I have dear family and friends in Egypt who are surprised by my position on what is happening. Some random people on Twitter even cursed at me and called me horrible names for sharing news articles and voicing opinions that I believe are based on solid, trustworthy sources and eyewitness testimony. Keep in mind there are journalists from all across the world in the middle of the violence, capturing the actions as they happen and sharing them with the world.
This has been discouraging, but I truly believe what I am saying is truthful and in the spirit of the words, “stand for justice, even if against yourself.”
To clarify, this is what I have surmised from what is happening in Egypt:
1. I am completely against military rule of any kind.
2. I am against the military coup of June 30.
3. I am against the appointment of the military generals and police officers as governors.
4. I am against the emergency law that is being implemented.
5. I am against the shutting down of media channels that opposed the military coup.
6. I am against the imprisonment of opposition without due process
7. I am against extrajudicial killing that the Egyptian military has done in cooperation with the Israeli military in Sinai.
8. I am against the divide and conquer methods of colonialists who have mastered this art form and have controlled the middle east through these manipulative methods since the fall of the Ottoman Empire. Pitting family against family and pitting countrymen against countrymen as pawns in their own political agendas.
9. I am against media propaganda that is demonizing a group of people and is twisting their history to divide the country further.
10. I am against all forms of corruption that have prevented people of Egypt from living a decent life.
I am against violence of any kind. I am against the deaths of the demonstrators. I am against the death of police officers. I am against the burning of the Churches of Egypt’s Copts and Christians. I am against the burning of the dead bodies to eliminate evidence of their existence. I am against government officials forcing families to testify that their dead loved ones killed themselves, or died in an accident, so those family members can receive a permit for burial. All this to cover there own interests, to keep the dead body count of yesterday’s massacre, lower to the world. I am against terrorism whether individual, group based or state sponsored.
People will automatically say I am a member of the MB – that is not true. Or they will say, that I agree with their politics, which is also not true. I disagreed with so many of their political decisions over the past two years. Those decisions are too many to include in this post and would take me off topic.
There are methods in a democracy to remove poor leadership or to fight poor policy, including organizing peaceful demonstrations, petitions, lobbying legislators, building coalitions and political parties to win elections. Forcible removal of elected leadership by a military never leads to democracy. It only leads to more violence. In this case, it will probably lead to a military supported oligarchy.
Voltaire wrote, “I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.” This quote is an essential element of effective democracy and liberalism. Freedom of speech is necessary and undermining people’s voice in government and their vote will prevent freedom, liberty and justice. By eliminating liberties for the purpose of security, you lose both liberty and security. You create a circle of violence. You alienate a significant segment of the population and put them in a corner forcing them to act in an undesirable way. Additionally, you support the military use of force against citizens, rather than using peaceful means to convey their disagreement, their political views and their voice in a government that rules everyone not just a select group.
They may not use that force against you now, but, in the future, when you disagree with them and protest them, they will not hesitate to use that force against you, label you a terrorist, kill you and make your family sign testimony stating that you committed suicide so they could bury you.
I don’t mind if you disagree, that is fine, disagreement is healthy in building a democracy, but I urge you – Do not overlook the violence or the death of your fellow countrymen. When we become desensitized and overlook the deaths of others, we allow for greater injustice to occur in the future.
May God protect the people of Egypt and bring freedom, liberty and justice to all it’s citizens.
You can follow Sharif Aly on Twitter