Pro-Muslim Brotherhood protesters in Nasr City, Cairo, October 2013. (Hamada Elrasam for VOA)

Egyptians Are Confronting a Pandemic While the Brotherhood Is Concerned With Itself

Akhbar Al-Youm, Egypt, April 15

I’ll never forget the sight of Kamal Al-Helbawy, a member of Muslim Brotherhood, crying heavily on a live morning talk show when news broke that several Brotherhood members involved in terrorist activity had been expelled from Qatar. What was striking about Helbawy’s appearance that morning was how telling it was of the way in which the Brotherhood succeeds in portraying itself as the perennial victim. Brotherhood members are trying to infiltrate people’s minds with false logic and sweet lies in an effort to revive their movement and restore its popularity. It is their ultimate hope that by doing so, they will be able to re-enter society as a dominant political force. The most recent manifestation of this dream is the Brotherhood’s recent call on the Egyptian government to release all of the group’s prisoners due to the coronavirus situation, despite the Ministry of Interior’s insistence that there have been no outbreaks in any state prisons. Similarly, even if an outbreak were to occur in these prisons, it would target all, and not just Brotherhood prisoners. Why, then, demand the release of only some inmates and not others? If history has taught us anything, it’s that the Brotherhood cares only about itself. It never abandoned its politics of terror and violence, and has not abided by a single one of the agreements and treaties it signed. It violated promises made to King Farouk, Gamal Abdel Nasser, Sadat and Mubarak. Any honeymoon with the Brotherhood does not last more than a few weeks. The Brotherhood is dangerous to the stability of our country. A living example is the Brotherhood’s call to take to the streets and protest, despite the quarantine orders. Egypt has one state, one government and one law. Its institutions are based on the values of justice and equality. No single group is held at a higher status, nor is it eligible for more rights than others. Whoever accepts these rules is free to live in Egypt and promote whatever political worldview he or she believes in. An illegal group cannot force itself upon the general public and bestow upon itself elevated rights and privileges. It cannot create one legal system for common Egyptians and another system for itself. Civic duty comes with rights, but also with duties. This is what the Egyptian people reminded their leaders every time they revolted. No one should put this to the test, especially at the time of a global pandemic. – Karem Jabar (translated by Asaf Zilberfarb)

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