Wednesday, May 13, 2015

About the Former justice minister’s statements and small victories

Last Tuesday Egypt’s minister of justice Mahfouz Saber had to resign due to a classist statement he said on a TV interview in an unprecedented incident. He resigned after a huge campaign in the social media network for few hours. The whole affair needs a detailed post.
It started on Sunday when Minister of justice then Mahfouz Saber said in a TV interview on Ten TV channel that the garbage collectors’ sons cannot be judges because judiciary demands a special class that is not too poor or too rich answering a question by TV host Ramy Radwan.

Former Minister of Justice Mahfouz Saber: Garbage collectors’ sons can not be judges
Radwan asked specifically about the garbage collectors’ sons and the minister answered frankly exposing ugly classism.
On Monday former blogger and current TV producer, Mohamed Maree launched #Fire_the_Minister_of_Justice and it became a top trending within hours. In the past 48 hours, this hashtag recorded  15,686 tweets mostly from Egypt.
Monday evening it was officially announced that Saber resigned from his position as minister of justice.
This is the whole affair in a nutshell.
Now what yo need to know that Mahfouz Saber does not represent himself only but he rather represents a whole trend in the Egyptian judiciary which believes that certain classes should join their exclusive club.

In Fall 2014 Supreme Council of Judges “SCJ” which oversees and appoints judges issued an
important ruling that excludes the graduates of law schools in Egypt from joining the prosecution and judiciary if their parents do not have University degrees
I am not a constitutional expert but I believe the “SCJ” violated the Constitution 2014 as article 53 stipulates clearly the following :
All citizens are equal before the Law. They are equal in rights, freedoms and general duties, without discrimination based on religion, belief, sex, origin, race, color, language, disability, social class, political or geographic affiliation or any other reason. Discrimination and incitement of hatred is a crime punished by Law. The State shall take necessary measures for eliminating all forms of discrimination, and the Law shall regulate creating an independent commission for this purpose.
This is a discrimination based on social class for God sake.
That ruling opened huge debate then especially 135 law graduates were rejected because their parents did not have a university degree.

Former member of the Supreme Council of judiciary Judge Ahmed Ali Abdel Rahman said during then in a televised debate that the son of a garbage collector cannot be a judge or prosecutor because it is “sensitive” position.

Member of “SJC” : It is a sensitive job not for garbage collectors’ sons.

This statement created anger among the garbage collectors and the head of their syndicate Shehata Maqqadus slammed it.
This is why Ramy Ramdan asked the former minister of justice specifically about the garbage collectors sons.

The garbage collectors or Zabbaleen are considered from the poorest professions in Egypt.

The Supreme Council of Judiciary found itself in hot water following the ex-minister of justice and so it decided to prove that it is not racist nor classist by claiming that there was no discrimination based on class when it comes to class.
Still it is not only talk because their rules are crystal clear.
Already the former head of criminal court Judge Rafaat El-Saeed says that if we appoint the sons of garbage collectors in judiciary then we will have to appoint the sons of prostitutes, terrorists, and thugs as well because this is equality.
He also added that if there is a vacancy in judiciary and the applicants are judge’s son and garbage collector’s son then the judge’s son will be accepted even if he got lower grades than the garbage collector’s son.

Judge Rafaat El-Saeed : The judge’s son vs. garbage collector’s son
When it comes to the Judges’ sons then it is another story. Shamelessly judges appoint their sons in judiciary and prosecution even if they got low grades in the law school.

Former minister of justice Adel Abdel Hamid’s daughter was appointed in the administrative prosecution despite she failed twice in university and got only 56% in law school !!

There is undeniable nepotism in the Egyptian judiciary and the judges shamelessly are proud of it.
In 2013 during a public meeting for the Judges club , its Pro-Mubarak/Pro-Military head Ahmed El-Zend said the judges will continue to appoint their sons in judiciary and nobody will dare to stop this ‘Holy March’ !!! Yes he used this term exactly ‘Holy March’
In 2011 interview: El-Zend wonders why people are so envious when it
comes to the judges' sons, "They are not Jews for God sake" !!
This man is a candidate to become a t by the way

Already I do not understand how come all those judges turned to be such classists and racists when many judges come from modest backgrounds. Yesterday journalists already found out that the father of ex-minister Mahfouz did not have a University degree !! She was appointed when her father was still a judge by the way.

Somehow the resignation of Mahfouz Saber considered a small victory for the social media in Egypt as the mainstream media whether in newspapers or talks shows did not start discussing Mahfouz Saber’s statements when he resigned or rather forced to resign.

But still it is a small victory because as I hinted above that classicism, racism, nepotism in the Egyptian society or rather the Egyptian judiciary in our case here won’t stop.
at the end of the day a new minister of justice will be appointed and despite personally he may believe that the sons of garbage collectors should not be judges, he won’t declare his opinion publicly in press statements or TV interviews and he will keep it to himself.

The Supreme council of judiciary has not changed its ruling that the parents of the applicants for positions in the prosecution and judiciary should be university graduates.

Nevertheless as we know there is still undeniable classism in the Egyptian state, the Egyptian administration knows now that people won’t accept classist statements.

There are classism and nepotism in other public sectors. Ex-Minister Mahfouz Saber already told Dot Misr earlier this week what he said was actually the reality in Judiciary, army, and police.

Yes there is classism in army and police but not judiciary and to the level of excluding Egyptians whose parents got no university degree.

Ironically this state which we have in Egypt is considered the direct extension of the 1952 State found by the Free officers and their coup which became a revolution.

Among the goals of the so-called 1952 revolution as we have learned by heart in history books is to “End Classism in Egypt society”.
That aim was symbolized in Youssef Sibai’s epic propaganda Novel “Give Back my heart” where Princess Ingy of the Mohamed Ali Royal Family marries officer Ali , the son of her gardener !!
Applying for a public post is not like proposing for marriage.
You can debate whether your daughter should marry or not should not marry a garbage collector’s son, but you can not debate about his constitutional rights for having an equal opportunity just like the judge’s son.
All the aims of that so-called 1952 revolution were not achieved despite they were so good and so noble theoretically.
Anyhow former minister of justice Mahfouz Saber is not sorry for what he said and he would say it again : Garbage collectors’ sons can not be judges.

1 comment:

  1. Again, you critisis the 1952 Revolution
    Nasser and the Free Officers were honest Nationals
    Persons, l am from simple family with grand plenty were still living in the village
    I'm was studying Civil Engineering with ķhalid Gamal Abd El Na§error, after graduations I'm had my chances to be appointed in a position at the University while the son of the President did not had that chance... the selection were based
    mainly in Grade.


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