Egypt: 'I hold both the army and Brotherhood responsible'

14_khalidabdalla_270x500_MEDChannel 4 News, 14 August 2013
Actor and director Khalid Abdalla gives his personal response to the deadly violence gripping Egypt following operations to clear pro-Morsi camps in Cairo.
I’m disgusted by the blood, and resisting falling prey to a polarised narrative.
I don’t believe the sit-in should have been cleared, but I’m against what the sit-in stands for.
I hold both the army and the Brotherhood responsible for the situation we’re in – on so many levels – and unfortunately it’s the narratives they are peddling, in blood, in actions and in words, that are currently defining how things are framed, internally and externally.
I don’t believe we’re facing a civil war, but I believe we’re being threatened with it – which for both sides acts as a way to justify the blood, the burning of churches, the violence.
The wider context is that neither of them holds the key to the future and I believe time will prove that.
Since this revolution began, the country has shown time and time again that despite moments of deep and bloody confusion, it will not accept attempts to establish any authoritarian or fascist status quo. We’re transitioning between two of those right now.
A vast portion of Egyptian society does not support either the Brotherhood or the army. I believe it’s in the majority, or a majority that’s coming. It’s currently silent, because it has no clear way to intervene amid such polarisation.
We have always to remember the number of times that immediate readings of events have fallen foul. Ask what people are fighting for, why they are fighting for it, and if they they will keep fighting for it – not what happened this morning, today, yesterday.
What is happening right now will have far reaching consequences for the country and the region.
Much as I deplore the Brotherhood and its political vision and philosophy, I believe it represents a portion of Egyptian society that will never and should never be silenced with guns.
The way forward has to be inclusive from a political perspective, and fought fairly. To do so we need the whole state to be reformed, starting with a new constitution.
The recent downfall of the Brotherhood began with its own bloodstained attempt to tailor the state around its own political interests, with actions that found their clearest formulation in a constitution that disenfranchised the rest of the population: the majority, who ended up toppling them.
The army needs to remember that the country came out in its millions to refuse their rule before, barely 18 months ago. If things continue as threateningly as they are, it may well come to pass that they will be pushed out again.
This too shall pass, eventually, but it will be a heavy toll. It’s a long series of roads ahead. This current one feels like a tunnel, but I know we’ll keep walking through to the other end.
Khalid Abdalla is an actor and director.