How Can Egypt Break Free From a New Fascism?

Article Summary
Closer to secular fascism than a religious mandate to establish a new Islamic Caliphate, the ruling Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt has merely re-branded the form of dictatorship seen in the former regime.

Roman emperors used to parade around with an underling walking at the head of the procession carrying a metal ring attached to which were large keys that symbolized different aspects of imperial power.

One key represented the army, another the police force, a third the judiciary, etc. The metal ring was called a fascio in Italian, and symbolized the emperor’s absolute authority over all of the state’s institutions. The term disappeared from the lexicon for centuries, until it was revived in 1919 by the Italian leader Benito Mussolini when he established the fascist movement that ascended to power a few years later. As its influence spread beyond Italy, this movement gave rise to similar movements such as Nazism in Germany, and Spanish fascism under Gen. Francisco Franco. It was thus that fascism mutated from a historical term to a political one.

Fascist organizations do not respect the people’s will, considering instead that they alone discern right from wrong and therefore have a duty to impose their beliefs on others by force.

As soon as fascists ascend to power, whether through free elections or military coups, they endeavor to dismantle democratic systems and implement a plan for their complete and absolute control over all state institutions.

Fascists despise those who are different; they oppress and abuse the rights and dignities of all peoples. They interfere in their private lives in order to impose on all the same unified mode of conduct. By their nature, they reject culture, the arts and general or individual freedoms. They never hesitate to commit the most heinous of crimes, their conscience remaining clear because they think themselves entrusted with a holy task that justifies interfering in the lives of others, and appropriating their property and rights.

Fascism might take on a military form, whose goal is to restore lost imperial glory by waging war and occupying other countries, or it might be of a religious nature. In the latter, fascists tend to believe that they are not normal politicians, but chosen by God to perform a great and divine task.

Egypt has known both military and religious fascism. Despite our appreciation for the late President Gamal Abdel Nasser, who was a great and loyal leader, the ruling regime in Egypt since 1954 has been a military fascist one that relied on the army and security forces’ brutality to remain in power, as opposed to relying on free elections that reflected the people’s will.

Then the Jan. 25 Revolution took place, and the Military Council and Muslim Brotherhood agreed on compromises that would safeguard both their interests at the expense of the revolution’s. Elections ensued, and the Muslim Brotherhood’s candidate became the first elected civilian president of the country, who, a few months into his reign, abrogated laws and disrupted constitutional rule, imposing instead the will of the Brotherhood’s Supreme Guide upon all of the Egyptian populace.

The scene in Egypt is crystal clear. The country is ruled by a fascist faction that came to rule through elections, choosing to use democracy as a wooden ladder to ascend to power, and subsequently kicking this ladder far away so that no one else could use it instead. The Brotherhood cannot be described as being Islamist because its members are religiously deluded and have committed crimes that Islam and all religions reject.

Does Islam allow police to shoot and kill 100 protesters? Does is condone the torture of detainees, the electrocution of prisoners, or the rape of male inmates held in President Mohammed Morsi’s jails? No, the Muslim Brotherhood is definitely not an Islamist organization; it is a fascist one by all definitions and norms.

When the blight of fascism befalls a country, all its citizens must transcend their political differences and unite to free their nation from its clutches. We are not faced here with a run-of-the-mill ruler whose performance we find lacking; we are faced with a fascist faction that obtained power through elections, and is implementing its plan to forever monopolize rule and prevent the transfer of power.

Members of the fascist Brotherhood live in a fictitious world where they are the sole representatives of Islam. They are deluded into thinking that God chose them to restore the glory of the Muslim nation. They talk about freeing Jerusalem and retaking Andalusia, while they remain incapable of controlling the Sinai, and unable to protect the water of the Nile from aggression by certain African nations.

Worse than the Brotherhood’s abject failure is its inability to admit failure, simply because it is incapable of distinguishing reality as it is. Members of the Brotherhood are infinitely ready to exhibit stubbornness, espouse fallacies and deny overwhelming facts, in order to maintain the beautiful illusion under which they were nurtured: that God chose them to restore the Islamic caliphate. Towards that end, they will never cease to implement their empowerment scheme, regardless of the catastrophic repercussions upon the Egyptian people.

