Egyptians have become immune to their country's horrors

Egyptians have become immune to their country's horrors
4 min read
17 Mar, 2015
Comment: Egyptian society is becoming increasingly more violent and brutal as it itself is brutalized.
Increasing violence is brutalising Egyptian society [STR/AFP/Getty]

Some people have been wondering about the dangerous changes that have begun to appear in Egyptians. But there is nothing surprising in this. The signs have been there for over a year and a half.

The brutal recent killing of a dog chained to a lamp post by three men armed with knives is just the tip of the iceberg. Society is heading toward more violence, bloodshed and indifference. Past sayings about the kind nature of Egyptians and their generosity are cliches that bear no relation to reality. Egyptians are no longer peaceful, kind or tolerant and it will become even worse in the future.

Egyptians are no longer peaceful, kind or tolerant and their nature will become even worse in future.

This was not the first time a dog has been slaughtered and it won’t be the last. Because societies that no longer care or sympathise with the victims of violence certainly will not care about some idiots killing a dog in the street.

The normalisation of brutality

News of violence has become normal. There are daily reports of bombings, killings and torture in police stations and prisons. Violence has become normal under the 3 July regime, so what do you expect from a people who weren’t troubled by the deaths of 37 "suspects" in the back of a van at Abu Zaabal Prison? What do you expect from a people who wake up and go to bed with the news of blood in the street, the blood of peaceful protesters, victims of terrorist bombings, poor soldiers and policemen in Sinai while serving their military service to protect state institutions and property, or the blood of poor Sinai residents the army kills while going after terrorists, or the blood shed in car accidents, or poor Egyptians slaughtered in Libya?

What do you expect from a people that listens every day to television presenters inciting for the killing of government opponents and wanting to try young supporters of the revolution and their families for treason? What to expect from a people that listen to a media that praises the ruler, hands out awards for patriotism, incites violence against his opponents and justifies state violence and police abuse every day?

The military doesn’t care and neither does the president, who with a military background doesn’t care about trivial things like social violence, society’s fondness for violence, despair from the lack of justice and ignoring peaceful methods to resolve conflicts. The military only understands the language of force and violence. It has not paid attention to the social sciences or studies of human behaviour. It does not understand the people talking about the dangers of the spread of despair and depression among young people or the dangers of the diffusion of violence in society. They only understand defending their hidden economic interests and only understand the language of force, blood and violence.

The military thinks Egyptian civilians are third class citizens, just as the military's president doesn’t care about the situation of civilians in Libya before beginning his public display of force to “punish” those responsible. He doesn’t care about why Egyptians travelled to an unstable country where there is an ongoing civil war for work because death in Libya may be better than starvation in Egypt under military rule.

Abdel Fatah al-Sisi and his military do not care about politics, social studies or research. They have not paid attention to the frustrations of young people or feasible plans and studies and here Egypt is slipping from one form of chaos into even more chaos, the army’s kofta AIDS cure and Hepatitis C miracle machine, nonsense projects and false media propaganda. What’s important is that the government is stable and to hell with the people.

Peaceful Egyptians?

The military thinks Egyptian civilians are third class citizens.

During the 2009 Egypt-Algeria football affair, both governments used the worst type of exploitation. Journalists wrote on the differences between Egyptians and Algerians and how the kind, peaceful and friendly Egyptians differ from the desert people of Algeria known for their violent nature and short tempers. Journalists compared the waves of terrorism in Egypt and Algeria because Algeria went through a long period of waves of bloody terrorism and societal violence, noting how Algerian terrorists would wipe out villages and all the women and children, but that terrorism in Egypt has never reached the extent of the brutality in Algeria. But these examples are no longer accurate because Egyptian society has currently started to move toward fascism, McCarthyism, vengeance, despair and depression.

Do the military rulers of Egypt know this? How much more blood do we need until they realize what the cause is? Will we be able to save the future after all bloodshed and violence that has become a sign of the times?

This is an edited translation from our Arabic edition.

Opinions expressed in this article remain those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of al-Araby al-Jadeed, its editorial board or staff.