A response to the celebrated Egyptian elite "activists'

A group of Egyptian activists and ordinary citizens who are never mentioned in English media coverage

For some reason Middle East Eye decided to interview only a handful of famous activists who are not only known to have very liberal positions, but also are very open about having supported and rallied people in Egypt and abroad for #June30. 

While they have all by a way or another paid a price from their personal freedoms due to the crackdown of the Egyptian military dictatorship on all opponents, they all clearly insist on stating that they "don't regret supporting #June30", a movement recognized as undemocratic, irrational, and catastrophic by all those who care or don't care about the prosperity of Egypt.   

It is shocking and disappointing to see how Middle East Eye is shifting more and more towards giving a platform only to liberal and secular celebrity voices in Egypt, a trend that has been apparent in the majority of western media outlets since protests erupted in Egypt in 2011.

If Middle East Eye is seriously concerned with the Egyptian turmoil they need to do a better job than this. You can hire an Arabic-English translator or try to find more people to interview other than the 10 upper-middle-class Egyptians who supported the coup whom everyone in the world interviews since 2011.

We are writing this blog however because we were delighted to see a wonderfully written response from a commentator on the silly article. The comment breaks down the issue of Egyptian liberal elites contributing to the crisis in Egypt. To our surprise, the comment was by Jim Toth, an anthropologist who studies Egypt, the Arab world, and the wider Islamic community. He has taught at the American University of Cairo and at Northeastern University, and since 2011, has worked at New York University in Abu Dhabi. He is the author of Rural Labor Movements in Egypt and Their Impact in the State, 1961-1992. 

Here is a link to the Middle East Eye article:

Here is Jim Toth's brilliant response:

Abdel Fatah and her friends are hypocrites. Democracy is when all the people voice their choice and opinion. She and her friends may have their own opinion – support Sisi and oppose Morsi – and so let them vote their choice along with all the millions of other voters in Egypt by holding honest elections. 

But to support an anti-democrat such as Sisi and to support the anti-democratic forces that removed Morsi without due process of an election – this is hypocritical. Don’t say Abdel Fatah was a “co-founder” of April 6. She and her friends are still hypocrites because in the last election
prior to July 3, Morsi had won, and they should, if they are true democrats, respect the people’s decision. 

It is not up to them and their elitist friends (the National Salvation Front) to use their social position, their access to the media, and their westernized demeanor to then remove a democratically-elected president, or support his illegal removal, whether or not he made serious mistakes (mistakes that were amplified and exaggerated by an anti-Brotherhood media). 

Nobel prize? Perhaps she ought to stand in line behind Trump. Both are so preposterously unqualified for a Nobel prize that to consider them seriously degrades the value of the prize itself.

For good reason or bad, the majority of ordinary Egyptians had voted in Morsi, and thus, Abdel
Fatah, along with her elitist friends, along with Sisi and the military, have no right in a democracy to overturn the election, unless they are willing to admit it is anti-democratic act and, therefore, the first step on the road to an authoritarian regime. To then pat themselves on the back and say “what good liberals we are” is the height of hypocrisy.

Is this a conflict between “east Cairo” (old Islamic Cairo) (along with Giza) against European Cairo (the nationalists) and the “wings” of New Cairo and October 6 (the neo-liberals)? Abdel Fatah and her crowd are so willing to dismiss the values and principles of the majority of her country-men and -women in those areas who wanted, and voted for, an uncorrupted (naïve?) candidate as president, one that did not have all the un-Egyptian trappings of ibn al-zayyat. In the last presidential elections, many more Egyptians supported a Muslim Brotherhood government than they supported a secular, westernized elitist government. 

She and her friends ought to recognize that, show some humility, some respect, and in democratic fashion, work within the system rather than support and commit extra-legal, unconstitutional acts.

For all her deeds, and those of her friends, they got Sisi, a 100-fold worse than Morsi. Had they been patient, respectful, and lawful, or had insisted on respect, legitimacy, and real democracy, they would not be stuck with Egypt’s worst dictator.

Perhaps they got what they deserved, but, of course, they are not going to be the ones who really hurt for it. But it is the Egyptian people, those unable to make it through the dismal economy and those jailed for belonging to the Brotherhood, who do not deserve this calamity. 

This crime lies squarely on the shoulders of the secular liberals who ought to have known better, but made a pact with the devil in order to assure themselves that their beliefs and way of life are better than those of the majority of Egyptian.

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