Friday, January 27, 2012

MB: Deja Vu or NDP Incarnate?

Friday 27 January, 2012

I just returned from Tahrir and I didn't like what I saw, and I'm sure many Muslim Brotherhood (Ikhwan) supporters share the same sentiments, albeit for different reasons.
What I saw today was blatant dictatorship by the MB. Blatant! We joined the Mustafa Mahmoud procession and it was in the thousands; you couldn't see the end of it. 
                                  Courtesy Mostafa Hussein (moftasa)
It was very civilized, carrying flags, banners and chanting in unison.
                                          Courtesy Sherif Aly Dabbous
As we approached Tahrir there was a growing elation and feelings of anticipation: we were coming home to where it all began.. we were going to shout our demands and make them vocal.. Or so we thought!
We were greeted at the entrance to the Midan, just past Omar Makram's statue, by  the blaring sound of a patriotic song from the MB stage. We were prevented from advancing beyond a certain point because the MB made a 3 or 4-tier human shield in front of their stage, but the youth managed to squeeze their way inside the Midan. Our chants were muted under the brunt of the full volume of the MB microphones! It was as if the MB was indirectly preventing protesters from self expression or voicing their demands. The protesters reacted by chanting and waving the flags but the MB didn't respond and the volume was in full blast. Suddenly I saw my district's Member of Parliament Mohamed Sawi on the MB stage and I was perplexed. I started waving at him to get his attention: he noticed me and both he and another person next to him waved back and there was a shadow of a smile until I started waving to him to stop this battle of the microphones and that he shouldn't be on that stage! I kept trying to use sign language to tell him that I voted for him in parliament to look out for our interests, not to be part of an MB stage. He just stared back at me.. OK, I admit that this might be too challenging to understand, but what came next was far more verbal than any signs and he and his comrades should've gotten the message, but they chose not to! The protesters raised their shoes up in the air (this I don't condone but I'm describing what happened), so what do the MB do? They put Quran, again in full blast.. This obviously was to embarrass the protesters and coerce them to shut up in respect of Quran recital. I was shocked! Was this deja vu of NDP? This infuriated the protesters and they started waving and shouting. So Sawi takes the microphone and starts to talk. He is booed and prevented from talking. He tries to quieten the protesters but isn't successful. Another person tries his luck and is equally booed.. He then attempts to stir emotions by shouting:
يسقط يسقط حكم العسكر.. ثوار أحرار حنكمل المشوار 
but this doesn't work one bit. The youth start throwing empty bottles and corn cobs (again I don't accept this behavior). MB then bring on a group of sheikhs in their Azhari costumes but it doesn't work. A sheikh starts talking and is booed and another sheikh carries a flag and walks up and down the stage. Pathetic embarrassment and degradation of a respectable religious figurehead! Then Beltagi shows up and tries to stimulate the youth by shouting slogans in the hope that they would follow suit but they don't fall for it. Then on comes Ahmed Maher of 6 April and is equally booed.. The shoes are still up in the air and the youth start chanting.. The group on the stage is quite embarrassed and they know they're being televised so they hold their hands up as if in victory and with a smile on their face pose for pictures while corn cobs are thrown at them. Who are they kidding? I tell you this was NDP incarnate and I couldn't believe my eyes. They finally turn off the lights and the microphones and leave the stage.
Why didn't the MB allow the protesters to speak their mind? Why is the MB trying to absorb all SCAF-opposition and mute it? Do they think that if they ignore the demands they will go away? Why are they pushing the wrong buttons and short-sightedly being dragged towards confrontation? The protesters are NOT anarchists, they are peacefully demanding an immediate transfer of power to the elected, predominantly MB parliament and the hastening of the presidential process. No one is demanding the dismantling of the army, far from it: الشعب والجيش إيد واحدة but let our army protect our country and not control it. The youth were not alone; most of the liberal MPs were in the procession, along with respected politicians, intellectuals, activists: do they all have eschewed political views and/or are brainwashed? I don't think so.. I sincerely hope that the MB don't become the victim of their own success and that their landslide victory doesn't go to their heads! I don't condone the vulgarity and the dirty gestures, but let me tell you that without pressure the MB will become a neo-NDP fueled by feelings of superiority after their electoral majority. Pressure is healthy! And it's OK to disagree, it's not the end of the world.. Egyptians are not homogeneous and are an interesting melange of differences and contrasts; this is our forte not our weakness. The most important thing is not to lose focus of the core issues and demands. Another word of advice: don't turn your back on those who helped you get where you are.. 

No comments:

Post a Comment