I was traveling when someone told me what happened at the Port Said soccer match in Egypt last week. My shock and disbelief are indescribable. As soon as I returned home, I checked the news, and the Egypt Independent reports an alleged sinister conspiracy by former NDP (Mubarak’s ruling party) figures, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), and the Interior Ministry to exact revenge on the revolutionaries. Here’s what one of the articles alleges:
“‘I do not rule out a conspiracy and believe that there are some security officials and policemen involved in this. How else do we explain the complete lack of security interference during the game to protect fans who were being slaughtered and thrown off the bleachers for over an hour and a half?’ said Ahly player Mohamed Abu Treka in a touching interview published in the independent daily Al-Shorouk.
Parliament’s fact-finding commission has released some information from their ongoing investigation that implicates security officials and members of the defunct National Democratic Party, particularly Gamal Mubarak’s close friend and business associate Gamal Omar, according to state-run Al-Akhbar. Port Said residents reportedly captured a known criminal and ex-convict who was inciting protesters to attack a police station in the city after someone there recognized him as one of the perpetrators of the stadium massacre.”
Another piece in the same news source says:
“Reports of decapitations, bodies being thrown from the stadium’s uppermost bleachers, and defiled corpses come pouring in across news and sports shows, while live images reveal rows of central security officers watching from the sidelines, doing little, as had come to be expected of them.
The scene left a gash in the national consciousness, and questions piled up immediately. As retired goalkeeper Nader al-Sayed lamented during his televised sports show’s live coverage of what has been since repeatedly referred to as a massacre, ‘This is not normal. This is the result of a malicious and sinister plan, carefully plotted and expertly perpetrated, and we all know by whom.’”
Meanwhile, the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party has announced support for SCAF’s timeline for the presidential elections, rejecting calls for expediting the civilian transition of power that so many are pressuring the current military officials to uphold. Plus, two high-profile figures have been charged with “insulting Islam.” A famous comedian actor, Adel Imam, has been given a three-month jail sentence “for insulting Islam in films and plays.” And, Naguib Sawiris, a telecom tycoon, “also faces trial on a charge of showing contempt for religion in a case brought by another Islamist lawyer. Sawiris, a prominent figure in Egypt’s Coptic Christian community, was accused of showing contempt by tweeting a cartoon seen as insulting to Islam.”
What does all this tell us? It indicates a merging between ultraorthodox Islamist puritans with military power-mongers, a very, very dangerous combination, which can lead Egypt down the path of fascism. In other words, Egypt might be on the road to hell. For many, it already has been hell.
The Port Said massacre comes on the first anniversary of the “Battle of the Camel,” when Mubarak unleashed thugs on camel and horseback into Tahrir Square, ambushing the protesters. Now, with the 2012 Port Said massacre, I would say that the Egyptian people, and especially the revolutionaries, should remain on high alert. There’s no telling what kind and when the next onslaught and ambush might await them.
NOTE: Everything I write in this blog constitutes my personal opinions and views.