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From the heart of Egypt: When media betrays history

July 13, 2013

By Dr Dalia A Kader

Dr Dalia A Kader

Dr Dalia A Kader

As history is being shaped yet again in the land of the Nile, politicians and their international media machines are hijacking western public opinion. Both have long ago mastered misrepresentation of facts. The result has been a disconnection and a dire miscommunication among societies; so grave that humanity at large has been repeatedly paying the price.

In recent weeks, western media coverage has persistently portrayed political developments in Egypt as a “coup d’etat”, “civil division”, “a setback for democracy” and an “upheaval against legitimacy”. Presenting the popular uprising in Egypt in this way, stripped of all context, sets the stage for delusions that distort reality and sway public opinion. It is of dire importance that audiences not fall victim to these misrepresentations

The literal definition of a “coup d’etat” is a “sudden overthrow, often violent, of an existing government by a group of conspirators”. The act of ousting former president Mohamed Morsi was neither sudden, nor instigated by the Egyptian military.

The overthrow was pre-empted 62 days ahead of time by the inclusive Tamarod “Rebellion” grassroots movement that was launched on 28 April and led by five Egyptians in their twenties who campaigned for registered opposition and urged Morsi to call for early presidential elections. They set June 30 as the mobilisation date. This was followed by a call from the army to the president to reconcile with opposition and youth movements.

In response, Morsi made a speech to the people, but his arrogance infuriated and disappointed the masses, leading 33 million people to fill the streets in Egypt, urging the president to step down. The military then gave the president 48 hours to respond to the masses, but this was met by rejection from Morsi and his second public address only confirmed the public’s fears that their democratically elected president was an authoritarian despot leveraging religion to hold power. The army stepped in only in response to unprecedented mass protest and subsequently handed over the executive power to an interim civil authority pending new presidential elections.

Calling this a coup is sticking to the literal definition of ousting a ruler by force regardless of the context, and is an injustice to history. These language games and visual presentations are evoked to delude public opinion that Egypt’s 30 June revolution is an act of civil division between pro‐ and anti‐Morsi protesters. Read the rest of the story at Daily News Egypt.

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