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Fatwas Part Ninety-Two
In Egypt: A Civil War Is possible, but Divisions Are Impossible

 

In Egypt: A Civil War Is possible, but Divisions Are Impossible

 

Was published in Arabic in February, 17, 2016

Translated by Ahmed Fathy

 

 

He said to me: I am afraid of the possibility of civil wars in Egypt!

I said to him: I have the same fears!

He said: I am afraid of another possibility; Egypt would be divided into smaller states as a result of civil strife!

I said: This is impossible!

He said: Syria and Iraq are really now divided in deed!

I said: This is normal in the history of such a region.

He said: How come?

I said: The Levant and Mesopotamia are geographic regions, not political entities. That is why countries established there are temporary. They rise and fall, and the political arena changes with the changing conditions. Countries of the Levant and Mesopotamia were created after World War I. Thus Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan have been created and later on Israel after World War II. Such conditions contained land mines and time bombs that threaten to wipe out such countries.

He said: Why?!

I said: Such regions are a mosaic of races and creeds; they contain Arabs, Kurds, Syriacs, Turkmens, as well as races coming from Middle Asia, along with immigrants from the deserts of Arabia carrying destruction and backwardness of Bedouins. There are Christians of various denominations, as well as the Sunnites, Shiites, and Baha'is, not to mention other doctrines and sub-creeds. Such divisions are turning now into fighting, and the region is turning into a quagmire of bloodshed. Let us cite the example of Lebanon. Its diversity has not led to peaceful coexistence. The Lebanese civil war atrocities are still alive in Arab memory. Such atrocities are being perpetuated now in the Levant and Mesopotamia for the interests of local, regional, and international parties. Hence, diversity here is a curse.

He said: But diversity is a blessing in Europe and the USA.

I said: It is deemed a blessing within democracies like the USA and Canada.

He said: What impedes democratic transition in the Levant and Mesopotamia?

I said: Tensions are galore in such geographic area of that nature; powers around it covet its control.

He said: Do you mean Egypt in their West and Iran in their east, as the two biggest powers in the Middle East?

I said: This is in addition to the European ambitions across the Mediterranean as well as tensions and troubles coming from deserts of Arabia. Let alone the Russian ambition to have a base in the warm waters of the Black Sea and the Mediterranean Sea. The existence of Israel is another reason that prevents the rise of a unified democratic state in the Levant and Mesopotamia.

He said: This is in modern history.

I said: And in ancient history as well. The pharaohs from the West occupied the Levant and competed with Persia in the East. Another conflict over this region was between Persia and the Greeks and later on between Persia and the Romans. Later on, Arab conquered the Levant. Struggle went on over the Levant during the Abbasid Era among Turkish leaders (the Tulunid Dynasty, the Ikhshidid Dynasty, and the Seljuk Dynasty) and later on among the Fatimid Dynasty, Turkish leaders controlling the Abbasid Dynasty, and the crusaders. Later on, the struggle went on over the Levant between the Ayyubid Dynasty and the crusaders, the Mameluke sultans and the crusaders, the Mameluke sultans and the Moghuls, the Safavid Dynasty in Persia and the Ottomans, and lastly GB and France. The map of such a region was redrawn within Sikes-Picot treaty. Hence, Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq and Israel have been established. Let us not forget the coups and conflicts of political parties (Baathist parties in Syria and Iraq) and the struggle between Wahabism of the KSA and Nasserism in Egypt. Nowadays, the struggle goes on to re-divide the Levant and Mesopotamia, and the international powers within that struggle are the USA and Russia, the regional powers are Iran, Turkey, and the KSA, as well as local powers like ISIS and other terrorist groups.

He said: What is your reading of the scene in Syria and Iraq now?

I said: the KSA Wahabism has created ISIS, which has spread and expanded as a tool to redraw the map of such a region, relying on the conflicts and contradictions and differences in races and creeds as well as its geographic nature. That is why ISIS spread in the Sunnite regions of Syria and Iraq. Different regimes in the region are struggling against one another; one in Baghdad and another in Kurdistan, while ISIS spread between Mosul and Al-Raqqah, and Al-Assad area between Damascus and Latakia. Russia is trying to gain more control over Syrian grounds by bombarding military areas in Syria without aiming to crush ISIS. Iran is trying to gain more control over Iraqi grounds. The KSA feigns to tackle the issue of waging a war on ISIS in Syria while it destroys Yemen. Turkey aids the Turkmens in Syria to annex the north of Syria to its land as happened with Sanjak of Alexandretta.

He said: What about the USA that has destroyed Iraq?!

I said: The USA has made Iraq ready to be devoured by Iran. All American presidential hopefuls (Republicans and Democrats) agree on never to repeat the act of folly of G. Bush Jr. that is to say that the USA is never sending troops to Iraq and Syria. The USA seems to welcome the interference of Russia and Iran. The USA, France, Canada, The Netherlands, Qatar, and the UAE have turned themselves into extras on this theatrical stage; they do nothing but to issue statements and hold meetings!

He said: Who are the winners in your opinion within such a situation?

I said: Russia and Iran, in my opinion.

He said: What will happen after that?!

I said: If they ever win, both will fight one another within Middle Asia and the Caspian Sea. This collision is being postponed by both Russia and Iran, until neutralizing the stance of the USA and the NATO is achieved, and until after redrawing the map of the Levant and Iraq to serve Russian and Iranian purposes.

He said: What about the coming Russian-Iranian conflict?!

