Mar 30, 2013 – Mursi, the facade of the Muslim Brotherhood
The Muslim Brotherhood is continuing its attempts to control Egypt as quickly as possible while its opponents are still divided and the Egyptian public are stressed in the aftermath of the first revolution. Their strategy has been to strike hard from all angles and to say whatever needs to be said in order to confuse and diffuse criticism.
While Musri talks about the rights of women and how Egypt must do more for them, his supporters use violence against women protesters, and while he talks about the freedom of speech gangs of the Muslim Brotherhood surround the City of Media Production from where many independent media channels are broadcast, in the meantime Musri assures the west that Egypt is talking leaps forward on all fronts. The confusion is aimed at buying enough time and finding enough opportunities to deal as many blows to his opponents in order to secure the grip of the Muslim Brotherhood on the levers of power.
Interestingly, this seemingly decisive and confident Mursi was nobody but a last minute replacement to another candidate of the Muslim Brotherhood, the man who still rules behind the scenes, Khairat El-Shater, together with the rest of the leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood they form what has become a council of Mafia bosses, moving the strings without getting their hands dirty.
Mursi is becoming increasingly volatile and reliant on aggressive and violent tactics to push through his agenda, he was barely recognised as an authority by many sectors of the Egyptian society and this is becoming more difficult to justify.
The New Zealand Coptic association adds its voice to the many intellectuals and human-rights groups in issuing a warning to Mursi and his Muslim Brotherhood that patience is about to run out. Unlike his gangs we do not condone violence but there are more powerful means to render the Muslim Brotherhood isolated and irrelevant. Mursi and the leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood must be held responsible for all their actions and be brought to trial if necessary.
Dec 17, 2012 – Rigged referendum expected to yield Islamist constitution
In yet another show of force, the Muslim Brotherhood lead Islamist forces in Egypt to grant itself more power and more control over the country. The Muslim Brotherhood seems to have gone far beyond Mubarak and have committed screaming violations to pass a constitution already boycotted by the opposition. The Muslim Brotherhood are ignoring all voices inside Egypt and outside and continues to press ahead with their plan to tighten their grip on power and the institutions of government.
Islamists have used both old and new techniques to control the outcome of the referendum such as false votes and pressuring and directing voters in various ways. They have also created long delays in voting booths where opposition is strong, in particular women have been singled out with these tactics designed to frustrate them into abandoning their right to participate in the referendum. This is primarily because explicit clauses protecting women’s rights and equality have been removed from the new constitution but also due to the bloody atrocities committed by the Muslim Brotherhood over the past number of month, factors which were given thumbs down by women as they stare into an uncertain future.
The Muslim Brotherhood plans are simple, to hoard all the power and control they can, slowly dismantle all government institutions which may pose some resistance, the Judiciary are already under attack with the Supreme Court building under siege by gangs of Islamists and the Public Prosecutor fired and a new one directly appointed by Mursi. Once in control, the Muslim Brotherhood plan would be to frustrate all opposition by declaring innocence and calling for cooperation with the opposition while punching under the belt at the same time. It’s a technique long used by Mubarak to create a confusing image abroad and remain the only credible and identifiable force for over 30 years.
However, it would be doubtful that the Muslim Brotherhood can maintain balance for long because the economical and political landscape of Egypt has been so badly damaged that it is more likely to boil than to cool down over time. The Muslim Brotherhood will bet everything on a different outcome, they will not hesitate to bet Egypt itself and all Egyptians in a gamble regardless of the possibilities of outcomes.
Indeed, it is with great sadness we witness one of the oldest civilisations in the world treated with such disregard. We urge the international community to make it clear that any compromise on human rights and democracy will not be tolerated.
Dec 6, 2012 – Gangs of the Muslim Brotherhood attack peaceful demonstrators
Television cameras have captured gangs of the Muslim Brotherhood attacking peaceful demonstrator around the presidential palace and injuring over 200. Muhammed Mursi has made no appearances or announcements since all the troubles where triggered by his decree while orchestrating and directing members of the Muslim Brotherhood from the shadows.
It is perceived the Muslim Brotherhood is exercising a dangerous tactic of buying time in order to proceed with a referendum on the draft constitution put together by Islamists, in the hope that their ability to influence the vote will prevail and deem the opposition a minority. The polarisation has reached such levels that both sides are publicly calling the other illegitimate.
The Muslim Brotherhood have succeeded in alienating all other Egyptians in just a few days driven by their desire to amass power and entrench themselves in leading positions of government for decades to come. The use of their gangs against their opposition marks a sharp turn in their traditionally more careful strategy. It seems they are beginning to recognise the fragility of their position and have already started resorting to desperate measures.
