Please read her letter and blog-post, below.
I know the author, Iman Bibars, very well, and I vouch for her integrity and assessment of current events in Egypt. Iman is head of Ashoka Arab World (though she is writing unofficially, in her own behalf), she ran for Parliament herself many years ago (before it was safe), she founded a women's group in 1985 (http://www.adew.org) that is still going strong, etc. She is a one-woman powerhouse for progress.
Now is the time to speak up. Please forward Iman's letter and blog posting (below) to everyone you know who is involved in Egypt (and the region), and do whatever you can. The next seven (7) days matter a great deal. The outcome affects not only Egypt and its 82 million citizens, but the entire Arab (and broader Muslim) world, for which Egypt is seen as a thought-leader and bellwether.
Iman Bibars writes:
Dear everyone - friends, colleagues, supporters of Egypt,-------
We are facing very dark and dangerous days here in my beloved country. The situation is becoming harder and harder for those of us refusing to capitulate to Morsi and his bullying tactics.
You can help by spreading the word. The international media is giving a very incomplete and limited account of the events here, not representative of what is really going on. Please read and spread my attached account of what I have seen WITH MY OWN EYES while going to protest. My latest blog entry attached here is a message to all international governments to not continue to stand by and give covert support to this Islamist movement, whose brutality was in full evidence last night as they attacked peaceful protesters.
Please disseminate this as widely as you can. The only chance we have of preserving an Egypt where minority groups and even women have basic human rights is by fighting Morsi's draft Constitution and the powers he wishes to give himself and this can only be done with your support.
Please support us. Read and spread so our voices can be heard.
Below the orange squiggle is her latest blog posting, from today (Dec 6, 2012). I'm not formatting it as a blockquotes because I have Iman's permission to spread and share, and it's easier to read (and copy to forward) in normal text format.
-Dale Murphy, PhD
>>>http://imanbibars.wordpress.com/... Iman writes: >>>
To the US and other international governments
December 6, 2012
Open any international newspaper today and read a misleading, watered-down version of the truth.
Muslim Brotherhood supporters clash with protestors, Morsi’s backers and rivals battle in streets of Cairo, Egypt descends further into political turmoil – these are all spins on what is really happening here.
The truth is uglier and more unsettling. This is not about two factions battling each other. This is about a well organized and devious militant militia, with members that carry pictures of al Qaida and Bin Laden, who yesterday went to disrupt a peaceful protest with guns, ammunition and gas. I saw them attacking women and men of different backgrounds who stood opposed to them, in the most violent way.
This is not about Egypt being divided. Yes, we are a diverse and populous nation and we will not all agree on everything, socially or politically. But this is about one faction that wants to bring a war against everyone who does not belong to or endorse their version of Islam. I am a Muslim woman and they label me a crusader and an infidel because I do not support their view of Islam.
We stood in peace. We came as we had come on Tuesday 4th December to express our outrage at the draft Constitution that the President and his supporters want to pass and the sweeping powers he has accorded himself, but we came peacefully. Tuesday evening and the huge march towards the presidential palace, which thousands joined, provide ample evidence of that. Crowds of us assembled, stretching as far as the eye could see. We carried lights and flags; we chanted; the atmosphere was full of hope and unity. Like the best times of the Revolution, we felt a sense of possibility for the future of our country and conviction that only by challenging Morsi’s bullying, authoritarian tactics could this possibility become a reality.
What we want is for the President to acknowledge that his decree and his draft Constitution do not represent the wishes of all Egyptians, instead putting all control in his hands and those of his followers. This draft Constitution, hurriedly assembled in the middle of the night before receiving rushed approval by partisan Morsi supporters, promotes slavery, promotes paedophilia and promotes theocracy and it is based upon a misinterpretation of Islam. It has not been the result of consultation with all groups and severely restricts the rights and freedoms of anyone who is not an Islamist. We, the sizeable groups of Muslims and non-Muslims, Egyptian men, women and children who are not Islamists, want our voices to be heard as well. We want our constitution to represent our needs and enshrine our rights.
In asking for this, what did we get in response? The gangs of Muslim Brotherhood supporters that attacked us yesterday had guns and ammunition; they burned our tents; they beat women. They shot at us.
The US government and other Western groups should not think or be spreading the idea that this is an internal conflict between equal sides. There is no equality in this situation. This is the beginning of another Holocaust. This is another Fascist group, like the Nazis, who will kill people who do not agree with them or are not with them. They would rather massacre than see diversity or allow for freedom of expression.
I am a defenseless woman. I am tenacious and strong but I do not carry a weapon when I go to protest and I never will. But I will keep going because this is my life, my country, my freedom.
I am telling the US government and its allies that it will be too late to have another version of the Nuremburg Trials when we are all dead. For once, act before it’s too late. Do not forget 9/11 and how it came about. [Pakistan and the US tolerated Bin Laden] when it was in your interests, then he turned on you. Our former President Sadat released members of the Muslim Brotherhood from prison and then they assassinated him because he signed a peace agreement with Israel.
This time will be no different. A Hamas presence in Sinai will not only be an arm to terrorize Egyptians; it will terrorize Israelis also. Do not be deceived. These extremist groups are very sly and I am telling you that if given the chance Hamas will stay in Sinai until it is powerful and then turn around and kill. They will kill the US soldiers that you wish to see stationed there with them. They will kill defenseless civilians. They will do whatever it takes to impose their view of world order on the populations that surround them.
Don’t you learn? Whether this is hyper political correctness or moral cowardice, it will backfire upon you as well as us. Read the history of the Muslim Brotherhood; look at their demonstrations throughout history. You need to show those of us fighting for our rights that you are on our side and that the violence being used against us is not acceptable. By giving covert support to this regime, through Clinton’s NATO speech refusing to clearly and openly condemn the repressive and violent measures being used to keep us silent, through your praise of Morsi brokering the cease fire in Gaza, you are giving power and legitimacy to this burgeoning dictatorship.
You are disempowering the majority of peaceful Egyptians at the time when we need your support the most.
To citizens around the world, help our voices be heard.