What really happened in Egypt’s revolution?

Abdel Latif el-Menawy
Abdel Latif el-Menawy
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Controversy still exists over the events Egypt witnessed on Jan. 25, 2011 and on June 30, 2013.

What Egypt witnessed more than two years ago was an expression of rejecting the deadlock against change, if one considers change to be a synonym for the toppling of the regime. The situation became more complicated as people felt that the status quo would not change. People understood that the regime would not change and that Mubarak’s son would take over as president at some point.

Regardless of whether this is true or not, what is certain is that the public was convinced of this scenario. Many Egyptians realized that such a path would lead to a dead end. This is what led people to express thier anger. So groups of people ready to express their anger, led by a group of young men, took to the streets. Regardless of whether these youth groups were trained and prepared for this day, the truth is the atmosphere was conducive to such an act. Most of those who took to the street did so for the sake of expressing anger and their desire of achieving change. The demands at the time were few but the administration’s lack of political wit is what contributed to a significant turn of events.

But, what about the Muslim Brotherhood? It has become known that the Brotherhood, within the context of political opportunism, announced it would not participate in the Jan. 25 protests. But, also in the context of political opportunism, it participated in the end, when it realized that the protests were massive.

Why did the Muslim Brotherhood participate in the protests after Jan 25? This was due to the stupidity of the interior ministry

Abdel Latif el-Menawy

The question is; why did the Brotherhood participate in the protests after Jan 25? This was due to the stupidity of the interior ministry’s political administration. Back then, the ministry in a statement issued at midnight, almost totally blamed the Brotherhood, although everyone knew that the Brotherhood only participated at the last moment of that day. But it seems that the interior ministry’s command back then thought that the time was appropriate to strike the Brotherhood by according it full responsibility of that day’s events. The Brotherhood command realized it was placed in a confrontational stance. Therefore, the Brotherhood felt they were engaged in a survival battle. One can be either a “either a winner or a loser,” as the proverb says. Thus the interior ministry’s statement led the Brotherhood to mobilize its efforts and announce a state of alert in order to defend its survival.

Therefore, after Jan. 26, all Brotherhood members and allies who were capable of sneaking into Egypt through airports, land and maritime borders and tunnels, entered the country. The international organization’s leadership announced the implementation of a ready-made, to begin at a specified time. It was not known when this specified time was.

Acting accordingly

The Brotherhood acted wittingly and it exploited the regime’s mistakes at that time. It also exploited some opportunists who joined the youth groups and exploited the innocence of many Egyptian youths and people who took to the street to express their anger and their desire to achieve change.

What was noted back then was that the Brotherhood did not raise any religious slogans. But at the same time, they almost controlled all activity in different squares. All this was carried out upon the support and under the direct supervision of the leadership of a country claiming to be a brotherly one. It is no longer secret that this country is Qatar. This was also carried out with American blessing and support as the latter aimed to implement its new strategy in the region.

On Jan. 28, the Brotherhood controlled all activity and exploited the youth and the youth’s knowledge of means to confront security forces. Under this cover, the Brotherhood began to implement its mission of burning Egypt while exploiting the state of anger which blinded many over what the Brotherhood was really doing. Many were deceived by what happened. The problem is that the latter remained deceived for a long time. Some of them were unaware they were deceived and some were aware of that but wanted to resume the process of destroying the state - an act that goes way beyond toppling the regime. The state of this optional deceit lasted until those who adopted this option realized what they had done. So they tried to make amends and retreat from what they got themselves involved in when they supported the Brotherhood, not only in stealing the people’s dreams but also in hijacking the entire country and driving it towards the unknown. It was only then that they woke up and joined the real Egyptian revolution aiming to restore Egypt. This talk will be resumed later.

This article was first published in al-Masry al-Youm on Sept. 12, 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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