Why Egyptians Should Demand an End to Islamist Government
The Muslim Brotherhood, though a strong organization and opposition group, has never had the opportunity to test their capabilities in such a sensitive and significant political position. One of its members has never before become not just the mere president of any insignificant island in the ocean, but the president of the most influential country in the Middle East, the country that shapes the most minds in this region.
Morsi, who got his education the United States, won the Egyptian presidential elections by 51.7% versus the 48.3% achieved by his opponent, Mohamed Shafik, who is considered part of Mubarak’s old regime. But did 51.7% of Egyptians (or of the voters, to be accurate) want Morsi to become the president knowing that he achieved only 24.78% of the votes in the first election round?
Given that the numbers of voters were relatively close in both rounds, and leaving all other factors constant, we are left with around 27% who did not vote for him in the first round.Why did they ultimately vote for him, then?
Some did not want to vote for his only opponent, Shafik, because they considered it a defeat of the revolution, as Shafik used to be part of Mubarak’s regime. Others saw him close in ideology to the other candidate, Abo-El-Fetooh, who did not pass the first round. Whatever the reasons, we cannot ignore the significant percentage who totally believed in him from the beginning; I believe they voted for him for the sake of having an 'Islamist' president, whoever he/she was. (She?? Nope, they would definitely refuse to vote for a female president.)
There was also this Salafi guy named Hazem Abu Ismail who wanted to run for the presidency, but who was denied eligibility by the Presidential Election Commission because his mother was American! Ismail was much much more radically fundamentalist than Morsi. He stated that if elected, he would make it mandatory for women to wear the veil. He also promised to ban the public consumption of alcoholic beverages, and declare a certain dress code for women, including denying them the right to wear a two-piece suit. What is even more ridiculous is that he never mentioned the 27 million Egyptians (constituting 30% of the population) who live under the poverty line.
Why did I mention him now? Because statistics showed that if he hadn’t been denied eligibility, he would have seized 70% of the votes!
What does it mean that Egypt has gone Islamist? More importantly, what does it mean when 70% of the Egyptian population wants an Islamist regime? It simply means appointing a new dictator that if a citizen disagreed with, he will not only be disagreeing with a normal person who happened to be the president but with God’s representative on earth!
I am not speaking out of the blue. The Egyptian constituent assembly has finalized a new constitution and sent it to Morsi to ratify it and call for a public referendum. But on November 22, Morsi issued a declaration purporting to protect the constituent assembly from judicial interference. In other words, he is trying to immunize his actions from any legal challenge. This misuse of power is reminiscent of Europe's dark ages, and all this despite Morsi's decrying the indulgence of the Catholic church!
Think about it: Can an Egyptian citizen speak of gay rights? He/she will be murdered. I am sure the Egyptian fellows who might come across my article will feel a shiver down their spines on reading my previous sentence! And for them I want to ask: What is in it against you if the LGBT community in Egypt spells out their ideology in public? What harms you giving homosexuals the same rights as yours?
Why are there protests against Morsi right now? Isn’t it because he is a liberties’ oppressor? Isn’t it because he is turning Egypt into a theocracy? Why does Islam remain the religion of the state? Why should an Egyptian citizen have one of the three Abrahamic religions on their National IDs? What if he an atheist? What if a Muslim wants to convert? Why should he/she do it through the government?
Isn’t secularism the solution to all this hustle? Isn’t it the solution for the near future civil war?