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ANALYSIS – Anyone in doubt that Egypt’s military conducted a coup to overthrow that country’s first ever democratically elected Prime Minister only needs to look at today’s farce of a court judgement to realise they are either deluded or have spent too much time on the PlayStation. Hosni Mubarak the brutal dictator of decades standing who made Saddam Hussein and Assad’s father look like prep school principals has been cleared of all charges relating to the murder of demonstrators in Tahrir Square in 2011, protesters who were only asking for the kind of rights citizens in America and Europe enjoy.
But that was too much for the military and the people who have flourished under their inept and corrupt regime – it was also sadly too much for the US who preaches the need for democracy in the world as long as its the type enjoyed in Turkey, Colombia, South Korea and Japan. Under the Muslim Brotherhood Egypt was taking its first steps towards the modern world, the Islamist party understood that theirs was a transitory time for other political parties would emerge to take their place for that is the nature of democracies. All they wanted to ensure, like they have always wanted to ensure, was that change occurred within the framework of its Islamic heritage – that the eventual secular future would be the outcome of Egypt’s Muslim identity.
But the military perhaps at the behest of the US launched its crackdown that killed thousands and imprisoned thousands more. Egypt was seen by many as the birthplace of the Arab Spring, despite it starting in Tunisia, and so it is symbolically from here that the West has launched its crackdown on political Islam in the Middle East and North Africa.
Nothing to answer for? This was Mubarak’s response to protests in 2011Israel’s assaults in Gaza to break Hamas are part of a process that John Prescott described as an attempt to de-islamify the Middle East and North Africa. Within this context the so called Islamic state can be seen for what they are – Islamists created by the West as useful tools in their ‘crusade’ to relegate Islam to the private sphere in the way its practised in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States. In every way Islamic state represent everything that the West believes Islam to be, they follow the teachings of Mahound, not the noble Prophet. But they are useful because they will get in the way of Hamas, Hezbollah and the Muslim Brotherhood. And their gruesome actions also justify Western military intervention in the Middle East.
Of course, there are still many who fight for a democratic future in the Middle East, but until the West led by the US understands that those people have rights too, and that it may even be in their interest to allow a free and independent Middle East and North Africa to flourish the current state of affairs will remain – a downward spiral where questions are raised about the Arab mind and why it resorts to violence at home and to terrorism abroad.
Violence in Iraq has spiked in recent months with sectarian killings between Sunnis and Shias reported to be fueling the trouble which has seen attention refocusing on that rebellious province that is Falluja. Another factor that analysts say has contributed to the almost daily reports of bloodshed in Baghdad, is the spillover from the conflict in Syria, where rebels are plotting the creation of the greater emirate of Iraq and Syria.
And of course there’s Libya, where the deputy prime minister was recently shot dead in his hometown of Sirte, where Colonel Gaddafi was executed. And where there’s little central government to speak of outside the immediate circle that is Tripoli.
By cracking open these countries, Nato led by the US has opened up a Pandora’s box of rivalries and grievances that can’t be explained away by simple paradigms such as Sunni-Shia.
Iraq, Libya and Syria were lawless restive former Ottoman provinces which were united under a flag by a ruthless military that in the case of Iraq and Syria were adherents of the Baathist doctrine and in the case of Libya a form of socialism.
Now, that they are gone – almost in the case of Syria where the rebels are reported to be fighting with each other – and with a power vacuum waiting to be filled, someone is going to step into the breach.
A flavour of who and what kind of regimes could be in place can be gauged by the recent announcement by Egyptian General Sisi that he will run for the President.
Egypt’s military had of course overthrown a democratically elected government.
And now after a brief experiment with freedom and democracy in the wake of the Arab Spring the nation of Egypt was returning to type – authoritarian tyrannies claiming to be friendly dictatorships.
Something similar is awaiting the Peoples of Iraq, Libya and Syria.
With the army’s ‘sort it out’ deadline approaching, the democratically elected government of Mohammed Morsi remains defiant.
The Muslim Brotherhood did after all win elections for the presidency and the prime minster’s office, with turn out high.
That was history – the first time Egypt had ever allowed its people choose who leads their nation.
And yet a year on, some people are trying to bring it to an end.
This is not the birth pangs of a new democracy in Egypt, but rather an attempt by a mob to overthrow a ruler chosen by the majority of people.
As a result, those of the street will set back a process that had only just begun, a process that was taking this third world country into the modern age.
At best, Egypt will become another Tunisia or Algeria, with weak governments who answer to the military.
Perhaps, the best indicator of who is behind the scenes we are witnessing on television comes from the demeanor of the fallen dictator, Hosni Mubarak.
At his trial, he lay in bed, a man said to be dying.
At his retrial, he seemed to have miraculously recovered.
In fact, he seemed to know something that the rest of us didn’t.
Perhaps that it’s still the country’s military that rule the roost and that they were finding allies quickly.
Those who believe that the hated dictator never left may well be right.
In 1992, the Algerian military fearing the establishment of an Islamist government canceled the country’s elections. The Military also banned the group that had won the first two rounds of the democratic process, namely the Front Islamique du Salut.
As a result, the country was plunged into civil war that resulted in the deaths of some 100, 000 people.
Already, there are echoes of that bloody conflict in the chaos that is becoming known as Egypt.
This time, the Islamist government of Mohamed Morsi was allowed to the win the country’s elections. However, a year into his Presidency and there are already crowds demanding that he leave.
If the crowds at Tahrir Square don’t get their way, there are some predicting that there will be violence.
If the government of Mohamed Morsi is not allowed to serve its full term, then that will be to the detriment of the democracy in Egypt, the laboratory from where the Arab Spring was created.
And it will also send a signal to the young in the Arab world, many of whom support Islamist movements, that democracy, the greatest political idea invented by man, is a sham.
When Gamal Abdel-Nasser seized power of Egypt through an army coup, he immediately threw the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, Hassan al Banna into a concentration camp.
It did not matter that the Brotherhood had backed his struggle, he just did not want to see Islam playing a role in governing his people.
So, he is probably turning in his grave as crowds in Tahrer Square and elsewhere greet Mohammed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood as the country’s first ever democratically elected President.
Sunday’s momentous declaration has of course to be treated with caution.
Egypt’s army has seized on a court ruling to curtail the outcome of parliamentary elections that had given the Muslim Brotherhood the majority share of the vote.
Of course, the whole system was designed by Hosni Mubarak to ensure that the Muslim Brotherhood would never rule.
So, getting as far as they have is incredible.
Those who say that the ‘Arab’ Spring did not have this outcome in mind, may be right.
Yes, this is a vote for reactionaries, and yes it would be great to see a truly secular party born of the Islamic tradition being elected into both seats of power.
However, this result is also a consequence of the actions of Nasser, Sadat and Mubarak, all of whom were of course strong figures backed by a ruthless military. the very military that is now showing no sign of allowing the country’s first democratically elected President any room to rule.
And until that happens, the dreams and ambitions of the protesters will never be realised.
Sixteen months after the uprising in Cairo’s Tahrir Square that ousted Hosni Mubarak, Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohammed Mursi is elected President of Egypt. He beat his rival former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq by almost a million votes.
The Higher Presidential Election Commission said Mursi had won 51.73% of the vote, to beat Shafiq, The head of the panel of judges, Farouq Sultan, said it had upheld some of the 466 complaints by the candidates, but that the election result still stood.
Mursi, an American educated University Professor, will be President for four years in the Arab World’s most populous Muslim country. His powers as President are restricted though, after the military supended parliament where elections had awarded the Muslim Brotherhood 47 percent of votes cast.