Egyptian Regime Resasserts Its Absolute Disrespect of Law

Once again, the Egyptian regime proved its absolute disrespect of law and human rights.
As if it was not brutal enough of regime to arrest tens of innocent members of the Muslim Brotherhood, whose only crime was that they are peacefully opposing the corruption, authoritarianism, and tyranny of the regime, nor was it enough to re-arrest them after they were released by civilian courts, completely overlooking and disrespecting the rule of law in the country.

The regime decided to utilize the unjustifiable silence by the international community (the very same voices who claim to be supporting democracy, human rights and the rule of law) and took its campaign against the largest opposition power a step further, this time presenting MB leaders to martial courts.

The motives behind this decision are quite clear; the detained MB members are innocent people who will be surely released by civilian courts. The charges are clearly politically and lack any legal bases; a fact that would send the detainees out of prison, against the regime’s will.

Actually the most dangerous crime committed by these leaders is that they pose a threat to the “tawreeth” plan; the devilish plan of passing power from President Mubarak to his younger son Gamal. They pose a serious threat to that authoritarian plan because they enjoy public support, and work within the framework of the constitution, hence putting the regime in an awkward position. The MB is “dangerous” in the eyes of the regime because it does not compromise on fighting corruption, it teaches people to defend their political rights, and threatens the interests of corrupt rulers.

This is not the first time MB leaders are tried by martial courts; this happened before under the Nasser regime and under Mubarak regime just over a decade ago. It is very significant how history repeats itself, as there are lots of similarities between today’s arrests, and those of 1995.

Both acts of brutality came simultaneously with the MB’s attempt to form a political party; conveying a very clear message from the regime to democracy activists. It is very clear that if there is one thing the regime won’t tolerate it will be the Muslim Brotherhood forming a political party.

The regime’s struggle with the Brotherhood is not an ideological struggle; they are not banning the MB because it is an “Islamist” party, and they are not arresting its members because they pose a threat to the society. In fact, all the crackdowns of the Egyptian regime and the manipulation of law could fall under one big title, which is Survival Strategies. The Egyptian regime is fighting the MB out of fear of competition and being exposed with all its corruption and lack of justice. 

This is not to say that the MB does not have a reform program that is ideologically different than that adopted by the regime, for in fact the MB does have its unique reform program; a peaceful comprehensive program that stems from an indigenous ideology and presents a modern framework of reform.

This move by the regime will not force the MB out of its chosen peaceful path of reform, but it will have negative impacts on the Egyptian society. With the masses realizing that peaceful reform is unfruitful and leads its supporters to be dragged to martial courts and prison, ordinary citizens will hardly find a strong argument for peaceful reform, as opposed to the violent, terrorist reform, that will enjoy the empowerment of its radical sentement. 

This has already happened before, when the 1995 arrests gave rise to terrorist movements which have clear ideological differences with the MB at the cost of the reformist MB; a fact that was manifested in the terrorist attacks that took place all over Egypt in the mid 1990s, and the brutal terrorist attacks that killed tens of tourists in Luxor in 1997.

Yet the effect of the arrests will be worse this time. With the technological evolution, “neo-terrorists” do not need to organize in large cells to undertake terrorist attacks, but only need to form small cells, and learn everything about producing bombs from the internet, and then carry on their deadly attacks to kill innocent people.

This unjustifiable move by the regime is not an attack on the MB as much as it’s an attack on the opposition in Egypt; it is not an attack on Islamists as much as it’s an attack on democracy, and it is not dangerous to the MB as much as it is to the Egyptian society.

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