An Egyptian Blogger's take on Robert Fisk's Piece

Perwin Ali's take on Robert Fisk's piece for The Independent: The Rotten State of Egypt is too Powerless and Corrupt to Act. The Egyptian blogger wrote:

I believe [that Fisk's piece] is the latest example of how formulaic and commercialized one can get… even a highly respected source. It shows you that one can't blindly follow and/or agree with someone or something all the time. We should always question things, and definitely think for ourselves

Now, While I have nothing but respect for Robert Fisk, I can't help but feel that what he's saying here, while true, is out of context… or at the very least needs the added layer of what happens to Egypt and Egyptians outside of “Egypt's economic foundations [crumbling]” as a result of crossing its so-called allies. Why isn't he talking about the fact that Egypt will stand alone in fighting the Israelis, Americans, Brits, and the other covert cohorts, if it does indeed open the Rafah gate? And fight them on her own land, the much-coveted Sinai? Why isn't he talking about how opening the gate will give Israel a much stronger footing in Gaza when Palestinians start leaving in droves?

She also highlights another instance where Fisk goes off point saying:

It also feels more like a formulaic piece than a true evaluation of the Gaza crisis and its implications on Egypt, since everybody seems hell bent on making Egypt a star in this catastrophe, albeit a notorious one. I mean, he does a good job of stating the key negatives of the government which we all know by heart now, but why is he talking about prison rapes and negligent doctors? Where is the context of how this fits in with what's going on right now? Is this what he needs to be talking about now?

After finding out what I think of this piece, a friend asked me in great surprise if I don't believe that Egypt is corrupt and corrupt to the core. The kind of corruption that would push many youth to embrace possible death at sea just to get out of here. So I explained to her that I'm not saying it's untrue, I'm saying the opposite. It's true… very true. But it's also very out of context here.

Fisk's tally of Egypt's degrees of corruption isn't what he should be talking about here if he really wants to talk about what he clearly believes to be Egypt's lack-luster role in all of this. I think he's just using his trusted technique, pulling out his old notes filed under ‘examples of corruption in Egypt’ as a space filler for something he clearly doesn't want to look at objectively.

Concluding her post she advised Fisk:

If he had really wanted to use a constructive example he could've used something like the undeterred gas deal with Israel. Now that's much closer to home in this case, not the classic sensational stuff he used. But then again, it's not as scandalous as “…a religious facade in which the meaning of Islam has become effaced by its physical representation.” which is a sentence I'm not sure fits how exactly with the supposed abominable performance given by Egypt so far. Maybe when you read his article you can explain it to me.

Surely Fisk can do a better job at being unbiased, objective and analytical.


  • saniya kashif

    Please help world see how innocent muslims have been treated.

  • Redouane

    I agree with Perwin. The official Egyptian stance of the conflict that it is not pro Hamas, period. Fisk is.

    So it is evident that Fisk does not want to distant himself from Hamas politics. Instead of looking for the real factors that led to this disaster, he is critizing Egypt for not joing the fight. Does he know that Egypt is sovereign country and has a peace treaty with Israel. Fisk is an “agent provocateur”. He should shut up or else he should go and fight with Hamas.

    All official arab government positions are anti-hamas. Why? because they are religious fanatics. Their own manisfesto calls for sharia law and islamic state in all Arab nations. Who is his right mind will fall for such stupid idea. Theocracy like state is out of the question for the majority of the citizens. However, the population of these nations are only symbolically supporting Hamas, because they are after all palestinians fighting for their rights and freedom.

    I do not like how they are been killed and massacred however I do not agree with their islamic propaganda and manisfesto and the call for jihad and return to sharia law. That’s suicide for me.

  • saniya kashif

    As we are talking, some life is been taken for ever. Every second some mother, child, father, brother, sisters are more are being killed. Please do something, I beg you all please do something.

  • Zari

    The truth of the matter is that Egypt has still remnants of colonialism in its practices which are incongruent to its democratic policies. While the country is run by someone who’s been holding the same office for 20+ years. Where are the fresh ideas? People can’t criticize their own government for fear of facing imprisonment. How can the young population even breathe the same air with unemployment so high? Aside from fighting oppressive regimes, what else has Egypt offered its people? We need to start thinking and acting like a democratic Islamic Republic rather than a fascist regime.

  • Rehan

    Islam is the religion of masses, not intended for only the elite or a particular race or family. We should come out of our own imaginative theologies and racial prejudice. Have you ever seen soccer club zealots fighting with another club to kill or be killed? On what pity grounds. Are we the same, defending a mere piece of land or a leader whose allegiance and thoughts are drenched with lust of material? But again someone has to bring the bread home.
    We are lacking mothers, fine mothers, the likes of Fatima (RA). A mother, who should be proud of her children’s piousness and humility. We are lacking fine wives, the wife who cherishes modesty and stay guard on their husband’s faith. As for the men, I pity the religion which has inherited the men, the likes of cattle wandering aimless in groups fighting for their grazing grounds. We are free to express our thoughts, even if it’s filled with stench of denial. Constantly uttering our ideas to get approval, just like a conscious liar living in defiance. But then again we have to sleep at night, because the guilty can’t find peace within. We need the endorsement just like a pain killer, a temporary relief.

  • With all due respect, I believe every work in Fisk’s article and understand why he’s so angry and sick of our Egyptian slave-state. To say Egypt will stand alone if it decided to open the Rafah crossing can’t be said by someone who at least follow the news. How about Iran, China, Russia, even Venzuela! To say somebody is being a dummy because he’d be alone otherwise is a really funny excuse.

    As to the mentioning of the rapes and the negligent doctors, I thought it’s very plain what he’s trying to say, but now I know it’s only plain to a reader who’s not so conceited and don’t follow Egyptian media. What I think he implied is that the country not only corrupt politically, but has security forces that’s almost non-human, and a majority of the people who have been submissive for too long that religion being anything but prayers has become too unreal. He’s simply implying that corruption has not only reached the core, but became itself the core of this god-forsaken country.

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