Another Revolution Gone Wrong

, Malcolm A. Kline, Leave a comment

Once again, American elites agitated for a revolution abroad, then looked upon the achievement of same as the last word on the subject. “In Egypt, the High Military Council, the ruling junta, has driven a wedge between secular and youth-oriented organizations on the one hand and Islamist parties on the other,” Ariel I. Ahram,  an assistant professor and the Middle East studies coordinator at the University of Oklahoma wrote in Dissent magazine on September 19, 2011. “Though the emergency law has been lifted and the secret police dissolved, the transitional government continues its intimidation of secular youth and labor movements that refuse to stand down.”

“In the run-up to the constitutional referendum in March 2011, the Muslim Brotherhood turned on its erstwhile allies in the opposition, joining stalwarts from Mubarak’s National Democratic Party in backing the military’s plan for a limited reform package and early elections that would cut short the time necessary for newer parties to organize grassroots support.” Ahram is the author of Proxy Warriors: The Rise and Fall of State-Sponsored Militias (Stanford University Press, 2011).

“The Islamists claim that secularists intend to undermine the Muslim nature of the country and argue that a quick transition would ensure stability,” Ahram asserts. “In public opinion polling, the generals far surpassed any civilian politician in popularity.”

“German poet Heinrich Heine famously warned, ‘Where they have burned books, they will end by burning people,’” Raymond Stock wrote in an essay for the Foreign Policy Research Institute (FPRI). “But the December 17 burning of Cairo’s Institut d’Egypte on the first anniversary of the self-immolation of the Tunisian vegetable vendor, Mohamed Bouazizi, which sparked the Arab Spring, stands the oft-used dictum on its head.”

“In Egypt, especially, what was billed as a triumph of liberal democracy over dictatorship has rapidly morphed into an Islamist Spring feeding on the tumult of permanent revolution” The institute housed 200,000 volumes of which about 30,000 have been at least partially restored.

“After roughly a thousand deaths in protests since January (with many thousands more lost in surging crime), the dissolution of most of the nation’s police, the dismantling of the formerly ruling National Democratic Party, the elimination of the State Security agency (replaced by a smaller, less-efficient National Security entity), and the virtual closing of the Israeli embassy, the January 25th Revolution has now, alarmingly, claimed its first intellectual institution as a casualty,” Stock pointed out.

Stock a “former visiting assistant professor of Arabic and Middle East Studies at Drew University (2010-11), lived in Cairo for 20 years before being deported by the regime of Hosni Mubarak in December 2010, apparently due to his 2009 article criticizing then-Culture minister Farouk Hosni’s bid to head UNESCO in Foreign Policy Magazine,” according to FPRI.

“In fact, there has always been more than one ‘Spirit of Tahrir,’” Stock averred. “From the start of the mass demonstrations against President Hosni Mubarak that led to his resignation on February 11 (with a crucial assist from the SCAF-the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces), alongside the peaceful, disciplined liberals that got most of the press’ attention, was a large group of hardcore football hooligans, known as the Ultras.”

“Supporters of the Ahli (‘National’) Club, the most popular in Egypt, the Ultras had built a formidable record of intimidation against the fans of rival teams before the uprising began.”

Malcolm A. Kline is the Executive Director of Accuracy in Academia.

If you would like to comment on this article, e-mail mal.kline@academia.org

 

 

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