Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

A case of nudity | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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An Egyptian girl, who was one of the supporters of the revolution in Tahrir Square, decided to completely strip off her clothes and post a picture on her personal internet blog, in a revolutionary act of protest against everything she disliked in Egypt, according to her own perceptions. This was in fact an act that caused shock and astonishment everywhere.

The girls is young – 20 years old – and later on she will realize the amount of harm she has done to her life, her image, as well as to her future, especially in a region such as the Arab world.

However, such reckless and crazy conduct is not the only aspect of the “indiscipline” that now prevails in Egyptian public life.

There are other cases of indiscipline, disrespect for customs and boundaries, and a tendency to confuse what is private with what is public. Every day we read and watch wondrous news coming from Egypt, as if the people there are reinventing themselves!

“It seems as if I have just discovered my nation right now, and discovered that we are a large population in a big country, all with diverse backgrounds.” This is how a journalist friend of mine commented on the situation, after various forms of protest recently erupted, with the demonstrators calling for numerous different demands.

The following is a synopsis of two prominent pieces of news occurring in a single day in Egypt:

• A female Egyptian candidate running for parliament, affiliated to the Salafi current, said that an Egyptian woman may not run for the presidential elections, because she would be unqualified and lacking in intellect.

• An Egyptian scholar burst into a concert held by popular singer Hisham Abbas, deciding to put an end to proceedings. He considered himself to be the people’s guardian exercising his “right” of guidance, under the pretext that the act of singing is “haram” [religiously impermissible]. This was his firm and final opinion, which he believed everyone ought to entertain. However, this manner of conduct was highly praised by a spokesperson for the Salafi current, who said “What the scholar did was an individual act, but he is to be thanked for this anyhow.”

This all is happening whilst we are yet to see the results of the forthcoming Egyptian elections and their subsequent impact!

The Muslim Brotherhood is twisting everyone’s arm to force them to hand over the country. Meanwhile, the Egyptian constitution is still the crux of the matter. The Brotherhood members are behaving like revolutionary “thugs”; threatening to stage mass sit-ins and demonstrations, and bring the country to a “halt”, if their voice is not heard and if their opinions about defining the new Egypt are not taken into consideration.

Throughout Egypt there are sectarian disorders, a security breakdown, killings and acts of intimidation. There is also a lack of control in the relationship between the two wings of the Egyptian justice system, as seen in the clashes erupting between lawyers and judges.

There is also unprecedented media chaos, as everyone is talking about whatever they want and whoever they want with impunity, and without legal accountability, under the pretext of freedom of speech.

There is also disorder in the field of sport, with chronic disturbances in sport stadiums.

All these dangerous aspects of disorder in Egyptian society cause greater harm and deeper pain than a single nude picture of a reckless young girl.

Many of those who applauded what happened in Egypt at the beginning of this year and who considered it as a civil, pure and esteemed revolution are now reconsidering it against the backdrop of an entire year of revolutions. Yet, no one has said publicly or explicitly that they misled the public. To be more precise, the problem is not with the revolutionary enthusiasm or misevaluation, as this is something natural when observing such occurrences. Yet, we must not be taken from one situation to another without an acknowledgement that the situation has been misevaluated. Rather, such people wish us to think that they were, are, and will forever be right, without any sense of contradiction.

From the bottom of my heart, I wish salvation for Egypt in all its fields, for it is the Arab centre of gravity. The Arabs will not enjoy peace or prosperity if Egypt is weakened.