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Why Tamarod Is the Most Important Story of 2013

A triumph for freedom exposed where the key players stood and people power became Islamists' biggest threat.

by
Bridget Johnson

Bio

December 31, 2013 - 4:37 pm
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It began in the classic grassroots fashion of anyone lobbying for change, with volunteers young and old, Muslim and Copt, veiled and flowing-haired, pounding the pavement in Egypt’s subways, squares and street corners with a stack of petitions and a few extra pens.

By the time the June 30 protest rolled around, the Tamarod (“Rebel” in Arabic) campaign started by three activists amassed 22 million petition signatures. “We had an idea of organizing a strong, popular street action against the deteriorating political and economic conditions, to reunite the revolutionaries and all the Egyptians who are fed up with Morsi,” said Mahmood Shaheen, one of those founders. They found 60 volunteers to start circulating the petitions, then “thousands wanted to join, millions wanted to sign.”

As many as 14 million people poured into the streets in the June 30 protest, a massive groundswell of humanity downgraded to hundreds of thousands by media outlets as diverse as Fox News and Al-Jazeera. Either the number of signed petitions or the top estimate of the protesters were greater than the number who originally cast ballots for Mohammed Morsi.

“If the people of Egypt are not obeyed, another regime will fall,” Tamarod promised in a message to the world shortly before the protest. People were skeptical that they could affect change. Some Egyptians signing the petitions wished Tamarod the best of luck but had doubts they could get Morsi out. A nervous Morsi sacked officials the Muslim Brotherhood suspected of acting in concert with Tamarod. Publicly, an attorney for the Brotherhood scoffed that the movement acted like they were trying to change the management of a sports club, calling the petition signatures “as worthy as void itself.”

Tamarod kept its eye on the prize, reminding Egyptians from all walks of life that the regime sold the Jan. 25, 2011, revolution to the Muslim Brotherhood and that Morsi was “no longer a president because he is a murderer.”

On July 3, as laser beams and fireworks lit up the Cairo sky, Tamarod won.

These are the moments that define history. This is the raw spirit of the Tiananmen Square protesters who inspired many of us Gen Xers to fight for human rights and democratic freedoms. It was as alive when opponents of the Muslim Brotherhood danced outside the party’s headquarters to get the Islamists’ goad as it was when smiling Coptic nuns grabbed their Egyptian flags and joined the June 30 protest.

The Muslim Brotherhood stood next to the democracy activists in 2010, gathering petitions to oust Hosni Mubarak at the beginning of 2011 so their banned ranks could gain the inside track to making this rich millennia-old civilization a state crushed under the weight of Islamic law. By 2013, Egyptians seeking real freedom were on the front lines again as theocrats turned their post-dictatorship world into another autocracy. They defied the powerful Brotherhood. They still weather attacks from Morsi supporters. Coptic Catholic Bishop Antonios Aziz Mina of Giza called weathering the Brotherhood’s attacks “the price we know we have to pay” for “Egypt to get back up on its feet again.”

Perhaps there was no story that more clearly highlighted the shame of American foreign policy. Egyptian protesters were not shy about expressing their feelings of betrayal, hoisting banners that accused President Obama of supporting terrorism in backing the Morsi government and blew up photos of Ambassador Anne Patterson smiling and laughing at a meeting with Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammed Badie. “We know what you did last summer,” read one banner, while another said, “Anne Patterson, leave Egypt now and go to hell!!!” In a post-revolution slap to Egyptians, Patterson was removed as ambassador but promoted to assistant secretary of State overseeing Middle Eastern affairs.

“Wake up America, Obama backs up a fascist regime in Egypt,” said one banner, while another placed an international “no” symbol over Obama’s face and read, “Obama, you can’t fool your people and the world any more. You finance & back terrorism.”

It wasn’t just difficult to find U.S. news coverage of the protests until they celebrated the July 3 removal of Morsi, but there were crickets from the White House as the administration seemed irritated by the distraction from Obama’s Africa trip. When Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi mobilized the military as the protector of the Egyptian people, he gave Morsi a deadline to step down before removing him — an ouster that left both overt and less-vocal Morsi supporters crowing “coup.” As the interim government has forged a new, more inclusive constitution, the Obama administration leaned on al-Sisi to include the Muslim Brotherhood. As the Egyptians branded the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist group, the White House kept pressing its demands for inclusiveness. Luckily, as Washington suspended large-arms and cash deliveries to Egypt, Cairo has gotten high-dollar support from Gulf nations that know from experience that keeping the terrorists out reaps the benefits of drawing business investment and tourists.

