The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood brigades mobilized, attempting to forge gains in Arab public opinion which was sympathizing with the victims of the hideous massacre which Bashar al-Assad’s regime committed in Damascus on Wednesday.
On Thursday, the world was shocked with footage of women and children who had died after being exposed to poisonous gas.
The Brotherhood in Egypt, and their supporters outside the country, are really not ashamed of resorting to any means to attain power. They can go as far as twisting facts, raising the slogans and flags of the al-Qaeda terrorist organization and seeking the help of western powers. They claim they are democratic and that they are willing to co-exist with liberalism. They speak of those who follow other religions as brothers. But, churches were the first of the targets to be set on fire. They sabotage the system which brought them to power in order to dominate and restrict freedoms.
When footage of the victims of Syria’s Eastern Ghouta spread the Brotherhood claimed itself the victim of the current Egyptian regime, just as the Syrian people are the victim of the regime in Syria.
A world apart
But, there is a big difference between Syria’s innocent children and the brutal group led partly by Khairat al-Shater. There is also a huge difference between Egypt’s Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who ousted president Mohammed Mursi, and Bashar al-Assad who stands against change in Syria.
Inside both of them, Assad and Mursi, is something that resembles the novel Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Assad and Mursi claim goodness and innocence but inside them, there’s a deep desire for evilAbdulrahman al-Rashed
The differences are many. Assad governs a majority while representing a small minority of the people. Sisi, however, represents the majority of the Egyptian people who voiced their opinion via the “Tamarod” movement, took to the streets on June 30 in the biggest protest in Egypt’s entire history and called for toppling the Brotherhood’s regime.
Unlike the Assad regime in Syria, the current regime in Egypt represents the majority of Egyptian political powers from Nasserites to the nationalist Wafd Part to leftists, Salafists, youths and liberals. The Brotherhood, however, only represents itself. During the presidential elections, the Brotherhood would have failed to win if it hadn't been for the support of youth and leftist parties who today turned against the Brotherhood. Similarly, in Syria, the Assad regime only represents itself.
The Assad party of the fascist Baath is just like the religious fascist Muslim Brotherhood that has nothing to do with the powers of the Syrian revolution.
Unlike Assad who confronted peaceful protesters by opening fire on them, the Egyptian army protected the Brotherhood protesters for more than two years. When the latter’s protests turned violent and its members began to gather arms, incite to murder in Sinai, incite against churches, block roads and besiege military and security buildings, it was only normal that these protests be dispersed by force and that the Brotherhood be held accountable.
The Brotherhood, under their current extremist leadership, is a fascist religious group that does not intend, and does not accept, to work according to a civil democratic system - unlike the promises it makes to the West and unlike the promises it made when the presidential elections were held. If there was to be a proper comparison, it’s that Dr. Mohammed Mursi, the ousted Egyptian Brotherhood president, is closer to the Syrian president regarding mentality and behavior. The alleged doctors represent a totalitarian culture and a dark history. Inside both of them, Assad and Mursi, is something that resembles the novel Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Assad and Mursi claim goodness and innocence but inside them, there’s a deep desire for evil. There’s no comparison to draw between Assad and Sisi who protected the Brotherhood for more than a year and had to oust it when the Egyptian people were angry and threatening to confront it. The Brotherhood supporters who died in Rabaa al-Adawiya Square fell as a result of the fascist group’s leadership’s desire to mobilize its supporters with their children and women to form an obstacle to prevent the security forces’ crackdown and to seek sympathy from the world and turn local public opinion against change. The Brotherhood insisted on sitting there, in that square, for more than a month despite all warnings. As for Syria’s victims, most of them were children who were sleeping in their beds when the Assad’s forces shelled them with Sarin gas.
This article was first published in Asharq al-Awsat on August 22, 2013.
Abdulrahman al-Rashed is the General Manager of Al Arabiya News Channel. A veteran and internationally acclaimed journalist, he is a former editor-in-chief of the London-based leading Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat, where he still regularly writes a political column. He has also served as the editor of Asharq al-Awsat’s sister publication, al-Majalla. Throughout his career, Rashed has interviewed several world leaders, with his articles garnering worldwide recognition, and he has successfully led Al Arabiya to the highly regarded, thriving and influential position it is in today.