President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi’s Speech at the United Nations’ General Assembly contained plenty of broad-minded and explicit references to terrorism and extremism. He talked about Egyptians who made history twice; first when they revolted against the one-man rule, and second when they firmly adhered to their identity and patriotism. Speaking of the second incident, Al-Sisi stressed that it was against exclusion and yielding to a particular group in the name of religion.
The speech can be entitled “Forces of Darkness and Extremism”. Once they assumed power through democracy, these forces started to undermine the foundations of democracy and the state’s institutions. Actually, this title is a description attributed to those who were in power in Egypt during the Brotherhood’s one-year rule.
This title means that those forces have only a one-sided viewpoint that excludes all other different opinions. They do not believe in pluralism and the relativity of ideas, laws and policies. What is more is that they do not see what is going on in the world; they rather see only what they want to see overlooking current international developments, especially those related to culture, modernism and values. On the whole, they are an obscurantist group who cannot see the globe’s changing realities.
The speech stressed the values of justice, love and mercy in the three most prevalent religions in the world in the face of terrorism and extremism. These values were “turned by those groups into an abhorrent sectarianism, in addition to civil and regional wars killing innocent people who follow different religions.”
Al-Sisi’s speech confirmed Egypt’s involvement in the global system of values in the face of the seamy sectarian principles that run counter to all religions’ gracious morals. Indeed, Egypt adopts these refined and universal values of freedom, democracy, dignity, rule of law and equality between all its citizens. The speech emphasized Egypt’s role in drawing up the UN charter and stressed its willingness to get its universal message across to the world via the demand to have a non-permanent seat in the Security Council.
The speech adduced a number of horrible instances and results of terrorism to explain the ominous outcome of letting those dark forces control parts of Iraq and Syria. The most compelling evidence of this are the massacres committed against innocent people in those countries which are a glaring example that supports the logic of the speech.
In the speech, Al-Sisi talked about Egypt’s experience in combating terrorism in 1990’s confirming Egypt’s ability to fight terrorism even at this present time. After all, Egypt has the required experience to combat terrorism and its national identity is more than capable of facing this challenge.
Al-Sisi’s speech about terrorism and extremism made them a serious challenge and a real danger that threatens the national state and impedes achieving its goals of freedom and democracy. It showed that the concepts of extremism lead to exclusion, one-sidedness and discrimination between citizens. Above all, those noxious notions undermine the ethical values that our country seek to cherish.