Archive for January, 2012

Elbaradei Pullout ” Push” for “2nd Revolution” Advocates

Al Hayat – Jan. 16

Elbaradei Pullout ” Push” for “2nd Revolution” Advocates

Mohamed Elbaradei’s decision to quit Egypt presidential race came as “a push” for revolution youth who see that the goals of the revolution have not been achieved and call for turning the first anniversary into a “second revolution” to force SCAF to leave power for civilian rulers.

Election results were painful for revolution youth because they got only 5% of the new parliament versus more than 70% for Islamists – the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafists – which increased their feeling of exclusion.

Youth coalitions praised Elbaradei’s pullout decision. Elbaradei is seen as the representative of revolutionary forces in the presidential race.

Mahmoud Afifi, 6th of April Movement spokesman, told al Hayat that Elbaradei’s pullout decision is considered as a message of protest against SCAF.

His decision will surely increase the revolutionary momentum on Jan. 25 because after one year of the revolution, the proper environment for competition has not been provided for a fair presidential race just like the case under Mubarak.

Moderators of “The Second Rage Revolution” page on Facebook said: “Elbaradei’s pullout is a powerful slap to SCAF and an open call for taking to streets on Jan. 25 to complete Egypt’s revolution.”

The “Coalition of Egypt Revolutionists” said in a statement: “Elbaradei’s pullout decision is a position that supports the revolution and not a languor from him.”

The statement urged other presidential hopefuls to do the same like Elbaradei and not to participate “in a counterrevolution farce.”

It seems that Elbaradei’s decision – just like any other event – will widen the gap more and more between revolution youth and Islamic forces.

Some Islamic forces said that “Elbaradei pulled out after he realized the reality”, noting that he took such a step after he became certain that the mood of the Egyptian street goes to the Islamic trend, and this what elections showed.

But this explanation made revolution youth angry, who said “this is an attempt to defame the man (Elbaradei) the same way like the former regime.”

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Salafism between Egypt and Saudi Arabia

Al Hayat – Jan. 16

Article by: Daood al Shiryan

Salafism between Egypt and Saudi Arabia

Part of Egyptian press exaggerates the so-called Saudi intervention in the developments of the Egyptian revolution.

Some say Riyadh has rejected the trial of former president Hosni Mubarak and offered to pay all the money stolen by the regime in return for not trying him…oh great!

Some also say Riyadh seeks to control the political arena in Egypt by supporting the Salafists.

These opinions are being repeated by intellectuals and activists in the Egyptian revolution and have, accordingly, become part of the discourse in newspapers and satellite TVs.

Such superstitious speech depicts Egypt as a marginal and bribe-taking country, narrows its political and cultural role and makes light of its historical and civilization position.

Moreover, depicting the Salafist trend as “made in Saudi Arabia” reflects lack of knowledge of the history of Egypt. Salafism is in Egypt even before the unification of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the influence of Egyptian Salafists in the Salafism movement in Saudi Arabia is old and well-known. For example, one of the most famous members of the Saudi Senior Scholars Authority for decades is the late Sheikh Abdel Razzaq Afifi…an Egyptian scholar who came to Saudi Arabia and taught a big number of Saudi sheikhs.

Also, the movement of Salafist books compilation and publication was purely Egyptian until very recently.

Undoubtedly, the Saudi influence in the Arab and Islamic worlds is unquestionable fact. The movement of Saudi Sheikh Mohamed ben Abdel Wahhab has been echoing across Islamic countries and was the torch that helped protect the faith again and corrected many misconceptions, which spread due to superstitions and heterodoxies in the behavior of some Muslims.

But that influence does not delete the role of other Salafism scholars who are from Egypt, the Levant, Pakistan, India and other countries.

When some Egyptian intellectuals say Saudi Arabia is controlling the orientations of the Salafist leaders in Egypt, this is an insult to Egypt and Egyptians.

