Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Letters from Egypt: My Conspiracy Theory

All the election campaign posters in a popular medan
For those of you who know me personally, you know how I detest conspiracy theories. I will walk away from any conversation discussing the Illuminati, Bilderberg, New World Order and the like. And yet I find myself concocting my own theory as to why Egypt’s newly formed government sans president is edging to the likes of what could be deemed heavily Islamic.

Did you know that the Salafi party never existed prior to Mubarak’s ousting?

My theory is that the Salafi was originally a part of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB), and still are; however, the strategic and calculating MB knew that with those hard-lined members, it would present a negative view for the moderates in Egypt. After all, it was the moderates that started the revolution. In case any of you don’t recall, the MB refused to take part in protests and didn’t jump on the bandwagon until it seemed the Tahrir marches were making progress.

I have to wonder if the MB leaders proposed that the more conservative, “bearded ones” start their own political faction with promises of prominent positions within the government. And all while still gaining monetary support and operating under the auspice of the MB. I believe this is a strong likelihood for one major reason: the Ministry of Education.

In all the deals that the MB struck with liberals and conservatives alike, probably THE MOST IMPORTANT MINISTRY was given to the Salafi. Adolf Hitler started the same practice: spreading bigotry in classrooms to raise an army and before long, children were reporting their parents for treason. It also wouldn’t be shocking since most of those hard-lined Islamists admire Hitler’s rhetoric. If the Salafi is a part of the MB and the MB wants to originally drop its so-called “new, liberal look”, what better way to do it than to give the more conservative faction the Ministry of Education so that children will be raised in this line of thinking and eventually produce a nation ruled by the majority which would be in their image.

I received an analysis breaking down the Egyptian Expat vote for president from the University of Manchester to which I responded asking what connection the supposed analyst gained her insight. The report said that “unsurprisingly” the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) and Salafi party garnered the most support. I disagree. This is extremely surprising, but other variables should be taken into account.

Egyptians living abroad are usually more liberal thinkers. What was missing in this analysis was the difficult task – almost impossible – for most Egyptians living in other places to register to vote abroad as new ID cards were required. What should also be noted is that about 700,000 Egyptians live in the US as opposed to 333,000 Egyptians living in Saudi Arabia – where the majority of the expat votes derived at about 235,000. Why was it made easier for Egyptians living in Saudi to vote?

Option 1:
It’s easier for Saudi Egyptians to return to Egypt to obtain a new ID card.

Option 2:
Was it made easier for Saudi Egyptians to cast an absentee ballot as opposed to those Egyptians residing in more “liberal/western” nations like the US and UK? It is plausible that the MB and Salafi party – with a plethora of funding – helped provide monetary assistance in order to obtain a greater amount of votes from Egyptians residing in a like-minded nation (Egyptians living in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia – KSA – are shown to be more conservative which probably goes without saying).

A young fruit vendor in Tunisia is accredited with sparking the Arab Spring. Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire over unemployment in the country which helped oust the longtime leader Ben Ali and trickled into leadership changes in Egypt.

Tunisians and Egyptians wanted more employment opportunities, particularly for the youth (which jumpstarted the revolutions in both countries).
Since the deposing of leaders, Tunisia saw its GDP decrease from 3% to 0% and Egypt saw a decline from 5% to 1% according to the International Monetary Fund. And while revolutions were initially started in protest of unemployment rates, Egypt has seen an uptick in unemployment from 10% to 15% with the youth unemployment rate increasing to a projected 25%.

Tunisia and Egypt wanted the right to vote.
In October 2011, it was reported that almost 70% of Tunisians lined up to vote.
Only 46% of the 50 million Egyptians eligible to vote cast their ballots.

Tunisia’s moderate Islamist party won the majority of seats in Parliament, as opposed to Egypt’s parliament being composed of more rightwing Islamist factions (Muslim Brotherhood and Salafi) totaling around 70%.

Of course like I said previously, uprisings have already started to occur with run-off candidate and former Mubarak supporter, Ahmed Shafiq’s headquarters being set on fire.

I’ve been hearing reports that those people who supported Hamdeen Salahy will choose to boycott the next round of elections, displeased with the two options (Shafiq and Moursy). And many of these people are the same people who initiated the Tahrir protests. Why fight for the right to vote and then refuse only because your candidate didn’t make the run-offs? Forget about the so-called setback of the revolution with a former Mubarak supporter, look at your own actions. Boycotting elections is your own personal setback toward a free and fair process (which will not come overnight).

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