bare-bones documents that provide a basic procedural framing and outline SOME inalienable principles upon which law is based. As it stands now, the brotherhoods ideology is the constitution…so even if they lose, it’s almost like they keep “ruling” Egypt regardless. That constitution. need. to. go.

    There are also some things Morsi has done which make him nothing more than Mubarak with a beard. For example, these so-called “blasphemy” laws are being abused left and right since he came to office, people are being arrested for “insulting the president”, etc. etc. This nonsense has no place in a democracy.

    Again, just like I’d tell the opposition that democracy isn’t just about voting, I’d say the same thing to Islamists. We need to recognize that there has to be an ethical STANDARD that everyone adheres to. PRINCIPLES we uphold no matter what. We cannot simply engage in these power politics of “I’m in power now, so you better do what I say”…and I beg my Muslim brothers, for God’s sake GIVE UP this attitude that it’s “payback time”. Yes the secularists, military dictators, royalty and others have abused and oppressed the populace, especially religious or politically inclined Muslims…but we cannot get caught up in a vindictive pattern of attrition. They got us, so now we’re gonna get them. They abused us, so who cares what they say now. This is absolute nonsense and a straight road to disaster. For God’s sake, take a page from the SUNNAH…forgive the past and the transgressors and move FORWARD TOGETHER to build the country.

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    • idesireranks

      Assalamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

      What I am not understanding, is how you think anything other than the law of God, Sharia, is acceptable.

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    • Adam

      this constitution you seem to have such a problem with, went to referendum and majority of the people voted yes they like it.

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      • ZAI

        No brother…
        Only 32% of the electorate voted for it, and of that 32%, 60% approved it.
        The majority boycotted to protest the drafting committee being monopolized and how Morsi pushed it through.

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  5. azmathmoosa

    I think the only reason why some bearded muslim people are showing sympathy to the secularist elites is because the Brotherhood are salafists.

    Allah knows best.

    I was in egypt from 2006 to 2008. You don’t need to be an expert to see the incredible division of the classes in society. From my experience, there was no middle class. There were poor and there were rich. The Rich secularist elites had everything going well. The poor didn’t seemed to be interested in changing their condition. They just settled with their poor and pathetic lifestyle. Begging for bakshish from every other guy with money. Even though i’m from a third world poor corrupt backward country like India, I really thank Allah Subhaanawataala for not making me an egyptian. Living in India is so much better. The rich had reduced Islam to a culture (which is not surprising, Love for the Dunya took over their hearts). And its them now who cannot withstand their defeat.

    The secularists want their power back. And will go to any extent to get it.

    My sincere request to all muslims, please don’t be biased against the MB for them being Salafists, think about the poor of the country whose hopes of progressing economically would be lost if the rich sick disgusting secularist elites grab hold of the power once more.

    *This comment was edited by the MM Comments Team in order to comply with our Comments Policy*

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  6. ZAI

    Brother,
    Allow me to provide you an answer with questions:

    Question 1:

    What exactly is Shari’ah? The hudoud? The ibaadat? The 1400 years of fiqh?
    If it is all interpreted, how does a government apply one interpretation? Who chooses that intepretation? Who chooses the people that choose? How will it achieve ijma’? How will it take into account the four madha’hib? How about different interpretations within ONE madhab? How about the opinions of non-Muslims…including atheists? How about the shi’a?

    Question 2:

    How can it be be forced on a population, if a large portion of that population doesn’t want it…or doesn’t agree with one political groups interpretation of it?
    How is that done without heavily restricting speech, engaging in rampant censorship, arrests, jailing and otherwise establishing a police state that monitors and controls everything people see, hear, say or do? How is that different from the behavior of a secular, military or royal dictatorship?

    What will be the reaction of people it is forced on?
    Will they happily accept it, or will they seethe with anger in their hearts awaiting the first chance to overthrow such a government? Do you think they will say “Thank you officer sir, for hitting me upside the head with your stick..I surely did err in my aqidah and now I know to stay silent or adhere to what the president says is correct”

    Or will they feel absolute anger and hatred…and a lack of control over their own
    lives? Become so diseased in their hearts, that they will
    begin to direct their anger towards Islam itself and even apostasy from it?

    Question 3:

    In what country has it been successfully applied by force and not only worked, but been loved by the people? Afghanistan? Sudan? Mali? Somalia? Iran? Pakistan? Don’t tell me Saudi Arabia….It has a royal family that engages in a back-and-forth with it’s clerical establishment, and has the final say on everything.

    Question 4:

    Is it going to be used as simply a slogan, with a few laws dealing with women and media( always the number one priorities of these groups when they attain power)…or is it ALL going to be applied wholesale and immediately…all at once without preparations that might take decades?If so, I have another question:

    How will these groups account for the fact that the majority of the world does
    not operate according to Islamic principles? That Muslims generally do not run the economy or have much say in it?

    Example: You have just banned interest(riba). Congratulations!
    However, your currency…which is traded on interest….has just turned to junk because other nations are dumping their reserves of it. It is now worth less than toilet paper. Your own reserves are running out and no bank or other nation will loan you money. You cannot buy basic commodities like bread or clothing. Unlike Saudi Arabia or Afghanistan, you do not have a small population and natural resources(more like Egypt or Pakistan). Riots, theft and murder are spreading…your population will starve within a few months. Solve the problem. Go!

