Egypt: I Just Don’t Get It!

Jun 13, 2012

Tortured, Jailed, Killed for What

I don’t get it! Or don’t I?

The Ikhwan in Egypt were tortured and killed for over 80 years. Hundreds of thousands of them filled the jails for year after year. They never abused or maligned anyone. They never lifted a finger against anyone. They turned every cheek they had and some they did not even have. They swallowed every insult and abuse with the greatest dignity.

They did not even resist the vicious and most brutal and barbaric oppression that successive military governments under Jamal Abdul Nasser, Anwar Sadat and Hosni Mubarak let loose against them with connivance and complicity from their domestic cronies and foreign masters and mentors.

Now, finally, the Ikhwan are free. They swept the polls for parliament: both the Upper and the Lower houses. They came out ahead in the first round of elections for President. Their candidate Dr. Morsi seems to have handily won the vote by overseas Egyptians in the Presidential Runoff. And he appears to be leading on the domestic front as well.

But the hatred, the anger, the hostility against the Ikhwan – and their candidate Dr. Morsi – continue unabated. Why?

I don’t get it! Or Don’t I?

How Come General Shafiq Is in the Runoff?

  1. Guess who Dr. Morsi is running against in the Presidential Runoff set for June 16, 17? Against none other than the former prime minister whom the Glorious Egyptian Revolution of January 25, 2011 toppled. This is the same man whose goons and thugs attacked the peaceful demonstrators on Tahrir Square, riding camels and horses, and killed many of them.

    I don’t get it! Or don’t I?

    They Win Elections: They Are Bad!

  2. The Ikhwan (their Justice and Freedom Party that is) won close to 50 percent of the seats in both the Upper as well as the Lower houses of parliament in what are called the most transparent and fair elections in all of Egypt’s history.

    And guess what charge is being hurled against them now for doing that? They win elections. They want to monopolize power! And the Ikhwan look all flustered and confused and embarrassed and don’t know where to look or what to say every time someone says that to them.

    I don’t get it! Or don’t I?

    Pressure to Abort Constituent Assembly

  3. Both elected houses of parliament together created a 100-member Constituent Assembly to draft a new post-revolution constitution with what is perhaps the fairest and most equitable representation for all segments of the Egyptian society. Everybody loved it. And then, all of a sudden, the same people who had sent Thank You Notes and Telegrams to the Parliament for selecting them started to withdraw from membership.

    They said the Ikhwan had too much power and they now seemed to want even more. But the real reason, some of them confessed when no one was looking: They were being pressured to withdraw.

    I don’t get it! Or don’t I?

    Shafiq Buying Votes: So What?

  4. There are all kinds of reports about Vote Buying in the name of General Shafiq, the Other Candidate, with the price of a single vote ranging from 50 to 1000 Egyptian pounds. And what do the Ikhwan do? They launch protests – boy, are the Muslims good at launching protests or what.

    What else do the Ikhwan do? They refer the matter to the Public Prosecutor – generally a Mubarak-Era Holdover – who does nothing. And what happens to Vote Buying? It proceeds unhindered, as per schedule.

    I don’t get it! Or don’t I?

    Military Rules: How Democratic or Civilized Is That?

  5. In today’s Egypt, every instrument of power set up by the Military Regime of close to 100 years is still in power. And that includes the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF).

    Field Marshal Tantawi – he is no ordinary General, mind you – a Mubarak-Era Holdover, in fact Mubarak’s Defense Minister for 20 out of 30 years of Mubarak’s most repressive and brutal Military Emergency Rule, is the head of the SCAF.

    I don’t get it! Or don’t I?

    Mercenary National News Media

  6. The mercenary national news media that served Mubarak with utmost loyalty for all these years are busy concocting and spreading all kinds of lies and half-truths – what is the difference? – about the Ikhwan and Dr. Morsi and the Ikhwan and Dr. Morsi do nothing about it.

    I don’t know if the Ikhwan have a daily newspaper. Or even a quality weekly. Or a radio or a television channel. Or whether they were even allowed to have any of these things by government. For, they were denied every other right of normal living.

    The Ikhwan, however, seem to make fairly heavy use of Social Media such as Twitter and Facebook though not so much YouTube. But how in the world do you expect to win national elections without any of the most vital tools of modern mass communication such as a newspaper or a radio or television channel, especially when the national news media, another Mubarak-Era Holdover, are waging an all-out 24/7 disinformation war against you? How educated or resourceful do you think an average Egyptian Fellah (peasant) is that he can cope with it on his own?

    I don’t get it! Or don’t I?

