By Mohammad Azeemullah
The recent turmoil in Egypt is not the first of its kind. Most of the democratic societies in the world have gone through that phase of defining moment as Egypt is witnessing at the moment.
The society since long has been divided into camps and ideologies. Religion and secularism have never been in tune with each other since long.
Nevertheless, the commencement of democracy in political system has made both secularism and religion co-exist together.
Democracy provides a nation immense opportunity to exercise its freedom to vote for the kind of governance it wants. That is why different democracies in the world have different ways of management and direction .
However, the objectives and core values of democratic principles remain the same, that is, to respect freedom and grant equality to all in every department of life.
A year after pro-democracy protests ousted Egyptian strongman Hosni Mubarak, Egypt is yet again on the path of violence.
Days of protests and counter-protests by supporters and opponents of President Mohamed Morsi have seen violent clashes erupt.
At the centre of the current turmoil is a contentious draft constitution that Morsi is determined to put up for a referendum later this month.
The critics of the draft oppose the manner in which the charter is being rushed through, as it doesn’t do enough to protect the rights of the underprivileged, religious minorities and so on.
Egypt stands at an important crossroads today. As the most populous Arab nation as well as the voice of the Arab street, it must lead the way in establishing an inclusive and modern Arab republic.
For that alone will be the real remedy to the excesses of the Mubarak regime. It is here that Morsi should reach out across the political spectrum and foster an environment of reconciliation and negotiation to draft Egypt’s new constitution.
The process requires considerable deliberation and must take along all stakeholders in Egyptian society.
Failing to do so would see Egypt suffer dangerous divisiveness and instability, moving towards the brink of being called ‘a failed state’.
The repercussions of this would be catastrophic for Egypt. Instead, Egypt would do well to emulate India and its inclusive model of governance that has seen it emerge as an economic dynamo.
That’s the route to stability and prosperity for its people as well as the larger Middle East. In Egypt, the flare-up of Islam being an issue by the opposition is untimely and ill-designed.
The new constitution is still a draft. It is not yet translated into law. It has to go through various stages before it takes shape to be the ‘law of the land’.
Let the people who oppose the constitution go to the poll and vote to decide whether they like it or reject it. That is what modern democracy is all about.
Violence definitely is not the alternative and is not going to lead anywhere.
Yet the powers of evil and irresponsible individuals of Mubarak era with excess of wealth don’t want democracy to take roots to the soil.
The violent protests by the opposition are unfortunate. The perverted mind of previous autocratic regime intends to bring Egypt to its knees even if the cost is high.
It is time the people of Egypt does not lose faith in democracy and bring an end to all differences by allowing referendum to take place…a golden chance to decide the nature of constitution, a privilege that was inconceivable a year back during the time of autocracy. Let democracy win in Egypt.