Sadat's Message to The US & EU: "Enough With Scare Tactics, Deliver Pragmatic Solutions Instead"

Egypt was not concerned over the world's concerns of institutional and governmental failure, or even of claims that Egypt would slip toward a civil war, when all Egyptians, including the military and Muslim Brotherhood, stood firmly against Mubarak in 2011. From that moment, Egypt has become rightfully critical of any group in power.

It is of utmost priority to protect the freedoms and rights of all Egyptian citizens. We were not silent on violations committed by the regimes of Mubarak, the SCAF and Morsi. Why then shall we be silent on violations of the current interim-government? We have many reservations regarding the recent security tactics, the roadmap, and the members of the current government. However, we must also counteract the Muslim Brotherhood's vicious plan to collectively punish the whole nation who unanimously called for the resignation of President Morsi on June 30th.

We have decided to set aside our objections in order to shorten the current, albeit temporary, status quo and move forward to a legitimately elected government. Our initial priority is responsible governance, security, and rule of law; all of which must be achieved so that every Egyptian - on all sides of the current conflict - has a right to participate in elections and build a democratic government together. Moving forward requires restoration of security and stability to the streets of Egypt.

There has been immense public pressure by citizens on the government to move quickly on dispensing the Muslim Brotherhood-led sit-ins, which previously interfered with the safety and security of daily life in Egypt. Had the government ignored this pressure, the situation could have dragged Egypt to a deeper, more unstable political vacuum. The protestors who have camped out over the last month and a half are not as peaceful as portrayed in foreign media or statements by politicians. It is imperative that friends of Egypt understand the foundation on which millions of citizens supported the dispersal of the protests, and furthermore on which they continue to offer the military a mandate to ensure the safety and stability of their country: endless video footage of armed protestors who shoot civilians and security; stockpiles of ammunition hidden in camps and parks; public buildings, churches and common heritage of mankind burnt to the ground; and major roads across the city cut. What these protestors have done has nothing to do with freedom of assembly or peaceful demonstration.

We condemn the overuse of power in principal, but when churches, police stations and courts are attacked, security forces must respond with heavy power. I doubt any country can argue the opposite. When "peaceful protestors" are clearly supported by Jihadist groups who commit explosions on a daily basis in Sinai, it raises questions regarding how peaceful these protests are. When Morsi refused all international calls to be more inclusive to opposition, it is definitely expected that the Muslim Brotherhood will not be open for a dialogue after his removal.

The European and American mediation efforts have misled some officials- with good intentions- to think that there is a possibility that the Muslim Brotherhood could accept the status quo and be willing to integrate in the new political process. Through our communications with Brotherhood leaders, I could assert that they said they were open for negotiations and compromise. In actuality, they were just maneuvering and buying time to stimulate cleavages within the army and the society, and to gain international support in the name of protecting the constitution and the president's legitimacy.

Additionally, there have been claims by western media that use of force was not a necessity, and rather, an attempt by the Egyptian military and government to demonize the Muslim Brotherhood in order to gain validation from the Egyptian populace. This could not be further from the truth. The legitimacy of the military and government's actions was never a question by Egyptians on the whole; this was proven as millions of Egyptians turned to the streets on June 30th and afterward. Furthermore, the Muslim Brotherhood invalidated themselves over the last year, they lost legitimacy with Morsi's grand failure at governance.

The arguments, statements, and calls to return to democracy immediately, or else, made by the West contribute to the escalation of the situation. The way they frame the narrative is irresponsible and encourages isolationism rather than consensus building. These calls reinforce unfounded conspiracy theories of foreign involvement in domestic policy. Ending the state of emergency is not pragmatic; what Egypt is going through is an exceptionally chaotic situation that entails enforcing rule of law and keeping citizens safe. Egypt is not in the same category of Syria or Yemen, and harsh international responses to the current situation will only weaken relations between Egypt and the west. If Putin decides to visit Egypt now, the domestic public opinion will warmly welcome him as much as it hailed Nixon's visit in 1974.

Egyptians have taken all the risk, along with the first step, to rise above all potential domestic, regional and international critiques that Morsi's ousting is the return of the security state. A year ago, Egyptians voted for Morsi despite our concerns over Islamists' extremist ideology. We believed him to be a moderate, who could accomplish the ideals of the revolution and include all parties to rebuild Egypt. One year later, we called for the military to step in and we knew the challenges and implications ahead.

Since the outbreak of the revolution on Jan 25th, Egyptians have been going through a crisis of confidence that has been under the surface for decades.
Egyptians trust their determination and their choices to shape the state they aspire for. When our decisions are wrong, we have the bravery and the guts to admit and correct our mistakes. Morsi was wrong for Egypt; the Brotherhood's governance of Egypt was a failure, and now we must correct our mistake. We urge our international friends to carefully review the situation before mislabeling it and severing ties that have been cemented over decades of diplomacy and good will.

Anwar El Sadat 
President of Reform & Development Party
Former Chairman of Human Rights Committee (People's Assembly)


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