by Laura Stuart
Tuesday, June 26th, 2012
Whilst it is easy to point out the many problems that Egypt is likely to face in the coming months and years, it should not be forgotten that a huge victory has taken place. The people of Egypt for the first time in decades were able to vote for a Presidential candidate and what is more they voted for Islam over secularism.
Mohammed Morsi the new President of Egypt was a prisoner of Mubarak’s government but is now the President of Egypt whilst Mubarak himself is in detention. Read here Dr Morsi’s victory speech.
For myself and I am sure all of those people whom I travelled with on the first Viva Palestina convoy from London to Gaza, just weeks after operation “Cast Lead” in early 2009, such a huge step in Egypt was impossible to imagine. As our humanitarian aid convoy tried to enter Egypt from Libya after driving thousands of miles from London across Europe and North Africa, we were met with unprecedented security at the border. Some of our convoy members were apparently randomly selected and refused entry to Egypt and deported back to Libya with no reason given. The convoy then set out across Northern Egypt with a security/riot police officer posted every 20 metres along the road between the border and the Sinai. We were taken to military hotels and kept as prisoners overnight. We were kept away from any civilian population centres, swept by police escorts down the back roads where no one could see us. We were taken into tents in the desert for food stops and speeches, escorted by rows of Mubarak Youth who were brought into the desert by coach and we endured numerous speeches telling us that the Egyptians had done more for the Palestinians than any other nation. The finale was an attack on us by Baltagia in Al Arish which was orchestrated from the very highest levels as they managed to have all of the electricity in the town cut off so they could attack us in the dark. But this was not the worst experience by far, a year later we return to Gaza and suffered much worse beatings in Al Arish followed by detention and forced deportation after our exit from Gaza. The last time I tried to enter Egypt I was detained and deported at Cairo airport because my name is on the Security Black list – and for what? For being amongst those who took humanitarian aid to Gaza – where was their Islamic love for their besieged brothers and sisters in Gaza? My intention is just to give the reader a small insight of how a police state feels when you are inside it as a “guest”.
But I was only a visitor to Egypt what about those who lived there under the brutal state with it’s horrifying security apparatus? Let us remind ourselves that the Muslim Brotherhood were a banned party for decades and their candidates stood for parliament as independents. Muslim brotherhood members were imprisoned frequently and most especially just at the time where they had to register their intention to stand for election thus making it impossible for them to register.
One of the most shameful aspects of this brutal period of Egypt’s history is the fact that the U.S.A. – the U.K. and Western governments praised Mubarak as a moderate and as a partner in the phony war on terror whilst at the same time using the torture facilities in Egyptian prisons for rendered prisoners on their way to Guantanamo. I for one will never forget or forgive my own government’s complicity in torture and in propping up brutal dictatorships where it suited their agenda. I really hope that Jack Straw and others who allegedly knew of the torture and who “signed off” the papers for rendering prisoners, will be brought to justice.
Despite the obvious reality that Egypt has many struggles ahead, particularly with the U.S. being a major contributor of military aid – which no doubt is their way of buying peace between Egypt and Israel, there is still room for hope that there will be a just and accountable government for the Egyptian people. It has taken years of small steps in Turkey to loosen the grip of the secular military and judiciary over politics, just to reach the stage where there is not a military coup every time the government takes a step the military do not like, there is no doubt that Erdogan has had to walk a very fine line.
One of our British scholars of Islam Sheik Haitham al Haddad has written a beautiful article on the victory in Egypt which I will post below. When I read the article yesterday I was very moved just thinking about how the people of Egypt have been so brutally oppressed but now there really is now a reason to hope. Of course it goes without saying that Egypt’s neighbour Israel is not totally convinced by any promises made to keep peace treaties intact – Israel knows very well that they are hated by all of their neighbours and with good reason. Here a video that they helpfully translated for us on the reality that Muslims are never going to rest until Al Quds is liberated.
The victory for Mohammed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt’s presidential election is a milestone in the history of modern Arab countries. After having been imprisoned by the ex-president Husni Mubarak, one of the most corrupt dictators of the Middle East, he will now replace him as the president. This is not a victory for the Brotherhood or even political Islam, but a victory of truth over falsehood and a manifestation of the real colour of Muslims, whether they are educated, lay people, men, women, young or old.
The victory for Mohammed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt’s presidential election is a milestone in the history of modern Arab countries. After having been imprisoned by the ex-president Husni Mubarak, one of the most corrupt dictators of the Middle East, he will now replace him as the president. This is not a victory for the Brotherhood or even political Islam, but a victory of truth over falsehood and a manifestation of the real colour of Muslims, whether they are educated, lay people, men, women, young or old. Allah says,
“He sends down water (rain) from the sky, and the valleys flow according to their measure, but the flood bears away the foam that mounts up to the surface, and (also) from that (ore) which they heat in the fire in order to make ornaments or utensils, rises a foam like unto it, thus does Allah (by parables) show forth truth and falsehood. Then, as for the foam it passes away as scum upon the banks, while that which is for the good of mankind remains in the earth. Thus Allah sets forth parables.”
“And [mention] when Abraham said, “My Lord, make this a secure city and provide its people with fruits – whoever of them believes in Allah and the Last Day.” [Allah] said: “And whoever disbelieves – I will grant him enjoyment for a little; then I will force him to the punishment of the Fire, and wretched is the destination.”
“And cooperate in righteousness and piety, but do not cooperate in sin and aggression. And fear Allah; indeed, Allah is severe in penalty.”
“Whoever has the Hereafter as his main concern, Allah will fill his heart with a feeling of richness and independence; he will be focused and feel content, and this world will come to him in spite of it. Whoever has this world as his main concern, Allah will cause him to feel constant fear of poverty; he will be distracted and unfocused, and he will have nothing of this world except what was already predestined for him.”
“Allah has promised those who have believed amongst you and performed righteous deeds that He will surely grant them succession [to authority] upon the earth just as He granted it to those before them and that He will surely establish for them [therein] their religion which He has preferred for them and that He will surely substitute for them, after their fear, security, [for] they worship Me, not associating anything with Me. But whoever disbelieves after that – then those are the defiantly disobedient.”