I believe that Egypt’s progress and salvation is tied to its ability to stand with these principles, with public opinion, and with the history being made by Egyptian men and women and the will of the people. In defense of these principles, I make the following points:

1.      I had hoped that popular will calling for an end to Dr. Mohamed Morsi’s presidency would achieve its goals legitimately, with Morsi’s resignation and early presidential elections. I had hoped this would come about without the interference of the army, and with the religious right agreeing to amend constitutional and legal regulations, within a framework of democratic procedures. However, this hope was thwarted by the Brotherhood leadership’s arrogance, claiming the will of the people as their own, and by their insistence on Morsi’s electoral legitimacy. They were unaware they had lost popular support, as demonstrated in Tamarod’s referendum of Egypt’s streets and squares, and that they had lost the moral high ground through violations of human rights and freedoms.

2.      I had hoped that we in Egypt could come to a mutual agreement on the arrangements for the period after Morsi. I had hoped it would be without the absence of the Brotherhood and their allies within the religious right, with their full commitment to respect rule of law and peaceful political action, with their full commitment to refrain from using religion to exclude those who oppose them, and with their commitment to refrain from building fascism and dictatorship. However, this hope too was dashed by the Brotherhood leadership’s arrogance and their appropriation of the will of the people, who demanded an end to the Brotherhood’s monopolization of politics, society, and the state. Instead, they enticed them in criminal acts, threatening society with violence and inciting them to act in the name of lost legitimacy, calls that were charged with sectarianism

3.      I firmly reject all extraordinary measures taken to arrest Brotherhood leaders like Saad al-Katatni, among others, as well as their allies, and the travel bans imposed upon them without specific charges or clear support of the law. To take exception to and overstep the bounds of the law is to kill freedom. Silencing the voice of a section of society, instead of integrating it within a commitment to rule of law and peaceful engagement, will never lead to building democracy.

4.      I can understand the motives associated with maintaining civil peace, rejecting violence and the incitement to violence by misusing the name of religion, which have all led to shutting down satellite television channels speaking on behalf of the religious right. However, I have reservations about the closure having been carried out as an exceptional measure, coupled with detaining the channels’ employees without clear support of the law. I demand that these stations are allowed to resume broadcasting, with a commitment to refrain from incitement to violence, hatred and sectarianism, and that they will be held legally accountable if they violate this commitment.

5.      I firmly reject hate speech and statements of revenge against the Muslim Brotherhood or their allies within the religious right. I reject those who promote such discourse, groups and voices who have always responded to the fascism of the religious right with counter-fascism, those who have always responded to their own exclusion with refusal to accept any alternatives. I reject this, even while the religious right has staunchly fought against me in the past, even having accused me of being responsible for violence and bloodshed. Hate speech and statements of revenge only serve to deepen divisions in society and in politics. It is the spirit of democracy to reach out to others, to include and integrate them within a framework of commitment to rule of law, peaceful engagement, and refraining from falsely using religion to exclude the opposition and build fascism and dictatorship.

6.      Just reaching out, refusing to exclude others, including them within a framework of laws and peace, and refusing to misuse religion – these are the components that will make an invitation to true national reconciliation possible. It is only this that will lead Egypt away from the dangers of violence and further detours on the path to building democracy after the glorious January 25th revolution.

7.      In the past, and since the glorious January 25th revolution, I have contributed along with the political elite in running public affairs, from a position of opposition to the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, the Muslim Brotherhood, and Dr. Mohamed Morsi. During this time, I defended the principles of freedom, democracy, civilian government, and rule of law, hoping that Egypt would be better for all. At times I strove in this endeavor. At times I made mistakes, which I always acknowledged and sought to correct, as in the political isolation law case, which was unconstitutional and lacked the spirit of democracy. At times I stood by my position, which gave rise to a discussion about my convictions, as with my presence in the Nahda Dam meeting with Dr. Mohamed Morsi, where I sought to protect Egypt’s national interests, and had no knowledge of what the disastrous consequences of the meeting would be.

8.    We now stand on the threshold of a new attempt to correct the course of the January 25th revolution, an attempt that has come through the collective effort of the public before the elite. I had hoped that Dr. Mohamed Morsi would not be held in forcible isolation, for the sake of respect for the Muslim Brotherhood and the true spirit of democracy, and that this would come about through Dr. Morsi’s resignation. I must apologize to all Egyptian men and women for the mismanagement of public affairs during the recent past. As a member of the opposition, I bear partial responsibility for this, as do the rest of the opposition. I confirm my full commitment to persevere in defending the principles of freedom, democracy, civilian government, and the rule of law, my commitment to learn from mistakes, and to make these principles the face of Egypt and its great people collectively.

Long live Egypt.

Amr Hamzawy joined the Department of Public Policy and Administration at the American University in Cairo in 2011, where he continues to serve today. He is a former member of parliament and a member of the National Salvation Front.