News / Middle East

'Deep State' Feared, Welcomed in Split Egypt

'Deep State' Feared, Welcomed in Divided Egypti
July 29, 2013 7:07 PM
As Egypt reels from its deep and violent political divisions, VOA's Elizabeth Arrott looks at massive challenges still ahead for a nation trying to live up to the promise of its 2011 revolution. Some Cairo analysts say long-entrenched institutions in Egypt both hamper the struggle and offer hope that a competent government may be able overcome it.
Elizabeth Arrott
As Egypt reels with deep and violent political divisions, big challenges are still ahead for a nation trying to live up to the promise of its 2011 revolution.

The divisions plaguing Egypt often are portrayed as a struggle between those for and against ousted President Mohamed Morsi. But for those on Mr. Morsi's side, there appears to be a far more sinister player on the scene - moving against whatever progress Egypt has seen since the 2011 uprising.

Mohamed Soudan, foreign secretary of the Muslim Brotherhood's political wing said, “As soon as the Revolution of 25th of January started, there is a conspiracy against this revolution. There is a deep state. There is corruption. There is counter-revolution started also.”

Soudan said this “deep state” aims to revive everything the protesters on Tahrir Square two years ago tried sweep away.

“Now the police state is coming back," he said. "The army state is coming back. The conspiracy of the former regime, Mubarak regime is coming back very, very strong. They try to get back this era of dictatorship.”

To him, the “Tamaroud” or Rebel campaign that nominally led a populist drive against Mr. Morsi was simply cover for the entrenched interests of the Egypt of former president Hosni Mubarak.

The deep state - a concept rooted in the old Ottoman Empire - pits conservatives against those who would bring change. Even some opposed to both the Mubarak and the Morsi governments see a deep state triumphant. But like political analyst and publisher Hisham Kassem, they put the blame on Mr. Morsi himself.

“He fell out with, basically, the judiciary, the media, the foreign office, the police force, the military, Al Azhar mosque and the church. And they resisted. You cannot subdue these pillars of the state, said Kassem.”

The Brotherhood says it tried to end Egypt's long-time dynamic pitting Islamists against their deep state opponents. But Soudan says entrenched interests worked furiously to turn ordinary Egyptians against them, with problems that largely disappeared when Armed Forces Chief Abdel Fattah el-Sissi came on the scene.

“They worked together to escalate the anger of the Egyptian people with the fabricated crises - lack of electricity, lack of water, lack of fuel, diesel and gasoline and then people feel anger," said Soudan. "And starting July 1st, all this fabricated crisis cut.  It looks like a magic stick in Sissi's arm.”

But such complaints elicit little sympathy from others, who argue a competent government should be up to such challenges. For analyst Kassem, the concept of a deep state and entrenched institutions in Egypt is not necessarily negative.

“In Qatar, the foreign ministry is Sheikh Hamad's airplane. Here is an institution with diplomats, seasoned diplomats with a heritage,” he said.

The downside was the repression, the heavy hand that the revolutionaries of 2011 wanted gone.

The killing of Morsi supporters Saturday in Cairo was a stark reminder to many that the darker aspects of the deep state are still strong.

You May Like

Afghanistan, Pakistan Leaders to Hold Icebreaking Talks in Paris

Two sides are expected to discuss ways to ease bilateral tensions and jointly work for resumption of stalled peace talks between Afghan government and Taliban officials

Corruption Busting Is Her Game

South African activist is building 'international online community of thousands of corruption fighters'

Former SAF Businessman Gives Books, Love of Reading to Students

Steve Tsakaris now involved in nonprofit Read to Rise, which distributes books in Soweto, encourages lower-grade primary school students to read

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: TutAnkhAmon from: Cairo
July 31, 2013 5:38 AM
---------This is child abuse----------
The Muslim Brothers are using children, they made them to wear burial shrouds with their name and project martyr written on it. They are paraded in front of foreign media like sacrificed animals.

This's why Morsi and the MB public speech and culture of hate and death had to go.

by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
July 30, 2013 2:12 AM
I do not know if democracy is the best political system for every country. But it seems the most desirable system to protect human rights as far as we could consider now. Morsi who was elected as a president for the first time in Egypt was ousted by opposing general people and military. What do they want to politics and politicians? Were they really cheated by fabrications?

