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Atlantic Council Middle East Published Articles

Anti-Coup Terrorism: License and Reluctance

Street Terrorism

From my recent article on Egypt Source. Here is the license:

Recently on the Istanbul-based pro-Brotherhood channel named Raba’a Sheikh Afifi called on Muslims to resist the coup, but not with weapons. “This will enable them to commit their crimes against us with full freedom,” he said.

It is not that the use of weapons is wrong, however. Afifi quotes the 10th Century jurist Ibn Hazm to say that such fighting is prohibited if it will not prove victorious. Since the security forces are better armed, this strategy will backfire, he explains.

“All we can try to do is terrorize them,” Afifi continues, “by burning their cars, threatening them, burning their homes, and other such efforts.” He says this is consistent with peaceful resistance and alleges it is legitimate under sharia law.

And here is the reluctance:

Even so, the idea is uncertain to at least one of the sheikh’s followers. “It is a way among many ways to resist the coup,” said Hani Fawzi, general-secretary of the Asala Party, very hesitantly. “But maybe it will work only five or ten percent.”

Please click here to read the full article at Egypt Source.

Categories
Atlantic Council Middle East Published Articles

Another Coup, A Salafi Hope

Hani Fawzi casting his ballot in Asala Party internal elections (photo: Clara Pak)
Hani Fawzi casting his ballot in Asala Party internal elections (photo: Clara Pak)

From my recent article in Egypt Source:

In order to reverse a coup d’état, Egypt needs a coup d’état. This, in brief, is the solution to Egypt’s crisis offered by Hani Fawzi, general secretary of the Cairo-based Salafi Asala Party. It must be prompted, however, by massive protests. No longer simply the domain of the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafis, the anti-coup movement is attracting both professionals and Christians – or so he believes.

Rather, this is what he prays for. A few days prior to the violent dispersal of the pro-Morsi sit-in at Raba’a al-Adaweya, Fawzi suffered a massive heart attack while sleeping in the near-by offices of the Asala Party in Nasr City. Found and hospitalized the next morning, unlike some of his colleagues he avoided the violence and mass arrests, but in his recovery has been reduced mostly to seeking divine intercession.

This, according to Fawzi, can come only through the army, as they are the only ones with the power to bring down Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the Minister of Defense, and Mohamed Ibrahim, the Minister of the Interior. There have been indications, he hears, that not all generals have been pleased with Sisi’s leadership. The rumor mill has churned with such stories; a bearded taxi driver told me the other day that Sisi had three opposing generals killed.

Fawzi doesn’t want to put stock in rumors, but does notice that several generals have been very quiet. Should one of them undo the coup, it should set in motion what Morsi should have done upon his election. On this he admittedly draws on the rhetoric of Salafi firebrand Hazem Abu Ismail, who argued for a radical cleansing of the state apparatus. Fawzi finds him too divisive a figure, but Morsi could have made it work.

The rest of the article explains how, explains why he discounts Morsi’s opposition, and exculpates Islamists from the attacks on churches. Please click here to continue reading at Egypt Source.