    Question 5:

    Theologically speaking, what good are these groups accomplishing in terms of the akhirah? If a population has shari’ah FORCED on them and it creates anger and hatred in their hearts for the government and even the deen, what is being gained here?

    Actions are by intention and only sound hearts attain paradise.
    An outward sinner can still have love for Allah and the deen in his heart despite his outward imperfections…and he will still aspire to jannah and recieve it by the mercy of our lord, inshallah. However, a person who “behaves” outwardly, but has grown to hate the deen in his heart because a dictatorial government has forced it on him? What good did this government do for him either here, where he was miserable or the akhirah, where he is staring at the fire?

    Shar’iah cannot be forced on a people.
    It must be something that is inculcated in the hearts, which people grow to love of their own free will and which they want applied on them freely, giving room for various interpretations as our scholars have always done.
    I feel that too many Muslims, like these Muslim groups, want to take short-cuts and simply use power to attain this end. They don’t want to do the hard, long work of educating the people or even preparing them and their environment.
    Good Muslims produce Muslim societies…not the other way around.

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    • Mahmud

      Sharia law is the choice of the people? This is why Abu Bakr RA fought people to pay zakat right?

      I am sick to my stomach.

      And Allah doesn’t need you, me, or any of the Egyptians. If he wills, he can do away with us and create Muslims who will implement his law.

      This refusal to judge by Allah’s law will only result in loss on yawm al Qiyamah. What regret. What sorrow.

      *This comment was edited by the MM Comments Team in order to comply with our Comments Policy*

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      • ZAI

        “This is why Abu Bakr RA fought people to pay zakat right?”

        Did he fight to implement hijab? Did he fight to restrict their speech? Did he fight to ban Roman or Persian stories? No…he fought SECESSION which is what the refusal to pay Zakat represented.

        If the modern Islamist parties restricted themselves strictly to hudoud or what Qur’an or Hadith GIVE a government explicit permission to enforce in the public sphere there would not be much of a problem. They DON’T do that. These modern political parties want to control EVERYTHING and most people will draw the line at and rebel at the point where their personal lives and privacy are being encroached on.

        “And Allah doesn’t need you, me, or any of the Egyptians. If he wills, he can do away with us and create Muslims who will implement his law.”

        That is ALLAH’s judgement to make, not any individual or political party’s.

        “This refusal to judge by Allah’s law will only result in loss on yawm al Qiyamah. What regret. What sorrow.”

        Again, ALLAH’s judgement…and you can see full well what has resulted in Egypt yesterday when they overreached and tried to force it. They could have done some good if they were patient and had some humility instead of arrogance…now they are gone altogether.

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      • Mahmud

        May Allah replace the treacherous ingrates with Muslims in other regions who will implement his law.

        Egypt has been Muslim for quite a while. But even Mecca will return to shirk.

        It’s clear everything goes downhill after a while.

        Ibn Jarir recorded that Harun bin `Antarah said that his father said, “When the Ayah,

        ﴿الْيَوْمَ أَكْمَلْتُ لَكُمْ دِينَكُمْ﴾

        (This day, I have perfected your religion for you…) was revealed, during the great day of Hajj (the Day of `Arafah, the ninth day of Dhul-Hijjah) `Umar cried. The Prophet said, `What makes you cry’ He said, `What made me cry is that our religion is being perfected for us. Now it is perfect, nothing is perfect, but it is bound to deteriorate.’ The Prophet said,

        «صَدَقْت»

        (You have said the truth.)” What supports the meaning of this Hadith is the authentic Hadith,

        «إِنَّ الْإِسْلَامَ بَدَأَ غَرِيبًا، وَسَيَعُودُ غَرِيبًا، فَطُوبَى لِلْغُرَبَاء»

        (Islam was strange in its beginning and will return strange once more. Therefore, Tuba for the strangers.)

        http://www.qtafsir.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=822&Itemid=60

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      • Mahmud

        Ok Zai, very easy to criticize Muslims, who struggled with blood and tears year after year only to be ungratefully rejected by Egyptians.

        And you can keep saying “This is ALLAH’S judgement”:.

        But no one is denying it. What is clear is that we know the consequences for those who reject him and His authority and seek to be judged by a law other than His.

        *This comment was edited by the MM Comments Team in order to comply with our Comments Policy*

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  7. oookhalid

    This incident just cracked me up on account of the irony attached to it.

    The MB which were the organizational brains behind the whole revolution on Tahrir Square is now protesting from Nasr City, a district which carries the name of MB’s arch enemy, Col. Gamal Abdur Nasr (the precursor to Mubarak).

    While the supporters of those cronies (the entrenched secularist establishment loyal to the military and/or Mubarak) who were the victims of the Arab Spring revolution have now occupied Tahrir Square, the epicenter of their downfall.

    LOL! Talk about misplaced symbolism.

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    • Brother

      The MB weren’t the “organizational brains” behind Tahrir… and Nasr is different than Nasser…

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  8. fitrah

    I hope I can understand well what you were trying to deliver by this article,
    but unfortunately, for me, your english was really hard, made me failed to fully comprehend it.
    whereas, i am passionately looking for the truth about what really happened in Egypt from various perspectives.

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  9. flowers

    Not to mention, Morsi’s generous support of Israel. Reports from the US State Department revealed that Morsi was even more cooperative than Mubarak in his dealings with Israel.

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