The National Salvation Front (NSF) is responsible for the “chaos and thuggery” currently gripping the nation according to senior Muslim Brotherhood and Shura Council member Gamal Heshmat.
“The blood of Egyptians shed in recent clashes, over the past few days, is the responsibility of the NSF,” Heshmat said on Sunday in a statement reproduced by the Brotherhood and the Freedom and Justice Party.
Heshmat said he had evidence which proved NSF members were involved in the burning of Brotherhood headquarters and public facilities, adding he would submit the evidence to the general prosecutor at the appropriate time.
Gehad El-Haddad, a Muslim Brotherhood spokesperson, said any violence is beyond the boundaries of the law. “Such actions are criminal in nature and should be dealt with by the appropriate authorities,” he said, adding that he attributed the current instability to the weakened state of the security apparatus following the revolution. “Before the security apparatus was held hostage by a political dictatorship and now after the democratic transition it is struggling to build an alliance with the state which benefits the people.”
El-Haddad said the country will eventually stabilise once the transition is finalised through parliamentary elections, adding that the reinforcement of the pillars of state will allow for better performance and institutional checks and balances.
“Everyone enjoys claiming to speak with the voice of the people,” El-Haddad said. “In reality the general voice of the people is heard in two ways; the first through direct electoral procedures and the second through the elected representatives such as the president and the Shura Council.”
Ahmed Hawary, an NSF spokesperson, was critical of El-Haddad, asking why such accusations would be made while the government also simultaneously calls for talks and “useless negotiations with no purpose or agenda.”
“This is just publicity and empty words meant for the media,” Hawary said. “We know the general prosecutor is in their pockets and are thus capable of doing anything they want.” Hawary said the invitation to hold dialogue discredits the accusation that the NSF is somehow behind much of the violence.
The Freedom and Justice Party branch in Port Said declared they felt the sentences were too harsh, and stood by the people in seeking justice. At the same time however, the FJP in Cairo applauded the court’s verdict, saying it is the first time since the revolution that “justice has been found for martyrs.” This contradiction of statements within the party is, according to Hawary, proof of the party’s insincerity when it comes to dealing with Egyptians in a genuine and honest fashion.
“To be frank, in the end the NSF or any other political force in the media are not calling for protests and we are not commanding the people on the ground,” Hawary said. “We are being commanded by people, and the NSF is just doing the political work and voicing arguments found on the ground.”
“What people ultimately want or ask for is a government that solves their problems and provides security,” Hawary said. “The rhetoric by the Muslim Brotherhood is not gaining them any ground because they are unable to gain any support with a failing government and failed efforts to regain security.” He pointed at the current state of Egypt and widespread clashes as proof that the government and the ruling party are losing control. “They are not presenting any real message of unity or taking actions that would calm people down. They are confronting people with police and armed forces and people are dying because of their decision.”
Whatever happens to the NSF, Hawary said it is their “duty to the people” to voice the demands made on the ground.
“We cannot claim to have control over these crowds or to have acceptable solutions to the country’s problems,” Hawary explained. “I think the only solution remaining is a coalition government comprised of political parties across the spectrum that assumes responsibilities for all their actions in order to show the people that there is a united stance.” He said such a government would help in bridging the gap in Egyptian society.
“This is not a political compromise, but a necessity,” Hawary said. “No one has a perfect or real solution and we are all practicing the extent of our creativity. Most decisions will have a negative effect one way or another, the only solution is for everyone in government to own up to their decisions as a collective.”