News / Middle East

Some Egyptians See Crackdown as Necessary

"For Some Egyptians, Crackdown is OK" - related video report by Elizabeth Arrott
"For Some Egyptians, Crackdown is OK" - related video report by Elizabeth Arrott
Elizabeth Arrott
International condemnation over the bloodshed in Egypt has been swift and strong.  But not everyone inside the country is taking such a critical view and some go to great lengths to defend the crackdown as necessary. 

As many countries recoil at Egypt's violent crackdown on anti-government protesters, the nation's Armed Forces chief, General Abdel Fatah el-Sissi, argues the actions are based on a popular mandate. 

The general proclaimed that he values “the honor of protecting the will of the people” more than “honor of ruling Egypt.”

The victims of the crackdown, of course, are the people of Egypt as well. But for a large segment of society, the affiliation of the dead appears to make all the difference.

It is not only police and soldiers confronting the Muslim Brotherhood-led protests.  Popular committees have sprung up - some, the baltagiya, or thugs - in the pay of security forces. But others are ordinary citizens protecting their neighborhoods. 

Such was the case when protesters took refuge in a Cairo mosque earlier this month.

"It was not the police or the army that was attacking the people who were inside, it was the people. So when they left, if you look at some of the videos, people were shouting and wanted to beat them and it was the police and the army that were protecting [them],” said political sociologist Said Sadek.

Anger against the Brotherhood and Islamist President Mohamed Morsi built throughout his year in office.  Economic woes and perceived exclusionary politics led to massive popular protests and military intervention.

Resentment of the Islamists spread beyond ordinary citizens.  Even advocates of democracy and long-time critics of the military's role in Egyptian politics accept the military ouster of the nation's first freely-elected leader.

"President Morsi betrayed the Egyptian revolution. Before he was elected they told the secular liberals that the slogan of the revolution  - 'No to a theocratic state.  No to a military state' - will be respected.  He did not respect it,” said Sadek.

The hundreds of deaths are seen, with reluctance by some, as the price of historical change. The better choice to them is a return, temporarily, to a military state.

Hisham Kassem, a voice of dissent before the 2011 revolution, once spoke vehemently against state of emergency and martial law, back in place after the crackdown began.

"I understand there is a need for it, okay, but i was hoping it would be imposed for a week. But in a month if there is no reason for a martial law to still remain imposed, I will go out there and fight it, okay, and this has to be the attitude,” said Kassem.

He argued it's vital to understand what is necessary for the moment, but then push again for what Egyptians wanted in the first place.

You May Like

Hong Kong Democracy Calls Spread to Macau

Macau and Hong Kong are China’s two 'special administrative regions' which gives them a measure of autonomy More

After Nearly 2 Years, Pistorius Remains Elusive

Reporter Anita Powell reflects on her experience covering the Olympic athlete's murder trial More

Kenyan Coastal Town Struggles With Deadly June Attacks

Three months after al-Shabab militants allegedly attacked their town, some Mpeketoni residents are still bitter, question who was really behind the assaults More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Obama to Ramp Up Anti-Ebola Efforts in Africai
X
Luis Ramirez
September 15, 2014 11:01 PM
President Barack Obama on Tuesday will unveil his plan to ramp up efforts against the spread of the Ebola virus in Africa. VOA White House Correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Obama to Ramp Up Anti-Ebola Efforts in Africa

President Barack Obama on Tuesday will unveil his plan to ramp up efforts against the spread of the Ebola virus in Africa. VOA White House Correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


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