    False Charge of Foreign Money for Ikhwan

  7. Among the false charges hurled against the Ikhwan by the mercenary national news media in Egypt – a Mubarak-Era Holdover – is the following: Ikhwan are financed from outside the country? Really? By whom?

    I don’t get it! Or don’t I?

    They Want Power: How Dare They?

  8. And among the malicious charges systematically hurled against the Ikhwan by the mercenary national news media in Egypt – a Mubarak-Era Holdover – is the following: “Ikhwan want to monopolize power. They are the majority in the Parliament and now they want the presidency too.”

    Really? What are they supposed to do? Win elections and then turn around and hand power over to the losers and walk away from the stage? Is that what this so-called democracy thing is all about? Or is that what Islam teaches anyone to do?

    I don’t get it! Or don’t I?

    Foolish Accusation of Monopolizing Power and a Truckload of One-Sided Concessions

  9. Monopolizing Power is an accusation the Ikhwan simply do not seem to be able to bear to hear. So the Ikhwan enter into meetings and negotiations to try to appease and placate and please their opponents, and somehow win their approval and their support – all those who lost to them in the elections thus far. And the Ikhwan then come home with a truckload of one-sided concessions – not concessions they secure from the losers, but concessions they give away on a platter.

    For example, the losers say we must have a Presidential Council with real powers and the Ikhwan seem to say “Why not?”

    The losers pocket that and say we want not one president, who wins the election, but three co-presidents, who will all govern the country together as co-equals, with every Presidential decree and order co-signed by all three, and Dr. Morsi almost seems to say: “Why ever not?”

    The losers then say the new government should not be headed by a member of the Freedom and Justice Party, the majority party in Parliament, but it should be headed by an opposition figure. And the Ikhwan seem to jump and say: “We don’t see a problem with that.”

    Yes, There Is a Problem with That

    You know what? I see a problem with that. To me Democracy means one simple rule: you win elections, you form the government, and you run the country the best way you know how – till the next elections come around when the people would decide whether to keep you for another term or kick you out.

    You don’t win elections, and people did not vote for you, so you will open all kinds of backdoors for those who lost the elections and who were rejected at the polls by the people and who are now using all kinds of bullying to secure all kinds of concessions from you.

    I don’t get it! Or don’t I?

    Ikhwan Killed Themselves in Tahrir Square

  10. And among the totally baseless and malicious charges systematically hurled against the Ikhwan by the mercenary national news media in Egypt – a Mubarak-Era Holdover – is the following: The Ikhwan were behind the Tahrir Square Massacre. They brought in their henchmen in Hamas and Hizbullah from Occupied Gaza and Lebanon and perpetrated the Tahrir Square Massacre. Meaning basically the Ikhwan killed themselves – and of course killed others too (maybe just for flavor!).

    Now this to me is Big-League stuff. This is serious and may have huge consequences should Dr. Morsi lose and General Shafiq win. This is a professionally designed master-stroke of Propaganda Messaging perfectly in sync with anything that Goebbels would have done. Only some of the topmost Public Relations and Ad Agencies and political and intelligence operatives in the world could have come up with this stuff.

    How Well Doth a Muslim Protest!

    What are the Ikhwan doing to counter this most brazen lie in the absence of an effective media voice such as a newspaper or radio or television channel of their own? Put out some weak-kneed statements on their websites and the Social Media I guess.

    How many poor and uneducated Egyptian peasants have access to the Internet do you think? And of course the Ikhwan protest. And refer the matter to the “Authorities.” And who do you think those “Authorities” are? Wink-Wink, Nod-Nod – Mubarak-Era Holdovers!

    I don’t get it! Or don’t I?

    Ikhwan Released Convicted Criminals from Jails

  11. And this comes on the heels of another similar charge that was leveled against the Ikhwan earlier by no less a truth-teller than Mubarak Vice-President and Intelligence Chief, General Omar Suleiman – every General and Commanding Officer in Egypt has a job – that hot on the heels of the January 25 Revolution, it was the Ikhwan that broke open the prison doors and released thousands of career criminals and convicts in the streets throughout Egypt.

    Finally, after 80 years of killing and torturing them, and stuffing every available jail cell with them, the world is finally getting to see the true face of the Ikhwan: they are in cahoots with the jailbirds. Is this some new sociological and social-psychological theory at work here: Throw these Islamic troublemakers long enough in jail, and torture them, and soon enough – within a few generations – they will all turn into hardcore criminals?

    I don’t get it! Or don’t I?

    Why Are They against Them?

  12. I am not trying to be a pessimist, but with some of the world’s most powerful governments, and some of the world’s most ruthless regimes, and some of the world’s most capable spy agencies arrayed against them, and working furiously in support of the Other Candidate General Shafiq, how in the world do the Ikhwan and Dr. Morsi expect to win?

