On April 3rd 2018, the Globe and Mail editorial chose to brazenly name and shame EGYPT, vulnerably basing itself on an unsubstantiated premise. A reply to the editorial board was dispatched on April 12th 2018. Close to a month later, it became clear that publishing the “right of reply”, edited or not, was denied to the Embassy. Confronted by this, and in pursuing endeavors to rectify a distorted course against Egypt, the Embassy found no other option but to transform its reply to an open letter.
We trust that interest exhibited towards Egypt, would garner substantive attention to the contents of the open letter below
“Ottawa, April 12th 2018 Mr. David Walmsley Editor in Chief, The Globe and Mail.
Reference is made to the Globe and Mail’s editorial published on April 3rd, 2018 under the title “Democracy’s Imitators” that contained a host of fallacies concerning the recent presidential election in Egypt. Since it could only be seen, at best, as a shot in the dark, it becomes incumbent to set forth a number of facts with regard to the general context in which the election was held.
Addressing the political climate in any country, if intended to be taken seriously, necessitates the adoption of an in-depth dissectional approach away from superficial political anatomy, whereby various factors come into play. Failing to do so will lead to misguided and injudicious conclusions. As such, it is important, while analyzing the current political scene in Egypt, to realize that Egypt is still emerging from a complex and a multi-faceted transitional phase. Any objective application of mere common sense cannot bank on a shallow glance at the current state of affairs and in isolation of the many challenging developments that Egypt has been subjected to during the past 7 years, where by Egypt has been facing thorny problematics with detrimental effects, be they domestic, or emanating from a precarious regional environment.
Domestically, Egypt’s experience in the wake of the “Arab Fall” has brought to the forefront of debate the dilemmic intricacies of procedural verses normative democracy. The Muslim Brotherhood’s one year in power proved once again that democracy is not a mere mechanical polling exercise, but encompasses a much more conducive national and societal milieu. Egypt, at the time, was on the verge of turning into a theocratic fascist state as a result of concerted efforts to impose a radical destructive agenda on the Egyptian society, targeting the glittering colors, shades and textures of its rich social and cultural fabrics. Had the radical course been allowed to spit its venom, Egypt would have been facing serious existential threats, with poisonous arrows speared into the heart of its peace loving identity, as any objective and reasonable regional glance would profess in excellence.
Regionally, calamitous reverberations of terrorism, as well as devastating impacts of political turmoil remain a real national security threat to the stability of the region at large. The Egyptian army has been staunchly confronting terrorist groups in the Northern tip of Sinai, a burden that comes with a huge cost at both human and economic fronts.
Against this backdrop, Egyptians went to the polls and the presidential election was held. They were keen to participate and to cast their votes despite public threats made by terrorist groups that polling stations will be targeted. However, the resolve of Egyptians was bedrock, as 41% of the electorate defied the odds, and the process was peaceful and widely assessed as credible.
Any State, by any democratic benchmark or standard, cannot be held responsible for the abundance and/or absence of presidential candidates. It is a decision to be solely taken on the basis of personal convictions and assessments of chances and probabilities based on affiliations, support and applicability of potential campaign promises. Some of the names mentioned in the editorial voluntarily backtracked on their bids. Others didn’t pursue due to certain violations of the law of the land, most notably the law that regulates the affairs of members of Egyptian Armed Forces and associated legal requirements on eligibility to assume public civil offices.
Aware of its challenges and determined to move forward, Egypt has been taking considerable steps towards a more stable and secure environment that would warrant a consolidated democratic plantation to flourish, inclusive of a vibrant social society and a sound economy, so as to guarantee the cultivation of the seeds of a blossoming and prosperous future, based on the values and objectives of its two recent successive and complimentary revolutions.
Confident and cognizant of the professional integrity of the Globe and Mail, as a leading Canadian authoritative news vehicle, with built-in self corrective mechanisms of immunity against falling unintentionally or unconsciously to acquiescing unfounded propaganda tactics maliciously designed and propagated by remorseful circles, I trust my reply will find adequate space and be published in full to this very period.
Motaz Zahran Ambassador, Arab Republic of Egypt”