Egyptian Chronicles: Regarding Asmaa Mahfouz : The second expensive tweet in Egypt

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Regarding Asmaa Mahfouz : The second expensive tweet in Egypt

You probably know Asmaa Mahfouz , famous activist and former was summoned to the military prosecution today to find herself facing charges , dangerous charges for real : Inciting violence against the military and insulting the members of SCAF. These dangerous accusations was based on status on Facebook and twitter and a phone call in TV show.After interrogation Asmaa was bailed out for LE 20,000 “which is big sum without doubt” to be referred to court in the next 15 days.
Asmaa went along with a group of lawyers today including Dr.Hossam Eissa , Ragia Omran and Ahmed Rageb. A group of activists stood out the military prosecution “C28” in New Cairo in solidarity with her till she was out. There was a short clash between a group of protesters and members of military police. According to Dr. Eissa Asmaa made it clear to the investigators that Mahfouz did not mean any insult to the Egyptian armed forces and that her accounts have been hacked. In exclusive statements to Al Masry Al Youm Asmaa Mahfouz said that she asked the military prosecution to investigate with Major General El Rowainy for inciting hate and that he admitted that he used to false news at Tahrir square.
The head of military prosecution issued a statement urging the media to check her Facebook account “Asmaa Mahfouz” claiming that she was calling for military operations. Lawyer and activist Gamal Eid says that one of his colleagues who attended with Mahfouz “Ali Atef” knew that more activists will be summoned to the military prosecution.
Now Asmaa Mahfouz posted on August 10th the following status on Facebook and Twitter :
If the Judiciary does not bring back our rights , no one should be sad if militant groups appear to launch series of assassinations as long as there is no law as long as there is judiciary , no one should be sad !!
A screen capture of the tweet
by Ali Hisham
This tweet was considered by the military prosecution as a call for violence. Of course when you read you can find it more than warning , that was phrased badly. Let’s agree on something that Asmaa was not the only one who spoke about the possibility that the families of martyrs would turn vigilant and seek justice by their own hand, I have heard it from the families of martyrs themselves and many people spoke about that before. Again may be her phrasing was wrong so people may think it is actually intimidation. Asmaa Mahfouz is not a professional political writer by the end of the day.
The problem is not in the tweet but rather with the phone call of Asama Mahfouz to El Nas TV channel “Religious Salafi channel” on July 23th ,2011 at Abassaya battle where she attacked and insulted Tantawy and SCAF.
Al Nas TV channel : Asmaa Mahfouz’s telephone call
There is a huge problem you can not deny if you live in Egypt that unfortunately Asmaa Mahfouz is not that popular in the street among the people and her phone call to El Nas channel and how she spoke about Tantawy and the council is very harmful knowing how our society and our people think about the army and the respect to the elder. You only have to read the comments online in news portals and websites to see what this young lady is currently facing. I do not know if Wael Ghonim should have published his 101 media advices earlier or what but it points directly to part of our problem here.
The whole issue is completely dangerous by all means and it is not because this is Asmaa Mahfouz of the Egyptian revolution but because we are speaking about the social media , anyone can be in her shoes because of misinterpreted “intentionally or unintentionally” tweet made of 140 words to pay LE 20,000 and face military trial now. It is not a surprise that our twitter and Facebook accounts are being monitored especially the famous activists but the shock is now what we say online , on social media can lead us not only to civilian courts only military courts.
Asmaa Mahfouz paid the second expensive price for a tweet , the first and most expensive price was paid by Naguib Sawiris and Mobinil when he posted that infamous Mini and Mickey’s tweet as one million subscriber in Mobinil left the network and moved to Vodafone and Etisalat.
I have seen this coming and I do not know if I should have warned the people or not in advance , I have seen this coming with the amount of insults and attack against the army and SCAF  in twitter and Facebook by some group of activists. I know that if anyone wants to harm the revolution , he or she will show what some protesters say on twitter about the army from insults starting with the “F” bomb army hashtags "Just like what Zpider does" to the public to prove that revolutionaries are not loyal to the country and working against national security. The Egyptian society , the majority of Egyptian society respects the elderly and loves the army ; call them silent or what ever but they are Egyptians like you and me and if this majority see this , it will not be in our side. I am sorry if I am thinking like that but my major was Business administration and my specialization is Marketing and PR , I study my market segment and try to have the best strategy in order to make this segment buy my product and believe that they can't live without it.
SCAF is not made of a group of inexperienced protesters and activists , it is made in the end of experienced men who know the true meaning of strategic thinking and tactics despite not all of their decisions are correct as proven.
Still compared to 1952 we are in a better situation thanks to awareness , thanks to the experience and thanks to the determination of having a real civilian state , thanks to the fact that we , the Egyptian people from North to South made this revolution. You must know that the army or SCAF has been untouchable even before the coup of 1952 , to be criticized offline and insulted online is something the military mindset is not used to or accepted easily especially a military mindset currently does not know what is going to face and trying to protect itself against radical changes.
I will not go not to the conspiracies and the council is with or against the revolution because I care mostly for the people that stood with us before and during the revolution including the army itself. “I am Speaking about officers and soldiers that are not that naïve to be brainwashed, our activists now think that everybody not in their side is brainwashed !!”
We are weak as long as the people are not with us, SCAF learned the lesson from Mubarak : Do not underestimate the power of the people.
It is not about freedom of expression or about the revolutionary spirit or symbol..etc. It is about side battle we enter each day by our own well without releasing the cost we pay from our time and effort.
The revolution is not Asmaa Mahfouz with my all respect to her and also those who think that the revolution is Asmaa or Shady should rethink again over and over. The revolution is bigger than bunch of online activists , protesters , parties, councils whether military or civilian. The revolution insh Allah will continue in its correct peaceful route millions of Egyptians chose on January 28th for 18 days. The revolution insh Allah will continue because it is a just revolution. Just have faith in God and be sure the 1954 will not happen again because we are not stupid or naive .
You want to end the SCAF’s rule , then play politics and stop fooling around as we have got elections in probably in 3 months. Either you act now or do not blame anyone except yourself from another 1954. “Make Straight to puzzle your opponent”an old Egyptian proverb , we should not give anyone the chance , we should be united and have clear peaceful strategy.The big slogans and twitter political activism are not required anymore. Hopefully after this not only activists but political powers will start to unite.
And stop whining like the Hussein followers after the Karbala battle in twitter!!
The Revolution has a God to protect للثورة رب يحميها
P.s Tomorrow is the second session of Mubarak’s trial.
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8 comments :

