Saudi Arabia has publicly gone on record as supporting the will of the Egyptian people in their struggle against the regime of Mohammad Mursi, the former president of Egypt. The Kingdom has committed aid and humanitarian supplies to its neighbour in their time of need and declared that it would make up for any shortfall of aid that may result as a tightening of purse-strings from western powers.
Egypt’s ties with Saudi citizens span many decades. Saudis went to study there and take advantage of the leading universities in the region. Saudis went for tourism, trade and even marriage. To many, Egypt was a second home; an oasis of knowledge, culture and appreciation of the fine arts.
Saudis were glued to their TV sets during the recent demonstrations that led to the removal of Mursi. They watched with great concentration and alarm as events took a violent turn. And for the most part, while they were horrified at the loss of lives, they were convinced that the will of the Egyptians would prevail. A few of them have offered their points of view on the situation.
Ali, a businessman, was very vehement about the role of the Muslim Brotherhood. He said: “Egypt is better off without the Muslim Brotherhood. I hope every member of the Brotherhood is slaughtered.”
Sikander adds: “Egypt is burning and there is no respite in sight. I blame the Ikhwan [Brotherhood] for their highhandedness, their selfishness and the ease with which they lie, cheat and deceive to attain their objectives. I blame the old guard for scheming, planning and using the media, which they own, to create division and polarise the Egyptian nation. I blame army and police for not having a plan or operational preparedness to quickly control the situation and bring peace to the country. I see a prolonged period of violence, anarchy and disorder with a possibility of a civil war being a distinct possibility.”
Abdul Aziz said: “I feel sorry for the Egyptian people and I hope that the government can put a quick end to the chaos and restore law and order. Once calm is restored, the various factions can sit together and discuss the way forward for the country. First and foremost, the government should now act decisively to restore law and order.”
Hussain suspects something is just not right altogether: “Both wings are wrong and both are right. Both seek power and dominance. The Zionists have a major role in the dispute. The Zionists are exploiting the situation to their advantage. Look for the disguised Zionists; their role is vital.”
Rana, an analyst, states: “I agree with what has happened as the law should be followed and respected by all and boundaries should be strictly established. However, I believe that force should have been used as well against the other party (in Tahrir Square) from the beginning to avoid charges of alleged discrimination.”
Ahmad observed: “In my humble opinion, what is taking place in Egypt now is a terrorist attack. The Muslim Brotherhood should have the word ‘Muslim’ removed from their name because their actions do not reflect Islam in any way. Barbarically killing their people, using women and children as shields during protests, setting buildings on fire, kidnapping army and police officers and torturing civilians is not only inhumane but they are actions of people who have no religion and no mercy. And all for what? Staying in power? Of course, it does not help that some of the most influential western news agencies are reporting false news, but the truth always prevails. Egyptian media outlets and non-Egyptian media outlets are reporting true and accurate news and soon those who believe the Muslim Brotherhood are victims will know that this is not the case.”
Yasin, a retired college professor, was blunt: “This is the best time to finally eliminate Muslim Brotherhood and all Islamist groups and their allies,” while Mansour countered: “I am not a supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood. Democracy is essentially one-person-one-vote. Mursi should finish his term and only the people voting in a well-supervised election — that is NOT rigged — should decide the fate of their country. The army should be under civil rule, not on top of it.”
Mohammad, an aviation executive, said: “The Muslim Brotherhood’s ideology was known since they started — that of using Islam to reach to a status in the government to serve themselves only. Islam is not like that. Islam is the way you deal with yourself and others to attain God’s forgiveness. The Brotherhood group should be banned from using Islam as a cover for their agenda.”
Majid commented: “Egypt is doing the right thing.” Expressing his views on the current situation in Egypt, Baha’a said: “Muslim Brotherhood in recent years went from social/spiritual organisation to political opposition to ruling elite to terrorist organisation.”
Egypt is a dominant player in the region and has long-established ties with every country in the region. I believe I speak for all of us in the region who hope for peace and prosperity to return to Egypt. In this struggle, the will of the Egyptian people should prevail at all costs.
Tariq A. Al Maeena is a Saudi socio-political commentator. He lives in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/@talmaeena