The article ‘Sissi mania sweeps Egypt’ (The Star Newspaper) by Abigail Hauslohner on 17 October 2013 refers:

A mosaic is never understood or seen in its entirety by viewing the individual elements of the piece but rather by stepping back and looking at the collective of the artwork. Similarly, the processes at work in Egypt are a vast collection of forces that have created an atmosphere and façade which has masked the many voices opposed to the way in which the military conducts itself with unassailable authority. Hauslohner speaks of growing mania and momentum for the presidential campaign of General Abdel Fattah Al-Sissi and states a claim of close to 10% of the population in favour and support of his election. To the inexperienced eye this may seem formidable especially when many reports speak of the vast majority that called for the ousting of Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood.

In its first revolution, Egypt showed its thirst and hunger for freedom and democracy. A region that has been plagued with despotism, repression, foreign domination, and corruption, stood tall and voted with clear conviction the Morsi administration into power. A year later many who voted for Morsi became the proponents of a coup d’etat and ousted Morsi as they ‘believed’ he did not provide the changes they wanted. Like the analogy I used earlier one must remember that there was active scheming and subversive action by myriad players led by the fulool counter-revolutionaries, or Mubarak loyalists and corrupt oligarchs, as well as the “deep state,” which is a decades-old web of corruption and special interests entrenched within the state’s institutions.

Al-Sissi who led the ousting was no less part of that scheming and that was clearly marked by his authoritarian and aggressive command of the peaceful protests by Muslim Brotherhood supporters. Supporters of Al-Sissi are a group of people who make up the economically elite and civil servants who enjoyed privileges under Mubarak at the expense of the masses and who now wish not to give that up as Al-Sissi will maintain that standard of living for them. Al-Sissi the man is a total contrast to Morsi the man, who demonstrated full belief in the Egyptian people for their will of democracy. I doubt with great skepticism that people of conscience would call on a leader who caters to the elitist few and not the greater Egyptian society. Saying Egypt is swept by Sissi mania is a great over exaggeration.

Nabila Ismail

Researcher, Media Review Network

Author: MRN NetworkThe aspiration of the Media Review Network is to dispel the myths and stereotypes about Islam and Muslims and to foster bridges of understanding among the diverse people of our country. The Media Review Network believes that Muslim perspectives on issues impacting on South Africans are a prerequisite to a better appreciation of Islam.