‘Honourable Egyptians’ turn against SCAF

Ahmed Aboulenein
3 Min Read
Several of Shafiq’s supporters started chanting against SCAF and called for “the death of the Field Marshal” as others attacked a tank.

Infamous television talk show host Tawfiq Okasha has called on all “honourable Egyptians” to take to the streets on Friday at former President Anwar El-Sadat’s tomb in a million man protest against the ruling Supreme Council of Armed Forces.

Known for his strong support of SCAF and organising several pro-military protests in Abbassiya Square, Okasha announced on Monday he had turned against the country’s military rulers after they had “sold the country” to the Muslim Brotherhood.

Okasha, who was a strong supporter of defeated presidential candidate and former Mubarak-era Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq, believes Shafiq won the elections but SCAF forced the Presidential Elections Committee to declare the brotherhood’s candidate, President-elect Mohamed Morsi, the victor as part of a political deal. He accused SCAF of forcing the PEC to announce Morsi’s victory and said he now hates the council and its head, Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi.

The protest aims to shore up support for the constitutional decree released by SCAF, although Okasha was quick to point out he supports the decree because it curbs Morsi’s power. He does not, however, support its authors, but also calls for the dissolution of the Shura Council, the upper house of parliament. Okasha called on officers and soldiers in the military to remove SCAF from power, effectively calling for a coup. He accused SCAF of betraying the 1952 revolution.

Although consistently over the top, Okasha’s rhetorical and political shift reflects the same mindset of many Shafiq followers, and similarly, supporters of the Mubarak regime and the former ruling National Democratic Party.

Several of Shafiq’s supporters, who had gathered at the Unknown Soldier Memorial next to Sadat’s tomb on the day the results were announced, started chanting against SCAF and called for “the death of the Field Marshal” as others attacked a tank.

Supporters of Former Vice President and Intelligence Chief Omar Sulieman have also turned on SCAF, writing a message on their Facebook page that they have “defended SCAF for over a year and a half,” but would now join the protest scheduled for next Friday against “the hegemony of the Brotherhood and SCAF.”

SCAF has been facing staunch opposition from revolutionary groups ever since it took over power from Mubarak and has had a shaky relationship with Islamist groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood, ranging from uneasy alliances to tense standoffs.

The only group SCAF seemed to retain support from was supporters of the former regime and apolitical Egyptians seeking stability. After Morsi’s victory, however, the military council has lost that too.

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Ahmed Aboul Enein is an Egyptian journalist who hates writing about himself in the third person. Follow him on Twitter @aaboulenein