EGYPT: A REVOLUTION COMPLETED OR A THROWBACK?
Egypt and Israel are two nations that facinate most creative writers and even observers of international affairs because of a variety of cogent and verifiable reasons. Israel is the homeland of the Jews who were mostly persecuted and were indeed almost annihilated during the Second World War in the early 1940's because of the ambition of one demonic mind-Adolphus Hitler who dreamt of establishing a World Order where freedom, justice, equity and respect for the fundamental human rights would be subjugated, suppressed and oppressed and the rule of the brutes, dictators and absolute tyrants would become the order of the day. Luckily for humanity, the civilized World rose in unison and dramatically defeated General Hitler of the then Eastern Germany.
Egypt is known as the cradle of ancient civilization and for most practicing Christians, Egypt holds a special place in their hearts and minds because it was there that the little Jesus Christ, in his human form was taken by his Biblical Parents Joseph the worker and Virgin Mary, to shield him from imminent danger of death by the absolute monarch- King Herod who was frightened at the prospect of losing his authorities to the coming peoples' Messiah. Egypt is one place that most people in most parts of the World would ordinarily grow up to know in their formative educational years because of the many historical facts associated with that nation. I, for one would remember Egypt as one of the earliest places I ever learnt about and attached so much importance in history as a Child.
Since the formation of modern State of Israel in 1948 and up until the late 1970's, the two neighbors -Egypt and Israel fought several wars over disagreements bordering on ownership rights over the River Niles and other adjourning border towns. The Egyptian administration are also known to have deep sympathy to the Palestinian Cause over the true owner of the most historically significant segments of Jerusalem. But the sporadic wars came to an end with a truce agreement entered into by the political and military leadership of both nations in 1978. The venue of this solemn peace accord was Camp David. Camp David is the Country retreat of the President of the United State of America and his guests. Located in Low wooded hills about 100 kilometers [62m1] North-NorthWest of Washington DC on the property of Catoctin Mountain Park in uninvcorporated Fredrick County, Maryland, near Thurmount,, according to the writers of the wikipedia, the free online encyclopedia. The natural beauty and scenery of this Camp David is underscored by the pristine fact that it is located at an elevation of approximately 560 meters [1,840 feets].
Camp David in officialdom, in the United States of America, the World's Super-power, is known as Naval Support facility Thurmount, and is technically a military installation, staffing is primarily provided by the United States Navy and the United States Marine Corps. America is a strong ally of the Israeli people and also maintains strong presence in Egypt which is a strategic segment of the Arab World because Egypt has the largest population of Arabs in the World. The symbolic importance of Egypt made it necessary for an American University to be built in Egypt which incidentally is the institution whereby the Wife of the deposed Egyptian strongman Mr. Hosni Mubarak [a retired Air Force General and the longest President of Egypt] Mrs. Suzzane, [a half United Kingdom citizen by virtue of a Welsh mother] attended. Suzzanne obtained both her first degree and post-graduate degree from the American University and the two sons of former President Mubarak also spent time at the American University.
What I am driving at by mentioning the presence of the American University in Cairo, Egypt is to demonstrate the close affinity and diplomatic friendship of the United States and Egypt traditionally and by extension, the Government of the United States of America will be at the forefront of Global governments that would support continuous peace between the two nations of Egypt and Israel. President Barrack Obama, the first ever Black American President in the United States of America visited Egypt as part of the series of foreign trips to Islamic Arab Countries and nations considered Islamic in an effort to bridge the gap between the Unietd Sates of America and the Moslem World following the perception that the war on terror launched by President George Bush following the Septemtber 2001 terrorist attack of the United States was targeted at the Moslems. So the earliest foreign trip
But a big historical event happened on Sunday June 24th 2012 when the much awaited results from the re-run poll of the Presidential election was declared and the candidate of the Freedom and Justice party, the political wing of the formerly banned Moslem Brotherhood- Mohammed Morsi won by a slight margin thereby defeating the candidate that is closely affiliated with the military and the last Prime Minister under the popularly dethroned regime of Mr. Hosni Mubarak, Mr. Ahmed Shafik who retired as a military General. The general mood among the establishment in the state of Israel is that of 'wait -and- see' because of the earlier commitment made by the President -elect of Egypt of the Moslem Brotherhood in which he promised not to tamper with the existing peace accord with the state of Israel.
Moreover, before the declaration of the results of the Presidential re-run poll, the powerful military hierarchy in Egypt succeeded in thwarting the powers of the now elected President by getting the highest court in the land- the constitutional court to invalidate the newly inaugurated Egyptian parliament made up mostly of parliamentarians affiliated to the Moslem Brotherhood and the nation has no valid constitution thereby making it possible for the military to manipulate the tenure of the now elected President. The Egyptian military did not stop at making sure that whomsoever emerged on Sunday June 24th 2012 did not only transmute into a sitting dock toothless President with little or no executive powers, but they also got two extra-constitutional decrees passed which grants them the total powers over foreign and defence affairs of Egypt meaning that though the elected civilian President of Egypt would preside over as the Chairman of the National Defence Council made up largely of several serving military Generals but the President does not have any commanding power or influence. The President of Egypt under the new arrangement will not have the unilateral power of revoking the Camp David peace accord with the State of Israel.
