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

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies More

Judge Declares Washington DC Ban on Public Handguns Unconstitutional

Ruling overturns capital city's prohibition on carrying guns in pubic More

Pricey Hepatitis C Drug Draws Criticism

Activists are using the International AIDS Conference to criticize drug companies for charging high prices for life-saving therapies 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.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid