Press TV has invited Samih Atfi, a political commentator from Cairo, to its Debate program to share his thoughts on the ongoing power struggle in Egypt after the ouster of the country’s President Mohamed Morsi.
Following is an approximate transcription of the interview.
Press TV: Mr. Atfi, first of all do you think that, as our guest was voicing his opinion, saying that he believes that this has not been a coup, others are saying that this is clearly a coup by the military.
What is your opinion on that and do you think that right now Egypt is not in crisis, in any kind of political crisis, and is actually moving ahead with the transition process, that will see a peaceful transition of power?
Atfi: I think that our friend in Cairo maybe lives in [cloud] cuckoo land or maybe he has been away for holiday out of the moon because what we are seeing in Egypt under any means is military generals hijack[ing] the president, the first elected president in the whole history of Egypt and he is not calling that coup.
I think that what happened in Egypt is a pure plan from dictator, criminal Mubarak to hijack the revolution of January 25, 2011 and the reality is, they are in the streets, million of Egyptian people, refusing the way of military interfering in the political life and this president is the first elected president in the history of Egypt and the opposition of Mr. Morsi, unfortunately could not do anything more than him in the opposition and Tahrir Square is being hijacked by a false revolution managed by General Sisi and the dictator, criminal regime of Mubarak and it is the first time in the history, for our friend in Cairo, the first time in the history, a revolution, we have seen soldiers, we have seen police forces with uniform, we have seen military calling in TV for a propaganda, calling for (asking) people to go out.
I think that what has happened in Egypt is disgusting and that the consequences of this act, of this behavior of the General Sisi, it would be very, very bad…
And the army in Egypt, they have only two ways, the army in Egypt only has two ways and we see that very clearly, [one] is Turkish way and building the democracy process, or the Algerian way and this is killing the Egyptian dream for democracy.
Press TV: Mr. Atfi, the Muslim Brotherhood has been speaking very much against the transition plan, against what has been announced by the interim president, but a lot of people are now seeing the situation in Egypt as a very unstable situation that could put Egypt in harm’s way because it is in such a sensitive region at such a sensitive time.
What do you think is the way forward? Should not the Muslim Brotherhood try to get involved or engaged in political talks right now for the sake of Egypt as a country and for the sake of national security and sovereignty?
Atfi: Actually, when you say a new transition in Egypt we have to ask ourselves how this comes to the picture and we have, on one hand, an elected president and more than 32 million voters that have given him votes and they wake up in the morning and find out that a military general hijacked their president and hijacked and disrespected all these voters; until they will start from a new page, is not in democracy process at all and this is unacceptable, plus (in addition) look at what they call new system and they call the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamists to participate in this process.
The first day they called for that, they blocked 27 channels, Islamist channels, they blocked them and they put in prison the leader of the Egyptian parliament, which is Professor Sa’ad el-Katatli, his 32 million voters gave him their votes and they started taking (arresting) most of the leaders.
They killed more than 68 peaceful demonstrators, they closed some newspapers for (of) Muslim Brotherhood and the Islamists and they fired [burned] and looted the headquarters of the Islamist party.
What are they talking about? This is clearly an unacceptable act from the military and I think, from the human rights [perspective], massive human rights crisis we will see in Egypt and I think that killing more than 65 young demonstrators in Egypt in front of the headquarters of the armed forces, I think that this is a crime and that General Sisi has to pay the price and he has to be trialed (prosecuted) soon.
Press TV: Mr. Atfi, if you could quickly tell us, we are hearing a lot of concerns about the situation in Egypt becoming more violent especially after what happened yesterday. A lot of people have been accusing the Muslim Brotherhood, a lot of people have been accusing the military, but do you think when the Muslim Brotherhood says that we have to stage an uprising against the military, these kinds of comments are not going to be helpful, they are only going to create more violence and that would not benefit Egypt.
Who would benefit from that kind of a scenario? A lot of people are saying Israel or other countries. What is your opinion about that?
Atfi: First of all I need to tell our guest in Cairo please read the newspapers, see (watch) television and you will see how many million in the streets support Dr. Morsi.
Back to your question, I think that what happened in Egypt, there is no violence only from one side which is the military and the police forces.
Imagine two leaders being hijacked from their houses without any court order whatsoever and for a military system and there is no court involved in closing 27 channels and I think that our friend needs to Google to see how many channels are being suspended and plus when the military came to the power and suspended the constitution of Egypt which has been voted [for] by millions of millions of Egyptians, the military has no respect whatsoever for all these people and the question is, are we going to a civil war or violence and I think if you read the Washington Post…, Islamists chose the right way of democracy and now the military has acted in a way forcing the hard[liner] Islamists to act in violence and we condemn violence, we do not need violence in Egypt.