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).
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Maher Hathout is a former Muslim Brotherhood member no longer active in the organization.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

Scotland Vote Raises Questions of International Law

Experts say self-determination, as defined and protected by international law, confined narrowly to independence movements in process of de-colonization More

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

Conservationists hail ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015 More

Annual Military Exercise Takes on New Meaning for Ukraine Troops

Troops from 15 nations participating in annual event, 'Rapid Trident' in western Ukraine 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.
Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctionsi
X
September 18, 2014 2:28 AM
A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid