At Egypt’s MB protests, children carry their coffins

Abdel Latif el-Menawy
Abdel Latif el-Menawy
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What kind of “jihad” are they talking about?

Under the premise of “jihad,” they didn’t fast during the month of Ramadan.

Under the premise of “jihad,” they arranged for the murder of women at their protests to enable them to play the victim card.

But, they overlooked this question: Why did you hide yourselves behind these women, and let them protect you?

The Brotherhood’s “brave men” hid behind women as a cheap media ploy. Who died? Not the men, that’s for sure.

If these men had been human, would they have used their women as shields?

A female Brotherhood leader stood during the funerals of the women killed during the protests to say that they are willing to offer more martyrs to their cause. And they will not hesitate to sacrifice their children as martyrs in order to restore Egypt’s Mohammed Mursi.

The most recent ploy from the former ruling party is placing children at the front of protests and forcing them to carry coffins.

This is a cruel picture that the Brotherhood thought would help them gain global sympathy as the world watches.

It seems that they have not consulted their foreign expert who runs their media battle. This move was and continues to be yet another product of their mentality.

This is the reason that they did not realize that they were violating human rights by exploiting children. Their move is a violation of human and children’s rights and they can and should be subject to legal investigation.

I do not think that this concerns them much; there are many, many reasons they should be pursued, one more won’t even scratch the surface.

These children's parents were either brainwashed by the Brotherhood’s leadership or convinced that their children will go to heaven or were paid for allowing their children to participate in the protest.

Does the Brotherhood know that it is assassinating the epitome of innocence and deceiving the parents with the dream of the martyrdom?

When I saw the face of a five-year-old dressed in white and carrying his coffin and innocently smiling out of happiness because he's participating along with other children in a big game, I felt disgusted. These people are willing to murder children and hide behind women in order to make gains.

The statements from the female Brotherhood member about martyrdom exposed the Brotherhood's exploitation of children and their use as human shields during their marches.

Although they are the ones pushing them to the front rows of clashes, the Brotherhood aims to exploit the injury of children and market it to the world public opinion as an aggression against children.

Instead of raising children with moral, humanitarian and religious values, they are being raised with the impression that they are future martyrs.

Bringing children to participate in Rabaa al-Adawiya’s protest and making them carry coffins is an inhumane scene, a crime displaying lack of morals and the assassination of children's innocence.

Exploiting children does not end here. Children are also being used for other purposes. They see it as a game when in fact these scenes are a clear and flagrant violation of their rights. There has been news that some orphanages affiliated to the Brotherhood involved orphans in this battle. This is a criminal violation of human rights. People close to the area of the Brotherhood’s protest confirm that Rabaa al-Adawiya’s protesters are accused of exploiting children. They have also confirmed that the Brotherhood is using children to collect rocks and break them to use them in “battles” against the army, the police and the people. This act is a clear exploitation of children. It's a crime tantamount to human trafficking. The state must carry out its role in protecting children if their families are subjecting them to danger.

Violations have limits. However, the Brotherhood is currently committing violations with no limits. These immoral acts force the state to carry out its responsibility towards the future of these children who will become a violent generation that will later be a real threat to national security.

UNICEF voiced its deep concern over reports that children are being dragged into violent protests in Egypt in a manner that subjects them to destructive repercussions in the long run. In its statement, UNICEF also warned that such acts may have negative physical and psychological harm against children long term. The National Council for Childhood and Motherhood did well when it announced its condemnation of the Brotherhood’s exploitation of children. It also voiced its disappointment over violating children’s rights, using children in armed clashes to achieve personal gains and sabotaging the country for the sake of keeping a government that people reject.

The council also submitted an official complaint to the attorney general calling on him to take the necessary measures to forcefully evacuate children from the area of Rabia al-Adawiya. The presence of children there threatens the system of children’s rights in Egypt and the number of children increases despite health, security and moral threats. Monotheistic religions and proper humanitarian behavior, in addition to children’s laws and all international conventions, criminalize such acts against children.

The state must perform its duties.

This article was first published in al-Masry al-Youm on August 3, 2013.
Abdel Latif el-Menawy is an author, columnist and multimedia journalist who has covered conflicts around the world. He is the author of “Tahrir: the last 18 days of Mubarak,” a book he wrote as an eyewitness to events during the 18 days before the stepping down of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Menawy’s most recent public position was head of Egypt’s News Center. He is a member of the National Union of Journalists in the United Kingdom, and the Egyptian Journalists Syndicate. He can be found on Twitter @ALMenawy

Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.
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