No choice between conflicting camps


I have spent my life praying to God that I might be the one to bring people together and not the one who divides them. I have chosen a path of dialogue to avoid clashes and conflicts such as those we have seen in recent days.

These clashes and conflicts are driving the nation to a stalemate and splitting it into two camps fighting each other. Both camps are forgetting the interests of the country, forgetting the importance of protecting national security and the preservation of life. Therefore, my conscience prevents me from choosing sides or taking part in this conflict.

The first camp is often called ‘political forces’, or ‘civil forces’ or ‘liberal forces’(as opposed to the second camp called ‘Islamist’)went to Mohamed Mahmoud Street to commemorate the 2011 clashes in that street. Isn’t one day enough to commemorate the incidents of Mohamed Mahmoud Street? Why attack the security forces? Why attack the police? Why shout slogans rejecting the legitimately elected head of state? How could I join this camp, despite the esteem I have for their leaders and many of the ideas they symbolize?

The second camp, representing Islamist trends, descended into the street and marched to the Supreme Court, demanding the resignation of the Attorney General, despite his reconciliation with the president some time ago.

Now, the President’s decisions, his constitutional declaration and the resolutions issued to soften this declaration, appear to have brought a new legitimacy. One might call it a “revolutionary legitimacy” in the sense that it takes us back to a very old system, one from which many of those in power today suffered harshly. However, it is far from true revolutionary legitimacy and judgment.

These changes will cripple the enforcement of the constitution as well as the workings of the judicial body. They will, instead, increase the spirit of revenge in our society at a time when we have great need for national reconciliation, a need to sow the seeds of cooperation between our different communities.

Islamists tend, with their extremist and violent views, to accuse liberals of being atheists, although most of them practice their religions’ rituals and show faith in their heart, without being part of any religious movement. I remind those who were my companions in the Muslim Brotherhood for five years in my youth, that in Turkey, in spite of the fact that this country is led by the Islamist party, there is not an institution or a square without a statue of Mostafa Kamal Ataturk, founder of the Republic of Turkey and the father of Turkish secularism.

Where are we going? Where are we heading? A question people ask every day and everywhere. People should not have to wait to hear an answer from the wise men of our nation, and specifically from the president, to allow people some peace by knowing that there is a direction.

We should all take to the streets, not for confrontation, bloodshed and rejection of the other, but in order to protect each other and our ailing economy from collapse.

If a revolution of the hungry and deprived were to take place it would lead to non-political chaos. The upshot might well be the destruction of everyone and everything, because the language of hunger and deprivation is not logical and merciful but rather one of random revenge. Who among us could accept to lose his homeland and see her future destroyed by political ambitions and desperate conflict?

translated Al Ahram

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