Tamarod may have caused the ouster in Egypt, but across the world the movement’s actions made masks clatter to the ground as leaders’ true intentions and loyalties were no longer cloaked behind democracy-friendly rhetoric.

In 2014, the spirit of Tamarod still has more to do. It’s alive in Tunisia, where the Islamist government is under pressure from the movement, and in Libya, where it’s demanding not a new government but a stronger one more able to govern — and the expulsion of armed Islamist militias that wield considerable power in the post-Gaddhafi country. Tamarod has made Hamas nervous in the Gaza Strip, where anyone uttering the name of the rebellion movement faces threats or arrest.

Until now we’d thought of Turkey as the last great bastion of secularism in the Muslim world, a republic that had held faithful to the vision of founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk over the decades. But it’s been a tough year for westernized Turks who have no desire to live under religious law, with Islamist Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan showing more of his colors, arresting demonstrators and cracking down on basic freedoms.

And that brings us from the story of the year to the image of the year.

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Top Rated Comments   
Thank you for your reporting through the past year. I have come to rely on your work as simply relating facts, journalistically. Here, a case in point, a story available no where else, as far as I know.. Keep it up, you are a great addition to PJM.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
The biggest story of 2013 went right over PJ media's head without comment or even acknowledgement;
The victims of 9/11 are now free to pursue and sue Saudi Arabia as the funding and administrative source of attack in New York. Investigations so far have uncovered Saudi government and high level officials funding and assisting organization of the attack in New York City and their subsequent efforts to cover their involvement.
Maybe one day PJ media will begin reporting on the world as it truly is.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
Where will America stand?

I stand with Tamarod, but I'm just a commoner. It's time for our government to stand with the freedom loving people of the middle east.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (17)
All Comments   (17)
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Bridget, I can't help but think that we are seeing the ripple effect of people asserting themselves.

Folk are keeping an eye on Bishara Shlayan, and when you take a look at what he is communicating, more will pay attention.

In his words: DIGLEI HABRITH (United Flags)




This is a short introduction (for the moment), until we will be able to develop this Web site (we are apologizing in advance for our poor English).





The chairman of this organization is Captain Bishara Shlayan from Nazareth, Israel.



We would like to build a tourist and pilgrimage spot on Precipice Mount, Nazareth.



The idea is to initiate this gift to the international Christian community of Israel as well as to the entire world.



Tourist groups as well as pilgrims that visit in the Holy Land will be most welcome to visit it.



The site will symbolize the attraction of the global Christian community to the city of Nazareth and the support of the world community to the Christian communities in Israel.



We do not believe in sculptures, but the site will be a symbol of peace, cultivate the sense of pride of Christians in the country and will be an international tourist place that will help economically to city of Nazareth as well as to the Holy Land.





We also would like to emphasize these points:



- Israel is our country and we support it and the law.



- We educate our children for tolerance and respect to democracy and different religions.



- We encourage our Christian people to join in the social, political, economical and all other dimensions in the state of Israel.



- We support and help Christian soldiers who serve in the IDF (Zahal / Israel Defense Forces) as well as those who do national / civil service.



- We encourage international and national pilgrimage to the Christian Holy Places in the Holy Land.





We also believe:



1. We believe in democracy and pluralism and we believe that Israel is the most democratic and pluralist country in the Middle East.



2. We will work to encourage our community to take part in all the areas in Israel.



3. Our organization will help to develop Israel as a touristic country and to attract investors from the entire world.



4. We would like to emphasize that we don't believe in statues, but the place in Precipice Mount will be a point that will symbolize Love and Peace.



Our organization asks the support of the entire public – in Israel as well as in the whole world – not only Christians, but also Jews and Muslims, so that all of us, as one body, can upgrade the tourism and the cultural heritage as well.



The site – will be a cultural place that will express our historical heritage of our land.



The site – will be a sign of beauty, fraternity, peace, serenity, life; as well as Faith, Hope, Love.



The site in Precipice Mount will be a "must" for every tourist and pilgrim – Christian and others that visit Israel.






We believe that the site will symbolize the attraction of the international Christian community for the city of Nazareth and of the international Christian community for the Christians that live in Israel.



This site, as we said before, will be a symbol of peace and will build the proud of our young Christians as well as will help to the city of Nazareth to prosper.