It is true that an entire generation of university professors, doctors, engineers and teachers – who participated in the development process in Saudi Arabia in the 1970s – brought some of the Saudi traditions to Egypt when they returned. But that generation was not a flock of ordinary people and its admiration of the Saudi experiment in some practices does not give others the right to accuse it of bribery and treachery.

Certainly, the anti-Salafist campaign in Egypt not only aims to lead to rupture of relations between Egyptians and Saudis, but also seeks to create conflict between Egyptian Islamists.

For well-known political reasons, some of the Egyptian Islamist trends refrain from accusing Egyptian Salafists of being agents, but for this they pay dearly.

Mohamed Elbaradei Quits Egypt Presidential Race

Below is Mohamed Elbaradei’s statement in which he quitted Egypt presidential race:

 

To my family, the people of Egypt

 

Our glorious revolution is about to complete its first year. And I would like to seize this chance to pay my deep condolences once again to the families of our martyrs and thousands of victims of the injured who sacrificed their blood and souls in order for us and our children to enjoy a modern Egypt based on freedom, human dignity and social justice. May all of them rest in peace and I pray for God to accept them among martyrs.

 

The ship of the revolution has passed through a tough way and was tossed about by tough waves and it knows the safe harbor very well and knows exactly how to reach it. But the captain who drives it – with no choice from the passengers and with no experience on how to drive it – foundered between the waves without a clear compass, while we offer him all kinds of help, but he rejects and chooses to go forward in the old way as if there was no revolution and no regime fell.

 

The nation must be brought together in an organized and agreed-upon political process in which we launch freedoms and open the windows for fresh air to enter in order to purge the minds and souls from all forms of dictatorship and in order to grant ourselves the period needed to write our constitution together in a manner full of the spirit of agreement based on respecting the basic human rights and to elect our representatives and leaders within a political and constitutional frame that ensures fair and free elections; elections that ensure representation for all categories and orientations of the Egyptian people. The captain took us to labyrinths and deep dialogs while it makes decision alone and in a way that reflects confusion and randomness in the vision. This aggravated the splits between the categories of the society at the time we are in bad need for unity and concord.

 

At the same time, a suppressive security policy was followed that is marked by violence, harassment and killing and the referral of revolutionists to military trials instead of protecting them and punishing those who killed their friends. All this comes under the illegitimate state of emergency and the non-understandable absence of security and the bad management of the economy, in addition to not taking decisive steps to purge the state bodies – especially the judiciary and the media – from the corruption of the former regime, and without taking decisive steps to isolate the symbols of the former regime or prevent them from continuing corrupting the political life. Randomness and mismanagement of the transitional process lead the country away from the goals of the revolution, which makes all of us feel that the former regime has not fallen.

 

However, I do not want despair to find a way to the spirits. Lessons of history teach us that all great revolutions pass through such ups and downs, but at the end they reach the safe harbor. The most important thing that was achieved in the past year is breaking the barrier of fear and that the people restored their belief in their ability to change and that they are the master and the ruler. Also the strong participation in elections – despite their clear defects – enhances confidence in the people’s ability to practice democracy and self-government.

 

I am confident that this people will continue demanding their rights until they get them all. I call upon all the revolution forces to work with all categories of the people in order to achieve that goal, sticking always to the peacefulness of the revolution. Peaceful protest is the source of power and purity for the revolution.

 

My brothers, my sisters, citizens of Egypt

 

I reviewed the best ways with which I could serve the goals of the revolution in light of this reality. And I found no place inside the official frame to allow me to do so, including the position of the president for which preparations are underway before putting the constitution that controls the relation between powers and protects freedoms.

 

In light of all these circumstances, I decided not to run for president. This decision does not mean I am quitting the scene, but I will continue serving this country more effectively, from outside the official positions, free of all restrictions.

 

I have severally said that my goal is to help the people of my homeland to rebuilt Egypt that we all belong to and feel proud of and that my goal is not to achieve personal interest. However, I endured a lot of offense, lying and ethical inferiority before and after the revolution, from a regime writhe with fear from hearing the truth. I took upon myself an oath not to care about all these offenses and to focus my effort on all that leads to public interest. But I affirmed since the beginning that my conscience will not allow me to run for president or any other official position except within a real democratic system that takes the essence of democracy and not the outer appearance of democracy.

