The right course and the public consensus for getting out of the crisis have not been found yet the analyses and evaluation of the last events (after the 25 January Revolution) in Egypt show. The contradictions between the young generation which became the prime mover in the revolutionary developments and the generation of the elder more conservative population, headed by those closest to the President’s elite are growing deeper.
Obviously the changes in the country can not and will not be carried out under the direction of the Supreme Council of the Military Forces (SCMF) simply because it can not and most probably it does not want. The demonstrators at Tahrir Square must have reached this conclusion too because they demanded the resignation of a token figure of the regime and the military – the Defense Minister Field Marshal Tantawi. This demand follows the insistence (again at Tahrir Square) on the start of the promised but continuously postponed investigations against the presidential oligarchy. Such a way for transition to democracy in Egypt under the pressure from the Tahrir Square would be very prolonged, painful, extremely exhausting and may prove ineffective at the end.
It is those close to the oligarchy and what is remained form the National Democratic Party of Hosni Mubarak who have advantage from the delay in the transition to democracy. First because they will manage to pull together the party ranks and second, they will succeed to undermine the public faith in the democratic values -a very high price is exacted from the people. And this price obviously is as follows – the public to get accustomed to the riots, to the complete chaos, shoot-outs in the streets, the uncharacteristic and the rejected by the Islamic religion thefts, assaults, rapes, etc. The outlines of the scenario can be seen but new instruments are included in it. The recent deliberate inciting of religious opposition among the Muslim population can be assessed as such an instrument. The acts of violence by Wahabist fundamentalists in Egypt become more frequent. One of their last expressions is the attack against the Sidi Abdul Rahman tomb carried out by nearly 30 people armed with metal bars and hammers in the night of 4 April in Al Kalubiya (to the North of Cairo). The local residents have put up a resolute resistance against the intruders but this seems a temporary victory only. This attack is the last of a series of similar events in villages in the Nile delta. Similar to these acts perpetrated by fundamentalists is the burning down of the house of a woman considered of “questionable repute” while the man suspected in relationship with her had his ear cut off. Assaults on night clubs (so called places of debauchery) est. have been organized. These contradictions are not new in the Islam but they were surpassed or more precisely – they were controlled under the previous regime. Token figures of the Islam history have been berried in shrines in Egypt. These shrines serve as a source a spiritual blessing according to the Islamic religious practice. The fundamentalists, however, consider that the shrines especially those which are within or close to the mosques to be a form of heresy, furthermore that these shrines are worshiped by Shiite Muslims (Egypt is a Sunni state). A party to his contradictions are the Salafists (after the fall of the previous regime from power they already have their official movement which backed the “Muslim brotherhood” in the elections) and the Sufis. The Salafists believe the ancient laws of Islam can be imposed only by Jihad because after the death of the Prophet Muhammad the religion is not understood correctly and is being constantly misinterpreted. This concept is the key because the Wahabist for the first time declare war not on the enemies of Islam (polytheists) but on its adherents for misunderstanding the religion. Thus along with the polytheist pagans, Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Muslims too become the subjects of hate. This concept is also in the basis for fundamentalist and terrorist organizations like “Al Qaeda”, “Muslim Brotherhood”, and “al-Gama’a al- Islamyya” in Egypt, the “Taliban Movement” in Afghanistan, the HAMAS in the Gaza Strip etc. to come into being. The SCMF and the President of the one of the biggest religious universities in the Middle East “Al-Azhar” in Cairo sheikh Ahmad el-Tayeb took a stand on the vandal attacks by the hardliner Islamists. “The Council will not allow military movements to control Egypt”, the Deputy Minister of Defense of Egypt Mohammed Mokhtar Al-Mella reportedly said. The rector of the university on his part called for organized opposition to the fundamentalists’ doctrine.
The fomenting of smoldering religious hatred, this new instrument of “behind- the- scene players” provoked the expected reaction among the population. Its reaction is that after the revolution the country has been seized by chaos and fear, not present under the previous regime and the dissolution of the State Security being the main reason for the insecurity and the religious clashes (including these with Coptic Christian population).
No doubt, the tensions in Egypt before the Parliamentary and the Presidential elections will constantly be increased by the retrograde forces in the country and by the inept actions of the SCMF. The tendency to use the religious contradictions, one of the most sensitive themes among the population in the set of destabilization tools can be outlined as extremely dangerous. The SCMF pledge for preventing the fundamentalists from coming to power can not be seriously. Otherwise this will mean that the results of the approaching elections will depend on the SCMF. But these times of authoritarianism and manipulations have passed but the SCMF are reasoning using old stereotypes.
The practices of the European countries which comparatively recently made the road to democracy for example - convening a round table among the political players in Egypt, can be applied in the transition to democracy. In such a way the younger population will be able to be clearly and more categorically represented on the political scene and in front of the public eyes to defend its aspirations.