Egyptian youths are ready for another revolution

They say Islamists hijacked power

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Like thousands of fellow Egyptians, Soraya Bahgat celebrated in Tahrir Square on the night of Feb. 11, 2011, after Mr. Mubarak’s decision to resign. She was full of hope for the future. Those hopes have been dashed.

“The sense of euphoria has gone,” said Miss Bahgat, who is the head of human resources at a real estate company in Cairo.

Two years ago protesters took to the streets demanding better economic conditions, freedom and social justice. “As long as these demands are not answered, the Egyptians will not rest,” said Mr. Kamel.

The ‘couch party’

The Muslim Brotherhood this week responded to the growing unrest by launching a campaign — “Together We Build Egypt” — to improve public services, provide free health care to one million people, renovate 2,000 schools and sell basic commodities at cost price.

The Brotherhood was banned in Egypt since 1954. Its members were reluctant to join in the protests in the early days of the anti-Mubarak revolution, but jumped on the bandwagon as its success became imminent.

After insisting that they would not participate in elections, the Brotherhood eventually joined the political fray and dominated parliamentary elections.

In June, Mr. Morsi, a U.S.-educated engineer and the Muslim Brotherhood’s presidential candidate, was elected the first Islamist head of state of the Arab world’s most-populous nation.

Before the elections, he projected himself as a moderate. He resigned from his posts in the Brotherhood, including that of chairman of its Freedom and Justice Party.

The Muslim Brotherhood’s critics accuse it of using Islam not just to govern Egypt, but as a tool to silence its critics.

“Now the Islamists say that if we complain about them we are complaining about Islam,” Miss Bahgat said. “I am, frankly, quite concerned and disappointed that when the masks came off, the true face of the Brotherhood was quite ugly.”

Many of Miss Bahgat’s friends voted for Mr. Morsi. They regret their decision, she said.

The opposition says the Islamists must amend the constitution and share power.

“They have to understand that the Brotherhood is part of the field, but not the whole field,” said Mr. Harb.

While the Islamists have been blamed for monopolizing power, the opposition has failed to present a clear vision or broaden its support.

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About the Author
Ashish Kumar Sen

Ashish Kumar Sen

Ashish Kumar Sen is a reporter covering foreign policy and international developments for The Washington Times.

Prior to joining The Times, Mr. Sen worked for publications in Asia and the Middle East. His work has appeared in a number of publications and online news sites including the British Broadcasting Corp., Asia Times Online and Outlook magazine.


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