 

The revolution expresses the conscience of the nation, which revolted. The revolution is not connected to any person. And at the time all persons will go, the revolution will continue as long as the conscience of the nation is alive. I said it two years ago and would like to repeat it now: Only youth will rebuild this nation…the youth whose consciences have not been polluted by the corruption of the regime and its suppressive methods. Those youth are the dream and the hope and that’s why I will continue working with them in the coming period amid the mass of our people in order to enable them to effective participation in the political action in order for them to take the lead of Egypt in the near future and to achieve all the goals of the nation: Freedom, human dignity and social justice. I am confident that Egypt’s youth along with all those who have faith in them and in their goals, will succeed with their renewed thinking and they will lead this nation to a better future. And this will be the best honor for hundreds of martyrs and thousands of injured, who sacrificed themselves for Egypt and its people.

 

Long live Egypt free and proud with its people

 

Mohamed Elbaradei

Saleh to Stay in Yemen Until Veep Named President – Source

Asharq al Awsat – Jan. 7

Saleh to Stay in Yemen Until Veep Named President – Source

An official Yemeni source said President Saleh’s travel to US is not a priority in the current stage and that Saleh intends to stay in Yemen until the coming presidential elections and until his vice president is named the new president of the country.

“Discussing the issue of President Saleh’s travel to US is a media luxury. That issue is not part of the Gulf Initiative or its executive mechanism. The issue was settled this way: Saleh will stay in Yemen until the political process is completed,” said Abdul Hafeez al Nahari, chief of the Media Department in the General People’s Congress (or GPC – the ruling political party in Yemen) in a phone interview with Asharq al Awsat.

“GPC members requested President Saleh to stay in Yemen in this critical stage in order to help the organizational process inside the party and help the vice president succeed in managing the political process. The president answered their request,” he noted.

Al Nahari said some media tries to make a problem out of the issue of his travel or his stay in Yemen and, indeed, his stay in Yemen is a factor of stability and a helping element for the vice president. His presence in Yemen has helped a lot in unifying the GPC and the House of Representatives and also helped in shaping the new government and the military committee and helped in removing the obstacles in Sanaa, Taiz and other provinces.

Tunis Gov’t Finds it Difficult to Face Sit-ins

Asharq al Awsat – Jan. 7

Tunis Gov’t Finds it Difficult to Face Sit-ins

 

The new Tunisian government took office 10 days ago, but is facing a lot of difficulties in managing a heavy legacy of social and economic demands across the country.

 

Social demands are often supported by political groups that defend public and individual freedoms.

 

Sit-in is one way to express social and economic demands. But the Interior Ministry finds it difficult to stand in between the freedoms and meeting such demands.

 

Some parties say one of the solutions is to have a truce of 6 months at least.

 

Elected President, Moncef Marzouki, supports such a truce, but it got no positive reaction from protesters and strikers in public and private companies.

 

The government is confused toward these files. It always seeks to show self-restraint and avoid using force because several parties are watching al Nahda to see in what way it will deal with such protests.

 

Nahda accuses leftist and union sides of obstructing its programs and projects by encouraging such protests. But Nahda has not taken any action toward protesters until now and still discussing all available options and from time to time it urges Tunisians to respect the laws and the higher interests of the country.

 

Abdel Hamid al Garay, chief of the National Security, said: “Security situation faces a lot of difficulties. If the security body interfered in all areas to end the protests and sit-ins, there must be blames that some security elements used excessive force and this would open the door for confrontation between protesters and security again.”

 

“We asked the elected president to provide legal protection for the security forces over their interferences,” he said in remarks to the daily.

 

The security body suggested that the General Prosecution should accompany the security forces during their interferences to end the protests and sit-ins and should document what’s going on and what each party is doing in order to have evidences for everything, said al Garay.

 

Marzuoki seems to be happy with that idea and might implement it, he noted.