The opposition have vowed to continue their struggle towards achieving the goals of the revolution. It seems the Muslim Brotherhood have only fanned the flames that are likely to spell the end of their brief time in power.
Dec 5, 2012 – Egyptians unite against Islamists
Egyptians have finally reacted to the dictatorship being slowly constructed by Islamists lead by the Muslim Brotherhood. The tipping point was the decree issued by Muhammed Mursi granting himself powers stretching far beyond his deposed predecessor, this came at the heels of a draft constitution designed to entrench Islamists in power at the expense of equality and freedom of speech.
Initially, the Muslim Brotherhood attempted to buy time in order to complete a referendum on the draft constitution in the hope of giving a controversial constitution much needed legitimacy. Their supporters have gone as far as to prevent Supreme Court Judges from entering the courts to issue an expected verdict on the legitimacy of the constitution and the parliament.
However, it seems Egyptians became fed up and decided to take matters in their own hands repeating scenes not seen since January 2011 when Mubarak was deposed. Today, Egyprians are camped in all key sites including Tahrir Square, the epicentre of the revolution with as many as 25 million people reported in the streets.
Egyptian youth have led the charge supported by the media, human rights activists and women. It seems the Muslim Brotherhood have made serious miscalculations and have underestimated their opposition. They will undoubtedly pay a heavy price for these mistakes although the exact outcome remains uncertain.
The New Zealand Coptic Association stands firmly behind the youth, in their quest to meet the original goals of the revolution. Freedom and Social Justice are nonnegotiable rights for all Egyptians.
Jun 2, 2012 – Mubarak guilty but regime remains
Mubarak has been found guilty of complicity in the death of protesters in Jan 25 revolution, his interior minister has also been found guilty of the same crime. However, all other officers accused were acquitted and the corruption case mainly levelled at his sons, Gamal and Alaa, was dismissed.
Mubarak may soon become history but Egypt is still very much locked in a battle between the incumbent regime supported by the military, the Islamises who have their own agenda, and the revolutionary youth who have ignited the revolution, paid the heaviest price and collection nothing for themselves. This ruling is almost guaranteed to inflame the raw emotions within the youth groups and Egypt is likely to remain stuck in a turbulent phase of its history.
Whilst it's impossible to predict the next political event in a country as large and dynamic as Egypt, some things have become obvious. The Muslim Brotherhood are leading an Islamist front that is entirely focused on controlling every aspect of power it can, utilising its organisational abilities and reach, making any alliances it requires, wearing the suit of the revolution when it fits and speaking the voice of God to a religious audience when that works.
The Military leadership on the other hand has been more concerned with protecting itself from any potential criminal implications and dilution of power while supporting remnants of the old regime in the process. It has to be asked why the head of the Military and the Defence minister of Mubarak, General Tantawi, is still looking very much secure in his position, and why no one at all has yet been found guilty of murdering any of the hundreds that died during and after the Jan 25 revolution.
The revolutionaries look to have been frustrated by the more experienced political powers, they lacked organisation and with time passing lost some of their gloss and support. They are making quick progress with a few figures now becoming focal points and spearheading their movements. It seems Egypt may be working its slow way towards a second revolution, one that will have some power of action and not just be reliant on others.
Dec 19, 2011 - The Military acts with brutality
The Military has once again cleared Tahrir square of protestors but this time using brutality and aggression not seen since the revolution began. The violent acts committed by members of the Military were not only excessive but rather identical to those committed by security forces in the final days of Mubarak’s rule, it is indeed the strongest indication yet that Mubarak’s departure didn’t represent more than that of a figure head rather than the sweeping changes demanded by the revolution.
The main difference this time is that some factions of the Egyptian society, namely the Muslim Brotherhood and the more extremist Salafists have major interest in keeping the status quo in order to preserve the gains they achieved in the elections. It seems the revolution has only succeeded in unlocking bigger and more entrenched powers with deeper roots and wider base of that of Mubarak’s regime.
The frustration of protestors especially the youth who ignited the revolution is growing and their feeling of being abandoned by the those who have long claimed to be their allies has done little to dampen their resolve. It seems the days ahead could be decisive in writing the next chapter of history of the country.
Dec 15, 2011 – The Military and the Islamises in poisonous deal
The first round of the latest elections in Egypt has seen unprecedented levels of participation from voters, many voting for the first time and the enthusiasm to seize the opportunity and dream of democracy filled the air.
