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Thursday, January 2, 2014

Arab spring: Egypt as a case study ,.. Etymology...

The term "Arab Spring" is an allusion to the Revolutions of 1848, which is sometimes referred to as "Springtime of the People", and the Prague Spring in 1968. In the aftermath of the Iraq War it was used by various commentators and bloggers who anticipated a major Arab movement towards democratization The Arab Spring is widely believed to have been instigated by dissatisfaction with the rule of local governments, though some have speculated that wide gaps in income levels may have had a hand as well.Numerous factors have led to the protests, including issues such as dictatorship or absolute monarchy, human rights violations, political corruption (demonstrated by Wikileaks diplomatic cables),[ economic decline, unemployment, extreme poverty, and a number of demographic structural factors,such as a large percentage of educated but dissatisfied youth within the population. Also, some - like Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek - name the 2009–2010 Iranian election protests as an additional reason behind the Arab Spring. The Egyptian labor movement had been strong for years, with more than 3,000 labor actions since 2004. One important demonstration was an attempted workers' strike on 6 April 2008 at the state-run textile factories of al-Mahalla al-Kubra, just outside Cairo. The idea for this type of demonstration spread throughout the country, promoted by computer-literate working class youths and their supporters among middle-class college students. A Facebook page, set up to promote the strike, attracted tens of thousands of followers. The government mobilized to break the strike through infiltration and riot police, and while the regime was somewhat successful in forestalling a strike, dissidents formed the "6 April Committee" of youths and labor activists, which became one of the major forces calling for the anti-Mubarak demonstration on 25 January in Tahrir Square. The protests have shared some techniques of civil resistance in sustained campaigns involving strikes, demonstrations, marches, and rallies, as well as the effective use of social media to organize, communicate, and raise awareness in the face of state attempts at repression and Internet censorship. To date, rulers have been forced from power in Tunisia, Egypt (twice), Libya, and Yemen civil uprisings have erupted in Bahrain[5] and Syria; major protests have broken out in Algeria, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, and Sudan; and minor protests have occurred in Mauritania, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Djibouti, Western Sahara, and the Palestinian Authority. The Egyptian labor movement had been strong for years, with more than 3,000 labor actions since 2004. One important demonstration was an attempted workers' strike on 6 April 2008 at the state-run textile factories of al-Mahalla al-Kubra, just outside Cairo. The idea for this type of demonstration spread throughout the country, promoted by computer-literate working class youths and their supporters among middle-class college students. A Facebook page, set up to promote the strike, attracted tens of thousands of followers. The government mobilized to break the strike through infiltration and riot police, and while the regime was somewhat successful in forestalling a strike, dissidents formed the "6 April Committee" of youths and labor activists, which became one of the major forces calling for the anti-Mubarak demonstration on 25 January in Tahrir Square. Inspired by the events in Tunisia, Egyptians gathered to protest on January 25, the national holiday Police Day, calling for an end to corruption, injustice, poor economic conditions, and the 30-year-old regime of President Hosni Mubarak. Street demonstrations quickly grew into a national revolutionary movement that in 18 days removed Mubarak and his National Democratic Party (NDP) from power. In the beginning of the uprising, mass demonstrations in Cairo, Alexandria and other cities, and the occupation of Cairo's central Tahrir (Liberation) Square were met with repression and violence by police and supporters of the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP). But Egyptians broke through the wall of fear and fought back in street battles. On Jan. 27 the government shut down the Internet and mobile service providers complied with government requests to suspend service. Still the uprising continued, and the army made the decision ultimately not to act against the protesters. Mubarak's weak concessions --appointing intelligence Omar Suleiman as vice president on Jan. 29; installing a new cabinet on Jan. 31; conceding that he wouldn't run again for president nor would his son Gamal after he finished his term in Sept. 2011 -- failed to appease the Egyptian people’s demands. On Feb. 11, a day of massive “Friday of Departure” demonstrations, Mubarak was finally forced to resign. The Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) headed by Tantawi took over control of Egypt and later dissolved the legislature and suspended the constitution. In the first round, with a voter turnout of 46%, the results were split between five major candidates: Mohamed Morsi (25%), Ahmed Shafik (24%), Hamdeen Sabahi (21%), Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh (18%), and Amr Moussa (11%), while the remaining 2% were split between several smaller candidates. The elections set the stage for the divisions that were to follow, along Islamist and secular lines, and those opposed to and those supporting the former political elite. Islamist candidates Morsi and Fotouh won roughly 42% of the vote, while the remaining secular candidates won 56% of the vote. Candidates Shafik and Moussa held positions under the Mubarak regime and won 35% of the vote, while Sabahi was a prominent dissident during the Sadat and Mubarak regimes. Following the second round, with a voter turnout of 52%, on 24 June 2012, Egypt's election commission announced that Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohammed Morsi had won Egypt's presidential elections. Morsi won by a narrow margin over Ahmed Shafik, the final prime minister under deposed President Hosni Mubarak. The commission said Morsi took 51.7% of the vote versus 48.3% for Shafik.