An article we ran on Egypt's love-in for the military yesterday stated that Egypt's Revolutionary Socialists had surprisingly supported the July 3 coup that deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi. Hossam el-Hamalawy, a member of the group's politburo and an old friend from Cairo, writes that was incorrect. He sent in an explanation of their position. We've adjusted the original story, but I thought it would be fair to share Hossam's explanation in full, since the state of politics in Egypt is sufficiently fraught for its participants even without our errors being heaped into the mix. His letter in full and unedited below. -DM
By Hossam el-Hamalawy, politburo member of Egypt's Revolutionary Socialists:
Your article "In Egypt, lonely voices warn of too much love for the military", implied that the Egyptian Revolutionary Socialists (the group I belong to) were in the pro-military camp. This is incorrect and the anti-Morsi opposition camp should not be lumped up in one basket.Unlike the majority of the opposition groups, the Egyptian Revolutionary Socialists have had a clear position "Against the MBs, Against the folool (remnants of the Mubarak regime), Against SCAF", as a slogan reasserted in our marches, statements and articles. It was not a popular stand with many in the opposition and the streets, yet we were clear about it.
We never sat down nor negotiated with the military at any point before or after the 25 Jan revolution (Editor's note; Egypt's uprising against Hosni Mubarak began on Jan. 25, 2011). In fact, the RS was the first revolutionary group to warn from the army's role in the events in a statement from Tahrir Square as early as 1 Feb 2011. Our cadres were subject later to arrests and torture in military prisons, and our group was singled out in the media for a long time as "anti-army conspirators who want to destroy the state." Such smearing campaign, ironically, was spearheaded by the MBs publications and Islamist TV satellite channels.
Hence, I find it bizarre to be labelled as "military coup supporters" in your article... as bizarre as the accusation we also hear from other political groups in Egypt that we are "MB supporters" because we refuse to stand with the military.
Make no mistake, the RS was part of the effort and the street mobilization to overthrow Morsi in the run up to 30 June and later. Yet, our position, expressed in our official statements, have made it clear this was not the end goal solely. While we regard Morsi as murderer whose legitimacy has been lost, long before the Tamarrod campaign, he should be tried together with Mubarak, Tantawi and the SCAF generals in one cage.
- Hossam el-Hamalawy