‘The 19th Day of the Egyptian Revolution’: What the Egyptian Press is Saying about Today’s Mass Protest

Via the USG Open Source Center, report on Egypt press for June 30, 2013 (arrangement and headings by JC), regarding the massive demonstrations throughout the country by leftists, liberals and Muslim centrists against the presidency of Muhammad Morsi, elected one year ago, who represents the religious Right and is seen by many Egyptians arrogant, high-handed and sectarian.

On the Meaning of the Opposition Millions in the Street

al-Tahrir [Liberation]: The front page carries the single word ‘go’ against a red background

al-Tahrir: Article by Jalal Arif says millions will take to the streets today to issue the death certificate of a regime that lost legitimacy. The writer views 30 June as ‘the 19th day of the 25 Jan revolution.’

Al-Wafd [The Delegation]: Article by Wajdi Zayn-al-Din states ‘Today is the day the ruling regime goes to no return and the day the Egyptian people restore their revolution which the Muslim Brothers had stolen.’

al-Misri al-Yawm [Egypt Today] : Article by Dr Hasan Nafi’ah states that taking to the streets in huge numbers and insisting on staying there until demands are met opens a new door of hope and turns a new chapter in Egypt’s history, which the writer hopes will be brighter.

al-Misri al-Yawm: Article by Dr Amr Al-Shubaki says ‘Mursi’s speech [last Wednesday] provoked many people and incited them to take part in 30 June protests, after giving them the impression that this despotic regime does not listen or respond and that it only sees its clan.’

al-Akhbar [The News]: Article by Muhammad Abd-al-Hafiz says today is the day of ‘popular referendum on whether the president should stay in his post or leave.’

al-Watan [The Nation]: Article by Chief Editor Majdi Al-Jallad urges Mursi to ‘listen carefully to the millions in Egyptian squares.’

al-Ahram [The Pyramids]: Article by Abd-al-Muhsin Salamah views the call for early presidential elections as ‘the optimal life buoy,’ especially since the presidency has not offered the minimum acceptable solution represented in changing the government and appointing a new public prosecutor.

On the Muslim Brotherhood counter-demonstration in Nasr City

al-Wafd: Article by Ala Uraybi says Muslim Brother leaders push the simple poor people to death so that they can tighten their grip on power. ‘They drag the simple citizen to squares and turn him into a thug and a criminal who kills his brother in order to defend Muhammad Mursi,’ the writer says. He stresses to Muslim Brothers ‘It is high time for you to leave and to be brought to account for the blood that was spilled in the streets.’

al-Misri al-Yawm: Article by Yasir Abd-al-Aziz lashes out at the regime for its ‘lowly game of playing on the people’s religious sentiments.’

Lament that Egyptian Parties play an Adolescent Zero-Sum Game

al-Watan: Article by Imad-al-Din Adib states that the problem with all political powers in Egypt is that ‘they all believe in the principle of taking all or nothing, which reflects a state of political adolescence that never solved a problem.’ The writer stresses that we have to realize that no party can negate the other completely.

al-Shuruq al-Jadid: Article by Imad-al-Din Husayn urges the opposition stick to the peacefulness of their protests because the alternative is ‘blood baths.’ The writer observes that some opposition figures tend to picture Muslim Brothers as devils and that others call for killing them. ‘Muslim Brothers are a national power that has a powerful presence in the streets; and we have to treat them as political opponents and not enemies,’ the writer says.

al-Jumhuriyyah [The Republic]: Article by Chief Editor Al-Sayyid Al-Babili fears that ‘the ghost of civil war is looking upon us.’ The writer views scenes of clashes in various governorates as proof that ‘we have not absorbed democracy as yet and were not qualified for it.’

The Danger of Sabotage

al-Shuruq [Sunrise]: Article by Fahmi Huwaydi [pro-Brotherhood] says he does not fear peaceful demonstrations as much as he fears those who infiltrate the lines and spread anarchy. ‘The militia of thuggery almost constitutes a parallel army estimated at 300,000 members,’ the writer says. He finds it ‘surprising’ that the security agencies are showing ‘tolerance’ with these thugs. (p 16; 900 words)

al-Ahram: Article by Dr Wahid Abd-al-Majid urges protestors to avoid al-Ittihadiyah [Presidential] palace to deny those who harbor bad intentions the chance of instigating violence.

6 Responses

  1. It seems Egyptians have to learn at least two things about democracy: 1) If you lose an election, you have to wait until the next election to vote again, and 2) When the election does come ’round, a win for your side will not substantially improve anything.

    Oh, and you have to still live with people in your country who voted the opposite of you. You can’t just stab them and burn their offices and whatnot, even if you really, really want to.

    We here in the US could use some reinforcement of those principles as well!

  2. For both the protests in Turkey and Egypt a major part of discontent appears to stem from disagreements between those who prefer a fundamentalist Islamic government and those who prefer a more secular approach.

    However, I am wondering to what degree there are ethnic differences that underlie these conflicts, as is so often the case. Or are there differences between religious religious groups as opposed to level of religiosity that are fanning these flames?

    • Turkey’s and Egypt’s politics are not similar. Erdogan’s legislative record would put him substantially to the left of any Egyptian religious party including al-Wasat.

      Religious ethnicity is a small part of all this. The 10% Copts in Egypt don’t trust the Muslim Brotherhood. The 20% Alevis in Turkey lean to the left and don’t trust Erdogan.

      But no, mostly it is class-culture, i.e. the politics coming out of urbane urban youth versus that of rural towns and smaller cities.

  3. It’s an excellent question in Turkey. Michael Ferguson has a very interesting article up on Erdogan’s recent move beyond the White Turk/Black Turk axis to the use of a term he translates as Negro but probably ought to be something less polite; see:

    link to jadaliyya.com

    And charges of “racism” have made their way into the English-language press as unspecified “racists” are among those who supposedly “derailed” the Gezi protests; see para. 5 of

    link to todayszaman.com

    And then there’s the Kurds, who gained the resentment of some sectors of the protesters for sitting out the protests as a group because of the then-ongoing peace negotiations(although certainly they were a large number of striking public sector workers). Now those negotiations appear more stalled than the EU negotiations (speaking of Turkish perceptions of racism!) and racist language toward the Kurds from sectors of both CHP and AKP (it’s always there in MHP) is seeping into the air.

  4. OMGosh! Left a comment on the Posting of 7/01 “Biggest Demonstrations in Egyptian History…” See that above Dr Cole had written an answer on 6/30. Thanx!

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