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Should the West Fear or Celebrate Egypt's Uprising?
Should the West Fear or Celebrate Egypt's Uprising?
For the past ten days Egypt has experienced fear of autocracy, euphoria and fear of chaos. Starting off relatively small, the protests started with a few thousand people on January 25th, then escalated to a thrilling climax on February 1st, when millions of people assembled in Tahrir Square demanding the removal of Hosni Mubarak.
Friday, February 4,2011 22:21
IkhwanWeb

For the past ten days Egypt has experienced fear of autocracy, euphoria and fear of chaos. Starting off relatively small, the protests started with a few thousand people on January 25th, then escalated to a thrilling climax on February 1st, when millions of people assembled in Tahrir Square demanding the removal of Hosni Mubarak. After this the demonstrations deteriorated into violence as pro-Mubarak supporters attacked demonstrators.
 
Despite the violent scenes during the week, the developments in Egypt are welcomed. A nation that has been downtrodden for too long is now tasting freedom. The Arab world is buzzing with expectation, as ageing autocrats are suddenly looking shaky.

The West is juggling stability and democracy and as they struggle to attain balance, the Arab pro-democratic movement appears disturbing. Fearing the vacuum formed by the deterioration of Mubarak's regime, the West fears the Muslim Brothers, the anti-Western, anti-Israeli opposition. Responding to their fears, the US sees it must redouble its efforts to secure a prolonged managed transition by retaining Mubarak or getting someone else like him at the helm.

Despite the fears of the US and Israel, the popular call for Mubarak to step down offers the Middle East the best chance for reform in decades. The West has been calling for democracy for years and if they fail to support Egyptians in their quest for democratic rule, the arguments of the US for democracy and human rights elsewhere in the world will fall on deaf ears. Egypt is also juggling; it is choosing between risk and stagnation.

The Egyptian protests are not an 'Islamic' uprising, but a mass protest of Muslims against an unjust, autocratic regime. The only 'Islam' shown throughout the scenes of demonstrators was the peaceful behavior, prayer, determination and resolution of a nation.

The result of these protests will certainly not be a perfectly formed democracy as it is likely that there will be disorder for some time. But on the plus side Egypt, though poor, has a sophisticated elite, a well-educated middle class and strong sense of national pride and these are indicators that Egyptians can pull order out of this chaos.

Fear of the Muslim Brotherhood is grossly overdone as they are respected for their piety, discipline and resilience. The Brotherhood grows with history and is constantly evolving. The movement at the present time can not be equated with its past. Calling for democracy, the voice of the people, free and fair elections, while not nominating any candidate, and having no desire for leadership or even a place in the interim government, the Brotherhood is the level-headed voice in Egypt.

The past few weeks have proved that the Brotherhood is a integral part of Egyptian society and if democracy is to flourish in Egypt, the Brotherhood must be given a voice. The alternative to democracy is a dead end. Egypt under Mubarak has been becoming increasingly repressive, leaving 85m people to live under dictatorship, burdened by a corrupt and brutal police force, the suppression of the opposition, and the torture of political prisoners. This was sufficient fuse to light the uprising.

Despite the obvious difficulties, even a disorderly democracy could eventually be a rich prize—and not just for Egyptians. If Egypt becomes democratic it could once again be a beacon to the region, answering the conundrum of how to incorporate Islam in Arab democracies. An Egyptian government that speaks for its people might contribute to a settlement with the Palestinians more than authoritarianism ever could.

The US has lost much of its credibility in pursuing stability above democracy and it could turn this negative image around by making amends now. As America still has influence with Egypt’s political, business and military elite, it could help speed the transition from autocracy through chaos to a new order and improve its standing in the region.
 
 

tags: Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood / Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt / Mubarak / Mubarak Regime / NDP / Corruption / Egyptian Government / Freedom in Egypt / Democracy in Egypt / Arab World / Moderate Muslim Brotherhood / Moderate MB / Egyptian Constitution / Egyptian Protestors / Tahrir Square / Unemployment / Corruption / White House / Pro-Mubarak / Developments in Egypt /
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The position toward the Egyptian Revolution in America Joe American
I am an american. I came to the Muslim Brotherhood website to get more on-the-ground perspective on the situation in Egypt. I want to respond to this article by saying that I am first of all very sorry. I am sorry that Americans appear to support everything that you hate. But I want to also say that it isn't true. I and most of my friends here in America are completely on the side of the Egyptian people. Many of us too have felt ashamed at our government's infiltration by right wing fundimentalist Christians and their support of agression by Isreal even over the past years that the Palastinians have calmed terrorism. As long as the Palastinians were preforming terrorist activity on a regular basis and the American news could show us all the Isreali bodies, we turned a blind eye to whatever was done. I admit that I used to see it that way. But, since the institution of democratic government in the West Bank and Gaza, I and many of my friends have begun to pay close attention the the continuation of settlement activity and repressive tactics used by the Isrealis. Most of us want peace and believe in freedom of religion and have high esteem for Islam. Seeing the justified paranoia displayed in this article (and I understand that it is justified), I had to comment. I must respond with a hand toward peace. I am personally happier about news of this revolution than I have been about nearly all of the news out of the middle east that I have heard since I was a child and can remember. The Egyptian people, and all people, have the right to decide how they want to live and govern themselves. God bless the Egyptian people, and God bless the Muslim Brotherhood if they remain with the law that they have been given and seek peace with everyone. I hope that the Egyptian and Tunisian people can find a way to govern themselve in a way that serves everyone in thier respective societies. Please, also note that there are young and educated people here, on the cusp of some real power in this country, who believe in eliminating the imperialism of the West as much as you all must. We are working on technologies and scientific, economic, cultural and political analyses which could change the economic dynamic of the world such that wars for resources are a thing of the past and all people can live in peace and prosperity. Give us some time to change our policies. Most of the ones that you don't like are quickly loosing favor among those that matter. My advice would be to make contacts here in America using Facebook and other social networking. Explain your political opinions and problems to Americans as friends. The internet and social networking facilitated these popular and patriotic revolutions. It can do much more. When our peoples have friends among the "enemy", they will cese to be enemies. I belive that. Let the new globalizing social system work. Democracy is not anti-Islamic. Islam is clearly not anti-democracy, as we can see. This global social interaction between educated middle classes is paying off. Peace must come if democracy is to work. Peace can only come with friendship. Friendship is the most powerful politcal tool, if one's goal is peace. God bless and good luck. I really do mean that.
Saturday, February 5,2011 03:38
Egypt maureen
I found the Muslim Brotherhood site informative and helpful in understanding what has and is happening in Egypt!
Sunday, February 6,2011 16:20
number of protesters I care
please don't state that there are millions of protestors on the square. The square is not that big. It makes a hysterical impression to say such things.
Sunday, February 6,2011 17:57
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