See below a sample of the thoughtful reactions my last week’s column with the above title generated.
I must commend your “Notes from Atlanta” which are usually profuse with poignant analyses of contemporary issues around Nigeria and the globe. Your “notes” of today offered various reasons why different segments of Nigeria reacted to the military coup in Egypt that ousted Morsi from power.
I wish to add that what you called the Nigerian Shitte`s community`s “excitement”, much as they were snippets of individuals` kneejerk comments than a formal reaction of the community, had less to do with solidarity with Assad of Syria but more grounded in disgust for an “intolerant Sunni theocracy” that Morsi had unfortunately come to personify.
Under Morsi, religious minorities like Shiites and Copts began to face waves of persecution. There were reports of churches and Coptic men and women being attacked and raped by “Allahu Akbar”-chanting Muslims, reminiscent of the videos of human-organ-eating rebels of Syria. Only few days before Morsi was ousted, four Shiites were murdered in cold blood and their corpses, in bestial glee, dragged along streets, very much like Ghaddafi`s corpse was treated. Please see the link below.
Morsi`s government was so afflicted with a rabid phobia for Shiites that a Salafi member of its parliament campaigned against allowing Iranian tourists into Egypt, arguing that it was safer to have bikini-clad tourists swarming Egypt than to allow the Shiites in who would spread their “dangerous” ideology! Morsi failed to adequately present himself as the President of Egypt, leaving gaps for Egyptians to see him as the President for the Brotherhoods.
Thank you once more for your riveting weekly notes.
Sheikh Aminu (firstname.lastname@example.org)
I'm in the fourth group. I think secularism is the best system for the modern nation state, and I might not have supported the Brotherhood if I were an Egyptian. But I oppose Morsi's removal based on principle. Electoral outcomes must be respected and people should not use non-legal means to overturn such outcomes. I also believe that Morsi is being judged unfairly because what happened in his one-year rule was a direct consequence of a flawed transition. No one can rule democratically without a constitution and a parliament and it wasn't Morsi's fault that he ruled without these organs. I also believe that it is unfair to conclude that he had failed after just one year in office in a country that has no existing culture of democracy; there will inevitably be a learning process. But if the liberals truly felt they must remove Morsi, then they should have worked to elect a liberal majority parliament which would then impeach him and revise the constitution. But inviting the military was dumb (I have never thought of Egyptians as dumb until now) and they will surely regret it. I agree with the points in your July 7 column (which I’d missed) about the limited power of mass uprisings to effect wholesale and enduring change.
Dr. Raji Bello, Abuja
It could happen, but it would not. The government of Nigeria is more than ready to murder whoever tries to rebel against it. Recall the anti-fuel subsidy removal demonstrations? Why was it not very successful? It's because of the merciless, brutal killing of the protesting citizenry by the government of various states, Kano, for example. By the way, I was surprised at your mentioning that hitherto you didn't know Bashar Al-Assad was a Shi’ite.
Muhsin Ibrahim, Jalandhar, India
I must say I fall under the first group. I couldn’t sleep that night and I almost cried for what they did to the Brotherhood. I never realised what I was doing till I read this column. But, Alhamdulillahi, I still like Morsi and The Brotherhood for Allah's sake, not for sectarian reasons.
Ummi Noor, Abuja
I wanted to Google “Misralogist,” wondering what that could mean. I'm not a Shiite but I fall into the second category, and I see the build-up of political Islam from its height in the days of Sayyid Qutb and the gradual death of political Islam. The admixture does not work and cannot work.
Bamidele Ademola-Olateju, Belleville, Michigan, USA
The events in Egypt throw up new challenges for modern secular democracy. When you elect a government and, after a year in office, it begins to show signs of failure or it fails to deliver to the electorate its promises, as obtained in Nigeria and Egypt, what do we do? What is the way out to avoid a military incursion as evident in Egypt? I fear worse scenarios in Nigeria as evident also in the current crisis in Rivers State and many other places.
Dr. Muhammad Kabir Isa, ABU, Zaria
You obviously missed the sixth group of Misralogists, the Marxist/International Misralogists. This is what we wrote:
The tragedy of the Egyptian revolution is essentially one of lack of genuine (Marxist) revolutionary leadership. So far, the great movement of the workers and other oppressed layers of the society has come under the leadership of three main political forces: the Military, "Political Islamists" and Liberal Democrats. None of these forces is revolutionary and herein lies the contradiction of the Egyptian revolution: revolutionary masses coming under reactionary leadership. Understanding this contradiction is necessary for understanding the dynamics of Egyptian revolution.
Muslim Brotherhood had exposed its bankruptcy when it went into alliance with the Military and therefore betrayed the revolution. By preserving the capitalist order and shielding the wealth of Army Generals as well as their (Brotherhood’s) capitalist backers, the Brotherhood oversaw an economy characterized by worsening unemployment and standard of living of the masses. This is the objective basis for the rise of Egyptians against Morsi rule and Brotherhood. The fact that Muslim Brotherhood went into alliance with American and Israeli imperialism to further consolidate the blockade on Gaza population reveals the utter reactionary character of the party.
Musa Bashir, Kano
This piece provides more insights on the turmoil in Egypt. Those of us who blame the whole episode on the West will have to look further. I must confess that this is the best analysis of the crisis I have read.
Aminu Isa, Lokoja