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Where Are We Now?

Today, millions of Egyptians have become hostages of an open conflict between a blind and bloody terrorism that is consolidating and legalizing tyranny and an incompetent, reckless government that is deepening the roots of terrorism by killing the political process and oppressing freedom while using media informants to depict humans as exasperating beasts. President Abdul Fatah el-Sisi’s efforts in promoting himself to the Western world as a leader of the Egyptian enlightenment and of religious reform are farcical. The repetitive Mubarak logic of “It’s either me or terrorism” has become unsatisfactory for Sisi. A new model of governance with exciting headlines that is being presented to a Western audience abroad obscures the reality of unlawful detention and beheadings. Sisi’s rule is transforming Egypt into a police state based on the rule of God and his messenger, the Prophet Muhammad. This is being reflected in the religious overtones of his speeches, and in the use of Al-Azhar and the Salafists to legalize the killing and oppression of his opponents. Sisi continues to refuse to make freedom of religion a legal and constitutional reality. What Sisi and his government do not realize is that social fear and hysteria cannot be transformed into a positive vision of a new society. Hysteria produces distorted human tendencies that resemble fire: it will consume itself if it cannot find anything else to consume. It also provides strong hysterical j ustification to its victims, especially when left with nothing else to lose, and society enters a bloody cycle in which the language of logic and the mind are no longer feasible. Time reveals that it is impossible to resolve political differences with violence and oppression; society will eventually come to realize that it has paid the ultimate price that it has lost time and blood and produced countless victims, persuaded by emotional speeches filled with lies. Egyptian society needs anything but hysteria to dig itself out of this mess.

Religious terrorism leads to explosions of anger among regular civilians; anger is spread by the failure of authorities to stem it. In this context, anger begets violence, causing more bloodshed as people forget that the conditions that provide solidarity no longer exist. Sisi’s jurisdiction, security and the media, should bravely carry the responsibility of the sins committed. Sisi should do this not only for the sake of saving the country, but also for the sake of saving himself from a fate that will marginalize everyone.

Freedom of thought and doctrine is linked to a general freedom of speech within an open political environment where people realize their own faults by experience rather than by killing opponents and oppressing and persecuting those who carry unpopular thoughts and doctrines. If one contemplates the disastrous conditions of our region, one can understand the emergent extremism and the multilayered roots and causes of its existence and fast spread. In a place where the oppression and suppression of basic freedoms are practiced with repetitive “national interest” rhetoric, many Egyptians are in agreement, motivated by hatred toward the Muslim Brotherhood and all thoughts and behavior that accompany it. Others become seduced by power and perpetuate a rhetoric no less oppressive and violent than the one espoused by the religious extremism that they adamantly oppose. As a result, a deepened and frightening social gap emerges and increases. However, one must realize that ignoring the fact that such armed forces will never be able to wipe out existing thoughts, no matter how much hatred one carries for such thoughts, and ignoring political conflicts that perpetuate such tyranny, is only going to produce a stronger and more idiotic terrorism that will ensure increasing blood and tears.

 
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