I said: The countries of the former USSR adjacent to Iran were part of the Persian Empire. Such countries are looking for their identity, and Shiite and Sunnite fundamentalist movements grow fast in them. Their regimes are allies to Russia and try to face the Sunnite/Wahabi extremism, while Shiite movements spread with no resistance, to become another political agent in the right time after combatting the Sunnite/Wahabi extremism movements. Iran would try to turn the Caspian Sea into a Persian lake, as it was in Middle Ages. Russia would never allow this; inevitable conflict will ensue once Iran emerges victorious in the Gulf and in Iraq.

He said: What about the KSA and the Gulf monarchies?

I said: The KSA will cease to exist; it will become history, soon enough the same fate is reserved for the Gulf countries when devoured by Iran sooner or later.

He said: What about Egypt?

I said: Its leading role was lost in June 1967, and this loss was affirmed by Nasser's death in 1970. Leading role was bequeathed to struggling powers like Saddam's Iraq, Kaddafi's Libya, and the KSA royal family. All of them failed to occupy the seat of a leader. After the killing of Saddam and Kaddafi, lately Qatar and the UAE have entered the arena. Both countries and the KSA are temporary countries that have to worry about their existence instead of meddling in affairs of international powers. However, redrawing the map of Mesopotamia and the Levant serves their interests. As for Egypt, it is in service of the Gulf monarchies now, fluctuating between the UAE and KSA. Both are dwarfs who do not reach the stature of our great beloved Egypt. This shame is perpetuated by the military rule in Egypt now!

He said: Would Egypt split into states, as the case in Syria and Iraq?

I said: This is impossible.

He said: Why? What is the difference between Egypt and both countries?!

I said: Egypt has not the same geographical conditions and diversity we see in Mesopotamia and the Levant; it is the oldest central country in the world. The Levant and Mesopotamia were never unified before.

He said: Yet, the Levant and Iraq contain some of the oldest cities in the ancient world: Jerusalem, Damascus, Aleppo, Baghdad, and Mosul…etc. let alone important ports over the Mediterranean. Baghdad was the Abbasid capital and Damascus was the Umayyad capital. Temporary monarchies were established like in Aleppo and other cities in history.

He said: Despite all this, the Levant and Mesopotamia were never unified within one independent central State. They were parts of larger empires of the Umayyads, Abbasids, and the Ottomans. I will not repeat the reason I have mentioned above. Hence, countries in the Levant and Mesopotamia can split and be divided over and over again. This cannot happen to Egypt, though.

He said: Why?! What does distinguish Egypt? Tell me that in detail, please!

He said: Egypt is the only central country flourishing for tens of centuries before the revelation of the Quran. The Quran mentions Egypt, and it mentions some of its characteristics, as we have written in our book titled "Egypt in the Quran".

He said: I need more details, please, concerning this history.

I said: Civilization began on the banks of the Nile long centuries before the discovery of writing; excavations in (Cairo districts) Maadi and Helwan affirm this fact. Writing history begins with the Pharaoh Narmer/Mina who unified the Upper and Lower Egypt into one central country; and this goes on until now. Egypt is the most ancient central country in the world.

He said: What makes Egypt so distinguished in comparison to Nile countries in Africa in the south, and other neighbors in the West, East, and North?

I said: The Nile in Egypt does not bifurcate unless in the Delta before the estuary on the Mediterranean. Egypt Nile valley is surrounded by the Red Sea, the Mediterranean Sea, and deserts. Egypt is the crossing point among the three continents of the Ancient World: Africa, Asia, and Europe. The Nile valley unifies all Egyptians in one population bloc with central rule controlling everything.

He said: Egypt is certainly by your words a target for the greedy ambitious powers, is it not?!

I said: This occurred many times in history; the Hyksos were the first nation to occupy Egypt. yet, Egypt created its own Empire in the Era of the Pharaoh Thutmose III until the Ramses Dynasty. Egypt has witnessed several turmoil times and upheavals throughout its history. About 30 Dynasties of Pharaohs ruled Egypt, and later on Dynasties of the Ptolemaic rule, to the Mamelukes, until the Muhammad Ali Dynasty. Egypt used to rule Eastern lands until suburbs of Baghdad during the era of the Fatimid ruler Al-Mustansir. In the Mameluke Era, Egypt used to rule lands until the north of Iraq. Hejaz, in Arabia, was ruled by Egypt from the Tulunid Era until Al-Saud controlled Mecca in 1924. Hence, Egypt was on top of all its neighbors, but now, it has degenerated. Yet, let us remember as well that Egypt was conquered by the Persians, the Assyrians, and alexander the Great, and later on by the Romans, the Arabs, the Ottomans, France, and GB. Egypt used to have a famine every 30 years when the Nile water was too little or created a huge flood. Famines of that type caused epidemics, apart from epidemics coming from the west or the east. Egypt at such times used to lose tens of thousands of its inhabitants, but it would flourish once more after each trying time.

He said: Were Egypt ever subdivided due to such epidemics and famines?

I said: No. Not even during occupations, invasions, wars, and any calamities and catastrophes.

He said: We can safely boast then, that if civil war breaks out, Egypt will remain one country, right?

I said: Yes. If civil strife breaks our due to the folly of the military rule, Egypt will never split. Let us remember that during the Fatimid Era, Al-Mustansir ruled Egypt for about 60 years (1036:1094 A.D.) and he never lost control of Egypt during the famine and wars of seven consecutive years (1065:1071 A.D.) that led Egyptians in the rural areas to kill and eat one another's flesh like cannibals!

He said: What do you mean?!

I said: In Egypt, a civil war is possible, but divisions are not.                                    


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