In an exclusive interview with Aswat Masriya, prominent Egyptian columnist, Farida El-Shobashy, said that she doubts that Ahmed Shafiq will be fascist, insisting that if he fails to learn from Mubarak’s fate, he will be the author of his own downfall.
Shafiq, who served as toppled President Hosni Mubarak’s last premier before his ouster, is competing in the run-off of Egypt’s historic presidential election against the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Mursi.
The run-off is scheduled for June 16 – 17.
“I have never seen, in my life, a system that restores a former regime”, Shobashy said, adding, “I doubt that after this uprising, Shafiq will be ‘militarily fascist’ because even Mubarak was not fascist”. She described Mubarak as a dictator who was ousted by the people.
The Nasserist intellectual expressed her opposition to “religious fascism”, explaining that to her "military fascism is more merciful”.
Shobashy supported Nasserist Hamdeen Sabahi in the first round of the presidential race. The leftist presidential candidate came third and thus was eliminated from the race.
Arguing that many of Sabahi's supporters will vote for Shafiq, Shobashy expects Shafiq to win in the run-off against the Muslim Brotherhood candidate. "I expect Shafiq's victory because there is an awakening... I saw at the beginning people who wanted to boycott but changed their minds after Aboul Fotouh's announcement... people have started to sense the danger of Muslim Brotherhood rule", she said.
Eliminated presidential candidate Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh, who came fourth in the first round of the election, announced his support for Mursi recently, calling on his supporters to follow suit. The ex-Muslim Brotherhood member was suspended from the group for defying the group’s earlier stance not to field a candidate for president. They retreated on their decision shortly before the door for nomination closed, and fielded two candidates, not one.
Shobashy insisted that she fails to understand how "Mursi became a symbol of the revolution”, explaining that the uprising was not awakened because Mubarak was Christian, or because people were forbidden from going to or building mosques.
When thousands of protesters took to the streets in January of last year, they chanted “bread, freedom, social justice and dignity”, religious slogans were absent from squares nationwide.
Shobashy explained that while the uprising failed to produce a recognized leadership, its main goal is agreed to be: social justice.
"Who will implement these slogans?" she asked, adding that while the Brotherhood do not speak of social justice, the shocking irony is that now Shafiq has started to.
She attacked the calls to boycott the run-off or void votes, arguing that such maneuvers will mean the election of Mursi.
"If Mursi becomes president, I will oppose him even if he killed me... I will not leave my country, I am not going anywhere. This is my country and it is my right to remain here. It is Egypt, and its capital is Cairo; it is a flag that hangs high in the sky and will not become a province in a Caliphate state", Shobashy said.