Egypt: "Still too Soon" to Judge the Revolution

Article Summary
While critics have been swift to criticize the Egyptian revolution for its slow progress, transforming the country into a sustainable democracy will take time, writes Fatih Abdulsalam. While no revolution can be expected to achieve “perfection,” Egypt is already on the right path, he believes.

Some Egyptian parties and individuals are unfairly judging the revolution, accusing it of having failed to accomplish its goals on its first year anniversary. Who can set deadlines for revolutions, defining the acceptable timeframe for accomplishing their goals?

These [critics] have failed to notice that Egypt is undergoing a transformation, [moving] from one path into [another,] of democratic awakening. This transformation is a complicated process that [may] require more than the 1,000 precious casualties that have [already] been lost.  

The only time frame available is the process which started with parliamentary elections [and] will soon be followed by the drafting [of a new constitution] and the election of a president.

Meanwhile, the issue of the Military Council [festers], and many sides are hurling their accusations against it. They forget that the Military Council has played a key role in the abdication of President Mubarak. The Council was also crucial in guiding Egypt during the transitional period, when it was in danger of losing every semblance of order.

The main issue revolves around the transfer of authority from the Military Council to the elected civilian government. All other issues are just details that would come up inevitably during any period of change. After the success of the revolution, however, several media outlets that have been showered with large sums of Arab money provoked the Egyptian street, encouraging reckless behavior. They tried to buy the loyalty of Egyptian parties and groups, especially those that have been formed recently. These states feel that they played an important role in the escalation [of protests] against Mubarak, and in forcing him to submit to the Egyptian people’s revolution.

Meanwhile, the question of elections has been successfully resolved, and the parliament has been divided between the Muslim Brotherhood, the Salafists and the liberals. It was a positive step on the path of change. It was the first free and fair election [in the history of Egypt], opening the road for drafting a just constitution, and electing a president who represents the will of the people. However, all these developments can still be criticized through raising a number of observations, corrections, and explanations. In turn, these negative points could be utilized to fan a media and public fire that will keep the Egyptian situation unstable for at least [another] two years.

Moreover, Washington and Tel Aviv are continuously scrutinizing Egypt’s foreign policy, keen to judge it from the first day it is implemented by the new government.

All these developments have significantly changed Egypt’s situation. However, following the collapse of the Mubarak [regime] the main goals [of the revolution] have not yet been completely accomplished, with the major exception of parliamentary elections.

One of the main benchmarks of a revolution’s success is its sustainability, because no process can ever achieve perfection. Egypt’s revolution needs only half of a perfect success - or even less - to overcome its present impasse. This revolution cannot possibly fail, even if those who desire its failure benefit from their own [media] outlets and voices, and the backing of their supporters.

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