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    Maher Hathout is a former Muslim Brotherhood member no longer active in the organization.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

    Ethiopia's Anti-terrorism Law: Security or Silencing Dissent?

    Yonatan Tesfaye was detained in December 2015 on charges under Ethiopia's Anti-Terrorism Proclamation; eleven statements from his Facebook page were used as evidence

    Egypt Orders Trial for Journalists Charged With Harboring Reporters

    Order targets journalists' union chief Yehia Qalash, Khaled al-Balshy and Gamal Abdel Rahim for allegedly spreading false news, harboring fugitive colleagues

    Nigerian Oil Production Falls as Militant Attacks Take Toll

    Country no longer Africa's petroleum king due to renewed militancy in its oil-producing region

    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.
    New Chapter for Tunisia's Ennahdai
    X
    Lisa Schlein
    May 31, 2016 1:56 PM
    Tunisia’s moderate Islamist Ennahda party says it is separating its religious and political activities in a broader bid to mark its so-called Muslim Democratic identity. The move appears to open a new chapter for a party that bounced back from the political wilderness of Tunisia’s pre-revolution days to become a key player in the North African country, and a member of the current coalition government. From Tunis, Lisa Bryant takes a look at how Tunisians are viewing its latest step.
    Video

    Video New Chapter for Tunisia's Ennahda

    Tunisia’s moderate Islamist Ennahda party says it is separating its religious and political activities in a broader bid to mark its so-called Muslim Democratic identity. The move appears to open a new chapter for a party that bounced back from the political wilderness of Tunisia’s pre-revolution days to become a key player in the North African country, and a member of the current coalition government. From Tunis, Lisa Bryant takes a look at how Tunisians are viewing its latest step.
    Video

    Video New Mobile App Allows Dutch Muslims to Rate their Imams

    If a young Dutch-Moroccan app developer has his way, Muslims in the Netherlands will soon be able to rate their imams online. Mohamed Mouman says imams rarely get feedback from their followers. He believes his app can give prayer leaders a better picture of what's happening in their communities — and can also keep young people from being radicalized. Serginho Roosblad reports from Amsterdam.
    Video

    Video Moscow Condemns NATO Plans to Beef Up Defense in Eastern Europe, Baltics

    NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Monday an upcoming "landmark summit" will enhance the alliance's defensive and deterrent presence in eastern Europe and the Baltics. He is visiting Poland ahead of the NATO Summit in Warsaw. Zlatica Hoke reports
    Video

    Video Tech Startups Showcase Wares at Amsterdam Conference

    More than 20,000 tech enthusiasts, entrepreneurs and lovers of digital technology came together in Amsterdam recently at the Next Web Conference to discuss the latest developments in digital technology, look to the future and, of course, to connect. In recent years, there has been an explosion of so-called startup businesses that have created devices and applications that have changed the way we live; but, as Serginho Roosblad reports for VOA, there are pitfalls for such startups as well.
    Video

    Video US Military's Fallen Honored With Flags

    Memorial Day is a long weekend for most Americans. For some, it is the unofficial start of summer -- local swimming pools open and outdoor grilling season begins. But Memorial Day remains true to its origins -- a day to remember the U.S. military's fallen.
    Video

    Video Rolling Thunder Rolls Into Washington

    The Rolling Thunder caravan of motorcycles rolled into Washington Sunday, to support the U.S. military on the country's Memorial Day weekend
    Video

    Video A New Reading Program Pairs Kids with Dogs

    Dogs, it is said, are man's best friend. What some researchers have discovered is that they can also be a friend to a struggling reader. A group called Intermountain Therapy Animals trains dogs to help all kinds of kids with reading problems — from those with special needs to those for whom English is a second language. Faiza Elmasry has more on the New York chapter of R.E.A.D., or Reading Education Assistance Dogs, in this piece narrated by Faith Lapidus.
    Video

    Video Fan Base Grows for Fictional Wyoming Sheriff Longmire

    Around the world, the most enduring symbol of the U.S. is that of the cowboy. A very small percentage of Americans live in Western rural areas, and fewer still are cowboys. But the fascination with the American West is kept alive by such cultural offerings as “Longmire,” a series of books and TV episodes about a fictional Wyoming sheriff. VOA’s Greg Flakus recently spoke with Longmire’s creator, Craig Johnson, and filed this report from Houston.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video F-35 Fighter Jet Draws Criticisms as Costs Mount

    America’s latest fighter plane, the F-35, has been mired in controversy. Critics cite cost, faulty design, and the attempt to use it to fill multiple roles. Even the pilot’s helmet is controversial. VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from New York.
    Video

    Video Concerns Over Civilian Suffering as Iraqi Forces Surround Fallujah

    Thousands of residents are trapped inside the IS-held city ahead of a full scale Iraqi offensive aimed at retaking it.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora