Egypt moving further away from the goals of revolution
Egypt is rocking and rolling on the third anniversary of the revolution that resulted in the ouster of military strongman Hosni Mubarak — but not because Egyptians are celebrating the advent of democracy. Rather, Cairo and other population centers are reeling from the bomb blasts that portend a bleak future for the country.
Militant insurgents are taking advantage of the deep divisions that now exist in the country to undermine the government.
The promise of a free, vibrant, democratic Egypt has been broken — perhaps never to be repaired.
The overthrow of Mubarak, whose brutal rule for more than three decades became too much for the people to bear and triggered an 18-day revolt, was hailed by the United States and other Western nations as the beginning of the end of dictatorial rule in the Arab nation. Citizens in other countries in that part of the world also participated in what became known as the “Arab Spring,” but Egypt was the big prize.
Yes, there was a democratically elected government, but the outcome wasn’t what many of the revolutionaries had wanted. Rather than a secular government committed to religious, ethnic and press freedom, Egypt ended up with a government dominated by Islamists loyal to the Muslim Brotherhood.
The new president, Mohammed Morsi, came from the Brotherhood, and it was soon apparent that his version of democracy wasn’t what the hundreds of Egyptians who died or were wounded in the uprising had in mind when they took on Mubarak and his henchmen.
Morsi not only sought to redefine Egypt’s new form of government, but it became clear that Sharia (Islamic) law would hold sway.
The direction the country was moving in caused the secularists and others involved in the citizens revolt three years ago to join forces with anti-Brotherhood groups, including the military.
Army chief Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi was growing in popularity as Morsi’s approval rating was taking a nosedive. Thus, with the support of Egyptians with a common enemy, the Muslim Brotherhood, el-Sissi led a military coup that ousted President Morsi.
An interim government led by Adly Mansour is paving the way for the 59-year-old Army chief, a U.S. trained infantry officer, to lead the country. Presidential elections are expected to take place by the end of April, after which there will be parliamentary elections.
And while the masses are are hailing el-Sissi as the savior who will return stability to Egypt, Islamists are not going away quietly.
Indeed, the bloody crackdown by the military and other security forces of the Muslim Brotherhood, which has been declared a terrorist organization, has simply ignited the passions of Morsi’s supporters.
The militant bombings that are causing widespread death and destruction will continue. The Muslim Brotherhood is not folding, which means a military crackdown similar to the one orchestrated by Mubarak will continue.
The future of the once promising democracy is uncertain. The election of el-Sissi will not result in the warring factions making peace.
It is noteworthy that President Barack Obama did not mention Egypt during his State of the Union address Tuesday. It suggests that the White House sees no role for the United States during these tumultuous times.