Unfortunately, there was widespread problems primarily carried out by Islamists groups who broke a number of election rules in plain sight, the most common of which was groups of youth around every polling station handing out leaflets resembling voting papers and promoting their candidates, when asked they responded that it’s merely a guide meant to help voters fill their voting papers correctly. There were more serious incidents in a number of other electorates including voter intimidation and fraudulent votes, in one station individuals were seen voting dozens of times and in others voting papers where being filled for voters by Islamists while bags of blank and prefilled voting papers were found in alleyways. The votes were cancelled in two large electorates as a result, one of which includes Shobra, a district in Cairo with a very large Christian population which has seen some of the worst practices by Islamists.
The irony of this situation is that Islamists have complained of those same practices under Mubarak’s rule and have indeed suffered as a result so it’s a great disappointment to see them quickly and readily adopt the role of the oppressor, the entire scene stinks with hypocrisy.
The soldiers and officers of Egyptian Military played an excellent rule in organising and securing the first round, in spite of the result being contaminated by backdoor deals done by the high-ranking officers of the Military Council headed by Field Marshal Tantawi. Once again, the Military leaders show that their interests actually lie in self preservation and hunger for power than the future of the country, even when Mubarak has fallen for the exact same reasons only a year ago. It is possible they’re motivated by fear of being tried for their past action but the net result is all the same and the price would be paid by ordinary people and the country.
The seconds round of elections is currently underway, and Islamists are expected to continue their shameful practices, again, all in plain sight with little or no consequences. The Military is expected to tolerate it all and label it as minor irregularities in return for holding on to key positions of power.
In the mean time, young Egyptians who risked their lives and toppled Mubarak stand on the sidelines powerlessly watching the nightmare unfold. It seems to many all their work is being slowly undone and another Mubarak is about to be seated on the throne of Egypt.
Oct 11, 2011 - Egyptian state media show usual bias
In a scenario familiar under Mubarak’s regime, the headlines of Egyptian state-controlled newspapers have published headlines blaming the violence of last night squarely on the Copts.
While most of those killed were in fact Coptic protesters with possibly only one or two soldiers killed, Al-Ahram, the largest newspaper in Egypt has a headline that reads “Violence and Blood in Copitc demonstrations after peaceful start, 24 soldier and protester are dead and 317 injured”. This and similar headlines are not only inaccurate but are clearly an attempt to sway public opinion against the Copts and make criminals out of the victims in the incident.
The video below shows Armoured vehicles of the Egyptian army driving recklessly amongst demonstrations while they leap out of their way in terror while security forces continue their old practices of excessive violence against the Copts beating peaceful demonstrators with sticks. The Egyptian army receives around US$1.3 billion of military aid each year.
The military council has promised to investigate the incident, however, it’s unlikely any of those who destroyed the Church sparking the demonstrations or those who committed acts of violence towards Coptic demonstrators will be brought to justice or face sentencing. Previous and almost identical incidents usually end in outspoken Coptic demonstrators being held on various charges and released only after Coptic leaders agree to give up all rights.
Members of the military council have long been distancing themselves from Mubarak’s regime and washing their hands from his suppressive practices but incidents like this show the truth may be otherwise. The military is quickly losing the support of the Copts and the consequences may indeed be serious.
Oct 10, 2011 - The Coptic issue flares
Through a series of incidents since the Egyptian revolution, the Copts find themselves at odds with extremist elements, law enforcement and the government headed by the military council. This time violent clashes erupt as Copts stage mass sit-ins in front of the television building and Tahrir square, the epicentre of the revolution against Mubarak’s regime. It’s unclear how the violence began and the identity of the 17 dead and dozens injured, however, the root cause for the discontent remains the inability and unwillingness of those in power to deter acts of violence and discrimination against the Copts which have become more frequent since the revolution.
The revolution must bring equality to the Copts and hope to all Egyptians, if those in power do not act fairly and quickly then they risk letting Egypt fall into disarray, the perpetrators of acts of violence against Copts must bear the full brunt of the law, those harmed must be compensated and a clear message send that absolute equality amongst all Egyptians is not up for debate or compromise.
Mar 19, 2011 - Quest for democracy begins
Today Egyptians will vote on an amended constitution in what could be the first free and fair democratic vote in the history of Egypt. On this proud day we urge Egyptians to put their differences aside and vote for a better future for Egypt.
This video is a reminder of the crucial role played by the Copts in the months leading up to the revolution, the Copts were amongst the loudest voices to directly and publicly challenge the regime of Mubarak inside of Egypt and outside. Another video shows the April-6-Youth in a rare demonstration carried in January 2011, lead by an incredibly brave young woman.
