News / USA

Egyptian-Americans Divided Over Egypt Crisis

Egyptian-Americans discuss Egypt's political crisis at a meeting in late July (file photo).Egyptian-Americans discuss Egypt's political crisis at a meeting in late July (file photo).
x
Egyptian-Americans discuss Egypt's political crisis at a meeting in late July (file photo).
Egyptian-Americans discuss Egypt's political crisis at a meeting in late July (file photo).
TEXT SIZE - +
Mohamed Elshinnawi
— Egyptian-Americans are closely watching developments in Egypt. According to estimates, there are more than 200,000 people of Egyptian background living in the United States and while a majority of them are Coptic Christians, many Egyptian-Americans are divided over whether they support the ousted Muslim Brotherhood government of Mohamed Morsi or the new military-led administration in Cairo that has led the bloody crackdown against Morsi supporters. 

Safi Hamed is a member of the newly established organization, Operation Save Democracy, which is blaming the Egyptian military for the current crisis, claiming it ignored a Brotherhood compromise proposal to ease tensions by allowing an independent interim prime minister run the country until a new president could be elected. Hamed said that the military and its hand-picked government "were not interested."

 “The blame has to be assigned to the military and its appointed interim government because they preferred resorting to force and violence over a negotiated settlement to end the political crisis.”

But Mokhtar Kamel disagrees. He is the president of the Egyptian-American Alliance which supports the new military-backed government. He said the Brotherhood’s negotiating position was inflexible and that this led to the crisis. “They insisted to reinstate their ousted president and restore the faulty constitution and their Islamist-dominated Shura Council before [entering into] any political dialogue.”

Kamel blamed Morsi supporters for the violence and said they sought to dominate all political life in Egypt by adopting a constitution that lacked public support.  

Maher Hathout is a former Muslim Brotherhood member no longer active in the organization. As a spokesman for the Islamic Center of Southern California, he said he is not surprised by the behavior of both sides.

“The military does not play games when it comes to law and order, they use the language they know better - violence, and the other side has no experience whatsoever on how to play politics,” Hathout said. 

Both sides look to US leadership

While Egyptian-Americans disagree over what caused the crisis, many said they would like to see the U.S. take a more active role in diffusing the situation.

On Thursday, President Obama slammed the interim government and security forces for their actions and what he called the pursuit of martial law. He also cancelled a biennial military exercise with Egypt, known as “Bright Start," that was scheduled for next month.” 

Safi Hamed said he wanted more from the president. “We expect a more powerful position that immediately denounces the military coup in Egypt and calls it what it really is, and then [put pressure on] the Egyptian military by actually cutting U.S. military aid until governance [in] Egypt restores [its] legitimacy,” he said. 

Meanwhile, Mokhtar Kamel who supports the military-led government, said Obama is ignoring what he calls the Brotherhood's role in creating the crisis and the violence that has claimed hundreds of lives. 

“The US position lacks balance by neglecting to mention how the intransigence of the Brotherhood and their religious fervor led to the stalemate and that their sit-in was not peaceful as they claim,” he said. 

Kamel said he expects more bloodshed in the streets of Egypt in coming days but he held out hope for the future. “A new paradigm is replacing an antiquated one,” he said.  

For Safi Hamed the future depends on international efforts to end the crisis. “If the U.S. and the international community insisted on restoring legitimacy in governing Egypt away from the military domination, Egypt could see a better tomorrow,”  he said. If the international community does not act, Hamed said Egypt is destined to enter a “very gloomy chapter in its history.”

You May Like

Multimedia Relatives of South Korean Ferry Victims Fire at Authorities

46 people are confirmed dead, but some 250 remain trapped inside sunken ferry More

War Legacy Haunts Vietnam, US Relations

$84 million project aims to clean up soil contaminated by Agent Orange More

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Truesage Idowu from: Lagos, Nigeria
August 16, 2013 6:37 AM
History is repeating itself.
"We are back to the era of Gamal Abdel Nasser".
El Sisi should learn about the challenges Nasser faced and avoid it. Also learn from the challenges of Anwar Sadat and avoid the assassination which seems inevitable for now. Never negotiate with terrorists or be humane as they do not deserve any iota of human rights. Staying alive means the treatment melted on Saint Hosni Mubarak will never repeat itself.
One more thing, please release that Saint Hosni Mubarak. Egyptians never values their saint. A prophet has no honor in his father's house. I long to see this hero released.
Death to all the terrorists.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid