After months of detention without trial, Egypt’s coup-planted courts have sentenced to death 529 supporters of the first elected president in Egyptian history. The two day long trial for an alleged attack on a police station did not allow the defendants’ lawyers into the proceedings but nonetheless issued the verdict of death. The ludicrous proceeding can hardly be referred to using formal terms. It stemmed from the illegitimacy of the coup even if it had enacted full justice and applied a correct legal arrangement. But on top of this, the proceeding was an ultimate fallacy, rather than a ‘court’, it was closer in resemblance to Europe’s 16th century “Douking” of witches—if innocent they drowned and if guilty they burned at the stake! Probably even worse, the real murderers, those who cold-bloodedly took the lives of thousands of unarmed, static protestors at Rabaa al-Adawiya, celebrate the right to presidential nomination. It is a situation beyond comprehension and a state of affairs beyond dreadful. Welcome to al-Sisi’s Egypt.
Sadly, Egyptian media still glosses over now why these protests took place or the number of people killed when the corrupt military cracked down and murdered the protesters. Instead, it only emphasises how the Muslim Brotherhood is now an illegal organisation. Of course the courts in Egypt, who have passed these sentences and who before outlawed the Muslim Brotherhood, are ironically illegal themselves, having deposed a democratically elected government. The coup has been institutionalised by extending its illegitimate reach beyond the political authority, encompassing the judiciary and the legal or ’Islamic’ authority to legitimise the former two. Ali Gomaa, the supposedly Grand Mufti of Egypt had been loud and clear in his opinion that the anti-coup protestors deserve death, in his demand last year that supporters of Morsi should be put to death: “blessed be those who kill them and are killed by them.” Perhaps in the future we should use the political views of Ali Gomaa as a good road map leading to falsehood.
Nonetheless, we say to you O Brothers in Egypt: “Bakhin Bakhin” (a statement that implies amazement and aspiration) such as when ‘Umayr b. al-Himām al-Ansāri said to the Prophet (salla Allāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) prior to the battle of Badr when the noble Prophet declared: “Go forth to a Paradise the expanse of which is the heavens and the earth.” Should this decree be implemented, congratulations that you will meet your Creator with martyrdom. You will have achieved victory. To be admitted into paradise is indeed the ultimate aim of supporting a righteous leader, how then to be admitted into paradise without further struggle? As for the rest of us, then we must hold firm. If the Egyptian government carries out these executions they are showing the same barbaric streak they have consistently shown throughout this test from Allāh. We know that the Messenger (salla Allāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) said: “The Prophets [are most severely tested by Allāh], then the next best and the next best. A man will be tested in accordance with his level of religious commitment. If his religious commitment is strong, he will be tested more severely, and if his religious commitment is weak, he will be tested in accordance with his religious commitment. Calamity will keep befalling a person until he walks on the earth with no sin on him.”
The disparity in the court period for these protestors and, for example, the deposed dictator Husni Mubarak is striking. Husni Mubarak stepped down as dictator of Egypt in February 2011. Since then, he was convicted of crime in June 2012 (under Morsi’s presidency when there were courts) with the conviction being thrown out in January 2013. As is apparent, Husni Mubarak is now more likely to walk freely than to be convicted. Similarly, Amnesty International has said that just a single police officer is facing a prison sentence for the deaths of 37 detainees. The question looms, who was then responsible for the deaths of the hundreds of revolutionaries following the January 2011 revolution or for the concurrent massacres prior to, during and after that of Rabaa al-Adawiya claiming thousands? If not a single person in authority, who pulled the trigger? Compare this to the mere moments it has taken for these courts to convict these protestors. It appears that the biggest crime in Egypt is to call for Islām and it is ever clearer that the world views freedom as anything and everything so long as it is not Islām.
At least 16,000 people have been arrested since the illegal overthrow of the elected President Mohammed Morsi in July 2013. The judge, who appeared more like a bandit or member of the mafia was incredibly blunt in emphasising his incompetence and hypocrisy. After being told during last Saturday’s 45-minute-long session that his behaviour was unconstitutional he replied:
“Don’t talk about the constitution, I don’t want to hear about that in my court!”
On the following Monday, the session reportedly lasted five minutes in which the blanket sentence was issued, offering no chance for the defence to speak before concluding court proceedings. It is clear that the constitution is not important here. Despite a “Mubarak-esque” vote taking place on a reworked constitution, it is clear that the power does not lie in a piece of worthless paper. Control, as it always is, is exerted through military force as opposed to democratic process. It is also clear that the situation in Egypt has become intrinsic in the lives of the Muslim population across the world and perhaps this is one of the keys as to why our plight has reached the point it is at. In Egypt the events of the past year, have demonstrated the clear divide between Muslims. There are those who are proactive and recognise that change will only come through struggle. On the other hand, there are also those who know right from wrong, but choose to ignore it in the interest of comfort or laziness. In Egypt this latter group has turned a blind eye to the brutal massacres taking place around them. Why? Simply because they have a fear that the change towards an Islamic State would mean inherent changes within the society such as in Music and Film. These changes may be found uncomforting for large parts of the population, choosing to be at odds with such change whilst constantly forgetting that the ultimate victory of Jannah (Paradise), which people recognise, is along the other road. Jannah is indeed lined with briars and nettles whereas the road of the fire is fun and merry to walk.
 Hadīth (Sahīh) reported by al-Tirmidhi on the authority of Sa’d b. Abī Waqqās.