(posted on my German blog on 12 January 2014)
Egypt is heading back with giant steps into a repressive past. Those who are not with them, are against them, is declared to be a traitor and silenced.
The „protest law“ that has been launched recently does not only aim to curb the demonstrations of the Muslim Brotherhood which have become a routine, and to take violent measures against them. It also silences the opponents of the present regime. Who are the opponents? What are the holders of power afraid of?
Currently, dozens of famous and hundreds of less renowned activists are jailed. They are those courageous ones that were the driving force of the uproar of 25 January 2011. Other thousands of innocents who were sitting, standing or walking in the wrong place at the wrong time, in addition to journalists, Muslim Brothers and other “state enemies” are locked up as well. The activists are accused to have demonstrated without prior permission, to have called for protests or – even worse – to have damaged state property or to have attacked the police. The one who speaks up is at risk of finding himself in the hands of the police. During the retrial of Khaled Said’s murder, a poet was conducted away by the police; some protestors held signs demanding justice (for Khaled Said) in front of the court house. When the police arrested some of them, the poet asked a police officer “why do you arrest them?”? Now, he too, is jailed (Masr El-Youm, 7.1.2014).
Millions of pounds are spent on banners hung up all over the country, inviting the people to say “Yes” on tomorrow’s referendum over the revised constitution. Yet, the handful of people that distributed flyers calling to vote against the constitution was arrested. The regime is scared of those who disagree. Not to mention the fact that with the wasted money many people in need could have benefitted. The money is wasted because the constitution will be accepted anyway. Or does anybody doubt it?
I was warned by an acquaintance: I should take care where I comment. Indeed, I was virtually attacked and insulted when I expressed my doubts over the substance of the news. According to the mishmash that has been spread by the media for months, the police constantly discovers planned bomb attacks, spies terror cells, kills terrorists, prevents a 12 year old from blowing himself up, and detects hidden bombs. Not all of this can be true. First, I did not even understand the reason for being branded. However reality is: who is not backing the present (and old) regime, i.e. who does not rejoice with the majority, is either a MB supporter or a spy funded from abroad. Anyway, he/she is a hypocrite and someone who hasn’t got a clue about Egypt. I don’t, that’s true; but I watch and listen. And then, I think and this is anyway already too much.
The majority in particular does not want to think, but to follow a hero who guides them to paradise – in Egypt this means stability, security and away from the misery. Whoever promises this will be hailed as a hero and unquestioningly followed. Thereby, they fall from one trap into another. The one, who dislikes it, is an opponent who has to be locked up so that he/she never ever comes up again with the idea of inciting uproar.
I wonder: how strong is such a regime that is scared of its own people? Meanwhile, the minority waits and keeps silent. Sooner or later, this will change again and the majority will realise that it had fallen into a trap. After the uproar is before the uproar - despite repression and violence.