    I don’t get it! Or don’t I?

    Muslim $Billions against Ikhwan to Defeat Dr. Morsi

  13. With Muslim money by the $billion – much of it ill-gotten and stolen from the Muslims – being poured to make Dr. Morsi go away, just how do the Ikhwan and Dr. Morsi expect to win?

    I don’t get it! Or don’t I?

    Muslim Princelings and Their Petty Dictatorships

  14. With many of the petty and primitive Muslim princelings dead set against a win by the Ikhwan and their candidate Dr. Morsi, and their corrupt and dictatorial regimes dedicated to all manner of intrigue and subterfuge against the Ikhwan and Dr. Morsi, how in the world do the Ikhwan and Dr. Morsi expect to win?

    I don’t get it! Or don’t I?

    Super-Leftists and Their True Colors

  15. And then there is the losing Super-Leftist candidate in the Presidential race, Hamdeen Sabahi, who says he and his supporters are now neutral in the Presidential race between General Shafiq and Dr. Morsi and they will not take sides in the June 16, 17 Presidential Runoff.

    Really? What do you think that means in practice? One simple thing: Neutralize Dr. Morsi and support General Shafiq. Shafiq wins, Dr. Morsi loses. Hello, how stupid does Mr. Sabahi think the Egyptian People are?

    I don’t get it! Or don’t I?

    Super-Liberals and Their True Colors

  16. And then there is this Super-Intellectual, Super-Liberal, international bureaucrat, former world atomic energy chief, Dr. Al Baradei, who says the only way out of the present situation is to postpone the Presidential Runoff by a year.

    Of course, Dr. Al Baradei will be happy to volunteer as chief of an interim government for this yearlong cooling-off period. I know character and integrity are generally checked at the door when you enter international politics and world government, but I thought some level of intelligence was a requirement, no?

    I don’t get it! Or don’t I?

    Some Super-Shaikhs and Their True Colors

  17. And, of course, there is this Super-Shaikh, Ali Gomaa, the Grand Mufti of the Land of Egypt, who says in the fight between Right and Wrong and between Good and Evil, he is strictly neutral – of course this is my paraphrase of what he said, which he did with a great deal of drama and panache. And you know what that means? Total support for the Other Candidate, General Shafiq.

    I don’t get it! Or don’t I?

    Super-Subtle by Super-Shaikh

  18. That did not stop the said Super-Shaikh from pointing out how General Shafiq was a better person because he said he will go to Dr. Morsi’s house and congratulate him in person if Dr. Morsi won. When asked the same question by the reporter: What will you do if your opponent won? Dr. Morsi had quietly responded: “He will not win!”

    “This is arrogance against God!” declared the Super-Shaikh, “Clearly shows which one of the two candidates is a better person!”

    How subtle is that? And who do you think that mysterious other person is the Super-Shaikh was referring to? Wink-Wink, Nod-Nod, Shafiq of course, who else? So, all the blatant criminality and barbarity of Mubarak’s 30 years of repressive Military Emergency Rule, and General Shafiq’s prominent role in it first as cabinet minister and then as Prime Minister, mean nothing compared to Dr. Morsi asserting that General Shafiq will not win?

    I don’t get it! Or don’t I?

    Super-Sufi Betrays Husain bin Ali and Karbala

  19. And then, finally, here is this Super-Sufi, claiming descent from Rasulullah, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, who said Shafiq was a Sufi, so therefore he and his followers were duty-bound to support him. This is the blood of Husain bin Ali, the Super-Martyr, Sayyidush-Shuhadaa’ of Karbala resisting the illegitimate dictatorial and repressive regime of Yazid, talking? What a betrayal!

    How I wanted to cry out: “Ya Rasulallah!” – a cry I never really wanted to use in this world, even though every pore in my body, mind and soul rings with it every second of my life. But I could not help wondering what would Junaid Baghdadi, Sirri Saqti, Ma’roof Karkhi, Bayazid Bustami, Bishr Al Haafi, Ibrahim Adham and others have done in similar situations — just some Sufi names I picked up from here and there.

    I don’t get it! Or don’t I?

    Addeenu, Annasweehah!

  20. While I may not get a lot of the stuff above, here is something I do get very clearly. And I hope the Ikhwan get it too. What foolish or cruel man would deign to lecture those who have endured what no man can or should endure and have come out triumphant at the end, but yet it is said: “Addeen, Annasweehah.”

    So, the Nasweehah to the Ikhwan is that they need to learn to fight back. For, that is Islam: Fight Back! But do so with better means.

