Egyptians in Qatar (file picture)
DOHA: Egyptian expatriates in Qatar, while obviously unhappy about what is happening back home, say they expect the situation to become clearer today as the Muslim Brotherhood has called for protests after Friday prayers all over the country.
“We have to see how people react after Friday prayers today to Wednesday’s military action that saw hundreds of people killed and many others injured,” said an Egyptian, requesting anonymity.
He said he didn’t anticipate further violence as both sides, the army and the Brotherhood, should now take defensive positions after Wednesday’s bloodbath.
The expatriate said Hosni Mubarak’s era was known for corruption but there was no violence. “It has been a bad beginning of a new military rule in our country and I don’t expect elections to take place.”
Another Egyptian expatriate this newspaper spoke with said on grounds of anonymity that Wednesday’s carnage could have been avoided and a solution could have been found through talks.
“I think if the military had allowed the protest sit-ins by the Brotherhood (demanding ousted president Mohammed Mursi’s reinstatement) to continue, the protests would have died down.”
The expatriate, however, said that although he personally didn’t support the military’s involvement in public affairs, there seemed to be no other option but to act and end the sit-ins. “The killings were unfortunate, though.”
He said several of his relatives and friends had taken part in the sit-ins but they dispersed when the army asked them to leave.
While in power the Muslim Brotherhood was behaving in a manipulative way, he said.
“They brought religion into politics and said they will be doing good for the country, but eventually acted in self-interest.”
Yet another Egyptian said he was extremely saddened by the loss of life in the military action. “The death toll has reached 600 and this is a figure announced officially by (Egypt’s) health ministry.”
The expatriate said he suspected that when the situation calmed down, people wouldn’t be surprised to know that the death toll had gone beyond 1,000.
A number of people injured in the military action were in hospitals, while several others were in mosques, and many of them could succumb to their injuries in the days to come, he said.
According to him, there is fear that since people in the south of the country are generally armed, they might react violently.
He said Wednesday’s carnage could have been avoided and one way could have been to hold a referendum on Mursi, or hold talks with the Brotherhood and concede some of its demands.
Asked if he expected the military to hold elections as promised, the expatriate said if at all polls took place they would be like those held during the rule of Mubarak, with 99 percent votes going to those backed by the army.
“It’s clear we are moving towards dictatorship. We did not have so many people killed during 30 years of Mubarak’s rule as were killed in a single day under the current regime.”
He said not everyone taking part in the protest sit-ins belonged to the Brotherhood. Neutral people were also involved in the demonstrations.
Communists and backers of the former regime were part of the groups opposing Mursi, with support from Israel, said the expatriate.
“There is widespread corruption in the military, media and the police. The media are misleading the people.”
Still another Egyptian said he backed Wednesday’s military action as otherwise the situation would have spun out of control.
“That was the minimum price to pay for clearing up the areas of sit-ins,” the expatriate said of Wednesday’s death toll.