WHY WE SHALL BOYCOTT THE REFERENDUM ON THE ISLAMIST CONSTITUTION IN EGYPT
The Coptic Nationalists have decided to boycott the Islamist referendum on the Islamist constitution for the following reasons:
1. The process of producing the constitution was shameful, exclusive, and arbitrary and has been dominated by Islamists. This is not a constitution made by Egyptians – it was drafted, directed and passed by Islamists. In this sense, it is an Islamist Constitution and not an Egyptian constitution.
2. The content of the constitution is designed to restrain democracy, human rights, fundamental freedoms, women rights and Copts rights. It is a constitution made to support the emergence of a fascist Islamist state.
3. The referendum process is not fair or transparent – the timing of the referendum has been forced on the opposition by the Islamists so that they can’t have time to campaign enough against it; the Islamists will have total control of supervision, counting and pronouncing the result; all while the Islamists continue their usual methods of campaigning to intimidate and terrorise the individuals who could vote against them and to deceive the people by religion and the talk on Sharia.
The Coptic Nationalists have no faith whatsoever that their vote will count and that the Islamists will not manipulate the result to their advantage. In these circumstances, participation in the referendum will mean only one thing: to legitimise the Islamist constitution and the referendum process – the Islamists will be able to use participation by the opposition to claim that the “Egyptian people” has voted and said its word.
Let no one think boycotting the referendum is a sign of weakness or fear that the opposition may be exposed as a minority. Let them know that the real size of the Islamists is at its highest 25% of the Egyptian constituency as the first round of the presidential election has shown. Readers must be careful not to take the second round of election as representative of Morsi’s support: the Muslim Brotherhood’s and Salafists’ vote was magnified by those non-Islamist Egyptians who saw at the time that Morsi was the lesser evil compared to Shafiq, who was seen as part of Mubarak’s regime. This situation has now changed: the dictatorial nature of the Islamists has been revealed to millions of Egyptians; their incompetence in managing the affair of the country has been remarkable; and the economic situation is deteriorating while the country is approaching complete collapse. The Islamists’ support today is without doubt well under 50%; and if anyone could guarantee us a fair and transparent referendum we will have no doubt that this fascist constitution will fail – and if such assurance (of a fairness and transparency) is given us we will participate in the referendum.
But we know the Islamists will manipulate and rig the referendum to their advantage whatever the ‘no’ count will be. They will pass this constitution down the people’s throat by hook or by crook. We shall not vote ourselves, our country and people, into slavery by voting in this referendum – we shall boycott the referendum on the Islamist constitution while at the same time continue the resistance against this fascist Islamist government.