How much does the title “revolutionary” cost in Egypt? It is certainly the most recent of the many titles we are in the habit of bestowing upon others, like Pasha and Bey, which were awarded by his majesty the king and which only the powerful and feudal lords deserved. These titles were cancelled by the 1952 Revolution and were then transferred to the common people, who started using them with each other all the time.
Egypt is a country that never ceases to produce titles that turn human beings into demi-gods. The plumber is called engineer, the nurse doctor, the unemployed captain and so on. After the January 25 Revolution, the title “revolutionary” saw the light. To acquire this title, you need only take a trip to Tahrir Square and shout, “Down with the military rule!”
A few days ago, I saw two protestors who have been part of the sit-ins since January 28 and who took part in the Cabinet clashes marry in Talaat Harb Square, close to Tahrir. They are both revolutionaries. The bride said that her groom protected her from an army officer who wanted to beat her; she was injured in the head and he hurried to save her. It was then that she fell in love with him and they both decided to live happily ever after and beget little revolutionary children.
In the wedding, the revolutionary couple danced while singing, “Down with the military rule” and “Don’t be afraid! Say it! The military council has to go!”
There is a regular revolutionary and a special revolutionary. The latter is equivalent to the Pasha at the time of the kings. The special revolutionary cannot be put on trial because this would be a conspiracy against the revolution and an abortion of the second revolution they are threatening to ignite this coming January 25.
Even WikiLeaks was accused of conspiring against the special revolutionaries after leaking documents about meetings some of them held with American officials. Gamila Ismail, whose name was mentioned in the leaked documents, claimed that this is a conspiracy from above to tarnish the image of the revolutionaries. By “above” she meant the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, as if its members are giving direct orders to the Australian journalist Julian Assange.
Gamila Ismail filed a complaint with the prosecutor general in her name and the names of others mentioned in the document because special revolutionaries enjoy local and international immunity and whoever dares to badmouth them is doomed forever.
It is the dictatorship of Tahrir Square that is now trying to conquer all laws, traditions, and values.
Supporters of Omar Makram Mosque made a fuss when its imam, Mazhar Shahin, was summoned for interrogation over the cabinet clashes. Shahin is not only a special revolutionary; he is also the revolution’s preacher. Shahin found it a grave sin to summon him and his supporters were furious because he is above the law and above all Egypt.
Videos posted on You Tube show the revolutionaries punishing an army officer they abducted and show them also urinating on the roof of the mosque. Yet, the Ministry of Islamic Endowments is accused of being a remnant of the former regime for deciding to interrogate Sheikh Shahin who gets his salary from there.
Nobody can come near him because he is the preacher of the revolution and the ministry cannot do anything even after making sure that it was the Revolutionary Socialists, also known as Egypt’s neo-Communists, who made of the mosque’s roof the place to try and torture the officers.
The United States is putting the Marines who urinated on the bodies of Taliban fighters in Afghanistan on trial, while the immunity of Egyptian revolutionaries protects them from interrogations even though urinating on a mosque is much worse than what those Marines did!
First published in al-Gomhuria and translated from Arabic by Sonia Farid