by Abu Dharr (Opinion, Crescent International Vol. 41, No. 5, Sha'ban, 1433)
During the course of the past 18 months the world in general and the Muslims in particular were watching the movement of people and the counter-movements of regimes.
There was, and in some quarters still is, a rising expectation that the age of dictators is on its way out and the era of representative governments is on its way in. We have no doubt that this initial surge of popular hope with all its ups-and-downs will eventually triumph over the pessimists, the propagandists, and the putschists.
The old-hand judiciary and the leftover military have now coalesced to bring back the Mubarak spirit even as the Mubarak body is dying. These remnants of Mubarak’s regime did a double play on the Egyptians…
Tunisia now is going through an Islamic soul-cleansing process where al-Nahdah and Salafi stalwarts are going at each other in a way that is beginning to remind an objective observer of what happens to Muslims when they cannot learn from their own history. Libya, Yemen, and Syria each has its own cadence and idiosyncracies but all suffer from the lack of Islamic leadership and Islamic political culture that can bind an Imam with an Ummah to deliver the people from their miseries and massacres — developments that cry for a rescuer and a deliverer.
And now we have the latest taser developments in Egypt. Only a mummy fails to understand and learn this Egyptian lesson, which should serve as a lesson to all other slowpoke Muslims who don’t get it. The old-hand judiciary and the leftover military have now coalesced to bring back the Mubarak spirit even as the Mubarak body is dying. These remnants of Mubarak’s regime did a double play on the Egyptians whose popular movement was drained of its enthusiasm and motivation in the course of a long drawn-out process in the past year and a half.
This one-two punch played itself out when the judiciary (the supreme constitutional court) declared that the rules governing parliamentary elections earlier this year were invalid. That was followed immediately by the military assuming legislative powers. All the campaigning, electioneering, and voting of all the Egyptians throughout the past year was struck down in a few minutes by judicial lightning and military thunder. The Egyptian judicial gods declared that one-third of the Egyptian parliamentary seats were elected illegally; therefore the full parliament must disband and go back home — as the privates and primates they were before they were elected. All this was timed to take place just two days before the runoff presidential elections on June 16 and 17.
At times like this an average Egyptian and a mediocre Muslim would look for a brave leader and leadership to deliver the country from this resurrection of the ancient regime. The military did two things that would infuriate and inflame any decent human being; first, they declared the legitimacy of Ahmad Shafiq’s candidacy for president and second, they dissolved the elected parliament. Talk about chutzpah!
What did the Ikhwan al-Muslimeen do? What would any Muslim with nerves and muscles expect them to do? Well, they should have learned in this unfolding drama that they answer to the people with their God-given and Qur’an-driven conscience. But so far they have not shown any leadership qualities. We don’t know whether they are delaying their reaction (highly unlikely) or whether they are gauging the amount of support that comes their way from financial benefactors in the American kingdom of tribal Arabia. The Ikhwan acted like civilized citizens when they approached the highest court in Egypt and asked (begged would probably be a more accurate description of the motion) to have the former Mubarak prime minister Ahmad Shafiq disqualified from running for president. If the Ikhwan had a working political mind they would have realized that their legal motion would be akin to asking a mother to abandon her breast-feeding baby.
A future consolidation of the three Islamic trends in Iran, Turkey, and Egypt will call America’s terrorism bluff. And finally the Zionists (not the Jews) will come to realize what an existential threat really means.
Remember, the presidential powers have yet to be defined by the constitutional body of parliament tasked with that job, yet the American and Israeli bosses of Egypt’s military cannot stomach the fact that Egyptians will go Islamic if given a chance to express their political mind and their political will. And now, as things are shaping up, the Egyptians will have to go to the election booths once again to re-elect whom they elected the first time — or is the military going to shuffle the candidates and come up with a new formula that will dilute the “Islamic vote” and prop-up the non-Islamic vote?
Let us cut to the chase here. Everyone tuned into the Egyptian scene knows that Egypt in its own way was going Islamic. And everyone tuned into the larger scene of the Muslim East knows that Iran and Turkey in their own ways have gone Islamic or are going Islamic. There is a life-and-death match between Islamic Iran and the Zionist-imperialist alliance. There is a cat-and-mouse game going on between a soon-to-be Islamic Turkey and that same Zionist-imperialist alliance. And now there is a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde drama playing itself out in the Egyptian arena. Euro-America with its Zionist and imperialist ruling classes cannot put up with an Egypt feeling its Islamic way. They know that would be the death blow to Camp David and the termination of a strategic American-Egyptian relationship. The Israeli-American-Saudi political structure of interests cannot tolerate an Islamic Egypt. Some paranoid officials in Zionist Washington with the hangover of the post communist years will see a China and a Russia filling in the strategic void when and if Egypt parts political company with uncle Sam and cousin Samuel. A future consolidation of the three Islamic trends in Iran, Turkey, and Egypt will call America’s terrorism bluff. And finally the Zionists (not the Jews) will come to realize what an existential threat really means.
The day-to-day rulers of Egypt have been and still are the Mubarak era affiliates across the political, economic, social, and military spectrum. The Egyptian people’s movement has become an orphan. The revolutionary father and the Islamic mother have been disjointed. The Egyptian people in their spontaneity and good nature went to Tahrir Square and nowhere else. In the meantime the military and all its finance and business no-nonsense affiliations are the ones who rule Egypt.
May we ask: where was the parliament since it was elected? Why didn’t the parliament legislate into law procedures that would send the old Mubarak cronies into prison or into exile? The Ikhwan, the Salafis, and other revolutionaries-come-lately did not have their hand on the pulse of their own Egyptian brothers and sisters. They were busy arranging meetings with American officials or Saudi officials, there were even plans for some of them to meet with Israeli officials recently were it not for a leak of that pending encounter.
What do you do now? The answer should be as obvious as the Sun in a cloudless day. An Islamic leader or leadership should counter this military gangsterism by declaring its leadership null and void. An independent Islamic leader(ship) should call on all military non-commissioned personnel to report to their masjids and order the lower ranking officers to report to al-Azhar. The highest ranking military officers and generals should be put on notice that they may join their Egyptian brothers and sisters or leave the country. Otherwise, all of Egypt will — under an Islamic leadership — bring the country to a standstill: no business, no aviation, no transportation, no public services, no vital operations until a functioning and truly representative government emerges from al-Azhar under the guidance of an original and independent Islamic movement.
With this type of military, what does it mean to have an Egyptian president: a figurehead? Or an Egyptian parliament: a showcase? Both of whom may be overrun or overturned by orders from the top brass who themselves report to Washington and to whomever can pay for Egyptian capitulation.
The Ikhwan and their Saudi counterparts, the Salafis, have a “military complex.” They did not learn from their own recent history when they also courted the military back in the early 1950s. And now after more than half a century, and after a year and a half, they are back to square one.
“But then, is he who walks face-to-ground better guided than he who walks composed [and dignified] on a straight course…?” (67:22).