Everything began well: The Egyptian people followed the Western democratic model to fill Tahrir Square and stuck to peaceful means. Their protests toppled Hosni Mubarak's 40-year rule. The Muslim Brotherhood, careful not to provoke the army, leading the charge but its candidate Sohamed Morsi won the first free elections in Egypt. Morsi, however, had control over bureaucrats nor a strong economy --the army and the elites produced everything from tyres to shoes in the country dependent on foreign aid. Economic dependence dictated government policies contrary to its popular demands. The fact that Morsi would lose in the end became apparent in his early days as he offered support to the Syrian opposition and Palestinians. Morsi thus made his own mistakes during his term due to inexperience and isolation which, coupled with the economic crisis, fueled unrest. Protective of the country's autonomy, Morsi refused to cut a deal with the IMF and rather opted for the Turkish model too soon.
A propaganda campaign targeted Morsi and the Brotherhood and accused them of pushing for a dictatorship and exerting pressure on society. Tahrir Square was flooded with liberals, leftists, Christians and even Salafis. A warning by the military soon followed; a step to legitimize the coup.
What everyone expected soon happened and Morsi was toppled. Field Marshal el-Sisi massacred those who demonstrated against the coup, the largest attack being at the Rabaa al-Adawiya Square. The West chose to be a bystander as 529 Muslim Brotherhood members who participated in these demonstrations were sentenced to death. Just like what happened in Turkey after the 1980 coup, all of the sentences may not be carried out but a few will to act as a deterrent. The West, which couldn't call the coup a coup, will turn a blind eye to these deaths as well because the priority is Egypt's strategic importance, the West's interests and the threat posed by radical Islam. The coup, massacres and capital sentences can be tolerated, they believe, when faced with such risks.
Even if one decides to ignore that these facts contradict the West's own ideals of democracy, its principles and morals; in truth, such a stance also contravenes the West's interests. The security and interests of the West and Israel requires a new relationship with Muslim countries that are more democratic.
It is no longer possible to rule the East with Sykes-Picot or Yalta, as democracy is the only way to weaken radicals. It is imperative to ensure the people's power defines the Middle East. The Morsi experience was an incredible opportunity whose end through elections would have benefited the entire region. By not taking a stand, the West both violated its own principles and behaved contrary to its own interests.
There may be a chance to correct this mistake before it's too late. Protecting the lives of 529 people could be a good start.
Where states fail, the international community could make a difference. --granted global conscience outweighs Islamophobia.