OPED: NSF met with Salafis… And accomplished what exactly?
Why on earth are three so-called opposition leaders – Amr Moussa, El-Sayed El-Badawi, and Hamdeen Sabbahi… wasting three hours of their day meeting with Salafist Mohamed Hassan?
What exactly did they hope to accomplish? Expect Hassan to say, yeah you guys are right, we should have a secular state… let me go tell Morsi?
Egypt opposition leaders meet with prominent Salafist preacher Mohamed Hassan – AhramOnline , 17 Jan 2013
… NSF members presented Hassan – a leading member of Egypt’s influential Salafist Call movement – with a written copy of their demands, including the amendment of certain articles of Egypt’s newly-approved constitution…
NEWS FLASH: The Salafis did not care one bit about your “demands” when the Constitutional Assembly was meeting last year. And they certainly don’t care now. Next time you have “demands”, save time: send a courier.
… Hassan, who is spearheading an initiative aimed at national reconciliation, reportedly promised to deliver the NSF’s list of demands to President Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood…
PROBABLE OUTCOME: After you left… after wasting three hours of your time… two sounds could be heard in the room: crumpled paper hitting the waste basket and bellowing Salafi laughter.
Seriously, what did you three think you were accomplishing?
Here’s a new plan: stop with the demands and focus on winning the next fight: Parliament.
First step: time management. How to use three hours more effectively:
- Fundraising. In three hours you guys should be able to easily raise 3-4 million pounds. Do that every day, starting tomorrow, and you will be competitive with your political enemies: the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafis.
- Meet voters. After you spend three hours raising money, drive to Assuit and hold a town meeting about rail safety. Console. Listen, Engage. Or tour a factory in the Delta. Shake hands. Listen. Talk about dignity in the workplace. Make working class Egyptians a priority. Or try meeting with nurses (mostly women – they vote too) in Giza. See the horrific conditions of our hospitals. Listen to the indignities they suffer and how pitiful their wages are. Do this every day starting tomorrow, and you will visually be something the president is not: accessible and compassionate.
- Get a message. Stop boring the electorate with your infighting over party lists… Nobody cares. Start talking about the only thing that matters to tens of millions of poor and working class Egyptians: Jobs. Hire professionals, especially media trainers and political consultants, and listen to them. Practice never completing a sentence without coming back to jobs and the economy. And then give interviews every day contrasting your vision of economic recovery and dignity in the workplace and job creation against that of the Muslim Brotherhood’s “100 days of nothing, six months of instability and power-grabs and a future of economic ruin.”
If you do this – raise money, meet with voters and deliver an economic message that appeals to the working class – you will win. Seriously. Win.
And if you focus on winning, and winning only, the next time you meet with Mohamed Hassan, one of you could be the Prime Minister… and you won’t be making “demands”… you will be dictating the terms. Seriously.
Educate. Advocate. Organize.