We are all accountable!

Nader Bakkar , Wednesday 30 Jan 2013

As the political crisis in Egypt deepens, with armed anarchists spreading terror, responsible political forces must find the means to create common ground

The one who revolts against injustice need not to hide his face out fear, and the people who revolted on 25 January 2011 never needed to put on masks to hide their identities, nor did they need weapons to confront their enemies; nor did they need a shield to hide behind! Their uprising was characterised by a spontaneity that was formed by their raging anger, a loss of hope and the courage to change a regime that stole, killed, betrayed, crushed and boasted of the same for more than three decades.

The Arabs long ago used to say: “The bereaved woman who lost her son is not like the one who’s just watching!” They used to say this proverb to compare between what is real and what is artificial — between impulsive feelings and artificial ones. This was what popped in my mind when I heard the news of the blocking of the underground, the taking over of metro stations, the attacks on local councils and government facilities, cutting off main roads in the governorates, shooting bullets, throwing Molotov cocktails and all the other scenes of vandalism and anarchy that sent fear into the hearts of ordinary citizens. This anarchy can never be a revolution of the people!

I have called them “The Black Mask Gang” instead of the imported name they chose for themselves, to help us recall the infamous Black Mask Gang we all read about when we were children in Mickey Mouse comics. This name also gives the group the title “gang,” because this is truly what they are — a comic gang!

What really arouses my disgust at the systematic violence the Black Mask Gang of anarchists practice is their attempts to justify the same as if it was a natural reaction to the political or managerial failure we are experiencing now in Egypt. This type of behavior aims to makes the people sympathise with anarchy and pave the way for it to be a constant guest in our lives.

So why don’t we just give everything its proper name without any fear or hesitation?

Gentlemen, terrorism is terrorism, no matter where it comes from and no matter what system or method it uses. We have to uphold the values of the rule of law because a state of militias is by all means the most disastrous option that can dismantle our country into liberal, Islamist and anarchist gangs.

Frankly speaking, the president, Mohamed Morsi, bears the biggest portion of responsibility because he could have been more decisive in dealing with the issue from the very first day. I criticised him resoundly the day he spoke about the Itihadiya events because I truly expected him to announce clearly how he denounces violence no matter which side it comes from, and I expected him to take clear actions with the aggressors, no matter which party they came from. But he didn’t!

President Morsi bears the biggest responsibility because he thwarted the national dialogue more than once when we all know how integral it is at this time. It is really senseless that every time we start a new dialogue we get confronted by the Muslim Brotherhood stating that the results of the dialogue are “not compulsory.” Will they always keep breaching every commitment they make? Can’t the Muslim Brotherhood realise until now how dangerous it is to keep playing the game of juggling roles between their leaderships?

The opposition, in turn, bears an ample part of responsibility by being silent and sluggish in front of this very same phenomenon. They even support it morally; either implicitly or explicitly! Their biggest mistake will be to think that they can stop this vicious cycle of violence.

I have repeatedly criticised besieging the Itihadiya Presidential Palace, the High Constitutional Court and Media Production City because I knew then, along with El-Nour Party, with whom I am affiliated, that the cycle of violence will keep enlarging and will evolve into a state of action-and-reaction and no one will be able to stop it then.

Let us come up with a covenant between all the trends, currents and political parties of Egypt. Something that can accommodate the fact that the differences between us are there and will always be there. Mastering the art of “finding common ground” is a must that we can’t live without nowadays! A covenant that can criminalise the escalation of differences into beating, cursing and marginalising; a covenant that can allow us to talk with each other, to argue and to depart as friends even if we don’t end up agreeing.

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