I am wondering how the conspiracy theory is used against Egypt? In other words: why do some sides promote this theory? And against whom?
We tried in the previous article to highlight one of the reasons of the use of conspiracy theories to justify the criticism against authorities in Egypt due to human rights violations. For example, when the authorities deny the existence of violations, rumours start to circulate about conspiracies against Egypt. In this article, we will try to present other uses of the conspiracy theory.
Initially, this theory was always used to justify failure, defeat, or inability. For example, we hear that Egypt cannot restore tourism because of conspiracies against Egypt. The world’s public opinion also speaks about human rights violations in Egypt because of this conspiracy against Egypt. Similarly, the price of the Egyptian pound is declining against the dollar because of the same conspiracy. Therefore, conspiracies were always blamed for all of Egypt’s problems, whether they resulted from wrong policies or incapability. Strangely, the authorities do not announce the parties of the conspiracy and do not face them. The talk about the conspiracy remains limited to the regime supporters in media outlets and social media, while those in power shroud themselves in silence and in vague insinuations. So the direct and explicit confrontation of the conspiracy’s parties is not possible for unknown reasons. Some people cite the hiding of conspirators to a deep and complex political wisdom, while regime supporters assert that their trust in the president motivates them to understand the reasons of hiding these conspirators.
The question is: what can we do in this regard?
If the reason for the Egyptian economic crisis lies in the conspiracy plotted by Qatar, Turkey, and the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) to decrease the value of the Egyptian pound, what can we do? If the Egyptian state cannot announce this plot and confront these conspirators directly, whether through diplomacy or media, what can we do?
During the youth conference in Sharm El-Sheikh, President Al-Sisi answered this question. ِAmid the debate between speakers and audience of the conference over the causes and solutions of the economic crisis, the president said that “his refrigerator” remained empty except for water for ten years without complaining. This story seemed unrelated to the ongoing debate, and the president was criticised for it. I believe the president’s story was related to the topic, because the president knows that the real reasons for the economic crisis are different than the reasons explained by the speakers. There are two possible reasons: that God cursed Egypt—as the MB believes—or that a conspiracy, which cannot be revealed or faced, is in place and the only solution would be patience, just as the president did when his refrigerator was empty for ten years except for water.
The debate on the causes of the crisis means that there is a problem which can be solved. It also means that a certain official should be held accountable for this problem. All these things are not even possible. The economic crisis can be summarised as follows: the crisis was caused by a plot, and we should endure hunger for long years until the problem is solved whenever God wills.
The conspiracy theory is usually linked with the slogan “no sound is louder than the sound of the battle,” because the purpose of talking about the conspiracy does not only justify the crisis, but also aims to prevent any opposition. But why? Because there is a battle which requires the people to cooperate and postpone any democratic policies, as there is no time for such things in an ongoing war.
So the interruption of political life is the reason for promoting the conspiracy theory. The plot is considered a battle, but not a real battle on the ground. It becomes necessary to talk about it as an invisible war. To cut a long story short, the details of the plot are mysterious, so the battle occurs in secret, or at least a major part of this battle is taking place in secret, so that the slogan “no sound is louder than the sound of battle” retains its importance, and democracy will be delayed until we win this battle—God willing.
The real current battle is the fight against terrorism to avoid the fate of Syria. This battle is clear and happens on the ground. We cannot describe it as artificial battle, as some supporters or sympathisers of the MB claim. We really face terrorism and extremism in our country—a battle waged by a few groups of terrorists with the support of some members of the Islamic political current. They perhaps receive political support from other parties within the community for different reasons. Additionally, the policies and procedures followed by the state authorities in its management of this battle practically support these terrorist groups. Ironically, these are always presented under the slogan “no sound is louder than the sound of battle,” because this concept prohibits and criminalises any collective work to confront terrorism and extremism, and limits it to the military solution. It is known to everyone that the community was the main factor in the ouster of the MB. These forces included civil society organisations, parties, media, and peaceful protests. Thanks to this comprehensive confrontation, the state was able to achieve a real victory in the fight against terrorism and extremism on 30 June 2013. On the contrary, we can monitor many acts taken by the state that contributed to the support of the terrorism and extremism, including the imprisonment of Islam El-Behery and Ahmed Nagy.
The size and limits of the battle have clearly decreased on the ground for the normal citizen. If we excluded what is happening in Sinai, the explosions which used to hit important and densely populated areas in many cities have decreased considerably. Generally, we can say that the people take the battle against terrorism seriously only if a bomb exploded in a church or a checkpoint in Cairo or any major city. However, we can no longer say that the fight against terrorism justifies the postponement of democracy. The current security situation in Egypt, except in the Sinai, no longer justifies the control of security agencies over the general scene. The public opinion, mainly formed by the middle class, does not feel any threat of terrorism, unless its direct interests or children are affected. The general security situation requires the state authorities to admit that the situation in Sinai is unsafe and unstable. If the authorities said so, they would open the door for the opposition to say that Al-Sisi could not accomplish what he promised. Since 3 July, the president has built his legitimacy on providing security, and did not promise to achieve economic growth or political freedom. So when the terrorist attacks in Sinai continue, leaving dozens and hundreds of members of the armed forces killed or injured, state authorities will seem weak and confused.
The conspiracy theory seems to be the perfect solution to the problem, as it will deny the fact that there is security deterioration on the ground, and make us believe that the real battle occurs in secret against conspirators. This scenario grants state authorities several advantages, because the terrorist attacks, which killed dozens of soldiers, could be described as revenge acts in response to the state’s victories in the real battle. The question is: where and when do these victories happen?! We are talking about the big battles which occur in secret against the conspirators.