Egypt's activist challenges critics
By-Amr Emam-EG | 25 May 2010
Political activist and founder of the protest Kefaya (Enough) movement George Ishaq Monday lashed out at some members from his group who accuse him of having recently become an American protégé.
Ishaq said he would challenge his critics to prove that he had received any assistance from foreigners and vowed to continue to rally up support for effecting what he called the “required change” in Egypt.
“I’m even more loyal to my country than all my critics combined,” Ishaq said. “But I believe in what I do and I’ll continue to fight for reform in Egypt,” he told the Egyptian Mail in an interview over the phone Monday.
Kefaya has decided to freeze Ishaq’s membership until he is probed by a disciplinary board of the movement.
Ishaq has become the target of criticism by several members of Kefaya for recently attending a conference on Egypt in the US.
His colleagues reverberated the accusation that he went to the US to demand support from the US administration.
This can be the kiss of death for politicians in Egypt where large swaths of the population strongly believe the US to be an imperialist power.
Egyptian sociology professor and reform activist Saad Eddin Ibrahim " now in exile in the US" has become the target of scorn for many Egyptians because he was rumoured to have links with the former US President George W. Bush.
Ishaq, however, said he went to the US to meet members of the Egyptian community there.
“There’re two million Egyptians living in the US,” he said. “I can’t ignore these people while I call for reform in Egypt,” he added.
He vowed to go ahead with his plan to utilise the thoughts and resources of Egyptian-Americans to push for reform in Egypt.
Despite this, some observers say the current standoff over Ishaq’s US visit reveals deep cracks in the structure of the six-year-old movement and also the lack of coordination among its members.