Escalation, too much
It is often said that “Too much of a good thing can be bad.” The escalation in the official reaction to the criticism leveled by the EU Parliament at Cairo is “too much.”
What irritated Cairo to this extent? Is it the accusations of human rights violations? Or the European Parliament’s demand for releasing Ayman Nour? But this is not the first time the European Parliament and European governments have called for Nour’s release. Official parliamentary and diplomatic delegations have visited Nour in prison.
So what irritated Egypt to this extent must be the accusations of human rights violations which were attributed by Dr. Fathi Sorour, Speaker of the People’s Assembly, to suspicious elements. And since Sorour knows that these elements are suspicious, he should have identified them, for they are not only suspicious, but they also harbor hostile feelings toward Egypt. I imagine that he means Egyptians working in human rights organizations that have working relationships outside the country.
Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit did not forget to take part in the escalation campaign. He summoned the 27 ambassadors of EU countries in Cairo to inform them that Egypt refuses the EU’s draft resolution that was issued the day before yesterday criticizing the country’s human rights record, and which 52 representatives approved while seven abstained from voting on.
Safwat al-Sherif also joined the campaign and expressed the Shura Council’s indignation.
Will this tri-partite escalation prompt the European Parliament to backtrack its resolution? Will Fathi Sorour’s threat to open files and reveal hidden human rights violations in some EU countries make them get on the first plane to Egypt to convince Sorour not to go ahead with his threat?
If there were some violations – and there are – why don’t we acknowledge them? If the European Parliament, or any other body, has any comments on our new anti-terror bill, why don’t we study them then choose whether or not to adopt them, particularly as our record is not that good in drafting and cooking up laws, and Dr. Mufid Shehab’s record is full of such laws?
What bothers us to this extent? Why use big, shiny words that are out of place, such as “suspicious elements,” and “harboring hostile feeling toward Egypt?”
I do not disclaim accusations against anyone, but some of these suspicious elements that harbor hostile feelings toward Egypt could be among those who pass laws and approve them