  1. For the love of God, she didn't say militant groups she said ARMED GROUPS in reference to the martyrs' families pursuing their own justice. There's a big difference between armed and militant. Militant means trained with some serious funding. Stop repeating the same SCAF bullshit or learn to write English properly!

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  3. your education is irrelevant

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  4. While I agree with your overall summing up and your evaluation of the situation, one sentence I find dangerous:

    "The big slogans and twitter political activism are not required anymore."

    The big slogans - perhaps. The virtual activism - be it twitter, bloggin or fb - no.

    It is true that now must be the time to get active on a political level, organize for upcoming elections that won't be won in Midan Tahrir but must be won in the whole country. And for that new strategies and - yes - tactics have to be found.

    But I'd warn to do this completely on its own and swerving off the social media track that has accompanied the revolution with big success so far. Often in the past months the enormous reactions on twitter and in blogs to arrests of activists, bloggers, maltreatment of martyr's families etc. had a big effect and stopped the SCAF in its tracks. It was always pressure that made them halt and change course to fulfill demands - from Tahrir, from the social media.

    While now the path must be a different, more tactical one for the activists, the social media tools should definitely stay in full force accompanying this until the elections. Don't think yourself to early in safe waters just because elections are supposed to be held. The attempts to already meddle with the results of the referendum shows that danger is still looming large and it would not be wise to lean back and think, now twitter (blogger, fb) political activism is not needed anymore.

    Since the mainstream media still in large parts does not fulfill its duty to report honestly, the social media that have been so important in the past are urgently needed to stay at the side of the process until elections both of parliament and president. There will still be a lot going wrong that needs true commenting and correcting. I cannot see any other media do this yet in Egypt but the social one. The virtual political activism is most definitely still required.

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  5. the SCAF hates 6th April and Kefaya and is looking for any way to shut them down. They tried with the bayan that denounced 6th April, and they're still trying. Why? Because those are the two main groups the started and led the revolution and those groups are aware of what the SCAF is plotting. Sami Ennan is going to be the next president- just watch. The army is polishing him- he never makes statements because they don't want him to say anything that might offend or anger the people (look at what happened with Fangari- people loved him then he gave that angry speech). Al Abnoudy made things very clear- the army is pretending to be with the people but is very afraid of losing its historic role in the presidency. How many events against 6 April and its members have to happen before people realize what is going on??? The SCAF decided to stand with the people during the revolution because they knew that defending Mubarak was too great a risk and would compromise their legitimacy. Look at the sort of people on the council. Al Roweiny admitted on Sabah Dream that he lies and makes rumors. Mamdouh Shahin wants the army to be separate from the presidency- he says the president should not be the commander in chief of the armed forces and that most countries in the world are like this. This is a lie- most countries (and all developed countries) have the president or prime minister as commander in chief. He lied to try to give the army more power. The army never does anything well from the first try and only fixes its mistakes if there is huge popular pressure- from groups like 6 April. Which brings me back to the point that the army wants to get rid of 6th April.

    And what's this about the army being well-trained strategists? Nobody goes into the army unless they got terrible scores on their exams.

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  6. You can't ask any person more than to be true to his/herself. If I'm tweeting I would have chosen different words than what Asma said. But this is Asma, the spontaneous, emotional and un-savey Egyptian girl. Her famous clip inciting people in January to demonstrate is historical. This is her skill and the nature of her contribution. I don't think there is any merit to charge her in military court, other than the lack of self-confidance and paranoia of military.

