What I hear in Giza : the Giza governorate building was evacuated by police a mere half an hour before being burnt, and thugs working with the security forces are the ones who did it… just like they are the ones burning churches while the Security forces stand by doing nothing, the Imams and Brotherhood leaders having called their masses to their protection (confirmed here http://www.middleeastmonitor.com/news/africa/6969-church-vicar-in-al-minya-the-baltigya-thugs-burnt-the-churches). I also heard stories of a police officer killed because he refused to order fire on the protesters. Sure, all of this benefits none but the regime who does its best to depict and turn the Brotherhood into terrorists, just as Israel does for the Palestinians as Fisk’s excellent articles put it (http://www.independent.co.uk/biography/robert-fisk). And though one could argue that the MB supporters are in no state to think and act rationally, we should always wonder whom does the crime benefit. No proofs are displayed in all the accusations thrown at the MB, and they are given no chance to speak up for themselves. How convenient.
Friday, the subway was functioning but not in every station – the Tahrir and Giza station were closed, as must have been all “sensible” ones. Next to the Cairo University where the Nahda sit-in was, I was stopped as I walked by a kind of check point, asked to show my ID and as it turned to be a French passport, I was taken into a police station, frisked and interrogated by police who wanted to make sure I wasn’t participating in demonstrations – they asked me if I had a Facebook page and checked my cell phone for pictures or videos (there were none). Their office was full of men in civilian clothes, armed as if going to war. They told me to go home fast as violence and gunshots would start soon – it was just before the Friday prayer. I marched past hundreds of demonstrators in Giza after the prayers, and of course I saw no weapons at all – not even sticks.
Just a day before the crackdown on Rabi’a al ‘adawiya, a local friend of mine was invited there by a person living there he had met at the pyramids, and who wanted to show him that all what was said about the residents complaining against the demonstrators was a lie, that most people living there supported them and said their protest was rightful.
It is incredible that except a few TV channels devoted to demonizing the Brotherhood day and night, you see nothing but movies, music, emissions as if nothing was happening. Many don’t trust them at all anyway, and try to catch Al Jazeera and other channels that are regularly scrambled and decrypted again and again.
I was really shocked by the titles in the press, Goebbels’ inspired… (“Muslim Brothers hate Egypt”, etc.) as if the MB was doing all the killings and the deaths were mostly from police and civilians opposed to them. It’s an apology of crimes. Some just don’t realize (or don’t care) that the Brotherhood and their supporters are hundreds of thousands of Egyptians, who are supposed to live in this country, and that they are human beings, even though one has much ground to oppose the MB ideology and actions and even despise them… as politicians. But now a great many side with them while they used to oppose them before, just as I do. Being against the coup is much wider than belonging to or supporting the MB, though the media and government do great efforts to ignore it and put it in a manichean way. But even in a popular area like the Pyramids, some would go for the official story and only blame the MB for everything that is happening – not a surprise given the outrageous bias of the media, only one tune being allowed to air. The surprise is that the majority would still be against Sisi and wants him judged and condemned for his crimes – I heard of the ICC in the streets before reading about it online.
Ever since the coup, I was waiting to see Bassem Youssef’s Friday show Al Barnamag on CBC – the most famous TV satirist here, who used to ridicule the MB and Morsi all the time, accusing them of being against pluralism, against freedom of speech, tyrants and their masses even would-be murderers, etc. (at some point an Islamist lawyer filed a lawsuit against him, trying to ban his show, in vain as the court rejected the complaint, but Bassem Youssef became a symbol of free speech, and in one of the last shows Jon Stewart came to praise him for that). But he didn’t show up in his TV show so far, and I expect he’ll turn out just like all the so-called liberal elite here, a hypocrit of epic proportions – he supported the coup. Some articles of his, playing a Baradei tune, published in Al Shourouq and translated from Arabic : http://english.alarabiya.net/authors/Bassem-Youssef.html. See especially the outrageous « What if Mursi was still President », a pure Israeli rhetoric justifying actual crimes meant to prevent hypothetic ones. But still, his voice is amongst the most moderate ones, and at least his conscience does seem to struggle – though with little success so far. Even El Baradei, corrupted as he is, is now torn up as a coward and traitor by his former allies. It is really an era of pure madness where the most basic truths, facts and principles cannot be spoken while the most indecent lies are shouted everywhere.
When I read about El Baradei calling indirectly for census suffrage (http://normanfinkelstein.com/2013/literacy-tests-from-the-jim-crow-south-to-liberal-egypt/), reserved for a Westernized elite (funny that many of these “illiterate” locals despise him and mock him for not even speaking proper Arabic – just like Saad Hariri in Lebanon), I thought of the word of Pericles – no doubt the literate and Western-educated opportunist he is would know who this Greek statesman and orator was :”Though not every man is capable of conceiving a realistic political project, all men are able to assess it.” But of course the only democracy those so-called liberals advocate is the one that allows them to sit on the chair.
I wouldn’t ever compare the MB with the Commune of Paris, but there is something common in the visceral hatred and the most severe repression they both faced, meant to teach them a lesson and crush them for decades – and maybe also to compensate this abominable fear in the dominating elites, that some people would think themselves equal to them and worthy of exercising power, with no more excesses than their predecessors or opponents but taking away some of their privileges (which is the real unforgivable crime). Only one caste is allowed to rule – and oppress – Egypt.