Feb 6, 2011 - Georgette Kelliny
We support Georgette Kelliny's representation of the Egyptian youth in the current dialogue with the National Democratic Party. Please join the campaign for Georgette Kelliny on facebook
Feb 2, 2011 - Statement
The announcement by President Mubarak earlier today not to run for another term in office is a step in the right direction, as are his promises and assurances of wide ranging reforms. However, these steps must be followed by concrete actions that are clearly aimed at meeting the aspirations of the Egyptian people. These actions, ending with the transition of power, must all be completed quickly.
We acknowledge that the situation in Egypt is intricate. Egypt is a large country of immense strategic importance both for the stability of the region and the world. A power vacuum in Egypt is not affordable and, in spite of our deep desire to see power handed over, our desire to see a stable, safe and strong Egypt rise out of this popular movement is indeed much stronger.
This revolt was started on January 25, 2011 by liberal young activists who used the internet to collaborate and organise, together with ordinary Egyptian citizens they took huge risks and paid a dear price to end the stale mate that dominated Egypt for so long. It was not until later that political parties and other established groups threw their weight behind the revolt. However, most of those that started and contributed to the revolt have no political connections and, therefore, may not be represented at all if any power vacuum is to be filled in a great rush. Egypt may find itself in the hands of a few individuals who may only represent a small portion of the population.
We urge President Mubarak and the Egyptian government to open the doors wide for all legitimate political movements in order for all Egyptians to be represented in any new government. We do not want to see patterns of the past where representation is heavily biased for a small sector of society while others such as liberals, women and the Copts have merely symbolic representation.
The Copts consider themselves ordinary Egyptian citizens and have always refused to be treated or considered differently from their Muslim brethren, but we remind Egypt that the Copts have had long overdue grievances which must be addressed, not separately, but within a comprehensive solutions for all Egyptians. The Copts are conscious of those who have similar grievances such as the Baha’is, the Nubians, families living in poverty and Women amongst many others. Nothing less than absolute Equality for all Egyptians regardless of their background or beliefs will be satisfactory, this is the only guarantee that the future of Egypt will be as bright as this great nation and people deserve.
No to poverty, No to unemployment, No to corruption, No to discrimination, No to division
Yes to education, Yes to prosperity, Yes to equality and equal opportunity, Yes to unity, Yes to Egypt
Feb 2, 2011 - Egypt moves beyond mubarak
Mubarak has just declared he will not stand for another election, he is asking to be given the opportunity to transfer power in what remains of his term, which ends in September 2011. Congratulations Egypt.
Feb 1, 2011 - Embattled regime in free fall
In a major victory for the protestors, the Egyptian Army declares it will not use violence against demonstrators. The question of “what next” is now becoming ever more critical. The New Zealand Coptic Association calls for a civilian government and a new constitution that restores the rights of all Egyptians and finally ends the injustice and discrimination suffered by Copts under military rulers.
Jan 29, 2011 - Mubarak declares nationwide curfew as army is deployed to guard vital buildings
Egyptians take to the streets in huge numbers after prayers on Firday in a direct challenge to the regime. An internet and media blackout continues while demonstrations in support of the revolt continue to spring in world capitals.
Jan 28, 2011 - Mubarak cuts off internet access and prepares to settle the scores
Today, January 29 in Egypt, many are likely to die defending their basic human rights at the hands of the security forces, which seem to be tasked with protecting the regime and the regime alone. January 25 was the spark and January 29 is going to be another milestone in the revolt against tyranny. It will be a day of pride for the Egyptian people and shame for the dictatorship of Mubarak.
Brace yourselves for a dark spot in the history of humanity.
This video shows a protestor being shot for picking up a rock, viewer discretion advised.
Jan 27, 2011 - Social networking at the heart of the revolt
Violence and protests escalate for a second day with more protests in planning. Facebook groups used by the organisers of the revolt can be found here:
Police acts brutality to remove protesters.
Jan 26, 2011 - Egypt's own Tank Man
Watch a young man standing in front of an armoured vehicle forcing it to halt, the driver subsequently continues to drive onto the protesters putting their life in danger.
Jan 26, 2011 - Egypt protests: Clashes in Cairo on day of revolt
Thousands of Egyptians joined the protests after an internet campaign on facebook inspired by the uprising in Tunisia.
They marched through Cairo and other areas chanting anti-government slogans, after activists called for a "day of revolt" in a web message.