Islamists can’t be left out of Egypt’s political process
President Mohamed Morsi ousted by the military in July is to
stand trial for inciting violence and the murder of protesters
back in December along with other members of the Muslim
Brotherhood. The country's army-backed government has also
ordered the new ruling assembly to review all Islamist amendments
to the constitution.
Independent journalist and political analyst, Shahira Amin, says
that both sides of the conflict would have to make concessions
otherwise the violence in Egypt will never end.
RT:How legitimate are the charges against Morsi and
the Muslim Brotherhood?
Shahira Amin: What Muslin Brotherhood supporters are
telling us that this are trumped up charges; that they’re
politically motivated. But the government insists that Muslin
Brotherhood leaders have incited violence. Indeed, a number of
them have. They’ve called for street protests, which have led to
clashes and a lot of bloodshed. So, we have mixed reaction to the
arrests and trials of Muslim Brotherhood leaders
RT:With the Muslim Brotherhood now on trial alongside [Hosni] Mubarak, and the military back in power, do you think Egypt has actually moved anywhere since the revolution?
SA: Actually, what we see here is a return to pre-January
2011 back to the Mubarak police state. General Sisi has promised
that this would be a democratic transition, but we see tanks on
the streets; we see massacres – we had a number of massacres of
the Islamist supporters of the ousted president; the closure of
the Islamic channels and the arrest of Muslin Brotherhood
leaders; the return of the emergency law; we have a curfew in
place; the return of state security. So, all this takes us back
to the Mubarak days. And it looks like none of the goals of the
January 2011 revolution have been met. And that’s why last
Friday, we saw a mixed crowd of protesters – not just Muslim
Brotherhood supporters, but a lot of revolutionary activists,
demanding legitimacy and calling for the goals of the January
RT:The Muslim Brotherhood's calling for more protests to mark the ouster of Morsi nearly two months ago - what do you expect to see tomorrow? Will there be a mass turnout?
SA: Well, we’ve seen a lot of bloodshed, a lot of
violence. Violence can only breed violence. I see the only way
out as reconciliation… As, you know, marginalization and
isolation of the Muslim Brotherhood can only lead to more
protests and more violence. So, I think only negotiations – and
that’s the only way out of the political crisis right now. We see
hundreds of thousands of Muslim Brotherhood… Islamists, not just
Muslim Brotherhood, but other Islamist groups, and they can’t be
left out of the political process. This can only lead to deadlock
and impasse, really.
RT:The Brotherhood has declined to take part in the panel that's set to draw up a revised Constitution. Why is that?
SA: They are demanding a return to legitimacy and the
reinstatement of the toppled president [Morsi]. Of course, we’re
not going to see that happen. I believe that there have to be
concessions on both sides. The Muslim Brotherhood – if it wants
to survive this crisis – has to make concessions and join
negotiations, otherwise they’ll be left out in the cold. And the
government as well must reach out; otherwise they’ll be making
the very same mistake that Morsi made when he isolated the