Divisions in Egypt are a waste of the country’s time

Dear Brotherhood member, before you pretend you’re weeping and before playing the role of the victim, recall what your leaders and clerics did

Bassem Youssef

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What’s the use of writing? Will I write something that no one before me has written? Will you read today what you haven’t read before? Will this article or any other have a role in changing how you think? I doubt it. All that can be written has been written already. Somewhere in your memory, similar ideas are to be found, rooted in what you read every day.

I can talk to you today about terrorism, violence, counter violence, suppression, the interior ministry’s mistakes, the Brotherhood’s stupidity or I can talk about what happened in Rabaa or at al-Ithadiya or about the Brotherhood’s treason of the revolution and the state’s victory over everyone.

But you already know that. So why waste your time?

I watch the TV and listen to the statements of the interior ministry, experts, commentators and Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis who brought the entirety of Jerusalem to the center of Cairo to practice their hobby of jihad against the Egyptians. Words will flow from one ear out the other but this won’t change anything because the dead will not be revived by speeches and the injured will not care why this happened.

We can open the gate to conspiracy theories like those claiming that the interior ministry planned and conducted an explosion to pit the public opinion against the opposition or that the Brotherhood are killing themselves. But you and I have both become bored of this nonsense.

What we are witnessing is the death of everything we dreamed of: democracy, justice, freedom and so on. Fear has reigned over everything and anger is making gains.

The Brotherhood’s attempts

The Brotherhood’s attempts to distance themselves from the accusation and disown jihadist and takfirist groups will not succeed. The Brotherhood’s attempts to quote jihadist groups’ books in which it is being accused of infidelity will also fail. It’s too late now for such attempts to succeed.

At the peak of their power, the Brotherhood, at an event attended by Mursi, chose to chant: “Here we are at your service (O, Allah!).” Their president sat listening as preacher Mohammad Hassan cursed the impure Shiites and as cleric Mohammad Abdel Maqsoud prayed for woe against those who will participate in the June 30 protests.

If you had forgotten that day, there are numerous videos that can remind you. Channels broadcast these videos day and night from Beltagy who made the stupidest of statements to the Brotherhood protests in which they chanted “We will blow up Egypt” to Safwat Hijazi who pledged to spray us with blood to Tarek al-Zomar who promised to crush us.

If you ignore all this, someone will remind you that Mursi himself has clearly spoken about prominent terrorist sheikh Omar Abdelrahman and sought to liberate him. Or someone will remind you that Salafist cleric Hazem Abu Ismail and his allies consider bin Laden as their role model.

They will say these statements don’t represent them or that they were taken out of context. Go to the naive and tell them that. They will tell you these are malicious plans schemed by the interior ministry and aimed at justifying more violence. Perfect, go to the naive and tell them. They will resort to history and quote the memoirs of Khaled Muhieddine in which he speaks of how Gamal Abdel Nasser faked events to prove his wisdom and then tell you: look this is happening all over again! Okay, sweet. Go to the naive and tell them that.

And while you are at it, tell them that the army is bringing down its own jets using surface-to-air missiles. But make sure you start running before finishing this sentence. The naive don’t watch the interior minister threatening to burn Egypt and don’t listen to security leaders say that the martyrs’ blood will fill the streets and they don’t hear the defense minister calling for jihad and accusing the army of treason. On the contrary, he tells the army that it’s the light of his eyes. Whom do you think people will believe?

Whatever the violations the interior ministry commits and no matter how much suppression increases, the people will consider that this aims to protect them from those who pledged “to crush them.”

Losing faith

The Brotherhood says how can we carry out explosions when we publicly announce we are sending our sons to protests. They will also say terrorism is a criminal act practiced in secrecy and not in public. This is a sweet logical statement, but let me know if anyone even hears you out. This is not the time for logic which you killed when you were in power when you chose to ally with representatives of backwardness, criminality and terrorism. Even if you were completely innocent, blood has stained you due to your actions and stupidity. Now the ordinary citizens don’t differentiate among the Brotherhood, the Salafists, the Jihadists, al-Qaeda and Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis. Ordinary citizens don’t differentiate between black flags. To us, you are all bin Laden.

