Egypt: Recycling Old Lies….. Is the Honeymoon Really Over?
by Neveen T C
It appears the honeymoon between the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) and the Islamist political parties in Egypt is over. The Islamists, whether the Liberty and Justice party ( political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood) or the Nour party (the political party representing the hardline Salafi Muslim movement) have enjoyed a close relationship with SCAF for months now. This close relationship saw followers of both movements chanting in Tahrir just weeks ago in honour of Col. Hussein Tantawi, and saluting him. This at a time where the prevailing sentiment toward SCAF amongst Egyptians is one of distrust and anger.
It seems now SCAF and the Islamists are at odds over the writing of the new constitution. In my personal opinion neither party is trustworthy; neither actually cares about anything outside their own gains. The following is an article from the International Edition of CNN titled:
An interesting read, and one of the things that caught my attention was the mention of minorities and especially Copts or Christian Egyptians in speeches by SCAF colonels.
“We will not allow a dictatorship and we do not want to remain in power, but we do want a civil government representing all Egyptians without marginalizing any minorities,” said Lt. Col. Amr Imam, a spokesman for the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, which has run the country since a popular uprising ousted former President Hosni Mubarak in February”
Very rich of the army to care deeply now about the rights of Copts…. where was all this concern and respect for Coptic rights when the council stood by and did nothing while churches were attacked and burnt in 3 separate instances since February? Not one person has yet been punished for these crimes in spite of the fact the attacks were filmed and the perpetrators known by name. Where was SCAF’s concern for Coptic rights when they used armoured vehicles to break into a monastery and destroy its fences?
Most importantly, where was SCAF’s bleeding heart for the Coptic cause when armoured vehicles driven by Egyptian army officers ran over protesters in a peaceful demonstration demanding equal rights for Egyptian Christians and a solution to the increasingly problematic issue of building and renovating churches. Over 20 protesters were killed by army vehicles and live ammunition that day and to this day no one has been held accountable for their murder. To add insult to injury, one of the victims and perhaps the most prominent and well-known name among the victims, Mina Danial, was named on a list of persons accused of inciting the violence of the day!
It is utterly contemptible for SCAF to be using minority rights to win a battle in this manner. They are merely recycling Mubarak’s regime’s methods …. speeches made “for foreign consumption” where they appear as the protector of minorities, when in fact, the regime has always been the one to benefit most from sectarian violence. In the last few months SCAF has escalated its position towards minority rights from being a passive observer to a perpetrator in the Maspero massacre. And the Lt. Colonel speaks to foreign media about the rights of Christians?
As a proud Egyptian, who happens to be Christian, I refuse to be a pawn in this dirty battle for power between SCAF and the Islamist parties. We don’t need to be split up into minorities, we need to stand together and demand our rights as a united people. We don’t need recycled lies and we won’t fall for the same old games. Fight over power all you want, the real power is the power of the people.