Anyway, I can say it is wealthy lives what they want no matter what people's nationalities are. I am not sure if domocracy actually offer such welthy lives evenly to every nationals as seeing exceed capitalism, which is usually coupled with democracy, has been bringing about numerous poor people.

by: ali baba from: new york
July 29, 2013 9:26 PM
It is clear that Muslim brotherhood are fighting back with all the deception and liar. The fact that general sisi is appointed by Muslim brotherhood and is not supporter of Mubarak. He felt the crisis that made by Muslim brotherhood. they make the country in deep is deep trouble economically and people starving and no solution on the horizon. Muslim brotherhood is destroying the country. if they believe in democracy and the interest of the country, they step down peacefully to avoid blood shed and give the new people chance to clear the mess that done by Muslim brotherhood .but they choose violent to put the country in the brink of civil war

by: MarkT
July 29, 2013 7:33 PM
Sometimes, Democracy is not for everyone. Sometimes, a people, a Nation, is not ready for Democracy. While it is good and admirable that so many nations are embracing a more democratic system of government, it may not be for the betterment of some people, some nations to embrace this time. Case in point; after WWI, the victorious allies (ie. Britain and France, particularly France) wanted to force a democratic style of government on the German people. The Weimer Republic. That government was a failure, an unpopular failure that dramatically lead to the rise of such political parties as the Nazis. Now, of course, Germany has a democratic-styled government, embraced by its people. But in 1919, Germany did not understand, nor want a democratic type of government, and they resisted it, demonstrated against it and despised it. In the case of Egypt, it may not be the people who are resisting a change to a democratic style of government, but those who once held power and still refuse to let go of that power. I don't know. I just know that there is a time and place for everything, and if Egypt, or any nation, is to achieve a desired way of government, they have to figure it out for themselves...and yes, sometimes that will include unrest and bloodshed, however unfortunate that may be.

by: Taz Nizami from: Corona, California
July 29, 2013 5:27 PM
I agree with this article. In fact it was recently reported in Daily Telegraph that the whole sequence of events after Morsi took office have been meticulously choreographed to create public crisis by the military to create public anger. Morsi just was in office for one year he has no magic wand to fix everything in a mess that Egypt is in. We in America are still struggling with our Economic disaster after 5 years. If you look at the current line up of the interim Govt Ministers starting with Adly Mansour, good 40% of the Admin is from Mubarak Era. What ever the reasons Military has no justification of sacking and throwing the publically elected President in Jail, throwing the publically approved constitution in a referendum in a trash can and then embark upon a campaign of selective arrests. If Tehriris did not agree with the Morsi policies they should wait for the his term to expire and take their anger out at the ballot box that's how we do in America. Clearly the army in Egypt has shot itself in the foot by taking repressive actions and have created similar situation as the civil war started in Syria. The more the army takes belligerent stand and kill unarmed public more it will lose and hasten the people to take up arms and there is no shortage of them around Egypt.
In Response

by: Godwin from: Nigeria
July 30, 2013 9:20 AM
Arrant nonsense! Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood wanted to return Egypt to the Stone Age barbarism and oppression of the serfs. Moderates and minorities were relegated to a state of nobodism and the rule of law was set aside for decrees. Were you living in the moon all that while and never knew what was going on in your country? Please note that Egypt's democracy is work in progress, and errors must be corrected necessitating another revolution; hence the 2011 campaign was inconclusive.
In Response

by: ali baba from: new york
July 29, 2013 9:28 PM
what you write is foolish

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Belgium-Germany Border Remains Porous, Even As Manhunt For Paris Attacker Continuesi
Ayesha Tanzeem
November 25, 2015 10:46 PM
One of the suspected gunmen in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, evaded law enforcement, made his way to Belgium, and is now believed to have fled to Germany. VOA correspondent Ayesha Tanzeem makes the journey across the border from Belgium into Germany to see how porous the borders really are.

Video Belgium-Germany Border Remains Porous, Even As Manhunt For Paris Attacker Continues

One of the suspected gunmen in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, evaded law enforcement, made his way to Belgium, and is now believed to have fled to Germany. VOA correspondent Ayesha Tanzeem makes the journey across the border from Belgium into Germany to see how porous the borders really are.

