Ahmed Shafiq, the former Mubarak regime’s Prime Minister and one of the current presidential candidates, declared that “no one is above the law,” in reference to the recent verdict sentencing Hosni Mubarak to life in prison, and acquitting his two sons Gamal and Alaa and a number of senior officials and police officers responsible for killing numerous protestors.
Either Shafiq is delusional, or he is vying for an Oscar, all the while symbolically showing the revolutionaries his middle finger. Well, the middle finger is representative of what the un-autonomous judiciary and current military regime (SCAF) in Egypt are engaging in with each other, for mutual benefits and advantages, in the combined effort to undermine the revolutionaries and the Muslim Brotherhood (MB), as the presidential election approaches in a couple of weeks.
In a press conference, Ahmed Shafiq said this about the MB (Al Jazeera Egypt Live Blog):
“Shafiq also attacked the Muslim Brotherhood’s candidate Muhammad al-Morsi, saying that his party represented ‘backwardness.’
‘I represent all Egypt, they represent an isolated category. I am national reconciliation, the Brotherhood is revenge. I represent tolerance, the Brotherhood is isolation and discrimination. My history is known, theirs is dark,’ he said.”
As if that will win the hearts and minds of Egyptians!
The rumor on the street is that Shafiq and SCAF plan to shoe him in somehow as the presidential election winner, after which he will acquit Mubarak and establish rules and policies that will continue the regime’s status quo ante. The rumors might not be too far off the reality. Egyptians know their politicians and political games well, warts and all. As Mona Eltahawy put it in a recent CNN interview: “The people are not stupid.”
These developments are a travesty of justice. Many are rightly pointing out, what else should we expect? The judiciary consists of the same characters and judges that worked for the Mubarak regime, and there is no light between them and SCAF. Why should we expect any impartiality and judicial ethics? Someone correctly tweeted, this is not a trial at all, it’s “black comedy.” The Washington Post quotes a Tahrir Square protester: “All of this is a charade, and we don’t accept it,” said Amal Ramsis, 40, as she protested in the square.
The same article by Leila Fadel states the following:
“Dissatisfaction with the ruling could push revolutionaries who had planned to boycott the runoff election for president into grudging support of Morsi, an uncharismatic conservative Islamist, experts said.
‘The Brotherhood might be able to capitalize on this to push the line for revolutionary unity against the regime,’ said Michael Wahid Hanna, an Egypt analyst at the Century Foundation. ‘The anger could push those planning to sit it out to cast a vote for the Brotherhood against the old regime’.”
In the case of Egypt, I’m afraid the cart was placed before the horse, although given the SCAF’s control over everything, I understand how difficult it has been for the revolutionaries to chip away at that rock-solid boulder of the former regime. Ideally, the constitution should have been revised first, the judiciary purged completely and personnel and judges replaced with more reputable and credible people, and then the presidential elections should be held. However, the complexities of the situation are understandably formidable.
Clearly, SCAF and company have not heeded the lessons of Tunisia and Libya. The public is not demanding cosmetic changes, as regimes have done in the past, but complete overhauls of their dictatorships and institutions. It’s unfathomable that, given all the events of 2011, SCAF still does not get it. Instead, they continue to play underhanded tricks to remain in power and perpetuate their influence over institutions and the elections. Sad to say this, but they are proving to be as blind and zealously power-hungry as Syria’s Bashar al-Assad.
Perhaps they should be reminded of some of these great quotes from Martin Luther King, Jr.:
“A lie cannot live.”
“A right delayed is a right denied.”
“In the absence of justice, what is sovereignty but organized robbery?”
“The first duty of society is justice.”
And certainly the revolutionaries do not need reminders about their resolve, but nonetheless, I leave you with this MLK quote, which is very inspiring:
“Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom. A man can’t ride you unless your back is bent.”
NOTE: Everything I write in this blog constitutes my personal opinions and views.