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The Convenient Islamist Threat
What would George W. Bush and Hosni Mubarak (Egypt) do without a good old "Islamist threat" to lean on? Here’s a stupid question: is the "Arab World" Islamist? Is it Islamic? Are there atheists? Are there liberal muslims? Are there moderate Islamists? Is there an "Arab World", in terms of political unity and cooperation? What are the origins of the "Islamist Threat"? Why are "Islamist organizat
Wednesday, March 28,2007 00:00
by Ahmad Shrif, nowpublic.com

What would George W. Bush and Hosni Mubarak (Egypt) do without a good old "Islamist threat" to lean on? Here’s a stupid question: is the "Arab World" Islamist? Is it Islamic? Are there atheists? Are there liberal muslims? Are there moderate Islamists? Is there an "Arab World", in terms of political unity and cooperation? What are the origins of the "Islamist Threat"? Why are "Islamist organizations" the only organizations we’re able to quote when we look for "political opposition" examples , at least in these parts of the World? Are there other types of non-religious political oppositions in the Middle East? Do we hear of them? If not, why not?

Let’s try to make sense about this mess with analysis, highlights and NP contributions.



Here’s a start:

I just read this sentence in an article about Egypt highlighted by Kearney: "...changes have been designed to target the Muslim Brotherhood, the country’s most powerful opposition group" [editor’s note: these "changes" concern the Egyptian Constitution. They are wanted by Hosni Mubarak and are interpreted (by independent press) as another step towards a "police state" + a political tactic to facilitate inherited transmission of power (to the son of President Mubarak, Mr Gamal Mubarak)].

Per my list of questions stated above, I’d like to initiate our group effort by sharing my point of view:

The "Islamist Threat" has been used as a "scare-crow" in Egypt for the past 26 years and has helped maintain President Mubarak in place, fully supported by other countries
fearing terrorism, and the everlasting fanatic Islamist threat.

This threat *does* exist but I would be very curious to know its true dimensions: what does it represent in real figures? ***And*** what would it represent in terms of percentages if ALL Egyptians had the right to express their opposition?

Egyptians do not have such a right. 70,000,000 souls have one and universal right: the right to shut-up. If you dare speak, you disappear in jail, where you are tortured and sometimes die.

The reason why we only hear about the Muslim Brotherhood is because they placed their "opposition" at the level of life and **death** (including suicide). That’s why they are, indeed, visible and are (I quote) "the most powerful opposition".

It would be more accurate to say they are the most "nihilistic, suicidal, hence ’visible’ opposition". You understand of course I’m not promoting the bravery of Muslim Brotherhood members. I do not support the mingling of religion and politics where ever I see it. I’m simply highlighting that, in Egypt, to be heard, to be considered as "a powerful opposition", you have to be ready to die, to be jailed, to be tortured, to be raped.

Tens of millions of Egyptians and --isn’t it only human? I ask -- give it a second thought, and shut-up.

I personally have the feeling that the shuting-up era is over. A whole new generation is up and running. It’s clumsy as clumsy can be. It is our duty to help this new generation find other ways than religion, fanaticism and suicide.

I beg for foreign states and leaders to stop supporting Hosni Mubarak’s government. There is another Egypt to be discovered and saved.

This is of course to be continued and built upon.

Other Topics:

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Egypt judges reject referendum results
Baku Today - Baku,Azerbaijan
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France24 - Paris,France
Analysis: Cairo spring revisited
CNN International - USA
As Egypt votes on laws, cynicism rules the street
International Herald Tribune - France
Egyptians begin voting in referendum
Kansas City Star, MO
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MLive.com, MI 
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Houston Chronicle, TX 
Trickle of Egyptians vote in referendum
Washington Post, DC
Polling stations open in Egyptian referendum
Swissinfo, Switzerland
Opposition leaders in Egypt decry constitutional amendments
Kansas City Star, MO
Egypt: Opposition groups boycott referendum on constitutional changes
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Egyptian president’s son calls on strong turnout in constitutional ...
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Egypt to vote on divisive reforms
BBC News, UK
Rice raised concerns over reforms with Egyptian leaders
Daily Times, Pakistan
Mubarak’s son calls for support on constitution
Jerusalem Post, Israel
US Tones Down Criticism of Egypt’s Constitutional Changes
Chosun Ilbo, South Korea
Rice tones down criticism of Egypt over reforms
National Post, Canada
Rice says she told Egyptian leaders of concerns over reforms
Boston Herald, MA
Rice expresses concern over Egyptian reforms
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Rice Urges Egypt to Reform Its Democracy
NPR
Rice Urges Egypt To Reform Its Democracy
Guardian Unlimited
Rice urges Egypt to reform its democracy
MLive.com, MI 
Rice Urges Egypt to Reform Its Democracy
ABC News
Rice Urges Egypt to Reform Its Democracy
Los Angeles Times, CA
Egypt to Vote on Expanding Powers of the Presidency
New York Times, NY
Egypt Rejects US Amendments Criticism
Newsday, NY
Egypt Rejects Us Amendments Criticism
Guardian Unlimited, UK
Egypt rejects US amendments criticism
Kansas City Star, MO
Egypt Rejects US Amendments Criticism
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Egypt rejects US amendments criticism
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Egyptians begin voting in referendum
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