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Egypt: taking people for fools

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They justify, and justify, and cannot stop justifying, and I think the fact that someone needs to justify everything he does, means that something is wrong.

Refaat Mohamed
4 February 2013

I couldn’t help but laugh as I watched the video of the president Mohamed Morsi in Germany, trying to justify the arbitrariness of the exceptional procedures forced on the cities of Port Said, Suez, and Ismailia, including curfew, and emergency law. I laughed because the story that he was telling and the way he told it reminded me a lot of “khaled” my three-year old nephew when he tells me the tales of Spiderman, or Batman fighting evil. Oddly, we have never ever heard such tales before, although in all their rich detail of various conspiracies, they are not in anyway trifling to the point where they might even be ignored by our local media.

We as a nation are diagnosed as having multiple personality disorder, which is often confused with schizophrenia. Yes, Egypt is ‘schizophrenic’. As a nation, state, and people. It was not in your face, this condition. No, you had to observe it for a while to see its signs and symptoms, tearing down the economic, social, and moral fibre of the nation. We are a nation where more than 25% of its people are living under international poverty levels, and yet Egypt has been a market ripe for fancy cars, restaurants, and all types of clothing brands. More than 25% are shelter-less, and yet people rent beach houses for 10000$ a month. We are supposedly religious people by nature and default, and yet our streets are infested with drugs. Being religious also doesn’t prevent excessive sexual harassment on the streets.

The new administration of the Muslim Brotherhood suffers from hyper-schizophrenia, as is shown in their speech, statements and positions. The speech that is directed towards the west is so very different from the speeches directed at the people of Egypt, under the arrogant assumption that this is a sustainable hypocrisy. It is also obvious in the discrepancy between what they preach and what they actually do. They have claimed that they will ban a lot of the obscenity and vulgarity of the cinema and the music scenes, and yet they found no shame or guilt in holding meetings with the most vulgar and obscene artistes, supportive of Mubarak’s regime.

Egypt is not the safest country in the world, so a lot of accidents tend to take place. Sometimes a spate of accidents raises a lot of questions. And during my life which was spent mostly under the Mubarak administration, there have been three explanations for any accident, and only three: 1) - a fire caused by a short circuit. 2) - the offender is crazy 3) - Islamist terrorist groups.  All my life I have wished that the day would come when they found one arsonist, or a killer who killed but wasn’t really crazy, and I suspect I am not alone around the world in waiting for that non-Islamist terrorist to surface. Mubarak’s regime lied about a lot of things, and Mubarak’s regime denied a lot of things, but now Mubarak is gone. I don’t want to be fed the same lies. I want someone to tell me the truth, and nothing but the truth. But unfortunately it doesn’t seem as if this will happen any time soon.

Morsi’s regime have brought quite a lot of new habits to the pathological lying adopted from Mubarak’s regime. They justify, and justify, and cannot stop justifying, and I think the fact that someone needs to justify everything he does, means that something is wrong. They treat the people as if they were retards, or as if they function on another intellectual level, so that they are bound to misunderstand. And it is nerve-wracking, “ you have done wrong, just admit it and we will let it go”: but they actually think that they never can do anything wrong.

What makes it even worse, and makes me feel hopeless, is that the common people that do support the Islamist movements, have an unconditional love and support for the regime, no matter what they do or say. It is they who form a barrier to the regime changing their ways.

Tomorrow we hope will be a finer day.

Stop the secrecy: Publish the NHS COVID data deals


To: Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care

We’re calling on you to immediately release details of the secret NHS data deals struck with private companies, to deliver the NHS COVID-19 datastore.

We, the public, deserve to know exactly how our personal information has been traded in this ‘unprecedented’ deal with US tech giants like Google, and firms linked to Donald Trump (Palantir) and Vote Leave (Faculty AI).

The COVID-19 datastore will hold private, personal information about every single one of us who relies on the NHS. We don’t want our personal data falling into the wrong hands.

And we don’t want private companies – many with poor reputations for protecting privacy – using it for their own commercial purposes, or to undermine the NHS.

The datastore could be an important tool in tackling the pandemic. But for it to be a success, the public has to be able to trust it.

Today, we urgently call on you to publish all the data-sharing agreements, data-impact assessments, and details of how the private companies stand to profit from their involvement.

The NHS is a precious public institution. Any involvement from private companies should be open to public scrutiny and debate. We need more transparency during this pandemic – not less.


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