    Any one knows, the danger shouldn't be from some one like her speaking openly expressing himself, but form those who stop talking and go underground to materialize their anger.

    There will be other voices to balance Asma's voice, but her voice un-altered or diluted must remain.

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  7. المبادئ لا تتجزأ ، ما حدث من المجلس العسكري امرمشين اعلم جدا ان هؤلاء الجنرالات لم يعتادوا النقد و لم يعتادوا ان يهاجموا بهذا الشكل لكن المشكله هنا ان مطلوب منهم اداره عمليه التحول الدبمقراطي و كل تصرفاتهم عكس ذلك تماما مدنيين يحالون لمحاكم عسكريه نتيجه لاراءهم كما في واقعه اسماء و كذب علي الناس مثل نفي واقعه كشوف العذريه ثم الاعتذار عنها فيرلقاء مع مسئولين هيومان رايت واتش
    الثوره ليست اسماءلكن شديده الدلاله دلالتها ان ده ش منظر بلد رايحه علي ديمقراطيه ومؤشرعلي ان الديكتاتوريه تجدد نفسها و لو ترك الموقف هكذا انسوا الثوره و الشهداء راح دمهم علي الفاضي ، السؤال ماذا نفعل ، اتفق معكي علي النشطاء مراجعه خطابهم و اعتماد خطاب يفهمه المواطن يوضح لهم ما قد خفي عليهم و عليهم الاستعداد لمقاومه كبيره من الناس عندما يواجهون بحقائق قد يجيدونها مسيئه لجيشهم البعض سيرفض و ينكر و اخر سيرفض لانه يري ان سقوط المجلس هو سقوط للدوله علي نشطائنا ان يوضحوا انهم لا يريدون سقوط الدوله و لا حتي المجلس بل يريدون تصحيح اخطاء لالداعي للخطاب الراديكالي الذي يخيف العامه ، علينا ان نكسب العقول و القلوب ، اخيرا رجاء للكاتبه احترم ارائك كثيرا و اقدر اخلاصك و اتفق معكي غالبا رجاءا الرفق بالشباب ان توجهين لهم نقدا اراه موضوعيا و في محله لكن كما تعلمين هم في توائل العشرينات و منصفها لو شددنا عليهم نفروا ، اشكرك جزيلا و اعتذر للاطاله

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  8. Asmaa's only importance is that she articulated and continues to articulate what many, many Egyptians think and say among themselves. The anger and sense of betrayal that many people feel towards the SCAF are very, very real, and have nothing to do with Asmaa'.

    Arresting her or forcibly shutting her up or slandering her will not change this fact, nor will it calm the rage that is building up at the popular level. Asmaa' did not cause this rage, the SCAF did and continues to do, with every one of its shameful failures and lies and with each time the mask slips a bit more and reveals that the regime has not changed AT ALL, except for the worse.

    The first warning bell came when the new "revolutionary" government, at the instigation of the SCAF, passed a repressive law criminalizing protests and sit-ins. It got louder with the disgusting "virginity tests", and the SCAF outrageously defending sexual abuse of female political dissidents.

    The alarm became deafening when when the army police fired live bullets at demonstrators on April 9, killing at least 3 unarmed protesters, and coldly lied about it.

    Since then, we've witnessed 12,000 military arrests of civilians, widespread torture of political dissidents (including in the Egyptian Museum!!), a directed media campaign of lies and defamation against the revolution and its most honorable representatives, even less transparency than under Mubarak, and a shameful foreign policy (Nabil Al-Araby was rapidly neutralized as soon as he began to actually accomplish successes, breaking the pattern of total and absolute failure in every single ministry of our "revolutionary" government).

    Egyptian people have even fewer human and civil rights than before, the regime is even less accountable and transparent than before, people continue to be kidnapped and "disappeared" by our internal military occupation forces, and the army of thugs controlled by the police we pay for, continues to be used to terrorize citizens.

    To all but the most willfully blind, all this is cynically designed to make us hate the revolution and the revolutionaries and "neharram", to say, "We're sorry, we won't do it again, ya basha," to let them rebuild an even stronger cage than the one we broke before.

    Sorry, ya basha: the revolution may not have changed anything at the top, but the top is not where the revolution began and drew its power. You can pass all the laws prohibiting strikes and sit-ins and shutting people up, but only the elites seem to notice: the workers and the peasants, who make up the majority, certainly don't care. Most of the youth, who make up at least 60% of Egypt's population, don't care either. In fact, the protests and sit-ins are increasing in scope and intensity, across the country. Freedom and dignity and justice and truth are addictive -- we tasted them during 18 days and now can't live without them.

    The old men of the SCAF and the old men of Mubarak's fake "opposition" parties and the old men of the Muslim Brotherhood can scheme and plot all they want, but they're old men, with the weak sight and hearing of old men, and they are out of touch with what's happening all around them and rocking the ground on which they stand.

    What's happening all around them is a revolution, a real one, not the phony substitute they're trying to impose -- it's not over, it's just beginning.

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