Try­ing rulers

Southasia - - EDITORS MAIL -

With the elec­tion of for­mer Egyp­tian Army Chief, Ab­del Fat­tah al-Sisi, who won with a thump­ing ma­jor­ity, the revo­lu­tion cha­rade in Egypt has come full cir­cle. What started with the Jas­mine Revo­lu­tion of 2011, which saw the over­throw of Hosni Mubarak, the as­cent of the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood to power and its af­ter­math, has re­sulted in the rise of Gen Sisi to the seat of power. All this while Egypt gained lit­tle and lost hun­dreds of pre­cious lives. Too soon have the chants of democ­racy and free­dom van­ished into thin air as Egyp­tians have wel­comed their new ruler, an­other army man. What does this prove? A grow­ing dis­en­chant­ment with democ­racy, some would say. But the prob­lem is much deeper than that. It is the fail­ure of suc­ces­sive rulers to take the path of mod­er­a­tion. While some crossed ev­ery limit in sec­u­lar­iz­ing the coun­try, oth­ers pre­ferred to Is­lamize it with­out tak­ing into con­sid­er­a­tion the reser­va­tions and rights of the mi­nori­ties.

Sisi’s vic­tory can also be a pre­cur­sor to a dan­ger­ous ten­dency: an un­ex­plain­able fas­ci­na­tion with the mil­i­tary. This is a not a new phe­nom­e­non. Na­tions that suf­fer ex­tended mil­i­tary rule are likely to ac­cept their con­di­tion – and rulers – and may even start to like them. How­ever, the sit­u­a­tion seems im­plau­si­ble in Egypt’s case where hun­dreds of thou­sands of the masses gath­ered at the Tahrir Square to top­ple a mil­i­tary ruler. Here is hop­ing that the peo­ple of Egypt are ac­tu­ally try­ing dif­fer­ent rulers to see who is the best to steer the coun­try to­wards the right path.

Moed Khan

Jubail, Saudi Ara­bia

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