    First Law of Counter-Propaganda: Call a Lie a Lie!

    The Ikhwan need to learn to call a lie a lie, and do so most promptly and immediately and using all the channels of communication available to them. They need to learn to counter false and malicious propaganda with effective and powerful messaging of their own.

    Otherwise, lies take hold and turn into facts in the minds and hearts of men. That, therefore, is the First Law of Counter-Propaganda: Don’t leave a single charge promptly refuted and don’t leave a single lie without being immediately exposed and nailed.

    Categorical Imperative of Superior Messaging – in the Qur’an

    That is what I learned from the Qur’an: Wa jaadilhum billatee hiya ahsan (16:125), which to me means when the enemies unleash their propaganda attacks against you, don’t just go home crying, and invoking the name of Islam, fight back with Better and Superior Messaging of your own. And below are a couple of examples – from the Qur’an of course, from where else? – of the kind of Superior Messaging I am talking about.

    Example One from the Qur’an: Dumbfounded Opposition

    1. My first example comes from Aayah 258 of Surah Al-Baqarah, which I paraphrase below:

      Don’t you know the case of the man who got into an argument with Ibrahim about God, just because God had made him king and given him power? Ibrahim had said to him: “My God is the one who gives life and death.” To which the man replied: “I can do that too – I can cause life and death to happen.” To this, Ibrahim responded by saying: “My God is the one who makes the sun rise from the East, why don’t you make it rise from the West?” (2:258).

      This totally nonplussed and dumbfounded those who were fighting the truth and who had chosen to reject it: the Kaafirs. Fabuhitalladhee Kafar, is how the Qur’an phrases their response – or their lack of response.

      This is a clear illustration of the victory of Superior Messaging over false logic and lies. It is obvious that the matter does not concern any media or channels of communication. It is a simple and straightforward question of Superior Messaging by Ibrahim, Alaihis Salam, trouncing inferior messaging by his opponent.

      Example Two from the Qur’an: Answering in Kind

    2. My second example is derived from Aayah 101 and Aayah 102 of Surah Al-Israa’. Here, in Aayah 101, Pharaoh launches an ad hominem personal attack on Musa, Alaihis Salam, saying, “Musa, I think you are mad. You are under the spell of magic.”

      Musa, Alaihis Salam, does not flinch and quietly walk away from this foolish and false charge, he counters it in kind and says: “Do you know what Pharaoh? I think you are doomed to destruction.” The expression “doomed to destruction” is taken from Yusuf Ali. In this Aayat, not only is the content of the message sharp and clear, but also the tone and tenor of the message are crystal clear.

      Allahu Akbar! How much clearer can it get?

      Methodology of Superior Messaging – in the Qur’an

      That is what I get from the Qur’an: The Methodology of Superior Messaging – practical demonstrations of Wa Jaadilhum Billatee Hiya Ahsan.

      Once again, I hold no brief for the Ikhwan, for it is both heartless and mindless to do so, but still in the spirit of “Addeen Annasweehah,” let me repeat here that we are not talking about the means or media or channels of communication, which are better or worse, but strictly about the kind of Superior Messaging that good Muslims (the Ikhwan among them) need to learn to craft to counter false and malicious enemy propaganda against them.

      Muslims simply never mastered this field, even though God himself gave them such a clear head start with it.

      Best Message Delivered Using the Best Means: That Is Islam

      And then, it goes without saying, once the Best Messaging is in place, it needs to be delivered using the Best Means and Methods and Channels of Communication: direct as well as indirect; mass as well as interpersonal; traditional as well as new and including social media portals and platforms. That is Islam.

      Thus, while I may or may not get a lot of other things, here is one thing that I clearly get – from the Qur’an: God gave the Best Message in the Qur’an and the Hadith. The Qur’an puts it in Surah Azzumar as follows: Allahu Nazzala Ahasanal Hadith (39:23).

      That pure and perfect message now needs to be converted into Superior Messaging of our own, at our own human level, using our own language and idiom, in every time and place, and in the face of opposition from every enemy, and delivered using the Best Media of every kind that is available or that we can invent. We are charged by God Almighty with nothing less.

      As the Qur’an puts is: Wa Jaadilhum Billatee Hiya Ahsan – Using the best and the most superior means and messaging. And it is a command – an order; an Amr – that is given: Jaadil!

      That means it is our duty to do so and it is not a matter of choice. And that is Islam – at its best.


 © 2012 Syed Husain Pasha

Dr. Pasha is an educator and scholar of exceptional 
talent, training and experience. He can be reached at DrSyedPasha [at] 
AOL [dot] com or

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