I collected some of the front pages titles of some of the newspapers of the last 3 days.
PRESS FRONT PAGES (only some of the front page’s main titles)
August, 17, 2013
Al Shourouq : Friday of weapons, blood and fire
The people is reluctant to face a scenario of chaos
A journalist of the Shourouq was witness to all the events of the break up of Rabi3a [al 3adawiya] : Security forces opened fire in response to the death of 4 of them killed by snipers at 7.30
Molotov cocktails put fire to the Rabi3a mosque… And the tents bodies and gas helped to the ignition
Military source : the army will not hesitate to open fire on any terrorist elements
Al Ahram al masa’i : Egypt under the shelling of Terrorism of the Brotherhood : Armed Militias of the Organisation turn Cairo and the Provinces into streets war with the participation of foreign elements
A fierce gun battle in the middle of the capital in a failed attempt to break into the Azbekiya police station
Fires lighted on private shops on Ramses Street… And Government Buildings on Fayoum, Ismailiya, Minya and Alexandria
The armed elements fires bullets randomly on the citizens on many places
Tens killed and hundreds wounded and burning of private and government buildings, outcome of the day of MB Terrorism
The parties call for a national lineup against the terrorism of the Organisation and to expose it publicly
The Council of Religious Scholars designs the Brotherhood as « The Group of Apostates »… And condemns the acts of killing and burning they perpetrate
Al masry al yawm : Militias of the Brotherhood run wild on the streets : The Terrorists open fire on the citizens and raise Al Qaeda flags on the squares
Al Watan : Egypt is prey to the fires of the « Armed Brotherhood » (with pictures of armed men depicted as Muslim Brotherhood)
The West gives the signal… And the « Organisation » carry out
The Terrorists carry automatic weapons in public and open fire randomly on streets and attack the forums… And 11 Brotherhood leaders are captured
Tens of martyrs and injured by the bullets of the « Brotherhood » on the Provinces… And the people protects the churches
Peacefulness of the Brotherhood : Dragging and killing of a taxi driver who refused to block the Corniche at Alexandria
Akhbar al yawm : Egypt burned by the fires of the Brotherhood
The Free Zone seeks to cancel the authorisations of Al Jazeera Channel
Al Tahrir : Terrorism of the Brotherhood on the Friday of Killings :
– Organized attacks on police stations and churches
– Lighting of fires on Ramses square
– Burning of 6 Courts in the Provinces
Armed marches in Support of the Organisation… And masked men open fire on the people from the top of 15 May and 6 October Bridges
The Brothers kill the deputy of Mata police station in Minya and smash his head with rocks
Attack of Brotherhood on the House of al Azhar Cheikh in Louxor… And the people confronts the criminals
The Fires of the Organisation burn the Provinces
Alexandria : A Brotherhood march opens fire randomly on citizens… Tens of dead and wounded
East : Elements of the Brotherhood open fire at a car of the Security forces and injure an officer and 19 soldiers
Fayoum : 13 dead in combats between Brotherhood and Security forces
Dumyat : 8 killed by Brotherhood and attack on a bank
Along with many pictures of armed demonstrators, mobs, burning buildings and cars, the Saudi King…
August, 16, 2013
Al Ahram al masa’i : The Brotherhood Militias deploy the « Scorched Earth » scenario
The Government unveils a criminal plan of the Brotherhood to burn police stations and hospitals to strike the pillars of the state
Religious scholars : What the Brotherhood does is Terrorism…And Human Rights Activists warn against civil war… And the Organisation are preparing for « a day of anger »
Al masry al yawm : Brotherhood Militias destroy people’s properties
TheBrotherhood attacks Governorate and police station buildings and threatens to escalate today
Death toll of the Kerdasa massacre raised at 11
The Battle for the Future : The State or The Organisation
Al Watan : The Brotherhood : Today is « Friday of Killings »
The Organisation spills the blood of the army and the police… and targets prisons, churches and the Maspero after burning the Giza governorate building. Interior : we will reply with live bullets
Al Jumhuriyya : The Brotherhood raises the slogan « Scorched earth »… They burned the Al rabi3a mosque before leaving… and also burned the governorate building of Giza
Al Akhbar : The Guide and his Organisation burn the Mosques and churches
The tears of the Egyptians in their farewell to the police martyrs
Al Tahrir : The Brotherhood hates Egypt
Politicians and Lawyers : The Brotherhood is a terrorist group that should be banned and their party forbidden from participation in politics
Al Destour : Tribute to the heroic martyrs from the police and all the martyrs whose blood was spilled for the sake of Egypt
The Brotherhood plans to burn Egypt
Al Wafd : Brotherhood Criminals
The Kerdasa massacre : testimony of the bloody ideology of the Organisation
August, 15, 2013
Al masry al yawm : The Battle for Fate : The State or The Organisation
Al Ahram : Clearing of the sit-in… And the Brotherhood burned it
Al Akhbar : The Organisation scatters… and burns the churches, schools, police stations, courts and private and public properties
43 martyrs fall from the ranks of the police shot by Brotherhood snipers
Al Watan : The Brotherhood burns Egypt
The Militias of the Organisation attacks the police stations and burns 16 churches… The Presidency declares State of Emergency for One Month… Baradei quits
The peacefulness of the Brotherhood : automatic weapons, submachine guns and Israeli-made sniper guns and 2000 molotov cocktails
The State : the blood is the Brotherhood’s responsibility