With the recent death of the former President of Egypt Hosni Mubarak – another of the infamous despot rulers the colonial West imposed on the Muslim world in their dozens, has passed, ready to await their reckoning and judgement of their actions from the Almighty (swt).
Yes, there will be many who give glad tidings for his passing, such was the brutality of his regime against opponents, especially those who called for the revival of the deen in all spheres of life.
Who can forget his orchestration of the Camp David Accords with the illegitimate Zionist state, where Palestine was bartered for goods and services? Or the emergency law that continued to be imposed on the country for the whole of his reign; where summary beatings, sexual abuse and indefinite detention without trial were part and parcel to breed fear in the population? What can we say about his handling of the economy, where a skewed income distribution meant it was common in many households for six or seven people to sleep in a room, taking turns sleeping in the same beds and high inflation was rampant?
Yes, there will be many who give glad tidings for his passing, but there will be many deep down who yearn for those times to return.
Yes, you read that right, for the turmoil of the last decade in Egypt has created a new dictator, a new Pharaoh who has his hands on the throat of the nation, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.
El-Sisi, a little-known military general who was suddenly handed the role of Minister of Defence by Muhammad Morsi as a safe bet, slowly used the influence of the armed forces and their economic interests to erode the popularity of the Muslim Brotherhood. After a bloody coup d’état in 2014, he ascended to the top to “restore order”, in other words to restore the armed forces in power.
The similarities between old and new, from the framework are such that it seems like the presidency of the late Muhammad Morsi was a minor bump in proceedings, although the latter does so with a much higher degree of malice and indifference to the plight of the people.
Take the economy for example, where immediately el-Sisi set the tone when subsidies for food and fuel stuff were slashed to shift the burden from the state to the masses: approximately a third of who live in poverty and rely on the state to survive. A bailout backed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), a sharp devaluation of the currency and vanity construction projects show on paper that Egypt is well on its way to becoming an industrialised nation. Rampant inflation from austerity measures of tax hikes and further subsidy cuts on the common man on the street tells another story of the rich getting richer and the poor likewise getting poorer.
The brutality has increased tenfold, where violence culminates in outright massacres like the hundreds murdered in 2013 at Rabaa, whose only crime was to continue protesting for Allah (swt) to be the arbiter in their affairs. Death sentences are handed out for mere affiliations with “unsavoury” individuals and groups in the hundreds, and thousands have been imprisoned on non-charges in the notoriously overcrowded and inhumane jails with no dignity.
It is clear that little has changed, and history is repeating itself with disturbing accuracy. The increasing frequency of protests since the back-end of last year, with thousands of people demonstrating that they do not have means for the basic necessities of food, shelter and clothing: show that their honeymoon with el-Sisi has ended and cold hard reality has set in.
Another uprising is inevitable, for people have realised that Mubarak’s lasting legacy is Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.
It is heartening in these dark times, that regardless of the status of a person, none can escape Allah (swt) on the Day of Judgement and all will get their dues. Every ruler will get what they deserve, whether it was Pharaoh from the days of Musa (as) to Mubarak, through to Sisi.