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President Sisi: “Never forget 2011”

Mashari Althaydi

Published: Updated:

Some of us would like to forget the last ten years; I’m referring specifically to the era of the Muslim Brotherhood's rampage in cahoots with leftists and political opportunists.

These years of post-Arab Spring, which was more like a scorching summer, were marked by the shameless overt support of Barack Obama’s administration for plans to empower the Muslim Brotherhood and the would-be revolutionaries and freedom-seekers clinging to their coat tails.

Today, some would like to see this spring return, but in different manifestations, or even the same old ones. We heard a former Arab leader a few weeks ago say that the Arab Spring, in which he was heavily invested, must return.

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We also see the campaigns by the Western left and the Muslim Brotherhood groups in the West to discredit current Arab cooperation, and this is a serious issue that is more alarming than the lack of interest in the Arab countries that are exposed to these attacks and their neglect or inaction in monitoring and controlling them and creating practical plans to confront them.

I mean the Muslim Brotherhood groups and operatives that are deeply embedded in Western countries and societies, who hold the nationalities of those countries and hold positions of responsibility there, and we have, in the example of the Somali-American Muslim Brotherhood representative Ilhan Omar, the clearest evidence of this danger coming from the West today and tomorrow.

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi addressed the Egyptians and other quite frankly in his recent inauguration of new projects in the governorates of Upper Egypt, saying: “I will never forget 2011 ... and you, fellow Egyptians, should not forget this year.”

Supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood and ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi shout slogans against the military and the interior ministry during a protest in Cairo November 28, 2014. (File photo: Reuters)
Supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood and ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi shout slogans against the military and the interior ministry during a protest in Cairo November 28, 2014. (File photo: Reuters)

Al-Sisi continued his exhortations to the Egyptians: “Every step of the way, never forget that year, when our Lord alone saved you and saved this country from ruin and destruction, rescuing the fate of 100 million Egyptians.”

He continued spontaneously in the Egyptian dialect: “Shall we go down the same path again? No, of course not... If these words upset you, then so be it, because I fear for this country.”

Yes, some may have forgotten what happened in 2011 and its aftermath, the great deception, grave danger and dark future that was intended for us.

We are told – and this is what I heard from some of those who are surprised by al-Sisi’s words – to leave the past behind us and turn the page on decades of old battles... that the danger of the Muslim Brotherhood and the Sahwa and everything that happened in the Arab Spring has come to an end.

This opinion, even if it uttered in good faith, could have disastrous repercussions.

There are risks of a permanent nature, yes, we must continue to be vigilant about them. We have development projects and other matters, but it is not possible for development to survive without an intellectual dismantling of the opponents’ mines, and their questioning of the development projects themselves, as we see in the rumors spread by opponents of projects in Egypt and Saudi Arabia, not out of their desire to improve these projects, but to question the very origin of the projects and the thought and passion behind them.

The alliance of Arab countries targeted by Brotherhood propaganda and their supporters in the West, forms a protective shield.

Veteran Kuwaiti politician Abdullah Bishara commented on Gulf-Egyptian cooperation in Al-Qabas newspaper saying: "This cooperation should be a top priority of Gulf-Egyptian harmony, entrenching the values of Arab unity, far from the question of ideologies."

This article was originally published in, and translated from, pan-Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat.

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