When we examine Egypt’s current image from the presidential palace, Al Etihadia; to the Memorial of the Unknown Soldier in Nasr City; to Tahrir Square and Cairo University, we hear conflicting slogans and obscene expressions never before known in our history. We see violent clashes between rival sects, sometimes escalating to the use of automatic weapons. The result is always the same – a resounding failure to unify at this most critical juncture of our economic, social and political condition.
At the very least we must agree upon a minimum of ways to protect our national interests and security. To allow dissent, continual confrontations, rejection of the other and politics of exclusion to prevail is to destroy the country. Isn’t it counterproductive to raise voices in praise of the country while pushing her into further chaos?
Our common national goals are not controversial. It is undeniable that we must restore security and stability. Without these, the wheel of production cannot spin, unemployment cannot reverse its staggering increase, and we cannot regain our golden age of tourism, a major source of national income in the past.
Let us all firmly unite around the national goal of supporting security and stability to protect the economy and our livelihoods. And let us project a civilized image regardless of our political and ideological differences.
Maintaining a professional relationship between the executive and judiciary authorities is another key priority. Any violation of the legitimacy and independence of the judiciary will affect the ability to protect our citizens’ rights.
The public must be more respectful when dealing with Egypt’s armed forces. Throughout Egypt’s modern history, the army not only carried out its duty in battle, but also played a vital role in building Egypt’s modern industry. And we must not forget how the army protected those demanding freedom and reform during the January 25 Revolution, then patiently tolerated attacks from those who called themselves revolutionaries.
We must also reconsider our judgments of the media and not blame it for all our problems. Some have called for the abolition of private media. This is an extreme measure that would sound the death knell for democracy.
Ultimately, we need real dialogue among the media professionals and owners of the private channels, wise national figures, and legal experts, to search for common ground in order to balance between freedom of expression and a responsible level of restraint that protects society from the abuses and excesses of rhetoric gone wild.
translated from Al-Ahram