How to recognize an Egyptian activist

A taste of the kind of venomous, scurrilous attacks being launched all over the Egyptian media against the young people who made January 25, 2011 happen. This latest installment of our In Translation series is brought to you as always by the excellent translation service Industry Arabic. 

Characteristics of an Egyptian Activist, by Dandrawy Elhawary, November 23, El Youm El Sabaa

Political activists in Egypt vary according to gender. The male activist is unemployed, soft and effeminate, with long hair that is either braided or disheveled,  and he wears a bracelet and a Palestinian keffiyeh. He has a Twitter account, a Facebok page, likes to curse and use disgusting obscene expressions. He repeats slogans calling for a non-religious state, attacking heavenly religions and accusing them of being backwards and reactionary, and he defends the rights of sexual deviants.

On the other hand, the female activist takes on the male role -- she "mans up." She listens to the songs of Sheikh Imam and the lewd poetry of Fouad Haggag and Naguib Sorour. She "likes" all the pages that use foul language and puts pictures of the great revolutionary Che Guevara on her Facebook and Twitter profiles.

She attacks the military and General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, while praising the ideas, genius, tenderness and romance of Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei's policy paper. She attacks the hijab, calling it backwards and contrary to women's freedom, while defending her right to live her life in freedom and have open relationships. She doesn't care what other people say.

She claims that society is governed by a backwards moral code and obsolete customs and traditions. She greets her boyfriend with an embrace and a torrent of kisses. She tells him all the details of her life and the sufferings she endures with her family, while calling for a secular state and railing against military and religious fascism.

There are characteristics shared by both sexes, in particular the fact that they have memorized the most famous sayings of the Italian political philosopher Niccolo Machiavelli, such as: "I love my country more than my own soul"; "It is better to be feared than loved"; "The ends justify the means"; "All armed prophets have conquered, and all unarmed prophets have come to grief"; "Religion is necessary for the government not in order to serve virtue, but to enable the government to control the people"; "Sometimes a prince must support a religion even though he believes it to be corrupt" and "Man cannot be noble all the time."

From this emerges the scale of the disaster that lies in mistaken belief, in the appearance of ideas, without depth or significance. This is how the activists' hatred for all institutions developed and became entrenched – particularly for the police and the army. They are contantly calling for these institutions to be toppled because they killed their friends and peers in the events of Mohamed Mahmoud, Maspero, Abassiya and the Cabinet building.

These activists are more dangerous to Egypt than the terrorist Muslim Brotherhood, whom they resemble in their partisanship and extremist ideas. They have come to save humanity in general, and the backwards, ignorant Egyptians in particular. Society should not yield to their ideas, whatever their obscenity and their hostility to heavenly religions, and their claims that whoever attacks them is oppressive and their idea that each person in society has to right to do as he or she pleases.