The People’s Revolution in Egypt
Every revolution in history has had its counter-revolution. Internal and external forces ally, as they did in Egypt to abort the January 2011 revolution. In this revolution on 30 June 2013 they failed and they will continue to fail because the Egyptian youth both men and women who are rebelling against the Muslim Brothers , have learned the lessons of the past. Their consciousness has deepened with organization and unity.
Thirty four millions men and women went out into the streets and squares. They were determined to topple the religious government under the control of the Muslim Brothers as well as all who support them at home and abroad. They wanted to expel all who use religion for economic and political gain and to oust Morsi. The will of the people is more powerful than military, police, religious or economic weapons. Here is the lesson of human history. There is no principle higher than truth and sincerity in the quest for freedom, justice and dignity.
The Muslim Brothers’ rule tried to divide the people into believers and heretics, but it failed. It tried to encourage its supporters to attack the demonstrators, but it failed. The power of the millions was like the sea that protects itself with its own strength and its tremendous waves that sweep away the jinn and the ghosts. The age of jinn, spirits and nonsense has ended. The light of knowledge, truth, love and creativity are increasing day by day.
Muslim Brothers militias killed young men and women, but the multitudes in the streets, in the neighborhoods and in the countryside kept growing. They were not afraid of the bullets, they did not retreat one step but kept advancing until they toppled the regime.
And yet, the imperialists and the Americans claim that this was not a revolution that demands a new legitimate regime but merely a crisis.
We need a new constitution that will realize the principles of the revolution: equality for all without distinction of sex, religion or class. We should not rush to presidential and parliamentary elections. We should not put the cart before the horse. We must not repeat mistakes.
Democracy is more than elections. Legitimacy means the power of the peoples more than the ballot box.
We need a communal, revolutionary leadership and not a single leader. The Muslim Brothers armed militias fired on the people and the revolution turned to the national army and the army responded. The police served the people and not the regime. This is a historical revolution and not a coup d’etat or protest movement or outraged uprising. It is a revolution that will continue until all of its goals are realized.
On July 5, I watched a group of American men on CNN threatening to cut off aid to the revolutionary Egyptian people. And I laughed out loud. I hope that they cut off this aid! Since the time of Anwar Sadat in the 1970s, this aid has destroyed our political and economic life. This aid helps the U.S. more than anyone else. This aid that goes directly into the pockets of the ruling class and corrupts it. This aid has strengthened American-Israeli colonial rule in our lands. All that the Egyptian people have gained from this aid is more poverty and humiliation.
NAWAL EL SAADAWI is the author of Women and Sex, Woman at Point Zero, The Fall of the Imam, Memoirs From the Women’s Prison and A Daughter of Isis.