CAIRO – 15 August 2017: On the 4th anniversary of Rabaa sit-in, Parliamentarians spoke to Egypt Today about the alternative scenarios. They discussed what would have happened if the decision to disperse the participants at Rabaa sit-in had not been taken by the government in August 2013.
Member of Parliament Moustafa Bakri said that, “If the dispersal did not take place then, we would’ve had a thousand other Rabaa sit-ins by now. They might’ve called for foreign government’s recognition. They were armed, they incited violence and terrorism. The dispersing decision was necessary.” he added.
Bakri affirmed that the decision needed braveness, especially after the failure of all other peaceful means and the international pressure.
Also, Mohamed Abu Hammed told Egypt Today that the sit-in, for the first time, aimed to reflect a fake political image to the international community that Egyptians are divided. That image would not be true. “Letting Muslim Brotherhood continue having their sit-in at Rabaa Al-Adawiya and Nahda squares wouldn’t give the international community any other choice but to refuse the 30 June events, which would represent a serious political problem to us.”
Furthermore, other armed groups would appear and spread within the country, which would have turned our political situation similar to what is happening now in Syria, according to Hamed statements.
“Allowing Muslim Brotherhood to have their sit-in was wrong from the beginning.” He added
Tarek El Khouly, from the foreign affairs committee in the parliament, told Egypt Today on Tuesday that Rabaa sit-in was a real threat that could have led the country into a civil war. “They aimed to make a state of panic and destabilization within Cairo and Giza governorates particularly.” Al- Khouly said.
“Several innocent civilians were tortured inside the sit-in. They used violence against everyone. Even when the security forces gave them the chance to leave the sit-in peacefully, most of them refused, preferring to stay and confront our forces, which lead to several deaths.” El Khouly explained.
Muslim Brotherhood leaders used to call for violence during their speeches inside the set-in. Several videos of them went viral on social media. All of it was considered proof for inciting violence. Most of the participants were imprisoned for inciting violence.
Tarek al-Zumar is one of the well-known Islamic leaders that participated in the sit-in and in demonstrations that was backing former Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Morsi. He said during one of his speeches that the 30 June demonstrations would be a “knockout” for their group against others. During that time the Defense Minster was President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi. “They are threatening us with what they will do on 30 June. Well, we are threatening them on the same day. It will be our knockout,” he said.
“Everything taking place in Sinai, including all of the acts of violence, will stop the second that Abdel Fatah al-Sisi cancels all of his decisions; everything will go back to normal in the country so we get our president back,” Mohamed Beltagy, said in an interview during his participation in the Rabaa Al Adawiya sit-in. He is a Muslim Brotherhood leader and general secretary for the Freedom and Justice Party affiliated with the group.
Since then, the Egyptian armed forces have countered several terrorist attacks in North and Central Sinai. A huge number of civilians, police, army officers and checkpoints have been targeted. However, hundreds of takfiri elements and terrorists have been proclaimed killed or arrested on a regular basis during the continued security campaigns, according to the army spokesperson.
In December 2013, the Egyptian government labeled the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group. Accordingly, anyone who participates in its activities, finances it, or backs it will be considered a terrorist group member by the law.