Egypt at crossroads, even with ‘roadmap’
As Egypt wakes up from a massacre more deadly than any since the fall of Hosni Mubarak in February 2011, and as the nation tries to come to terms with the uncalled for shooting at a Muslim Brotherhood sit-in outside the Republican Guard headquarter in Cairo, it would be worthwhile to question at this point whether the coup d’état, or as the army would like to have it phrased, the ‘military intervention,’ was at all the necessary evil that the people of the beleaguered country relied upon to relieve them of Mohamed Morsi’s, definitely inept, regime. Morsi’s government, no matter what the allegations of inefficiency against it, was, nevertheless, a popularly elected one, besides being the first civilian formation in over three decades of dictatorship under Mubarak. As the gruesome violence on Monday, that killed over 51 people, mostly the Brotherhood loyalists who were demonstrating their anger at Morsi’s unceremonious ouster, effectively points out, Egypt is not just vertically split between a secular front fighting off an Islamist brigade, but that the country’s executive, judiciary, legislature are not exactly in tune with the relatively autonomous army, that had been left unruffled by Morsi’s government. It is, therefore, horribly ironic that the coup against Morsi was dressed up as a popular uprising that the military only midwived and not birthed on its own. In fact, the schisms within the wider Egyptian society, the majority of Sunnis, along with the Coptic Christian and Shia minorities, in addition to the liberal, secular and progressive factions, are because of their inability to take into account the country’s largely pluralistic social fabric, with infighting between Islamists and liberals morphing into an ugly war.
Despite the interim President Adly Mansour’s presenting of a ‘roadmap’ for Egypt for the months ahead, especially the deadline to conduct the next round of parliamentary elections by early 2014, followed by presidential polls, after constituting a panel to amend the (substantially tampered with by Morsi) constitution with four months, the days before the riotous country look bleak, to say the least. That the decree was clearly issued under duress from the ensuing barrage of global criticism emanating in the aftermath of the lethal violence is more than obvious. The interim president Mansour and prime minister ElBaradei have expectedly enough, condemned the violence, but the fact that it took place under their oversight indicates that the army could not be trusted with non-violent peace-keeping. Political commentators across the world have expressed grave concerns whether the so called military intervention would be responsible for pushing Egypt into the arms of a full-fledged civil war. Any kind of intolerance, even if it is of the Islamist parties, would only aggravate the situation, for without adequate representation in the apex political boards, the strife is guaranteed to continue unabated. Ousting the Brotherhood from the seat of power, barely one year since they took charge under Morsi, therefore does not look as glorious as it has been made out to be by the jubilant Egyptians thronging Tahrir Square. In fact, the uncertainty that Egypt finds itself in has the potential to derail the very train of the entire Arab Spring movement, the ripples of which is bound to spread farther and wider than the Cairo’s hallowed boulevards.