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

Video Russia’s Syrian Escalation Tests Obama’s Crisis Response

Critics once again question whether president has been slow to act on Syrian conflict, thus creating opening for powers like Russia More

Ancient African DNA Shows Mass Migration Back Into Africa

First genetic analysis of ancient human remains in Africa suggests massive migration from north around time of Egyptian empire More

NASA: Pluto Has Blue Sky

New photos also reveal the presence of water ice More

This forum has been closed.
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.
Hungary Criticized for Handling of Refugeesi
Henry Ridgwell
October 08, 2015 8:02 PM
Amnesty International has accused Hungary of breaking multiple international and European human rights laws in its handling of the refugee crisis. As Henry Ridgwell reports, thousands of migrants and refugees continue to travel through the Balkans to Hungary every day.

Video Hungary Criticized for Handling of Refugees

Amnesty International has accused Hungary of breaking multiple international and European human rights laws in its handling of the refugee crisis. As Henry Ridgwell reports, thousands of migrants and refugees continue to travel through the Balkans to Hungary every day.

Video Iraqi-Kurdish Teachers Vow to Continue Protest

Sixteen people were injured when police used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse teachers and other public employees who took to the streets in Iraq’s Kurdish north, demanding their salaries from the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG). VOA’s Dilshad Anwar, in Sulaimaniya, caught up with protesting teachers who say they have not been paid for three months. Parke Brewer narrates his report.

Video Syrian Village Community Faces Double Displacement in Lebanon

Driven by war from their village in southwestern Syria, a group of families found shelter in Lebanon, resettling en masse in a half-built university to form one of the biggest settlements of its kind in Lebanon. Three years later, however, they now face being kicked out and dispersed in a country where finding shelter as a refugee can be especially tough. John Owens has more for VOA from the city of Saida, also known as Sidon.

Video Bat Colony: Unusual Tourist Attraction in Texas

The action hero Batman might be everyone’s favorite but real bats hardly get that kind of adoration. Put more than a million of these creatures of the night together and it only evokes images of horror. Sarah Zaman visited the largest urban bat colony in North America to see just how well bat and human get along with each other.

Video Device Shows Promise of Stopping Motion Sickness

It’s a sickening feeling — the dizziness, nausea and vomiting that comes with motion sickness. But a device now being developed could stop motion sickness by suppressing certain signals in the brain. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.

Video Making a Mint

While apples, corn, and cranberries top the list of fall produce in the US, it’s also the time to harvest gum, candy, and toothpaste—or at least the oil that makes them minty fresh. Erika Celeste reports from South Bend, Indiana on the mint harvest.

Video Activists Decry Lagos Slum Demolition

Acting on a court order, authorities in Nigeria demolished a slum last month in the commercial capital, Lagos. But human rights activists say the order was illegal, and the community was razed to make way for a government housing project. Chris Stein has more from Lagos.

Video TPP Agreed, But Faces Stiff Opposition

President Barack Obama promoted the Trans-Pacific Partnership on Tuesday, one day after 12 Pacific Rim nations reached the free trade deal in Atlanta. The controversial pact that would involve about 40 percent of global trade still needs approval by lawmakers in respective countries. Zlatica Hoke reports Obama is facing strong opposition to the deal, including from members of his own party.

Video Ukranian Artist Portrays Putin in an Unusual Way

As Russian President Vladimir Putin was addressing the United Nations in New York last month, he was also being featured in an art exhibition in Washington. It’s not a flattering exhibit. It’s done by a Ukrainian artist in a unique medium. And its creator says it’s not only a work of art - it’s a political statement. VOA’s Tetiana Kharchenko has more.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

VOA Blogs