If all prisoners were to be released, would it bring an end to terrorism?
If Mursi were to return, would it bring an end to terrorism?
If Sisi were to leave, would it bring an end to terrorism?
If Egypt were to turn into an ISIS or Taliban nation, would it bring an end to terrorism?
If Egypt were to be completely affiliated with the West, would it bring an end to terrorism?
The answer in all cases is no.
Let’s assess the previous possibilities, all in one paragraph and without any preamble. First, if prisoners were to be released, assuming that they have triumphed over the will of the people and brought the country to its knees, it will only fuel their reasons to retaliate with further violence. They will deal with the nation as an easy enemy, one that goaded in line with the interests of those with the tools of terrorism in their hand. And here Egypt as a nation will fall. Violence will rise and terrorism will rise. Egypt will become a failed nation-state.
Second, if Mursi were to return to rule Egypt and with him all those who ran Egypt for a year, terrorism would not come to an end. To the contrary civil discord will rise. And perhaps then a real civil war will break out because Mursi and the Brotherhood’s enemies—and they are the vast majority—will not accept the rule of Egyptians who are without nationalism, who rejoice in the grief of Egyptians and who grieve at the happiness of Egyptians. Egypt’s destiny will be civil discord, which is worse than terrorism.
Third, if Sisi were to leave and another leader elected—whether military or civilian—terrorism will not come to an end because those who view Sisi’s presence in power today as the reason for the violence will employ the same terrorist tactics with any new leader until he is forced to leave. They will assume the new leader will have no will of his own, a slave to the machinations of terrorism and to its terrorists. Egypt’s destiny in this case will be debilitating political instability that will cost the nation its relative independence over its own people and its communities. It will become no more than a militia run by whoever can employ the tools of terrorism against it.
Fourth, if Egyptians succumb to Isis and the Taliban and turn into a terrorist nation in any shape or form, terrorism will not come to an end because these very same people will use Egypt as a springboard for violence against all those who oppose their ideologies, whether in or outside Egypt. We will be easy prey for nations who will abuse us and break our will. Taliban and ISIS philosophy mandates the obliteration of all opponents, no matter who they are. In this case terrorism will arrive at the hands of state institutions themselves and not those from outside Egypt.
If Egypt becomes a Western or Westernized nation in its political, economic, cultural and social ideology it will not change the nature of the terrorist who will become ever more estranged from his reality. He will be forced to destroy his circumstances or those controlling them. Here Egypt will lose its national identity and transform into a society of conflicting identities in which we cannot agree on the minimum pillars of a nation.
Thus terrorism is a reality we are living. It is not a choice any of us have made. It is the destiny of a nation taking its first steps in the war against terrorism.
If terrorism is our enemy, triumph over it is our goal. Eliminating terrorism is the only logical result to work toward and is the responsibility of this generation of Egyptians. They have to adore their nation, even though many of them do not find even their weakest hopes fulfilled. They have to trust the institutions of their nation, while fully knowing that many are in need of major reform. They must stand by their Coptic brothers and grieve for their martyrs, even as they are convinced this is not the last terrorist attack and that more Egyptians will die. Other Muslims, other Copts.
It is our destiny.
Simply put, we have to be Egyptian. And this is an easy feat for most Egyptians I know.
Moataz Abdel Fatah