For, this has to do with http://www.foxnews.com/world/2013/12/22/christian-group-plans-100-foot-tall-jesus-statue-in-muslim-dominated-nazareth/
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
Thank you for your reporting through the past year. I have come to rely on your work as simply relating facts, journalistically. Here, a case in point, a story available no where else, as far as I know.. Keep it up, you are a great addition to PJM.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
Many thanks for the kind comments!
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
Absolutely agree in all respects.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment

For some reason PJ Media refuses to print stories of Saudi Terrorism ; such as Saudi management and funding of attack in Mumbai, funding of Hamas, the MB, or their involvement in 9/11.
There is tactic agreement among certain MSM Media to never investigate Saudi funding of Global Sharia movements, wholly funded by Saudi Arabian sources, to overthrow the US and western Democracies.
Maybe one day PJ Media will pull the wool from its eyes?

http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/12/20/21985200-9-11-families-can-sue-saudi-arabia-court-rules?lite

The US government investigation of Saudi Involvement is classified and currently under review for declassification for the court case. Hopefully the courts will allow this material to be presented.
Other investigations have uncovered Saudi consulate officials assisting travel arrangements of terrorists, then Ambassador Prince Bandar funding al queda operations, there is quite a bit of evidence Saudi officials actively funded terror operations, which should not surprise anyone if they have ever spent time reading Saudi Sharia strategies for the western world.
Maybe one day PJ media will actually investigate the true sources of terrorism in the world?
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
Well written and truly spoken - thanks.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
Thank you for the inspiration. We must never forget......

http://rightreactions.blogspot.com/2014/01/two-flagstwo-menone-desire.html
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
A peaceful revolt. Who would have thought that this would come about. Yes sure, some will say that it wasn't too peaceful but considering what might have happened it was peaceful enough.
What I don't understand is why Obama's administration still trying to carry water for the Brotherhood AGAINST the wishes of the people. Is this progressiveism? What might happen here in the US if people took to the streets to protest further progressive acts by this administration. Is this one of the reasons for the militarization of civilian police departments? I don't know but we've three more years to find out.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
The biggest story of 2013 went right over PJ media's head without comment or even acknowledgement;
The victims of 9/11 are now free to pursue and sue Saudi Arabia as the funding and administrative source of attack in New York. Investigations so far have uncovered Saudi government and high level officials funding and assisting organization of the attack in New York City and their subsequent efforts to cover their involvement.
Maybe one day PJ media will begin reporting on the world as it truly is.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
Let's have more on this ability to sue the Saudi's for the complicity of these Saudi's for 9/11.
Sources ? ...... a short bibliography?
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
Here's a start?
"Opinion
Inside the Saudi 9/11 coverup

By Paul Sperry

December 15, 2013 | 5:13am
Modal Trigger
Inside the Saudi 9/11 coverup
Photo: UPI
MORE ON:
September 11
9/11 victims' case against Saudi Arabia restored
Pre-9/11 thinking
Negligence not cause of 3rd WTC collapse: ....." end paste, cf: New York Post
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Where will America stand?"
--------------------------------------------

With the muslim brotherhood of course. At least while O'Zero is at the helm.


41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
Where will America stand?

Given Obama track record with Persian Spring (Green Revolution) and support for the Muslim Brotherhood, Baruch Obama is definitely against Tamarod.

So the official American position will be anti-Tamarod for the next 3 years.

I am for it. They don't scare me; they are not someone I would have to fight.

They are someone you could go out and have a drink at the bar. If the drink is unfermented fruit juice that would be fine too.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Egyptian protesters were not shy about expressing their feelings of betrayal, hoisting banners that accused President Obama of supporting terrorism in backing the Morsi government and blew up photos of Ambassador Anne Patterson smiling and laughing at a meeting with Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammed Badie. “We know what you did last summer,” read one banner, while another said, “Anne Patterson, leave Egypt now and go to hell!!!”

They also had a "few choice words" to say about McCain and Graham, the two senile RINOs.

http://pjmedia.com/blog/msm-blackout-egyptians-enraged-by-u-s-outreach-to-muslim-brotherhood/ (by Raymond Ibrahim)

Further angering Egyptians is McCain’s insistence that all arrested Brotherhood members and other Islamists be released from prison. As Musa said, McCain’s stance does not address that Brotherhood leadership is awaiting trial on serious charges: inciting terrorism, causing the murder of Egyptians, and grand treason by conspiring with foreign powers against Egypt’s interests.

Egyptian media has also pointed out that McCain repeatedly dodged critical questions by Egyptian journalists at a press conference. When asked about the fact that the Brotherhood in Rab‘a was armed to the teeth, and — with the aid of al-Qaeda — was killing and terrorizing innocent Egyptians, McCain ignored the question. (Similarly, McCain has not answered as to why he supports the jihadist rebellion in Syria, which has seen the slaughter and displacement of thousands of Christians, beheadings, and “legitimized rapes” by foreign jihadis. McCain is in favor of arming them.)
(show less)
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
McCain is an idiot, truly. Some things are just fundamental.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
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