x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Strange American reaction to events in Egypt gives rise to many questions about US motives

The US' reaction to the removal of Mohammed Morsi is troubling, writes a columnist in Al Ittihad. Also: why Turkey's government backs Mr Morsi and why the EU is nervous of military involvement in Egypt

"We all know that the Muslim Brotherhood has branches and affiliates in most Arab and Islamic countries. We all know too that the Brotherhood is active in the US. What we didn't know, however, was that the Brotherhood even operates within the Obama administration", wrote Mohammed Hammadi, editor-in-chief of the Abu Dhabi daily Al Ittihad.

"The US position regarding recent events in Egypt and the people's decision to eject Mohammed Morsi from office, especially America's reticence to side with the people, has given rise to many questions," the writer said.

Washington's reaction to the collapse of the Muslim Brotherhood's short-lived authority was certainly bizarre, he went on.

It is incomprehensible why the US would offer so much support to the Muslim Brotherhood when the group's actions and behaviour in power in the last year contradict the most basic rules of good governance, democracy and pluralism that make up the foundation of American society.

The US attitude certainly gives way to speculation in Arab public opinion about a possible connection between the US and the Muslim Brotherhood.

"Such illicit relations are often rejected by supporters of either camp. Brotherhood advocates don't like the US and would never regard it as a partner and, similarly, the American people and many US opinion leaders would never accept that the US join hands with an organisation suspected of violence and a party that exploits the precepts of democracy as a way to reach power," the writer said.

Yet Mr Obama's administration is staunchly defending Mr Morsi, something it hasn't done for other regimes that collapsed during the Arab revolutions.

Three weeks following the overthrow of the Islamists, Egypt seems better posed to rebuild itself and overcome its issues, the writer went on. With an interim president and a newly sworn-in government, Egyptians will continue to work for their country within a consensual framework without necessarily excluding any forces.

However, it seems as if the Muslim Brotherhood are still unable to assimilate the blow that shook them to the core and caused a deep rift in their ranks.

They seem to have chosen to isolate themselves by remaining in the streets in protests, still awaiting the reinstatement of their president.

Their obstinate rejection of the people's wishes will eventually cause wider divisions in Egypt, and in other Arab countries that harbour Islamist groups. The Brotherhood are in the process of segmenting societies between Muslim Islamists and seculars that fight against religion and Islam.

"This is a serious plot and I don't think the US would want to be party to such a disastrous formula," the writer said in conclusion.

Egyptians should try to understand Turkey

The Turkish position on events in Egypt since June 30 must be put into perspective before Egypt's controlled media sour the relationship between the two states, wrote Fahmi Huwaidi in the Qatari paper Al Sharq.

Cairo was clearly dismayed when Turkish officials called what happened in Egypt a coup, and said Mohammed Morsi remains the legitimate president.

But the European Union also shares this view. Western democracies are highly sensitive about military coups; the Turkish army's meddling in politics was long a major obstacle to that country's EU membership.

The army's meddling in politics for decades, from 1923 until 2003 when Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan took office, lies heavy on the Turks. During that period, four coups were staged, parties were weakened and political life was continually distorted.

This explains the prompt response of Turkish officials to the events in Egypt.

No one can deny that Mr Erdogan is sympathetic to Mr Morsi and his party. But "his statement following Mr Morsi's removal mainly targeted Turkish opinion, and aimed at affirming the repudiation of the military's interference in politics".

"I call for understanding of the Turkish stance and the domestic circumstances that decided it. We should all separate politics from economics to avoid harming growing bilateral economic interests," the writer noted.

Egyptians can topple any failed government

From now on, any government or ruler in Egypt will have to worry all the time because the people can always take to the streets to depose them when they fail, wrote Emad Eddine Hussein in the Cairo-based paper Al Shorouk.

Political sociologists long believed that the Egyptian people are idle and would not revolt to better their lives.

But the people rose up against Hosni Mubarak, toppling him in 18 days, and then against Mohamed Morsi and the Brothehood, toppling them in less than three days, the writer said.

Now the question is why won't the people rise up against the new government of Hazem Al Beblawy?

The Brotherhood fails to understand that many of those who revolted against Mr Morsi had voted for him several times before, to get rid of Mr Mubarak's police state.

Now the youth are supportive of what has happened so far and look forward to a better life under the current process.

If the new government succeeds in bettering their lives, people will support it and demand that it continue after the transition. But if life does not get better, the people will turn away from the government no matter what it says, because the chain of fear has been broken forever.

* Digest compiled by The Translation Desk