Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

The conflict in Egypt | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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There is an ongoing debate in Egypt about the event that took place on the 23rd July 1952.

Was this a popular revolution that achieved the dreams and aspirations of the people, or was it a military coup that led to repression and corruption, and set back both the country and the people?

As usual with analysis and political evaluation in the Arab world, we see a conflict between opposites, describing things as either “white” or “black”, and those responsible as either “angels” or “demons”.

This is a borderline extremist and irrational vision, and it has led the Arab mind to one station, where the train of political thought has not ventured from in more than half a century. Throughout this time, it has remained static and unable to move one step towards a more advanced station of thought. In my opinion, the mobilization of the army on the 23rd July 1952 began with the movement of reserve officers against the British occupying government in the post-WWII environment.

That movement, in its early days, or even in its early years, did not have a social agenda or a real political program, except what was known as the movement’s six goals. Since that date, and until former President Hosni Mubarak left power on the 11th February 2011, Egypt was a presidential republic governed by the military establishment. Perhaps the 45 second statement delivered by General Omar Suleiman – God rest his soul – about the President relinquishing power and transferring authority to the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, was a final attempt to consecrate the concept of the ruling military establishment.

Following the results of the parliamentary elections, during which the tide of political Islam obtained the political majority through the ballot box, the features of the “second republic” were formed, i.e. the republic of political Islam. So, we are faced with an authority that ruled for 60 years and had reached its retirement age, and a new, fledgling authority that wants to expand its ideas and establish its institutions. We are simply facing a conflict between an old regime and a new one.

The crisis lies in the fact that the old regime did not accept its departure, and the new one refuses to have anything to do with the era of the past 60 years! This is the conflict that is now raging, in light of the refusal of each party to agree to a compromise formula leading to positive coexistence between the two, as matters in Egypt lie on the edge of the abyss between the army and the Muslim Brotherhood.

Each party has its power, institutions, ideas, history, symbols and key figures, and considers the other to be a fundamental mistake; a pure evil.

This equation can only lead to one thing: collision. We know this from history but unfortunately no one is paying attention!