Hosni Mubarak is a free man. And here are some facts about what is happening inside Egypt, information you will not hear from the U.S. government. This is Egypt from the insiders.
Here several Mideast experts will disclose the reasons for the turmoil, and what the outcome may be. This is important. Egypt is the largest democratic country in the Mideast that is fundamentally Islamic. Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Syria are facing similar problems. Readers will learn that the struggle is not entirely between two opposing forces within the country; it is far more complicated than it appears.
Marwa Maziad is a columnist at Almasry Alyoum and Specialist of Middle East Media and Politics. Her current research at University of Washington focuses on civil-military relations in Egypt and Turkey.
Ms. Mazaid says that the events of today are a direct relation to the power struggle of the last year. Although the military and the Muslim Brotherhood are supposed to refrain from participating in politics; that is exactly what has occurred.
When Mubarak was ousted, both the military, and the Muslim Brotherhood, (thinly disguised as the ‘Freedom and Justice Party’), became politically opposed forces. She says that forgotten in all this was the public, who believed that, even with the election of Morsi, the struggle would continue.
A revolution, which began in late January, 2010, erupted once again in 2013 as the people perceived its government attempting to create a theocratic state.
Unlike the United States, Egypt’s constitution does not allow for a ‘militia.’ They do not have the right to bear to bear arms. Eventually the people sought the aid of the army to oust a government turning towards dictatorship.
What do the people want? The want to return to the democratic state of the 1920’s. She says the only way this will happen is for the Muslim Brotherhood to accept the ousting of Morsi, and engage in negotiations.
Dr. Sahar Khamis is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Maryland, College Park. She is an expert on Arab and Muslim media and the former of the Head of the Mass Communication Department in Qatar University.
Dr. Khamis said the struggle to topple the 30-year regime of Hosni Mubarak, commonly called the ‘January 25 revolution,’ has now witnessed death and destruction of extraordinary proportions.
She says that many of the protestors demanding the release and return of Morsi are not members of the Muslim Brotherhood. They are ordinary citizens who want to see a return to order in the country.
She fears history which shows the military ‘overstaying’ when it takes control of the country. She believes that the many factions of the country must sit down together and find a way to restore democracy in Egypt.
Mahmood Mamdani is Professor and Director of Makerere Institute of Social Research in Kampala and Herbert Lehman Professor of Government at Columbia University, New York City.
Mr. Mamdani believes that the bloodshed will continue for some time, and that the numbers will be horrendous. He blames the people who once joined the Muslim Brotherhood in 2010 to remove Mubarak, and have now joined with the security forces of the country to keep the MB from being a force in the country.
He says he and others who believed they were witnessing an historic moment in Tahrir Square on June 30th, are very likely to view the Morsi government with a more favorable opinion. The apparent naiveté of the insurgents and their lack of governing experience, may result in a long and violent struggle. Mr. Mamdani says that although under Morsi the Muslim Brotherhood was in power, they were often thwarted by the judicial and security apparatuses in the economy.
“The debate on coup or revolution is now moot. The restoration of the Morsi government is no longer a possibility, if it ever was after June 30. In the weeks and months that follow, new coalitions will have to be forged and new paths charted. Once again, Egypt’s future may depend on how much moral courage and political foresight its inexperienced youthful movement and its hitherto spineless secular intelligentsia can muster to face past mistakes and chart a different course of action,” said Mamdani.
John L Esposito is a professor at Georgetown University and Founding Director of the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding in the Walsh School of Foreign Service.
Mr. Esposito says that the attack by security forces against the supporters of toppled President Morsi, is no more than a ‘barbaric bloodbath.’
He says many of the protesters in Tahrir Square were supporters of Hosni Mubarak, and their agenda was only to oust Morsi.
Esposito says: “Former vice president Mohammed ElBaradei has tarnished his Nobel prize. The interim president, Adly Mansour [has tarnished] his current office just as he did as a Constitutional Court judge.”
He says that ‘democracy has suffered a major setback in Egypt,’ and the military has returned Egypt to an ‘authoritarian’ state. He doubts the same demonstrators who were responsible for the removal of Morsi would stand up and oppose the military who now control the future of Egypt.
Phyllis Bennis is a Fellow of the Institute for Policy Studies.
Ms. Bennis says that the democratic uprising in Tahrir Square on June 30th is a thing of the past. Egypt is under authoritarian control. The question she asks is ‘for how long?’ The country has endured two major changes. First was the overthrow of the U.S. backed dictatorship of Hosni Mubarak, then this year the ousting of democratically elected Mohamed Morsi.
She says that while the Egyptian military continues to receive $1.3 billion yearly from the United States, it pales to the amount of aid from Saudi Arabia and the UAE, who have poured multi-billions of dollars into the country. The United States has little influence in the country or the region.
Bennis praises the outpouring of the people, demanding equality and a representative government. But she believes they are also naïve.
“However naive the democratic anti-Morsi protesters may have been about the possibility of overthrowing an elected leader simply by coming into the streets, as if the military would not ultimately play the decisive role, many of those millions of protesters are not likely to accept permanent military dictatorship unchallenged. Egypt today remains horrifically divided.”
She believes that no matter what the outcome, the Muslim Brotherhood will continue to have an influence in the nation, even if they are forced to go underground.
Adding to the interest in the struggle, today, Monday, August 19, Hosni Mubarak has been acquitted of charges of corruption. He could be a free man today.