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Maher Hathout is a former Muslim Brotherhood member no longer active in the organization.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

Photogallery US Storm Falls Short of Severe Predictions, Yet Affects Millions

NYC mayor says, 'This is nothing like we feared it would be,' yet blizzard warnings, travel bans remain for several East Coast states More

Millions of Displaced Nigerians Struggle with Daily Existence

Government acknowledges over a million people were displaced in 2014 due to fight against Boko Haram insurgency More

Facebook: Internal Error to Blame for Outages

Temporary outage appeared to spill over and temporarily slow or block traffic to other major Internet sites 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.
Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visiti
X
Aru Pande
January 26, 2015 9:33 PM
U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visit

U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video US, EU Threaten New Russia Sanctions Over Ukraine

U.S. President Barack Obama has blamed Russia for an attack by Ukrainian separatists that left dozens dead in the port of Mariupol and cast further doubt on the viability of last year’s cease-fire with the Kyiv government. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington.
Video

Video White House Grapples With Yemen Counterterrorism Strategy

Reports say the U.S. has carried out a drone strike on suspected militants in Yemen, the first after President Barack Obama offered reassurances the U.S. is continuing its counterterrorism operations in the country. The future of those operations has been in question following the collapse last week of Yemen’s government. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Kerry Warns Against Violence in Nigeria Election

US Secretary of State John Kerry visited Nigeria Sunday in a show of the level of concern within the U.S. and the international community over next month’s presidential election. Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Saudi, Yemen Developments Are Sudden Complications for Obama

The death of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah and the collapse of Yemen’s government have cast further uncertainty on U.S. efforts to fight militants in the Middle East and also contain Iran’s influence in the region. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports on the new complications facing the Obama administration and its Middle East policy.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid