A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Okasha, Other Shafiq Supporters Turn on SCAF

We've occasionally mentioned Egyptian television host and "personality" Tawfiq Okasha here; a highly opinionated figure with his own television network, many (like this Arab News article) have dubbed him "Egypt's Answer to Glenn Beck." Okasha is equally opposed to Islamists of all colorations and to the Egyptian revolution; he was a strong supporter of SCAF and of Ahmad Shafiq. More distinctively, he is known for his vigilance against the ongoing plots of the Freemasons against Egypt; he uncovers Masonic plots everywhere.

Until Sunday, he was one of SCAF's staunchest supporters. Then they "let" the Muslim Brotherhood win the election, so now SCAF is the enemy. He is leading a demonstration tomorrow to protest SCAF's betrayal of Egypt (and of Tawfiq Okasha). In fact, this may be the first demonstration in recent memory to be called to begin at the tomb of Anwar Sadat. He has called on "honorable Egyptians" to protest what he sees as dishonorable behavior by SCAF.

Okasha may be a clown, but he has his listeners and can cause trouble; he seems to have been responsible for the violence at the US Embassy in March. Nor is he alone in his disillusionment with SCAF, though he may be the only one to perceive the role of the Freemasons in the plot. Many of Shafiq's supporters were absolutely convinced they were going to win, and there seems to be an implication they expected SCAF to help facilitate that. Just a week ago (back when Husni Mubarak was dead, if you recall), a lot of us thought that was the way the wind was blowing. The election results proved us wrong, and stunned the Shafiq supporters, many of whom are likely to join Okasha's demonstration. Also, backers of former intelligence chief ‘Omar Suleiman are joining in, also disappointed that SCAF didn't prevent Morsi's win.

SCAF, of course, denies it had any role in influencing the electoral results.

Besides the followers of Okasha, Shafiq, and Suleiman, blogger Zeinobia notes that the Twitter account called @Military_Secret, who has been posting pro-military and pro-SCAF tweets for months, has also turned on SCAF; his tweets are in Arabic but her post translates a number of them. He seems to be more or less openly calling for a coup by junior officers against the generals in SCAF; some of Okasha's over-the-top rhetoric has seemed to trend that way as well.

It would seem that many SCAF admirers who thought SCAF was Egypt's only salvation are now shocked that the generals saved it for the wrong candidate.

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