|Laman Webantu KM2: 6118 File Size: 4.0 Kb *|
IUK: Fisk - Egypt is a nation caught between Islam and the West
By Robert Fisk
12/10/2001 10:57 am Fri
[Rencana ini, antara lain, menyindir mengapa Arab Saudi (atau
Mesir) yang tidak diserang sedangkan di situlah juga tempat 'pengganas'
ngeri bersarang - bukannya Afghanistan.
12 October 2001
Egypt used to accuse Britain of being a hotbed of "terrorism". Why
were Egyptians opposed to President Hosni Mubarak's rule given
permission to live in London? Why did the British allow Egyptian
Islamists to encourage fellow Arabs to overthrow the democratically
elected government of the Arab world's largest country?
In upper Egypt, in the towns around Assiut, the "Islamist'' gunmen
were hunted down by the Egyptian mukhabarat (intelligence
services) with great ruthlessness.
It must be hard to be an ally of the West. An Egyptian police colonel
once told me - and he was an intelligent, educated man with a
strong sense of morality - that unless he did his job, then his wife
and daughters would be hanging from lamp-posts as "apostates". It
was a war between "good" and "evil".
Mr Mubarak's last near-assassination - the latest of 33 alleged
attempts - was when "Islamists" hid explosives in the airline
staircase down which he was supposed to have walked at an
Egyptian airbase. The attempt on his life in Addis Ababa was, Mr
Mubarak said, arranged by Osama bin Laden.
Really? The repeated attacks on foreign tourists in Egypt have been
blamed on Mr bin Laden. So - by extension - is the murder of
President Anwar Sadat almost a quarter of a century ago, by an
organisation, Takfir wa Hejira, which is today accused of an alliance
with Mr bin Laden's al-Qa'ida network. The only problem is that Mr
bin Laden would have been in his early 20s at the time, hardly a
"terrorist chief", least of all because he was at the time a loyal Saudi.
Making a Channel 4 film in 1993, Beirut to Bosnia, in which I spent
a lot of time with the Egyptian mukhabarat in Luxor, the Valley of the
Kings tourist resort which had been bankrupted by the flight of
tourists. Yes, they admitted one hot evening over the Nile, most of
the "Islamists" who spread their word in the towns around Luxor were
Saudis. Their leaflets had been printed in Saudi Arabia. And why
hadn't the Egyptians dealt with this? Well, one Egyptian detective
confided, Egypt wasn't going to attack a country which brought it
great wealth: Saudi Arabia.
Just as the Bush administration is curiously reticent to talk about the
Saudi links to the crime against humanity on 11 September - the fact
that more than half the hijackers appear to be Saudi, that Mr bin
Laden is (or was) a Saudi - so Egypt has escaped the net of
suspicion. President Mubarak, who is much shrewder than his
enemies would suppose, broke his "Islamist'' opposition by turning
the imprisoned members of extremist groups against their uncaptured
It costs £2bn to keep Egypt afloat and on "our side". I wonder if -
with a little more generosity and forethought - we might have spent
this money in Afghanistan, to give Afghans a life of prosperity and
security that Mr bin Laden and his friends could not equal. But Egypt
was our friend; it had made peace with Israel. Its president was ours.
But not its people. Mohamed Atta was an Egyptian who flew a
Boeing airliner into the World Trade Centre. He seems to have
visited Saudi Arabia. And oddly enough, when I used to chat to the
principal Egyptian lawyer defending the "Islamists" of Egypt, he
gave me his visiting card. His head office? In Saudi Arabia.