The Brotherhood will not implement any agreement, nor will it respect any law. It will ignore court decisions and wage an unrelenting war against all those who stand in the way of their total control over the state. Duty therefore dictates that we face this fascist regime because each additional day with it in office will lead to further collapse and ruin.

In all of Egypt today, people feel frustrated and worried; a state of mind that drives them to discussions which often turn violent. How can we rid ourselves of the Brotherhood’s fascism? In my opinion, three steps are necessary:

First: Defend state institutions

Every elected authority has the right to appoint its representatives to the government and control said government in order to guarantee the implementation of its policies; but the state must remain neutral.

The Brotherhood aims to control the state itself, thus making it impossible to remove them from power. This explains the Brotherhood’s strange passion for involving Egyptian society (itself worn-out) in never-ending political and legal battles, the aim of which is always the imposition of the Brotherhood’s will over the state through invalid measures. The calls for reform raised by the Brotherhood are but subterfuge. The Egyptian judiciary is in need of reform, but the Brotherhood does not want to reform it; they want to control it by firing thousands of judges who would be replaced by pro-Brotherhood ones.

It is true that the former attorney general was in league with Mubarak’s regime, but the Brotherhood did not depose him so that his office becomes a representative of the people’s will. They did so to install an attorney general from their own ranks. As a result, our duty is to protect state institutions against the Brotherhood’s schemes, while admitting that these institutions are rife with transgressions and faults.

We notice here that the Brotherhood’s mattocks used to demolish the judiciary, media, culture, and Supreme Constitutional Court, were not raised against the police force whose crimes against the Egyptians were a direct cause for the revolution. The reason for that is the Brotherhood’s need for a strong oppressive agency that guarantees the subjugation of the Egyptian people, and their acceptance of the [Brotherhood’s] empowerment scheme.

Second: Rejecting compromise solutions

A fascist authority always relies on the element of surprise to impose its will as a fait accompli. It then absorbs the first violent wave of protests until dissenting voices abate and people feel exhausted, having to deal with concerns of their daily lives, while getting accustomed to and maybe even accepting the new situation. In this context, agreeing to compromise solutions with the fascist authority would be akin to accepting the newly imposed reality. Our acceptance of the attorney general’s investigations means that we acknowledge his legitimacy; and whomever participates in parliamentary elections will subsequently have no right to object to the sham constitution after having sworn allegiance to respect it.

The fascist authority must not be allowed to trick us into negotiating the details, so that we don’t lose the chance to address our primary concern, which, in my opinion, revolves around the fact that Morsi came to power as a legitimately elected president who later lost this legitimacy by trampling all over the law and the constitution with his own constitutional declaration. He then lost his legitimacy again when 100 martyrs were shot dead by the police force that he controls.

Why do some politicians affirm that Morsi has lost his legitimacy, only to rush and meet with him when summoned? The Muslim Brotherhood benefits from compromise solutions because they allow it to instill the aberrant situation that it succeeded in imposing upon us.

We cannot free ourselves from the clutches of fascism unless we unite behind a single demand: That Morsi relinquishes his rule.

Third: Maintain peaceful pressure

A revolutionary idea appeared in the form of a defiance campaign that would legitimately achieve the people’s demands. In democracies, parliament can withdraw confidence from the president and organize early presidential elections. The incumbent can then either win said elections and remain in office, or lose and surrender his post to whomever the people chooses. In a democracy, every authority is subject to accountability, and accountability cannot exist without the right to withdraw confidence when needed.

Egypt today is without an elected parliament. It thus is natural that the powers of the legislative branch be transferred from parliament to the source of its legitimacy, the people. Signatories to this defiance campaign are not anarchists but citizens exercising one of their inherent political rights, by demanding that confidence be withdrawn from a president who has trampled over the law and the constitution; arrested, tortured and killed untold innocent people, as well as abjectly failed to run the affairs of the state. Morsi will lose his legitimacy in front of the whole world once the number of signatories to the defiance campaign surpasses the number of votes he received in the presidential elections. The battle must then move onto the streets, and millions must demonstrate in front of the presidential palace to force Morsi into submitting to the will of the people.

On July 30, millions of Egyptians will take to the streets to proclaim their rejection of the Brotherhood’s rule and demand their right to early presidential elections. The people will vanquish this fascist regime.

Democracy is the solution.

Found in: fascism
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