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Today’s Liberals, Yesterday’s Islamists

Military Chief Al-Sisi is quickly becoming the most popular man in Egypt following Morsi's ouster.

Military Chief Al-Sisi is quickly becoming the most popular man in Egypt following Morsi’s ouster.

By Mohamed Khairat, Founder, EgyptianStreets.com
Objectivity has taken on a new definition since the June 30 uprising which toppled Islamist President Mohammed Morsi. Fairness, factuality, independence, non-partisanship, impartiality, open-mindedness, and neutrality are all terms traditionally associated with ‘objectivity’.

For many Egyptians, objectivity is no longer defined in this way. Instead, objectivity has come to mean unraveling or reporting the ‘truth’ – the truth that tells the story that they want told, with the information they believe, even if all evidence and information obtained proves that this is not in fact the truth.

When the Muslim Brotherhood came to power in 2012, many critics used to label supporters of Morsi and the Brotherhood as ‘sheep’ – blindly following the leader of the herd. When tens of thousands gathered outside the Presidential Palace in December 2012, Muslim Brotherhood members and supporters claimed there were only “several hundred,” and refused to believe that there was considerable opposition to Morsi.

When the arrest of journalists and incidents of torture were reported during Morsi’s reign, supporters would blast such reports, claiming “bias” and “fabrication.” Yet, if it was reported that Morsi was found to be the most democratic leader in the world, his supporters would not for a second question the claim.

Eventually, it was this blindness to the truth – the real truth – that led to the downfall of the Muslim Brotherhood and the Islamist President. In just four days, the group and people which had quickly gained control over all sectors in society lost every shred of power.  The truth eventually caught up, and millions went on the streets to display it.

Ironically, almost four months later, many Egyptians who once labeled Islamists “sheep,” are unknowingly in the same position as those Islamists. Many supporters of Military Chief Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi have blasted journalists for being ‘biased’ and for their lack of objectivity, simply because the information that is being reported goes against what they wish to hear.

Recently, when a photograph of two large Al-Sisi posters was posted across social networks, including on Egyptian Streets’ Facebook page, pro-Sisi Egyptians immediately claimed that the photographs were fake and photo-shopped. When ES posted a photograph taken personally, ES was immediately accused of being “pro-Muslim Brotherhood,” and even a foreign agent working against Egypt.

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There are many incidents similar to this: from reporting on the detention of foreign journalists and citizens, to revealing the use of excessive force by police against Morsi supporters and Islamists.  Each time news that even slightly harms the image of the current interim government is posted or relayed (despite it being accurate), many supporters of the interim government are quick to claim a “lack of objectivity” – despite the fact that the journalists and bloggers posting this information, are the same journalists many of these supporters followed before and during the June 30 protests.

The dangers of this – of blindly following the mob’s leader – are evident. When Morsi supporters are killed during protests, certain groups of people are quick to justify their deaths. When the draft protest law was leaked to the media, supporters of the current regime swiftly supported it – even if this law is more restrictive than the one proposed by Morsi earlier this year, and even if this law would mean the illegalization of protests that deposed the Islamist president.

At this pace, any hope of achieving a real democracy, led under a government and leader that truly represent all sects of Egyptian society, will be lost. Today’s “liberals” are just like yesterday’s Islamists: apart from the beards, they are both interested in a definition of objectivity that best suits their interests.

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4 Comments on Today’s Liberals, Yesterday’s Islamists

  1. “Today’s “liberals” are just like yesterday’s Islamists:” ? FALSE. When was there protest law in Morsi times ? Have Tamarrod demonstrations been crkacked down, with massacres, ilegalizations, thousands of arrested opponents ? There is a fundamental difference between democtacy and nazi-felool dictatorship. Objectivity, PLEASE !

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    • Morsi and the MB tried to crack down on every protest during his reign and tried to prevent the June 30 protests from even happening. Just because the police didn’t follow through with the MB criminal demands does not mean that the MB did not have such intentions.

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  2. Mohamad while I believe your last paragraph I do not believe you speak the truth when it comes to the media being objective, especially Egyptian media. We all know that during morsi’s rule this media had nothing good to say about him or the mb, in fact it was mainly because of their continual lies and dirty propaganda that many Egyptians began to believe what their media was telling them in stead of looking at the facts. It has also been proven that most Egyptian TV reporters were paid by Saudi Arabia and Emirates because of the attacks and lies about the true situation of the elected government and the sitation in Egypt. I am not a supporter of morsi nor the mb But, i can see exactly what has happened and what the aim of the new government/security forces are. The old regime has never and will never give up power. Regardless of how many people die. And for this I for one will never support them, they have ruled for too long, I will never forget the last 40 years and will never trust them.

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    • Please do enlighten us “Maria” as to what facts the media neglected to report on during Morsi’s time that would properly enlighten us as to how much better and more benevolent Morsi’s reign was? Furthermore, what media are you talking about? Egyptians were not obliged to watch CBC or OnTV. They could have easily watched state media (which was controlled by the MB while Morsi was in power), the religious channels, MB channels, or Al Jazeera to get a very positive (and false) view of Morsi, the Ikhwan, and their one-party regime. There is far more ideological diversity in government now than at any point in Morsi’s reign.

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