Video Islamic State Unfazed by Losses in Iraq, Syria

Progress in the U.S.-led effort to beat Islamic State on its home turf in Iraq and Syria has led some to speculate the terror group may be growing desperate. But counterterror officials say that is not the case, and warn the recent spate of terror attacks is merely part of the group’s evolution. VOA National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more.

Video Taiwan Looks for Role in South China Sea Dispute

The Taiwanese government is one of several that claims territory in the hotly contested South China Sea, but Taipei has long been sidelined in the dispute, overshadowed by China. Now, as the Philippines challenges Beijing’s claims in an international court at The Hague, Taipei is looking to publicly assert its claims. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.

Video Syrian Refugees in US Express Concern for Those Left Behind

Syrian immigrants in the United States are concerned about the negative tide of public opinion and the politicians who want to block a U.S. plan to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees. Zlatica Hoke reports many Americans are fighting to dispel suspicions linking refugees to terrorists.

Video After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against IS

The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Americans Sharpen Focus on Terrorism

Washington will be quieter than usual this week due to the Thanksgiving holiday, even as Americans across the nation register heightened concerns over possible terrorist threats. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports new polling data from ABC News and the Washington Post newspaper show an electorate increasingly focused on security issues after the deadly Islamic State attacks in Paris.

Video World Leaders Head to Paris for Climate Deal

Heads of state from nearly 80 countries are heading to Paris (November 30-December 11) to craft a global climate change agreement. The new accord will replace the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change that expired in 2012.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

Video Creating Physical Virtual Reality With Tiny Drones

As many computer gamers know, virtual reality is a three-dimensional picture, projected inside special googles. It can fool your brain into thinking the computer world is the real world. But If you try to touch it, it’s not there. Now Canadian researchers say it may be possible to create a physical virtual reality using tiny drones. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video New American Indian Village Takes Visitors Back in Time

There is precious little opportunity to experience what life was like in the United States before its colonization by European settlers. Now, an American Indian village built in a park outside Washington is taking visitors back in time to experience the way of life of America's indigenous people. Carol Pearson narrates this report from VOA's June Soh.

Video Even With Hometown Liberated, Yazidi Refugees Fear Return

While the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar has been liberated from Islamic State forces, it's not clear whether Yazidi residents who fled the militants will now return home. VOA’s Mahmut Bozarslan talked with Yazidis, a religious and ethnic minority, at a Turkish refugee camp in Diyarbakır. Robert Raffaele narrates his report.

Video Nairobi Tailors Make Pope Francis’ Vestments

To ensure the pope is properly attired during his visit, the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops asked the Dolly Craft Sewing Project in the Nairobi slum of Kangemi to make the pope's vestments, the garments he will wear during the various ceremonies. Jill Craig reports.

Video Cross-Border Terrorism Puts Europe’s Passport-Free Travel in Doubt

The fallout from the Islamic State terror attacks in Paris has put the future of Europe’s passport-free travel area, known as the "Schengen Zone," in doubt. Several of the perpetrators were known to intelligence agencies, but were not intercepted. Henry Ridgwell reports from London European ministers are to hold an emergency meeting Friday in Brussels to look at ways of improving security.

Video El Niño Brings Unexpected Fish From Mexico to California

Fish in an unexpected spectrum of sizes, shapes and colors are moving north, through El Niño's warm currents from Mexican waters to the Pacific Ocean off California’s coast. El Nino is the periodic warming of the eastern and central Pacific Ocean. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this phenomenon thrills scientists and gives anglers the chance of a once-in-a-lifetime big catch. Faith Lapidus narrates.

Video Terrorism in Many Forms Continues to Plague Africa

While the world's attention is on Paris in the wake of Friday night's deadly attacks, terrorism from various sides remains a looming threat in many African countries. Nigerian cities have been targeted this week by attacks many believe were staged by the violent Islamist group Boko Haram. In addition, residents in many regions are forced to flee their homes as they are terrorized by armed militias. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Study: Underage Marriage Rate Higher for Females in Pakistan

While attitudes about the societal role of females in Pakistan are evolving, research by child advocacy group Plan International suggests that underage marriage of girls remains a particularly big issue in the country. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports how such marriages leads to further social problems.

VOA Blogs