In the Name of God: The Infinitely Merciful and Compassionate Beloved Lord
"You don't live there, you have no idea what the people are going through. So who are you to comment?"
This is the retort of some when I question the wisdom of what has been happening in Egypt over the last several weeks. Indeed, it is true that I am not living in Egypt and do not know - firsthand - what it is like to live there. I do have relatives who live there, and it does give me an inkling of what life is like there. But, that does not mean that I can't have an opinion over what is happening.
The situation in Egypt is quite complex. It is not a simple case of "all pro-Morsi (the deposed former President of Egypt) protesters are terrorists" and "the Army cooked up the June 30 uprising to depose the Muslim Brotherhood." Yet, still, when taking a step back and thinking about the horrific violence that has occurred over the past several weeks, only one question comes to mind: why?
What could possibly be so important that hundreds of people, many of whom were unarmed, had to be killed? Yes, the sit-ins were becoming increasingly intolerable to the local residents; yes, there were some people in the sit-ins who were armed; yes, the protests disrupted normal life in the country. But, the interim government had to know that clearing the sit-ins by force would lead to an intolerable amount of innocent death. Was it worth it?
Yes, Mohammed Morsi - who hailed from the Muslim Brotherhood - was democratically elected as President. Yes, it is clear that the Army staged a coup to depose him from power. But, is it worth all of the subsequent bloodshed for political reasons? A spokesman for the Muslim Brotherhood told Reuters via Skype: "After the blows and arrests and killings that we are facing emotions are too high to be guided by anyone." The anger, he said, is "beyond control."
And so what if Christians were against President Morsi? A whole lot of Muslims were also against him. Is it really worth attacking dozens of churches all across the country in "revenge"? Is this moral? Is this Godly? Is this Islamic?
Now, I am not naive enough to think that there is no nefarious interest(s) that want chaos to reign in Egypt for it(their) own political gain. That is quite possible. Nevertheless, as someone who hates to see innocent life lost, is it truly worth all the death and destruction I have witnessed over the last several weeks? Is politics and power really worth all of the loss of life that Egypt - and the world beside her - has witnessed over the past several days?
No one - but God - knows what the future will hold for Egypt. Analysts are all weighing in, and only time will tell. Yet, I pray that everyone in Egypt will stop and think about what is happening to this beautiful country. When I look at the scenes of destruction on TV and on the Internet, I feel a tremendous amount of sadness over what has happened.
Mosques being burned to the ground? Churches and Christians - who are, at the end of the day, Egyptians as well - attacked and burned? Unarmed protesters shot in the head? The normally bustling streets of Cairo - a place that has provided me and my family so many wonderful vacation memories - completely empty? Streets literally on fire?
For what? Politics and power?
Egypt, you are better than this.