Al Sisi is Egyptian: The New Self-Righteous Caliph

by Ahmed Tharwat

American historian Richard Hofstadter explained: “a fundamental paradox of the paranoid style is the imitation of the enemy”. The Ku Klux Klan emulated the elaborate rituals and hierarchy of the Catholic Church and McCarthyism ended up emulating a Communist secretive organization. “The paranoid’s interpretation of history is in this sense distinctly personal” he added! And no one is more paranoid and taking history more personal than a dictator.

Egypt has been ruled by military dictators who as they are fighting the Islamists they ended up acting like them. Since the military coup of 1952, the militarization of Egyptian political and cultural lives, fighting Islamists and the Muslim brotherhood while they are introducing a more secular system that controls:  education, Al Azher and mosques, religious leaders, culture, and media.

The Egyptian military establishment from the beginning believed that it had an ownership of modern Egypt and that the Egyptian people are just temporary tenants. They dominated and controlled Egyptian political life as they made sure to keep Islam out of politics, in the same breath they created an orthodoxy statehood ideology that acted like a new religion.  Islam spread and entered through the leadership of righteous Caliphs,  Al Sisi took the roles of the self-righteous Caliph; the could not do wrong, with unquestionable legitimacy and power. Listening to Al Sisi ranting about his magical and spiritual abilities, he concluded that he knows right from wrong and possesses a divine status. Al Sisi has been taken or given a god-like, transcendent and penetrating power.

His fascist media has introduced him to the Egyptians as the “Redeeming Messiah”, “Messenger from God”, “Savior”, even “Better than Prophet Mohammad”.  An Egyptian poet proclaimed that “Egyptian women were pregnant with his star” while Egyptian female columnists praised his sexual appeal and potency: they begged him to take them as concubines. Sisi supporters start talking about him as a cult figure with a new mission and a new message to humanity. People in the streets carrying his statues as a new idol: showering it with kisses and praying on his picture as if it is going to bless them with a divine power.

Sisi, like other fascist leaders seems to be rapidly getting hooked on portraying the god-like image and is enjoying this cult of personality. He recently described himself as “a doctor whose diagnoses are sought after by top philosophers and prominent world leaders”.  He even embodies the classical divine trait of confiscating people’s wills; and he believes that his will and the will of the people are one. In a recent interview with the Washington Post, Sisi followed in Hitler and Mussolini’s footsteps by saying: “Sisi represents the will of the people.”

Mr. Gomaah, the Egyptian Mufti, a position with wide Islamic authority is routinely issuing tailored made fatwas to justify Al Sisi’s human rights atrocities against his opposition and specially the Muslim Brotherhood. Religious fatwas (legal opinions) were issued by pro-coup religious figures who declared that buying from Muslim Brotherhood’s stores and marrying them was haram (forbidden); or better yet, striped Egyptian citizenship from all brotherhood.

The Middle East Eye, a news service wrote about how Emad Shahin, a visiting Professor at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service was sentenced to death by a make-shift court in a bizarre mass trial in Egypt.

“Sisi is reconstituting a new state that rests on the military and security apparatus as its driving force. He keeps reminding Egyptians through his divine powers, he will rescue the Egyptian state from collapse; and how the state was targeted at one point, and how keen he is to rebuild it”.

After the assassination of Egyptian public prosecutor Mr. Barakat and the latest attacks in Sinai, General Al Sisi is taking advantage of the tragedy and turning his incompetence into his advantaged as he always does. Sisi was asking for more mandates and more legal power to fight terrorism, “Our laws stand in the way of our justice” he moaned. “I can tell what is wrong and what is right” he professed

Egyptian are by nature religious people at least culturally, general Al Sisi understand that, the only way he can control Egyptians is turning military statehood to a new religion and proclaiming himself as the self-righteous caliph.

Ahmed Tharwat View more

Ahmed Tharwat
Ahmed Tharwat is a TV Host and Producer. His show BelAhdan with Ahmed Tharwat airs on Minnesota Public Television Mondays at 10:30 p.m. You can find his blog In the middle at and on FaceBook, Twitter, Google, Plus, LinkedIn - @ahmediatv

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