Written by Ashraf Ramelah
Inside Egypt a tempest is brewing for Morsi's resignation on his one-year anniversary (June 30)
Egyptians are united once again by the single yearning to rid the country of its corrupting force, Mr. Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood, and, unlike two years ago, actualize the dream of democracy. There is a sense that something very significant is about to happen with both fear and hope intermingled. Revolutionaries, vigilant since January 2011, are today boosted by a motivated Egyptian populace of young, old, urban, rural, religious, atheist, rich, and poor in a fevered pitch toward removing Morsi from office.
A zeal for human rights will lead them to seize this moment and risk everything in order to achieve liberty for Egypt beginning on the one-year anniversary of President Morsi's term next Sunday, June 30th. In anticipation, the Arabic press is filled with frightening predictions. Islamic groups affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) are restless, ready to defend their President and willing to incite bloodshed. Islamists threaten the peaceful Tamarud (rebellion) campaign aimed at Morsi's resignation and point to a ready MB militia.
Once Morsi would step down, the Tamarud hopefuls (15 million petition signers) believe that the high constitutional courts alone will become the interim body to hold and cherish the promise of democracy for Egyptians in handling the nations operations (unlike SCAF upon Mubarak's fall).
Tamarud campaign cites the 1971 Egyptian constitution mandating that an interim court selects a constitutional assembly committee. It will draft a democratic Egyptian constitution replacing the voided Morsi constitution followed by Parliamentary elections and then the Presidential, in that order.
Without political or religious pressure of any sort, without cans of oil or packages of rice as bribes, a petition has been circulating among the public for the past two months by Tamarud chapter leaders and activists which has already received more signatures than Morsi received in votes (13 million) gained by massive fraud. With the use of this simple democratic tool initiating demands by "the people" along with a plan to gather and present it, the Tamarud stands in contrast to Islamist factions using the threat of violence as a scare tactic.
As the Tamarud exerts non-violent pressure on the existing power structure leading up to the day of reckoning, Egyptian state police circulate their intentions to remain absent from the staged protests (a decision not too late to reverse) in favor of guarding police offices, leaving protesters vulnerable to MB militia forces. Think Syria and Libya today.
Ordinary Egyptians, resentful of America's interference in Egypt all along, "thank" the American administration for the anti-democratic MB-backed Morsi administration and cite America's financial, military, and political support of the MB in its climb to power. Egyptians blame America for the "Arab Spring" media campaign as an invention to facilitate MB rise to power in Egypt as well as across the Middle East. They see this moment as no exception.
U.S. Ambassador to Egypt, Anne Patterson, in doing the White House bidding, met with a Muslim terrorist connected to the MB and President Morsi, Kheirat Al-Shater, a former Egyptian presidential candidate turned Vice-El-Morshed (vice-spiritual guide of the MB). The Egyptian Arabic press (Al Masry Al Youm, 6/17/13) applauds sarcastically the Ambassador for her support of the MB. Egyptians condemn her for working outside diplomatic protocol, and accuse the Ambassador of co-opting the natural order of events in Egypt for the upcoming "salvation day" (June 30) to achieve an end actively fostered by the American President. For the people, Anne Patterson is an irritant and much worse.
Copts in Egypt, who suffer endlessly at the hands of Islamists and the MB only to watch the Morsi government receive America's funding, now endure the biggest insult of all from the American Ambassador in her June 17th overture to Coptic Pope Tawadros II. Approaching the Coptic spiritual leader with the intention of diverting Copts from exercising their civil rights (apparently on the pretense of protecting their welfare?) and preventing them from participating on June 30th, Mrs. Patterson in turn received this liberating response by the Pope, "it is the personal freedom of Copts to take part or not in June 30th protests."
What was her motive if not to hold back a block of protesters and reduce opposition numbers in favor of the MB? Or was it to prompt Christian default of their commitment to Muslim-Christian collaborations and aggravate relations? Either way does not bode well for Mrs. Patterson. Imagine how disconcerting for the Coptic leader to receive the Ambassador's attention suddenly now when a deaf ear from America to the pleas of Coptic persecution for so long has been the norm.
Judging from street reaction, the majority of those who voted for the MB Justice and Freedom Party have withdrawn their support. When a burqa-clad Egyptian beats the windshield of the President's limousine with her shoe, it can rightly be assumed that many more citizens are represented by this action. A public spectacle of anger and disrespect (Islam's worst insult) carried out by an Islamic woman who requires her husband's approval for everything automatically indicates her household's position and the opinion of the extended family, which likely means neighborhood sentiment and so forth.
The worried MB monitors their level of popularity fearful that, if and when Morsi falls, their power collapses once and for all. Egyptians planning to topple Morsi understand the desperation of the gang of terrorists surrounding Morsi who with their militia are willing to pull out all the stops to maintain Morsi's presidency tied to their power. The will of the people is complicating their picture for the moment, and they hope not for long. But no one needs to remind the MB that Mubarak lasted only through day eighteen of protests.
Even though America has shown its hand in favor of Morsi and the MB in general, America is still the wild card in the upcoming scenario and pending confrontation. How deep will America dig in to protect the status quo of the "moderate" Muslims in power? The answer really depends upon the degree to which America is invested in an MB takeover of governments in the Middle East region, Egypt being the most powerful.
The Brotherhood's optimal strike would create terror in the hearts of the willful Egyptian people through an orchestrated killing spree in advance of the scheduled protest on June 30th. With the aid of Al-Qaida and Hamas forces, the MB could potentially lead a bloodthirsty crowd from mosques after Friday prayers on June 28th to commit brutalities -- spreading panic and a fatal blow to protest efforts.
The manipulative MB is expert at engineering events to deflect attention from themselves, the guilty party, onto a target of their choice – a technique suited to inflame Muslim-Christian sectarian strife. They would not hesitate to sacrifice government buildings and business offices in the process and sabotage police headquarters and army locations. At the same time they are capable of making false announcements of Morsi's resignation and MB arrests to create confusion through deception.
First, it is important to see MB individuals for who they really are as well as who they are not. The MB members surrounding Morsi and running Egypt are not statesmen. Far to the contrary, most are men of ill-repute -- fugitives from the law, convicts, and escaped or released prisoners – requiring a round-up and return to jail by law enforcement to complete their sentences.
Ideally, Tamarud leaders and activist protesters need to urge honest members of the state police and trusted army personnel to make arrests of high-ranking MB, known terrorists, along with MB militia members of the same background. Egyptian law enforcement must stand side-by-side with the Egyptian military to defend and protect the political will of the Egyptian people crying out for Morsi to go.
If this fails to bring Morsi to his knees, Freedom-fighters must then begin to stage prolonged street protests, peaceful gatherings in civil disobedience mode throughout Egypt, until, and only until, their goal is accomplished – Morsi steps down and the MB flees the country in a life-saving getaway. Egyptian protesters on the front lines of this confrontation face a fascist regime – parasitic, desperate and militant – but behind them stand all of Egypt ready to receive back their beloved country from the grip of the enemies of democracy, freedom and human rights.
Ashraf Ramelah, founder and president of Voice of the Copts, conveys the truth on behalf of Egypt's persecuted Copts. He is a board member of Stop Islamization of Nations