Thursday, May 17, 2012

A New Political Dawn is Breaking in Egypt

A New Political Dawn is Breaking in Egypt

The Muslim Brotherhood, Arguably, are the most highly organized political party in the land. Denying them or underestimating their power will be futile. Granted, they have never been tested in either government or as a legitimate political party since their inception as an ideological political movement. But their organizational skill, even by world standard, has been nonpareil

To an outsider, they are seen as the principle movers and shakers and the pillars of the political infrastructure in Egypt. Denying them their right of inclusion strictly on the basis of rejecting their ideology would be both frivolous political doodling and untenable wishful thinking. It would be practical and highly advisable to accept them for what they are; a formidable political powerhouse deserving the right to contribute to Egypt's future even if you disagree with everything they stand for.

Their detractors are few, incredibly ineffective and politically inept. Lacking real grass roots, they are incapable of competing with them on any level. The Muslim Brotherhood have grass roots projecting deeply in the hearts and minds of the largest segment of society where their opponents operate on the bare margins of existence. They embody a dream for which ordinary Egyptians have long yearned over four tumultuous political eras belonging to 5 successive clamoring generations.

If they succeed in accomplishing what they promised, so be it; their rivals might just have to get used to eating political crow. If they fail, they will be, like their political contemporary regimes, subject to the law of natural attrition. In the end, they do exist, they are active, they are powerful and they have well-oiled socio-political machinery. 

They appear to have vetted a powerful cadre of able and visionary technocrats to administer their ambitious platform; aptly named "Rising Egypt".  They have demonstrated by the preponderance of the evidence that they have full intention of engaging their political machination to its fullest potential.

The way I see Egypt's political theater now, observing from afar, Brotherhood opponents like it or not, there is no circumventing working with them, and more often than not, in either subservient roles or deferring matters to their nods of approval. They have won with a sweeping mandate which gives them absolute parliamentary commanding power. The question of abusing this power does not arise, at least in theory, since they are extremely sensitive to the temperature of the political street. They have a pretty accurate thermometer. It is called, ""The huddled Masses."

Their platform is simple yet, upon hearing it, potent. Social, industrial and educational renascence, and reconstruction of Egypt's cultural, military and economic power to bring it back to its traditional role as the leading power in the Arab world and Africa as well as one of the three formidable regional powers on equal footing with Iran and Turkey and logically surpassing them when standing with the Arab world behind it. 

In terms of organization and mass appeal, compared to the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt's rival political powers are second rate . For mass popular support, they are not even on competing level. But if they come to terms with accepting the new reality; a reality with the Brotherhood role has been determined and made dominant by the power of the ballot, they stand a better chance of remaining afloat on the political surface. This way, political diversity will have a true meaning, democracy will stand the test of time and Brotherhood detractors ranging from liberals and socialists to right wingers and feminists will flourish rather than wither and desiccate in the wake of the political hot, dry gale force wind of change of the Brotherhood.

Egypt’s first democratic election is slated for 05/23/2012, and preparations are underway. The process appears to be progressing smoothly without major anomalies. When considering a scenario of a possible outcome, an observer finds it difficult to pin point an absolutely clear winner in the first round. It appears that run-offs will be inevitable.

There are two candidates running on platforms with an Islamic background on one level or another and one with a leftist progressive and national platform in addition to two “Folools”, which means remnants of the ousted Mubarak’s regime.

1) Muhammad Mursi, a Ph.D. in aerospace engineering from the University of Southern California, USA. He served in the capacity of Asst. Professor in the school of engineering at California State University, Northridge. In 1985 he returned to Egypt and was awarded tenure as professor of engineering at the University of Zaqaziq. He had been politically active during the Mubarak’s regime and had won a parliamentary seat in an election that scared the regime so much so that they had to defraud him of his seat. Selected for the world's best parliamentarian award for the years 2000-2005. He is the official candidate of the Muslim Brotherhood.

2) Abdul Moneim Abul Fotouh, a Physician turned politician with extensive experience in managing international charitable and professional NPO, which is a highly involved political career on both the national and international levels. He had long been active member of the Muslim Brotherhood in good standing and a prominent figure in its executive committee before he was forced to resign upon deciding to run for president against the Brotherhood’s declared policy at the time of post-revolutionary political effervescence.

3) Hamidean Sabahi, a left of the center candidate with a Nasserist Pan-Arab national platform. He does not have an Islamic agenda but accepts Egypt’s identity as an Islamic nation with a vociferous voice for full equal rights based on citizenship alone. He acknowledges the excesses of the Nasser Dictatorship but highly praises Nasser's ideology and ambitious national dream, thus vowing to revive the dream learning from its lessons  and avoiding the negative aspects of its experience.

4) Ammro Moosa; Former Foreign Minister of the Ousted Regime and Secretary General of the Arab League under Mubarak’s Dictatorial Hegemony. (Folool.)

5) Retired Air Marshal Ahmad Shafiq; former commander of the air force. Served in the rank of wing commander when Mubarak was Air Chief-Marshal. Upon his retirement from the air force, Mubarak created a cabinet post specifically for him in which, he served as Minister of Civil Aviation. During the revolution, Mubarak appointed him prime minister; a short-lived career that was terminated by the revolution and the ignominious fall of the Mubarak’s regime. (he is a Folool.)

Observers believe that in all likelihood the election might be heading for a run-off between the two front runners, Mursi and Fotooh. But regardless of who will ultimately end up holding the mantle of power for Egypt’s top boss job, Egyptians, it appears, are ready, willing and quite capable of embracing the democratic process. Democracy, it seems, is growing extremely rapidly in the valley of the Nile.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Once Upon a Time in Egypt

Once upon a time:
An Islamist decided to run for political office

He won! … They said, “Only because of his religious platform & hollow slogans.”

He lost … They said, “What did he expect? Religion and politics do not mix!”

He Boycotted the election race … They said, “Look how negative he is!”

His party won third of the electorate seats … They said, “Of course, he wants to veto all the bills”

His party won only minority seats … They said, “Look at him, that’s his true size!”

He won a unanimous victory … They said, “He has been eyeing a mandate to make it a theocracy!”

He let his beard grow … They said, “He’s all-rituals but no substance for piety”

He shaved his beard … They said, “Hypocrite!”

He sued them for libel … They said “He is abusing the judiciary to assail free speech.

He lost control and heaped them with verbal abuse … They said, “Look how degenerate he is!”

He abandoned them and retreated to meditative seclusion … they said, “Look how melancholic he is!”

He took to meditative reading of the Quran … They said, “Witchcraft!”

He prayed “Suffice I am in God’s Protection and his is the pinnacle of Agency… They said, “Black-magic!”

He sprang to head for work … They said, “Greedy for the booties of life!”

He took to Tahrir Square … They said, “He is just riding the revolutionary parade!”

He abandoned Tahrir Square … They said, “He’s Betrayed the revolution!”

He gave up and threw the towel … They said, “He skipped town after he had ruined it!”

He took to flight from Earth and headed for Mars … They said, “He is brain-washing Martian simpletons with his voodoo!”

He gave up and committed suicide… They said, “Son of a kaffir-mother killed himself!”