Commentaries in major Egyptian newspapers have discussed the latest attacks on Coptic Egyptian expatriates in Libya and condemn the passive reactions of authorities in the presidential palace. Some other writers explore the recently debated idea of forming Islamist militias to replace Egypt’s vanishing police force.
Between Egypt and Libya
Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper
Recalling the recent incidents in Libya against a number of Coptic Egyptian expatriates, Salmawi criticises the government’s passive response. Over the past week newspapers were full of stories about Egyptians in Libya being attacked, beaten, and even tortured to death.
He questions the government’s actions in such incidents and compares them to what happened in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) when a number of Muslim Brotherhood members were arrested there. About a month ago, the presidency rapidly reacted to the news of Brotherhood members’ detention. It formulated a committee headed by a heavyweight presidential aide that flew to the UAE to solve the problem.
Salmawi censures the presidency for not taking action on behalf of those who lost their lives in Libya. Despite presidential statements refuting claims that a special committee was assigned to help the Islamists arrested in the UAE, the writer asserts that incidents in Libya should receive similar attention from the authorities.
Egyptian Copts in Libya were accused of missionary activity, whereas the Muslim Brotherhood members in the UAE were accused of spreading Islamist thoughts. Regardless of the charges, both groups are Egyptians. Salmawi states that authorities that do not protect their citizens do not deserve to be legitimate.
Militias formed and weapons ready
Emad Al-Din Hussein
Hussein explores the reports about new militias being prepared by Islamist groups as an alternative to police forces. He expresses his fear of the possibility that Islamist groups will replace the police.
The recent statements of senior Islamist figure Saber Abul Fotouh, who wants to create private armed security companies, and the similar ideas of Islamist Abbas Abdel Azizi to establish an alternative police institution attached to the presidency, scare Hussein. He believes that if these militias are created, the country will face one of the most violent and chaotic phases in its history.
Islamists want to take control of security in the country, and then perhaps political parties would arm themselves against any potential attack from Islamists.
Hussein wonders how President Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood would feel about this. Will Morsi remember that he should, as the man responsible for Egypt, deal with the militias? Hussein concludes by stating that whatever the position of the presidency, Egypt is definitely sliding into a downwards spiral.