Banned of Brothers: why Morsi’s fall is good for Egypt

by Anonymous

Editorial Note: This article has been written by a King’s student whose family are from the Coptic Christian community. As the writer has relatives who are living in Egypt, they have asked that this article be published anonymously.

Morsi’s fall offers a new chance for peace in Egypt.

 

When I heard the results of the 2012 election, the election for which millions of Egyptians risked their lives, I held my head in my hands. Of course I still hoped for the best, but I could only expect the worst. As terrible as the situation that I envisioned was, it still did not prepare me for the horrors that descended upon Egypt.

To the outside world, the Brotherhood seems to have come out of obscurity into power. Though the Freedom and Justice Party which represented them during the election was only founded in 2011, the Brotherhood itself has been present for decades, with a history steeped in radicalism and murder. Their leader from 1996-2002, Mustafa Mashhur, wrote a book entitled “Jihad is the Way”; the book listed their goals and ambitions, at the core of which is Jihad and the desire to die for Allah. Mashhur also calls for physical violence in order to spread their own toxic brand of Islam all over the world.

What is striking about the Muslim Brotherhood is their ability to organise themselves, a skill that proved invaluable after the deposition of Mubarak. When the elections took place, the main contenders were Mohammed Morsi and the former prime minister of the Mubarak presidency, Ahmed Shafik.

After the election, many concerns were raised about Mohammed Morsi’s leadership. His decision to dissolve the judicial system, the introduction of sweeping powers, failures in the economy – everything pointed in the wrong direction. Most shocking of all were the organisation’s ties with Islamist militant groups in the Sinai, particularly Hamas. Large groups of both factions were deeply dissatisfied with this move away from peaceful and spiritual Islam into alarming extremism and co-operation with violent groups.

On the 30thof June, on the anniversary of Morsi’s inauguration, millions of Egyptians assembled with amazing courage and bravery, protesting against the atrocities of the government. The majority of Muslims and Christians in the country were tired of the oppressive government and its consistent failures.

A critical facet of keeping the peace in Egypt is the relationship between the two main religious groups in the country, the Christians and the Muslims. As a whole the groups are very understanding of each other and are happy to work and socialise with one another.

Although they are a relatively small group, the Brotherhood’s wide ranging response was immediate and terrifying. They persecuted the Christian minorities, blaming them for corrupting Egypt and preventing Islamism. Christians were shot at, churches were torched to the ground and businesses such as pharmacies were destroyed. Even an orphanage set up by my grandfather was demolished because it was set up by a Christian. This was accompanied by the deaths of a number of protesters at the hands of the Brotherhood.

Despite this ruin at the hands of extremists, the Christians remained non-violent, with their leader H.H. Pope Tawadros pleading for peace. Tawadros asked Egyptians via Twitter “to conserve Egyptian blood and ask of every Egyptian to commit to self-restraint”. Grand Imam Al-Tayeb, a leading Sunni cleric, also made a passionate plea for peace and understanding, issuing a statement telling “all those who contribute to bloodshed, this whole world is not worth a single drop of blood spilled through unjust killing.” The Egyptian Army, which is treated with great respect in the country, decided that the only appropriate course of action was to carry out the overwhelming will of the people and force Morsi out of government.

What does the future hold for the country? Egypt has eliminated a common enemy. It is imperative to understand that the army’s move in removing Morsi was not an attempt to seize power for themselves, but rather the use of force so that the government could transfer to safer hands. It is still not clear who will eventually take control of the country. Although this may seem like a sign of further instability, during this period of turmoil the politicians and public alike have learned the importance of secularism in politics. There are strong divides in opinions in the remaining political parties, but what unifies them is their desire for peace and working for solutions to the countries troubles.

As a nation we have the gift of optimism and unity in hard times. Perhaps the only silver lining to be found in the events that took place is that we have seen the Muslim Brotherhood’s true colours. If anything tries to tear us apart in the future, we will be able to stay firm. As it stands, the organisation has been forbidden from “all activities” by the Cairo Court for Urgent Matters, and the leaders of the organisation are awaiting trial for charges of inciting murder and other related offences.

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