I believe by so doing the American interest has being comfortably addressed and protected since the Egyptian military which controls several commercial ventures in Egypt includng Tourism sector also enjoys unfettered access to several billions of United States Dollars of foreign technical assistance from the Government of the United States, would not ordinarily encourage any decision by the incoming administration in Egypt to roll out and implement any anti-American foreign policy and since the American interest seems inter-twined with the Israeli interest because of their long standing affinity, it stands to reason that for the forseeable future, the Camp David accord between Egypt and Israel may remain sacrosanct.
The concern of this writer with the emergence of the first Islamist elected leader in the entire Arab World in the person of the Moslem Brotherhood produced President -elect of Egypt- Mohammed Morsi, is whether the fundamental human/civil rights of minorities like Christians and Women of Egypt would be respected because looking at how these segments of the society are reduced into the ranks of second or even third class citizens in Islamist Theocratic and/or Monarchical regimes in the rest of the Arab World including Iran, one would be left wondering whether these new big boys of Egypt will not throw the hands of the clock back by several decades by establishing a dicatorship that would subjugate the rights of Women and minorities in the affairs of Egpt. The rights of women to property rights and other sexual rights must be protected.
A friend who recently returned from Iran told me a story of how the Iranian Women are refused some basic rights which are freely given to their men counterparts like participation in sporting activities and even participating actively in partisan politics. It was not long ago that Women were allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia. With such basic rights like prohibition of Female genital Mutilation, prohibition of early or child marriage and the absolute prohibition of other serious sexual abuses of women that were in place during the Hosni Mubarak regime, it is feared that the coming of the Moslem Brotherhood on the political stage may demolish all these basic rights of women and even the right to freedom of worship enjoyed for ages under the Mubarak administraion by the Christian minorities.
It is noteworthy to remark here that people are already expressing fears that the new regime in Egypt may remove some of these fundamental human rights that are universally accepted as human rights for all humanity. Happily, Mohammed Morsi, who graduated with a prestigious doctorate degree in Engineering from one of the best Universities in the United States of American and has two daughters born in the United States with United States citizenship, has already assured the frightened observers around the World that his Government would respect the fundamental human rights of all persons including minorites and women. The World is watching to see whether the popular revolution which deposed the former dictator Hosni Mubarak has been further consolidated with the emergenece of the first ever elected head of state in the Arab World or whether this is an unfortunate throwback to the primitive era whereby the rights of women and minorities would be abused with ignominy. Mohammed Morsi, the newly elected President of Egypt told Chirtien Amomphor of the Cable Network News of the Unietd States of America that there is nothing like Islamic democracy but one universally recognized democracy which recognizes all the fundamental rights of all human beings as sacrosanct. It is hoped that the new President will respect this solemn social contract with the people of Egypt.
But again, the fact that the winner of the hotly contested Presidential election in Egypt won with a very slim margin[Mohammed Morsi won with 13,230,131 to defeat Ahmed Shafik who scored 12, 347,380] shows how divided the Egyptian society is and it is left for the new Government to begin a transparent national process of reconciliation to bridge the gap between the supporters of the elected President and those of the other critical segments of the Egyptian society like the Secularists, the free thinkers, Women and religious minorities. Egypt can not afford to retrogress because of the historical imporatance of that nation to almost all members of the human race and because of the singular fact that it was the bastion of ancient civilization. It is expected that the leadership will separate religion from politics and allow the basic fundamental freedoms to grow in view of the fact that the name of the political party that produced Mohammed Morsi is called Freedom and Justice party. Although it is yet to be known for how long Dr. Morsi will last as the President of Egypt because for now there is no constitution and the Military is expected to play a dominant role in the writing of the new constitution for Egypt following the annulment of the National Parliament, most people around the World and especially in Africa and the Arab World expect thet the rights of all persons must and should be protected and guarded jelously because Africa and the Arab World can not afford to have another nation like Iran or Syria under the current President Assad's murderous dicatatorship who are unleashing divergent violence and muzzling of opposition voices in their respective countries.
As I watched the international television live program whereby the Chairman of the Presidential Election Commission Justice Farouk Sultan announced the victory of the Moslem brotherhood, I saw a joyous crowds of people in Tariq Square in Cairo- Egypt who jubilated and also wished that the revolution which they started last year will not after all turn out as a big fluke. Revolution by the people should restore popular democracy whereby zero-tolerance to corruption and dictatorship would become the order of the day. That is my wish for the people of Egypt but the rights of all persons must be respected as sacrosanct and inviolable.
Written By Emmanuel Onwubiko