The Egyptian massacre of August 14, 2013, has only proved and further re-emphasised the fact that extremists, whether in the ranks of Islamists or secularists, have no regard for human life. It is the worst form of terrorism when government apparatuses with all the firepower at hand are used to kill, maim, and stun civilians to circumvent a political cause.
According to independent sources, against the government claims of 900 killed, more than 2,000 innocent people have died and the figure is rising. They include old men, women, and children as well as infants. For what?
Mean power gab. In Egypt, a deadly game of power is taking place since the ouster of Hosni Mubarak. As anywhere else in the world, in Egypt too the politics of power grab must pass through various stages of inevitability until the fight takes the final turn and reaches the ultimate goal; people's power exercised by people themselves. It has never been easy for any military to surrender power so easily. No one knows better than us in Pakistan.
Until recently, a hero to many Egyptians carrying supportive placards in the streets of Cairo, General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has reserved for himself one of the darkest chapters as an enemy of humanity in the history of the world. Only a sick mentality can warrant random killing of innocent people at such a large scale in such a way. "We are healthy only to the extent that our ideas are humane” (Kurt Vonnegut Jr, an American writer). Perhaps, General Sisi will find very few people eulogising his role as Egyptian Defence Minister and a general of an army that was predominately considered as the best fighting machine in the Arab world to protect the country's territorial integrity as well as its citizens’ lives, property, and their way of life.
Did General Sisi know that there is no glory in taking on unarmed civilians demanding the return of their usurped political right, asking for the release and restoration of their deposed President, who just a year ago had been elected through a political process.
A year seems too long a period now, however, President Mohamed Morsi still had three years ahead to rectify his mistakes and to win back the people's confidence. Given the chance, President Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood must have realised their mistakes and put their house in order as is natural to any political party. Maturity in politics evolves though uninterrupted political processes and it does not jumpstart on political exigencies; and certainly, it cannot be superimposed externally by any non-political, highly centralised entity such as the country’s armed forces.
As an ambitious general, Sisi is not new in the fray. His actions are quite obvious and tantamount to acute disrespect of human intelligence across the globe if he believes that people cannot see through his intentions. His thoughts and actions in the name of democracy have intrinsic flaw and each day since his taking over the power, new light was shed on his intentions. However, this mindless massacre of innocent people has sealed his fate. He has found inglorious distinction as a butcher of innocent people. His name is equated with General Reginald-Dyer, Pol Pot, Nicholas II, Josef Stalin, Adolf Hitler, Yakubu Gowon, Lenin and Ho Chi Minh.
Interim Deputy President of Egypt, Mohamed Mustafa El Baradei, generally considered as a toady of the West, has resigned protesting the military crackdown. However, can he absolve himself of the responsibility? He cannot remove the innocent blood of thousands of innocent Egyptians off his hands like Shakespeare's Macbeth after the murder of Duncan:
“Will all great Neptune‘s ocean
wash this blood,
Clean from my hand? No, this my
hand will rather
The multitudinous seas incarnadine,
Making the green one red” (II:2).
Nobel Laureate El Baradei, rightfully considered as the enemy within, stands among them who have turned red the blue waters of the Mediterranean. History is witness that people, who have innocent blood on their hands and conscience, are judged even posthumously and most often they taste the fruit of their crops in their lives. Shakespeare again points this fact through Macbeth's soliloquy in Act 1 Scene VII very well:
“But here, upon this bank and
shoal of time,
We'd jump the life to come.
But in these cases
We still have judgment here;
that we but teach
Bloody instructions, which,
being taught, return
To plague the inventor: this
Commends the ingredients of our
To our own lips.”
Extreme violence of such scale can unsettle societies for a long time. If General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and his toadies in the government think that through violence they can break the spirit of a nation, they are grossly mistaken. By spilling innocent blood, they have only sealed their own fate to perdition.
The writer is a freelance columnist.