Egyptian President Announces That Civil Liberties Are Just A “Western Perspective” That Has No Place In Egypt

sisi-mouseBacked by the United States, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has led a crackdown on civil liberties in Egypt, particularly when it comes to critics and journalists. In Egypt, a teenager was jailed for cartoons of Muhammad and a leading businessman was attacked for a cartoon of Micky Mouse with a beard. Then there was the three-year sentence given Amr Nohan, a 22-year-old law graduate for posting a Facebook image of al-Sisi with Mickey Mouse-style cartoon ears shown above. A leading cartoonist Islam Gawish, 26, was arrested in Egypt by the hyper sensitive al-Sisi government. This year, al-Sisi went after journalists who dared to even criticize his policies as a criminal act against the state. Now al-Sisi has finally had enough with the pretense of civil liberties. On Wednesday, he reportedly rejected even the notion that civil liberties should apply to Egypt as a “Western perspective.” In other words, such freedoms have no place in Egypt. What is really remarkable is that he told his to a congressional delegation from the United States without fear of any question over the massive aid that he receives from this country.

While al-Sisi insisted that his country was committed to the rule of law, he dismissed that such laws should protect freedoms for the press, speech, or association. He references the fight against terrorism and suggested that civil liberties would destabilize U.S. allies in the region.

It is a convenient argument: embrace a country that rejects your core values or face the threat of an even worse extremist movement. Of course, governments like pre-revolution Iran took the same approach in suppressing dissent and found themselves on the wrong end of popular revolutions.

As al-Sisi was explaining the dangers of freedom to a U.S. delegation, his police were surrounding the headquarters of the journalists’ union after a raid and the arrest of two reporters. Journalists Mahmoud al-Sakka and Amr Badr work for the opposition website Bawabet Yanayer, and were accused of “spreading false news and endangering national security.” It was a classic authoritarian moment for al-Sisi. Criticism of his government is not a threat to national security akin to terrorism. We have seen the same convenient view in Turkey where Erdogan is wiping out the last remnants of free speech.

So the United States continued to give unqualified support to regimes that reject basic civil liberties in the name of fighting for the rule of law. Of course what is perfectly consistent is the rule of law does not include the protections of core human rights and civil liberties. It is easy to have a rule of law when the law is that you are above criticism or insult.

10 thoughts on “Egyptian President Announces That Civil Liberties Are Just A “Western Perspective” That Has No Place In Egypt

  1. (music- to the tune of Mickey Mouse–)

    Come along and sing a song and join our jamboree!
    M i c k e y M o u s e.
    Mickey Mouse!
    Donald Duck!
    Forever ever hold their banner high, high high high.

    Egypt comes and Egypt goes …
    But people still come round.
    E G Y, P ee on Tee.
    Egypt you and me.

    Sissy boy.
    Sissy boy!
    Forever ever ever hold him high!

  2. Where Islam is any factor a part of a Nations daily advent then there can be no such thing as freedom of anything because Islam does not allow such things in an Islamic society and obviously their President al-Sisi knows this fact.

  3. Gee another reason for Obama to fly there and give him more weapons. We need to get out of the ME and we need to start making judgements about who we will have as allies. If they don’t agree with our alleged principles then no weapons, no money no protection. Let them fend for themselves. That includes Egypt and Saudi Arabia and a whole bunch of other states that have been sucking up our money for years. Enough.

    Unfortunately some of our leaders are beginning to agree with this man and that is what scares me. We embraces these guys and then we incorporate their anti western ideas…..not overtly perhaps but it happens! And we begin marching back in time.

  4. Back in time…i occassionally wonder if the facebook poster really started the last two egyptian uprisings. For some reason i dont think millions of egyptians took to the streets because of that. No doubt they can take to the streets again….but wait now the military is still basically in charge….and i don’t think we give the country aid per se but….we give them military aid. Which makes our aid from before differrent from our aid now. Not reassuring. But sisi acts like what he doing is good for us. So if we continue aiding….it must be. Who knows. … its just a big stupid game apparently.

  5. One foreign policy doctrine could be termed the Fence em Out! policy. We simply declare that everything east of Greece is dumb zone and quit dealing with them. We in America need to drill more oil and stop buying from the muddle east. Cut off all transit from those places to America. No refugees, no business dorks, no Bin Ladens coming over to pork the girls in Vegas.

  6. When one is so intent on power, that he is willing to suppress the rights of the people, he is demonstrating psychopathology. Legitimate power comes with merit, wisdom, and compassion. Power derived from suppressing the public is a short-term false perception of power. It is power in name only, with no respect for the powerful , a great deal of resentment, and continuous threats from those who are oppressed and others who sympathise with the oppressed.

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