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"For the Hatred of Egypt" list

The war against corruption in Egypt is not a swift one, but rather a long and bitter one. As things stand, the likely outcome of upcoming parliamentary elections may set this war back

Maasoum Marzouk , Thursday 15 Oct 2015
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Sometime before the Ministry of Agriculture corruption incident was revealed, I wrote on my Facebook page that if the frequent reports were correct concerning waging a real war against corruption, the whole of Egypt would stand behind President El-Sisi.

Since I wrote this, I received a huge number of phone calls about that matter; some of which were sharply critical. However, I repeated many a time that if there is a real determination and the president started a genuine war for uprooting corruption, he would find the whole of Egypt standing by his side. For the opposition is not for opposition's sake.

The issue of combating corruption is one of the most important national files. If the devil himself stands against it, we should stand by his side. Because removing corruption means the return of Egyptians' morals, for which they were famous, and saving the Egyptian economy from the holes through which billions seep, and encouraging investment that was always afraid of sowing its money in a land filled with corruption worms and mites.

When one of those who called me asked seriously about the way of combating corruption through a sterile governmental body, I replied playfully that the pillars of corruption are at the same time "leaders of the counter-revolution," and that revolutions devour their children. I added sarcastically that a devil often begets an angel, and that Allah is over all things competent.

Of course, the final judgment will be on deeds not words. Note that the war against corruption is not the one bullet war; it will be an extended and bitter war. Naturally, if nobody does something, we will be as we are — we will not change.

I was one of the first persons of those who said that the war against corruption is not less important than the war against terrorism. I even saw that it occupies the top priority.

This topic is not far from this article's title, because I have no doubt that corruption heads and cronyism state exponents are occupying the top of the "For the Hatred of Egypt" list, after we heard and read about a list that jumped suddenly over our political life under the name "For the Love for Egypt." We have watched through past weeks the conflict, some of which was hushed up though most of it was in public between individuals and groups entering and exiting the aforementioned list, and then re-entering. Every time the talk is bitter, revolving around distributing quotas or seats in a way that resembles distributing an inheritance. If it was an inheritance indeed, who has died?

Some of that "list" representatives come out to tell us a long tale about the "sacred" lining up — as if it is a school line that all political forces should rush to, and stand in, in a regular and disciplined manner. 

At the same time, we find harsh contempt reaching the extent of launching accusations of treason and collaboration against anyone who speaks or even thinks outside the "list" flock.

I wonder who owns, indeed, patriotism certificates within this list, so people hasten to chant his name?

They also said that they are the "political constituency" for the president, and nobody explained to us what this means. Is the president without them "groundless"? On what bases do they consider themselves the president's constituents? Is there a secret book that violates the constitution in which they have put new bases for governing Egypt? If so, then where do we find the book, "Protocols for the Love for Egypt"?

Anyway, if it is true that there is the "For the Love for Egypt" list, isn't it true by using the concept of reductio ad absurdum that there is a "For the Hatred of Egypt" list too? I wonder what are the preconditions for joining this list, and its benefits?

Is it possible that he who has died, his inheritance distributed, is the same headmaster who is supervising the line up, and at the same time owns the patriotism certificates and writes the Protocols for the Love for Egypt? That is to say, he is a dead man and a despot and a sage who is embodied in an individual or a group or a regime.

This "list" is moving surrounded with the media's war chariots owned by money blended with politics, and most of it syphoned from seas of corruption spanning 40 years. A media in majority that was transformed into a kind of brawny "bodyguard" with a sharp tongue, that swoops on anyone who has a different opinion with all rabidness, nipping and assassinating him morally.

Can anyone deny that the smell of public corruption covering the entire space of Egypt stinks, while the head of the Central Auditing Authority, who is an honorable judge, becomes — he and his family — a target for distortion and personality assassination, for just stirring the box of corruption without blowing it wide open? 

I do not think that the issue is that the people are reluctant to rally around the president on a national objective such as fighting corruption. I think that the real issue is that some Egyptian institutions have lost credibility, in repeating lies to the people. Therefore, the people are sceptical, even in receiving good news such as the Mediterranean natural gas discovery. We should excuse them after what they saw regarding Hussein Salem and the selling of Egypt's gas — or rather what has now become public knowledge concerning the biggest corruption operation for selling Egypt in order that middlemen receive their statutory commission.

Finally, it is suffice that we contemplate the upcoming parliamentary elections. According to the current law, these elections may be just a wide opened gate for political money to enter, and for the return of the Mubarak regime.

It is enough to look deeper at the quarrels and rows that have taken, and are taking place, around the "list" that includes an obvious sample of a regime's representatives, whom the people revolted against on 25 January 2011. They are quarrelling over the same cake in the same old way, for the sake of returning to authority, and to control the wealth. Thus, a large segment of society sees that the participation under the present law is participating in deceiving people.

If the situation continues as it is, the next parliament will not be representive except of the same division that Egypt's parliament witnessed during the last 40 years, between the coalition of corruption and cronyism, on the one hand, and the coalition of the Islamist current on the other. I cannot find in this division but a list that every Egyptian knows: that is, "For the Hatred of Egypt" list.

The writer is former assistant to the Egyptian foreign minister.

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