Three faces of Egypt
Gone are the days when Egypt was a state of the law. Law is the sanctuary that cannot be divided. Nevertheless, Egypt has lately turned to wear three conflicting faces. The first is that of the lynch law known here as the "haraba" or the Islamic law which helps to deter theft and murder. According to such law, execution in public will be the penalty for murder. As for thieves, the punishment will be cutting off one arm and one leg from the opposite side of the criminal body if the thug proves guilty of robbery. But if the robbery is mixed with murder, the thief will receive death penalty .
People should know that Islam does not allow individuals to carry out the haraba as it is restricted only to the ruler. Islam also necessitates that haraba should not be applied unless social welfare, justice and good income are available to everyone. Two thieves abducted a 5 year old girl from her small village near Tanta, seeking ransom from her wealthy parents. To their bad luck they were caught by the villagers who hanged them upside down and flogged both severely. Almost a thousand of angry peasants conducted the punishment cheerfully. They chanted and cheered during the haraba procedures, banning ambulance cars to rescue the two kidnappers. Naturally, the two criminals died of torture and thirst. Astonishingly, the security chief of Tanta could not take any actions against the executioners as the whole village took part in the penalty as he claimed.
True the conduct of kidnapping a child is disgusting but the punishment should be left to judicial authorities and police.
The second face of Egypt appeared in the Cairo district of Shobra, where a brutal battle took place between two families .The bloody clashes resulted in burning70 cars, destroying 100 shops, looting six houses and killing and wounding 94 people.
The barbarian confrontation took place when a son of a Salafi leader shot dead another young man after a dispute in a street soccer match. The lynch law showed its ugly face again when the Salafi father refused to hand over his criminal boy to police to stand trial. He thought that his belonging to Islamic forces immune him from justice. The Salafi family exchanged fire with police forces who were forced to storm into the house and arrest father and son. Instantly, the Islamic media and papers criticized the arrest as inhuman .
The Islamic forces forgot all their past history of brutality against their opponents when they beat, kidnapped and tortured them in many an occasion..
The third face is that of police who were impotent to take actions in haraba execution in Tanta, violence around the presidential palace ,Tahrir square , near five stars hotels in Nile Corniche and finally at Almoqatem headquarter of Muslim Brotherhood. The police who absented themselves in previous incidents were astonishingly present to arrest Ahmed Qaddaf Al Dam, the Libyan politician who also enjoys an Egyptian nationality. Egypt's law bans to hand over any of its citizen to another country as long as he can stand trial here. Libyan sources disclosed that the speedy arrest of the Libyan politician and his handover to Tripoli was part of a deal with Egypt for not expelling 3million Egyptian workers from Libya. Also they promised to pour Libyan investments in Egypt. Accordingly, our police move and refrain upon orders, not relying on law and discipline.
Actually this is not the Egypt where I lived in for 60 years. The lynch law is giving the state institutions and laws a long vacation. Mohammed Aly Ibrahim is the former editor of both Al Goumhoria and The Egyptian Gazette newspapers.