[2] Morsi was sworn in on 30 June 2012 and was later ousted in a coup on 3 July 2013 following the political struggle that resulted from his constitutional referendum in December 2012 1. Power Grab: General Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi, the putschist regime’s defense minister, aspires to the position of president of Egypt.2. Social Status: The army wants to safeguard its own special status high on the social ladder.3. Economic Empire: The military must maintain the advantages and economic gains it has accumulated over 60 years.4. Secret Budgets: The military wishes to maintain the confidentiality of its budget.5. Fear of War: The military feared President Morsi would involve the army in war adventures they – wrongly – imagined he would undertake.6. Western Influence: The putschists’ ideologies and interests coincide with the West’s.7. Gulf Support: Arab states fearful of democracy and the true Islamic model aided and abetted the military coup in Egypt. According to the Brotherhood , the plot to remove President Mohamed Morsi began when Field Marshal Tantawi was in charge: "One of President Morsi’s opponents said that a senior official at the U.S. embassy told him that if they were able to gather one hundred thousand demonstrators in front of Itehadia Presidential Palace for three days, the Americans would recognize and support them. Morsi’s opponent added that Field Marshal Tantawi also said to him: 'You start, and we will move to support you', which is the same scenario Al-Sisi followed on June 30 and July 3, 2013. This means that military commanders were determined from the outset not to accept a civilian as the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces (the President). "Right from the beginning, the generals’ plot started to incite public opinion against the civilian President through a relentless hostile media campaign, attempts to frustrate all his endeavors, refusal by state institutions to do their duties, and dubious deals between military commanders and a number of politicians who had failed in every election, until it reached its peak on June 30, 2013 and the generals executed their coup on July 3, 2013." Two weeks before June 30, their promised date to hand over power, the generals instead: shut down the democratically elected and Islamist-led Parliament; took over its powers to make laws and set budgets; decreed an interim Constitution stripping the incoming president of most of his powers; and reimposed martial law by authorizing soldiers to arrest civilians. In the process, the generals gave themselves, in effect, a veto over provisions of a planned permanent Constitution. There are many lessons that emerge for interested and concerned Muslims: 1. The proxy warfare of the Gulf--between rivals, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Iran--is destroying numerous countries and must be confronted as a major international priority of political intervention, conflict management, and political negotiations. FJP enjoyed very slim victory over the opposition which could have been managed by other means, The MB does not have sufficient sympathisers in the military to restraint the leadership on their plot to hatch the coup, The same could be said of the local media. This was exploited by the opposition to hatch the successful coup, An all-inclusive political strategy could have doused the tension that built up to truncate Mursi’s government, Perhaps, Mursi’s government underestimated the strategic position that Egypt occupied to the neighbouring Arab states, Israel and the Western powers, Maybe visitations to the world superpowers at the early period of the regime could have afforded Mursi’s government the opportunity to explain, clarify and enlighten them about the policy thrusts of the government as modern, humanist, and democratic as opposed to being an expansionist agenda, Perhaps the Turkish model could have worked in favour of Mursi’s government which faced similar threat to the Erdogan’s government. Muslim workers throughout the global can see with their naked eyes the gravity and dimension of the global plots towards, Islam and Muslims. Allah admonishes the sincere workers: So do not weaken and do not grieve, and you will be superior if you are [true] believers. 3:140 If a wound should touch you - there has already touched the [opposing] people a wound similar to it. And these days [of varying conditions] We alternate among the people so that Allah may make evident those who believe and [may] take to Himself from among you martyrs - and Allah does not like the wrongdoers - 3:141 And that Allah may purify the believers [through trials] and destroy the disbelievers. 3:142 Or do you think that you will enter Paradise while Allah has not yet made evident those of you who fight in His cause and made evident those who are steadfast? 3:143 And you had certainly wished for martyrdom before you encountered it, and you have [now] seen it [before you] while you were looking on. Allah assures the believers of the ultimate victory Having an Islamic state is not the goal but the means. The goal is attainment of Allah’s pleasure, What Allah’s looks forward to is the sincere strivings of the believers, the basis of acceptance of their deeds Allah determines when His rule will take effect; not the workers. Perhaps, Allah uses the Egypt experience to educate the sincere workers the challenges and obstacles ahead and the magnitude of the plotting of the enemies Allah uses the Egypt experience to sift the grain from the chaff; the liars from the truthful; the hypocrite from the sincere workers Admission into Paradise is not a tea party; it requires painful sacrifice It is He who sent His Messenger with guidance and the religion of truth to manifest it over all religion. And sufficient is Allah as Witness. (48: 28) Lessons for Duats Inclusive Dawah Presence in the military Investment in the mass media Strong and virile professional body.

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