The liberals are adamant in their dislike and disdain of Morsy. They claim he will never be able to fulfill his promises. To them, Morsy is siding with SCAF, working for the Ikhwan, and betraying the revolution. He is a mere puppet figure handing over power to the Muslim Brotherhood. And his only few decisions are instantly attacked: why does he need to provide Palestinians with water and electricity when the Egyptians have neither?
The above is a mere fraction of the whiplash Morsy receives on an ongoing basis. In addition, his pious nature is also ridiculed. Does he think he can govern by praying at mosques five times a day? Does he have enough time to preside over the country’s needs? And why is he giving interviews in mosques and praying with all his visitors? And how is he going to entertain non-Muslim visitors? These are some of the wisecracks that many Egyptians are voicing.
From another perspective, Ikhwan followers are joyous and jubilant. They are endorsing their party and its successful leader. They are also getting arrogant and pushy. They too are extremely critical of their opponents and are aggressively promoting sharia and its guidelines. Trying hard to glorify Morsy and his team, they are humbled by his religious outlook on matters and his visible tears as he prays in Mecca.
All this is happening while the revolutionists are still seeking Mubarak’s defamation, his loot, and his downfall. They continue to hold him, SCAF, and the police force accountable. They blame him and SCAF for every fallout that takes place even today. Had he not brutalized the Ikhwan, maybe things would’ve been different. Had he done something about the informal settlement, fewer thugs would’ve emerged. And it goes on.
A newfound zeal for not only political knowledge but for exhibiting political wisdom is what many Egyptians show off today. Liberals, Mubarak’s followers, Ikhwan, Salafis, and everyone in between believe they know best. All other Egyptians must accept their views, follow their course, and heed their warnings.
The minute a decree is announced, a ministerial position is filled, or a showdown of any sort occurs, everyone has an opinion.
Don’t get me wrong. Much of what they are criticizing is true. Morsy has yet to prove himself, and Mubarak, amongst others, is often to blame. Still, much more of what is being said is slander and not thought out.
Then there are the jokes. Egyptians are best known for their humor, and they are good at it. This is a proficiency no one can deny, but sometimes the jokes overrule logic and override wisdom.
Social media is not making things better either. Egyptians now can yell to their hearts’ content without any hindrance or rebuttal. Sure someone may respond with a dislike or a displeased comment, but in no way would this stop tweeters from pouring their vehemence out. And on Facebook, the chain of jokes, heresy, cartoons, and illogical comparisons defy rationality.
Perplexed? Absolutely. Worried? Most definitely.
Egyptians have reached a stage of rift and division that may never heal. All the main issues and the challenges are yet to be resolved, and Egyptians are busy telling each other how to lead their lives—you see, each Egyptian believes he or she knows best. This is happening across the board. It doesn’t matter which party or group a person is affiliated to: everyone is knowledgeable and everyone else isn’t.
It is also happening at the personal level: friends and family members are losing one one another over who is right, for suddenly making others accept one’s side has become pivotal to all.
Where will this take Egypt? It will actually destroy it. It will leave Egypt in constant dissatisfaction and ongoing disarray. Someone will always find a decision incorrect. Someone will always criticize and create a frenzy against the opponents be it SCAF, the government, the assembly, or the president.
It is true that vigilance is extremely valuable. To remain vigil will save Egyptians the hassle of demonstrating before an event becomes fait accompli. It’ll also keep the political forces on course. To judge and comment is healthy, but to slander and insult isn’t. Being watchful and observant does not mean becoming suspicious of everyone who doesn’t follow one’s view and resorting to bashing them.
Egyptians should accept where they are now. The revolution has taken them to this fork in the road. They need to move on from here by overcoming the big hurdles not by focusing on themselves.
Freedom is a difficult matter—appreciating and utilizing it wisely is a feat in itself.
* The above reflects the authors personal point of view and not the view of Beit El Hiwar.