February 1, 2011
Egyptian Uprising: Six Questions that Remain Unasked, Let Alone Unanswered
Ahmed Rehab | CAIR Chicago
The Egyptian street uprising that began last Tuesday, climaxed Friday, and is expected to explode this Tuesday has been met by suppression from the police, bewildering apathy from Mubarak, censorship from the State media, and confused mixed messages and an absence of leadership from the White House (Mubarak’s ally).
In Egypt, the national media which is controlled by the government has failed to ask six key questions, let alone answer them, underscoring how badly out of touch the current establishment is from the plight of the Egyptian people.
Here are the six questions:
1. Why did Mubarak wait for days before he publicly addressed the unfolding crisis? Why did he fail to acknowledge or respond to a single demand from the protesters when he finally spoke?
What responsible president can sit idly by for days as his streets bubble with rage previously unseen? Why did Mubarak not so much as attempt to curb escalations after seeing the clear writings on the wall literally and figuratively? Why has he failed, to this day, to have dialogue with the people, preferring instead to act unilaterally in a way that has enraged the people further? Mubarak’s failed leadership in the face of these crises is alone proof enough of his failed leadership and a reminder as to why he has no business being president.
2. Why did the Egyptian police use violence against the Egyptian people’s peaceful protests demanding their rights?
The Egyptian police force has long been notorious for its corruption and barbarity. It seems they believe that their role is to protect the regime and suppress dissenters – violently if necessary – rather than to protect the people and fight crime.
3. Why was Egypt’s entire police force pulled off the streets Friday night after the success of the protests? Who made that decision? Who is responsible?
The comprehensive self-withdrawal of Egypt’s police from the streets was made without any public statement, explanation, or by warning or prior warning. Not surprisingly, criminals and thugs had a heyday rushing to take advantage of the security vacuum, looting, and terrorizing neighborhoods. This reckless action by the Ministry of Interior showed a stunning disregard for the well-being and safety of the Egyptian people. It’s an action that extends beyond incompetency and into grand treason. With no one else to count on, Egyptians responded by taking matters into their own hands and quickly formed volunteer neighborhood watch groups that brought order to the streets.
4. Why were thousands of highly dangerous and armed criminals able to escape from prisons? How did that happen? Who is responsible?
To make matters worse, some of Egypt’s largest prisons were evacuated. Now Egyptians faced a country that now not only had no police but also of thousands of armed fugitives. Analysts suspect a treacherous government conspiracy to sabotage the otherwise successful street revolution by forcing a switch in priorities for the protectors. Indeed, use of force to quit street protests and stay in their neighborhoods to keep them safe.
5. Why did the government shut off Facebook? Why did it shut off the internet? Why did it shut off cell phone access? Why did it shut off telephone land lines? Why did it shut off Al Jazeera?
In full view of Egypt and the world, Mubarak’s cynical government has dug its heels in and further implicated itself in dictatorship, censorship, and disregard for freedoms by attempting to shut out the Egyptian people’s ability to express their voice. Naturally, such loathsome behavior has only acted to enrage the people further.
6. Why has the White House failed to do the right thing and advise its ally, Mubarak, that it’s time to go?
President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have spoken a lot on this crisis but said nothing. They have contributed absolutely nothing to end this dictatorship and help usher in democracy. On the back end, they continue to offer tacit support to Mubarak. This is a case of utter failure of U.S. leadership on the global scene and an increasingly hypocritical U.S. foreign policy.
Tomorrow (Tuesday in Cairo), protesters are planning large scale marches. The government is promising brutal suppression with threats of live ammunition. It will be a day of decisive confrontation. I intend to join the protests. Continue to monitor my blog, www.ahmedrehab.com/blog and my Twitter account @ahmed_rehab for updates.