Political Observation - The Popular Dynamism in Egypt

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Political Observation - The Popular Dynamism in Egypt

Egypt has been the scene of several demonstrations and protests calling for the departure of al-Sisi since 20 September. It seems the immediate motive behind this popular dynamism is the government’s decision to demolish people’s homes under the pretext of violating building regulations or being built on either agricultural or state-owned lands. As for the main motives that have piled up since the tyrant and his clique came to power, they include offending the masses’ religion by arresting and severely torturing several preachers, and impertinently demolishing dozens of mosques in recent days, in addition to the wretched economic situation which has become entirely dependent on foreign assistance and support, and the astronomical debt that has mortgaged the faculties and future of Egypt to foreign investment funds and multinationals which have monopolised the gas riches and deprived the people of Egypt of them. Moreover, the masses in Egypt have been enslaved by the brutal secularist capitalist junta, and the military and security forces who have confiscated the basic rights of the people of Egypt, and violated their lives, properties, and honour.

In response to this popular dynamism, the authorities carried out extensive campaigns of arrests among the protesters, especially those who resisted the demolition orders or took to the streets. Meanwhile, several “opposition” forces and personalities hastened to declare their support for this dynamism; a joint communiqué was issued and signed by the National Alliance Supporting Legitimacy, aka The Anti-Coup Alliance, the Muslim Brotherhood, Egyptian Parliament Abroad, in addition to a host of political figures such as Ayman Nour and the contractor Mohammed Ali.

Therefore, the motives for protesting are available now that the masses have reached saturation point. Irrespective of the side standing behind them, fanning the flames of the protests through the contractor Mohmmed Ali, providing him with a platform to address the masses and shedding light on his calls, gives the impression that the protests are a means to vent the resentment of the masses, and as a tester for the resolve of the regime and the level that people’s resentment has reached. What leads to suggesting the likelihood of the aforementioned is that despite America’s need for Abdul Fattah al-Sisi and his regime, she however deals with the rulers and the opposition on the basis of everyone works according to her interests, and survival is for the fittest. However, the US administration’s need for al-Sisi at this stage, the absence of weighty and influential personalities or groups from the dynamism, and the lack of international and regional support, even at media level, except for the customary Aljazeera coverage of the protests against al-Sisi’s regime, makes us conclude the likelihood of the protests being yet another failed attempt to topple the regime if they remained devoid of a united and insightful political leadership with an implementable agenda leading to toppling the regime without delay.

Hence, the issue is no more than a trial balloon for the level of preparedness among the masses to topple the regime and continuing the protests, and for the ability of the regime to contain the angry protests of the masses; consequently, a decision will be taken to either do away with al-Sisi and change the faces, or maintain the regime in power until it exhausts the reasons for its existence.

The tactical withdrawal of the government in respect of demolishing the contravening homes by reducing the fines imposed on the citizens wishing to save their homes, coupled with the retraction of al-Sisi who said the government would “transfer those whose homes are demolished to alternative accommodations” and that “there are those who wish to terrify you and fish in muddy waters”, and who instructed the government to continue paying out 500 EGP to irregular workers for a further three months, all this indicates that the regime is attempting to contain the situation, cordon off the popular dynamism and vent its anger. Yet, al-Sisi in the same breath has terrified the masses and threatened to destroy the country if they rebelled against him saying “if Egyptians revolted, they would destroy and annihilate the country.” He did not fail to mention the Islamic slogans and his determination to confront the attempts to establish the regime on religious grounds; this was designed to warn the masses and religious forces against exploiting the religious emotions of the protesters and intimidate the Copts and secularists by alluding to the notion that the dynamism of the Muslim masses threatened their existence and the interests of the West. In fact, al-Sisi’s message was just a call for help and support.

It seems the US administration is still clinging to the current regime, so that it may complete her regional plans and policies which al-Sisi is executing perfectly, be they the plans related to the Libyan issue and Eastern Mediterranean gas or others. The US administration is attempting to avert the precarious consequences of the collapse of al-Sisi’s regime, especially as its endeavour to impose the Trump deal is now gathering momentum. Hence, introducing the element of “popular resistance” to the dynamism by resorting to stone-throwing, Molotov cocktails and pouring boiling water and oil on the security forces, is a prelude to using excessive force against the protests under the pretext of the violent approach of the protesters; engineering terrorist operations and assassinations could not be ruled out with the aim of reshuffling the pack, demonising the dynamism and justifying its quashing as is the case in police states.

Hence, the escalation is subject to the emergence of signs proving the ability of the opposition to control the situation and mobilise the masses against the regime, as well as persuading the economic, political and media forces supporting al-Sisi to abandon him while reassuring them about their interests with the regime. In other words, the issue is nor more than a trial balloon aimed at gauging the readiness of the masses to topple the regime and continue the protests, and the ability of the regime to contain the angry protests of the masses in which the contractor, Mohammed Ali, was instrumental in fanning the flames. It is worth mentioning that the protests were preceded at the beginning of this month by a hearing organised by the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East, North Africa, and International Terrorism, on Egyptian policies and bilateral relations between the US and Egypt. During the meeting, the Committee heard the testimony of US thinktanks such as Brookings Institute, Carnegie Endowment and Hudson Institute, on the American standpoint towards the Egyptian regime. They launched a scathing attack on Donald Trump’s policy towards Egypt and called for a review of such a policy since they deemed the oppressive approach of Abdul Fattah al-Sisi dangerous to US interests.

In a nutshell, there are no strong indications up until now suggesting that the tyrant Abdul Fattah al-Sisi is about to be ousted based on the imperatives of America in Egypt or even in the entire region, despite the widespread poverty, resentment towards the regime among the masses and the street protests. As for the regime’s current arrangements to confront the forthcoming “Friday of Anger”, such as temporarily suspending the demolitions, reducing the fines and extending the reconciliation period until October, they are designed to soak up the wave of tension and discourage people from taking to the streets. It is worth mentioning in this context that the protests are still confined to the remote governorates and the countryside as the regime has sealed off the squares in Cairo and other major cities which the masses have not descended upon yet.

It is imperative to note that despite the extreme oppression that has been inflicted on a sizable section of the people of Egypt since the tyrant al-Sisi seized power, his excesses in oppressing the masses, impoverishing them, libelling their religion and squandering their rights, has led people to rebel against him, and that the measures the regime has undertaken indicating a somewhat temporary retraction, prove that no matter how tyrannical and oppressive the rulers are, the dynamism of the masses frightens and confuses them, and it may lead them to lose control of the situation. So, would the Ummah realise the extent of her power if she reacted solidly in the face of the tyrants?

However, people should not forget that the armed forces and the security forces are their own children whom the tyrant exploits to crush them. Hence, they should not be dragged into the attempts of the regime to sow animosity between them and their children; and they should not allow the regime to steal from them their main force through which they could seize the reins of power. The forces of society should be well aware of the fact that the Ummah shall not forgive and that she will call to account all those who have perpetrated crimes against her from among the political and military leaderships.

11 Safar 1442h
28 September 2020