Perhaps you think that because most Brotherhood leaders are in jail we will get a reprieve from their stupid statements and a chance to expose all security breaches of authority. But that’s quite impossible as there’s a league of morons that reside in Doha’s hotels and continue to provoke the people and, without any efforts from the authorities, convince them that this is really a Turkish-Qatari-Brotherhood conspiracy. Hamza Zawbaa, a leader in the Justice and Freedom Party, and Mohammad al-Jawadi, a political historian, incite their followers to die while they get ready to wear make-up before appearing in a long marathon of stupidity on al-Jazeera’s Mubasher Misr (Egypt Live).

Statements about the reasons behind violence and on how violence breeds violence and how the experience of suppressing the Islamic movement will lead to more terrorism are useless. Sweet, go to the naive and tell them that.

No one will hear you out and no one will be patient as you lecture. Terrorism reigns over the situation now. Who are you to patronize them and tell them they’re wrong?

Perhaps you think that because most Brotherhood leaders are in jail we will get a reprieve from their stupid statements

Bassem Youssef

The Brotherhood’s statement apologizing for their acts when they were in power and demanding everyone to unite to defeat the “coup” is a repetition of other statements in which treason, lies and breaking of vows are aplenty. If you lose your credibility when apologizing, it means people will not believe anything you say anymore. They’ve seen how you allied with the interior ministry and how you sought the protection of the army which you are now demanding to topple. People will not believe a lying deceitful man when he denies the accusation of terrorism. You are a liar in all cases.

We are all paying the price for the Brotherhood’s stupidity and for Khairat al-Shater’s and his comrades’ stupidity. How I wish the Brotherhood alone paid the price. Everyone speaking out against the authority and against hypocrisy is now being categorized as one of them - and we all hate you for that.

The word “Brotherhood” has become the accusation to be made against anyone opposing the authority. Nazli Hussein, daughter of lawyer Ghada Shahbendar, and others, were arrested on their way to Tahrir Square just because they raised photos of martyrs. The accusation is ready before you even ask for it: “They are Brotherhood (members).” This is it, case closed.

They arrested Nazli and her friends because they raised photos of martyrs, but the smart among them is he who stopped to buy photos of Sisi in order to guarantee returning home safe.

The buried revolution

So let’s go celebrate the annual memory of the January revolution which in the same square where it was born, it was actually buried under the feet of those who see it as a relapse.

Dear Brotherhood member, before you pretend you’re weeping and before playing the role of the victim, recall what your leaders and clerics did and how they destroyed any chance for the revolution to succeed and move forward. Before you lecture us about the Islamic project, look at your project which led us to see the most absurd of scenes in Egypt like how veiled women run behind a bearded man while screaming to him “oh you terrorist, you son of ...”

Now, no one can talk about another subject. Try to discuss the government’s corruption or poor health and education services or the poor performance of the interior ministry. Try to talk about the return of the previous regime, its games and its men. Shut up. No voice is higher than that of the war against terrorism.

There’s no blood money for he who dies now, and those who gets arrested actually deserves it. Channels now categorize all dead men and all detainees under one category: rioters, Brotherhood, terrorists - even if a lecturer at the American university, Imad Shahin, is among them.

This article was first published in al-Shorouk on Jan. 28, 2014.


Bassem Youssef is is an Egyptian doctor, satirist, and the host of El Bernameg ("The Program"), a satirical news program broadcast by a private Egyptian television station. The press has compared Youssef with American comedian Jon Stewart, whose satire program The Daily Show inspired Youssef to begin his career. Despite all controversy and legal debates it has sparked, El Bernameg has been a major success. It is constantly topping the regional YouTube charts, making Youssef's YouTube channel one of the most subscribed to in Egypt.

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