Egyptians are Back in Tahrir Square to Block a Counter Revolution

The world still recalls those thousands of Egyptians protesting in Tahrir square at the heart of Cairo in one of the most inspiring scenes of the human quest for freedom and democracy in modern times.

It was wonderful to watch those magical moments where power of the people powerfully came into effect, but for some it was equally worrying as they contemplated on what would come next.

The West has expressed serious concerns about the probability of Islamists rising to power. Those were legitimate concerns, since the threat and fear of Islamists has been the phobia haunting the west since 9/11 – the greatest false flag operations of all time.

And as the thousands of enthusiastic and secular youths were chanting “freedom, democracy and social justice” all over Egypt, other scenarios were being plotted behind closed doors as a counterblow to this uprising.

For decades the Arab countries have been ruled by dictators who never allowed any room for dissent, there was no political parties and no truly functioning civil society. The only place people could freely express their dissatisfaction with the corrupt government and the autocratic rule was the mosque. And that was a grave mistake for that only allowed Muslim clerics – sheikhs – to practice politics.

With the undergoing popular uprisings in the Arab world politics has returned to the place where it originally started off, namely the street.

But Before the Arab spring come to an end, Could we interpret those Arab uprisings as historical moments of enlightenment? Moreover, could we detect any possible signs of attempt to separate the mosque from the state in the Arab world? Or is it the dawn of the political Islam in the Arab world?

Islamization of politics

“Islam is a religion and a way of life; it is a spiritual creed and a daily practice.”

This is how Islam is interpreted and strongly advocated by the Muslim clergy in the Arab/Muslim world. Building on that universal and all inclusive-concept of Islam Muslim fundamentalists and theologians began to espouse the islamization, so to speak, of almost all human worldly activities. So we began to ironically hear of Islamic banks and economy, Islamic wardrobe and costumes especially for females, Islamic medicine and of course and above all the Islamic state.

Failing to discern the difference between a distinct science such as medicine and religion can tell you a lot about the poor mentality behind reconciling the irreconcilable and Painting all life’s landscape with the Islam’s monochrome brush. If this tribal and totally unscientific Islamic medicine could not be entrusted to deal with the arduous task of curing the pathology of modern-day diseases what does that say of the emerging groups of Islamists, who are holding up their signs with long reiterated slogan that says: “Islam is the solution.”

The scenes of those secular young people driving the protests all over the streets of Cairo and other major cities in Egypt have managed to capture the imagination of people all over the world and at the same time gave the impression of a nation crossing the threshold towards a democratic and free civil society.

Those educated and mostly liberal youths who dreamed of a freer and more democratic Egypt and dared to confront the tyranny of a mighty dictatorship never thought they would be paving the way, by ousting Mubarak, for the rise of Islamist groups in the country.

After the thrill of the uprising had gone, after the internet buzz and the TV interviews with the young boys and girls who spent days and nights at Tahrir square had simmered down, after shaking hands with the wounded and paying tribute to those who died in the streets while embracing their dream of a free and proud Egypt and after Tahrir square had been bare and deserted again it was time to say good bye to those glamorous days and those noble aspirations and to get on with the show again.

But now, the youth movement is not the driving force any more on the political stage of Egypt, new powers have emerged and secret deals have been made between the supreme military council (SMC), which is running the show right now as the leadership of the interim government, and the Islamist movements mainly, the Muslim brotherhood and the Salafis.

The counter-revolution

Day by day, the things began to go back to the way it used to be as if the uprising never happened in the first place. Mubarak closest circle of aids and strong officials in the government and the national Democratic Party (NDP) were still on the loose with millions of dollars worth of liquid money and property stolen from the country and unaccounted for. Mubarak himself has not been put on trial yet despite the billions he has stolen and the atrocities he has committed.

The old regime’s loyalists from NDP and the state security apparatus were plotting out a counter revolution trying to bring about the menaces Mubarak had threatened would prevail in case he stepped down namely, chaos and rise of the Muslim extremists to power.

And in Egypt, what could be more chaotic than a secret love affair between a Muslim and a Christian ….!

Thus, on March 5th, began one of the most dreadful scenarios Egypt ever feared to live, namely the sectarian violence between the Christian minority and the Muslims, as one of the small churches in a remote and small village –Sol Atfih- 30 kilometers from Cairo has been demolished by organized gangs of thugs and who deliberately engaged in an abhorrent clash with Christian protesters over a romantic relation between a Christian man and a Muslim girl. This deliberately preplanned incident has been meant to set the Egyptian society on fire and to blow away the revolutionary tide- a game long mastered by the officers of the state security.

And since the chaos scenario was based on the phobia of Islamists taking over in the country, the used to be banned groups of Muslim Brotherhood (MB) and Salafis began to rise, showing unprecedented public appearances emboldened by the post-uprising political freedom that allowed for criminal murderers of the salafis, like the convicted assassins of the late president Sadat, to be interviewed in lengthy TV Talk shows and given the liberty of elaborating on their sick and extreme view of how to judge and even try to eliminate the head of the state whenever proven nonconformist as far as Islam is concerned.

The sectarian strife has been a scenario long anticipated, but what came as a genuine surprise was the leaked information of a secret deal struck between the Muslim Brotherhood and the former vice-president, Omar Soliman, who promised the MB the lift of the ban on the group and a permit to form a political party provided they withdrew from the rallies that were sweeping across the country.

It’s worth mentioning that MB was never the tiding force of the Egyptian uprisings, nevertheless, Mubarak’s regime believed that MB could shift or control its momentum. Knowing that they were deceiving, not only the Mubarak regime but most important the millions of sincere Egyptians in Tahrir square the MB played along with the corrupt regime and agreed to the secret deal. This flagrant act of treason could hardly fit an organization that made its debut as a political party out of moral and religious stance.

In keeping this trend of selectivity bias, the MSC whose head and generals in command have been known for their loyalty to the late regime has appointed a renowned MB member as a chairman of a committee commissioned to make amendments to the previous constitution, thus tailoring the transient constitution according to perspective of the MB and their agenda.

Moreover, the SMC has announced that the next parliamentary elections will take place in six months, hardly enough time for any new liberal forces to get organized and embark on their electoral campaigns or communicate with the people in tens of constituencies, so leaving only the MB and the remnants of the old NDP prepared to reap the electoral rewards.

Aware of the intentions of the counter revolution and watching the uprising being hijacked, the Egyptian secular youths who sparked this historical parade for freedom that inspired their Arab brethren in Jordan, Syria, Bahrain, and Yemen decided it was time they headed once again to Tahrir square in millions to show the military and the Islamists the power of the people who will never give up their right to live in a true and free civil society.

The march to Tahrir square on Friday 1st, April has been called “saving the revolution”. As expected, the square overflowed with sincere Egyptians trying to revive the revolution and put it on track again. They strongly believe their revolution will not be over until Mubarak and his men are put on trial and a whole new constitution that would allow more freedom and democracy while curbing the president’s authorities is passed and voted for.

Will the youth movement, as it is gaining momentum once again, be able to outweigh the alliance of the counter revolution with the Islamists? Could the liberal groups and the secularists’ join forces and face up to the escalating dark front of MB and the Salafis, or is it too late as the mosque and the state have become inseparable in this part the world?

Dr. Ashraf Ezzat is a medical doctor who writes articles about ancient Egyptian history, ancient Near Eastern history, comparative religion, and politics, especially the Arab- Israeli conflict. He can be contacted at: Read other articles by Ashraf, or visit Ashraf's website.