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Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Nawal El Saadawi: The Counter-Revolution Has Failed, the People's Revolution Is Resurgent

Nawal El Saadawi is a hero of mine, I've often taught her over the last eighteen years, especially the shattering Woman at Point Zero. Her provocative statement about recent events in Egypt is up at Juan Cole, and I thought her framing was very interesting:
Every revolution in history has had its counter-revolution. Most recently, internal and external forces allied... to abort the January 2011 revolution. But the Muslim Brotherhood failed to abort this latest revolution on June 30, 2013, and they will continue to fail because those who have rebelled against them have learned the lessons of the past. Their consciousness has deepened with organization and unity. Thirty-four million youth, men, and women went out into the streets and squares. They were determined to topple the religious government, under the control of the Muslim Brotherhood... They wanted to expel all who would use religion for economic and political gain... During its rule, the Muslim Brotherhood tried to divide the people into believers and heretics, but it failed. There were many believers (in Islam) in the anti-Morsi crowds. The power of the millions was like the sea that protects itself with its own strength, and its tremendous waves swept away the jinn and the ghosts... The revolutionaries turned to the national army and the army responded. The police, also, served the people and not the regime. The age of jinn, spirits and nonsense has ended... And yet, there are imperialists and Americans who claim that this was not a revolution that demands a new legitimate regime, but merely a crisis, or a coup against democracy. On July 5, I watched a group of American men on CNN threatening to cut off aid to the revolutionary Egyptian people. And I laughed out loud. I hope that they cut off this aid! Since the time of Anwar Sadat in the 1970s, this aid has destroyed our political and economic life... This aid goes directly into the pockets of the ruling class and corrupts it... Democracy is about more than elections. Legitimacy means more than the ballot box, it means the power of the people. We Egyptians need a new constitution that will realize the principles of the revolution: equality for all without distinction of sex, religion or class. This we must do first, not just rush to presidential and parliamentary elections... This is... not a coup d’etat or protest movement or outraged uprising. It is a revolution that will continue until all of its goals are realized.

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