It’s very difficult to know what’s going on in Egypt. You can be sure there’s as much going on behind the scenes as what is shown on TV or found on the printed page. It appears however that the demonstrations against Mubarak are secular in nature, and widespread, although why it has taken this manifestation at this time is unclear. Mubarak has been the only president since Anwar Sadat was assassinated in 1981, which means he has been in power for thirty years. Of course we here in the West wouldn’t accept a ruler come to power, declare martial law and remain in power for that long. Many people can’t bear an Obama administration that lasts only four years, so the excuse that Mubarak is necessary for peace and stability in the Middle East is ludicrous.
Also ludicrous is the insane fear surrounding one of the largest parties in Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood. A very good piece that you probably won’t read or hear about in main stream press here makes some very good points about that party. Even the mild mannered former International Atomic Energy Agency head Mohamed ElBaradei, for now says he is willing to work with them to build Egypt.
The Egyptian Brotherhood renounced violence years ago, but its relative moderation has made it the target of extreme vilification by more radical Islamists…..Egypt’s new opposition leader, former International Atomic Energy Agency head Mohamed ElBaradei, has formed a loose alliance with the Brotherhood because he knows it is the only opposition group that can mobilize masses of Egyptians, especially the poor. He says he can work with it to change Egypt. Many scholars of political Islam also judge the Brotherhood is the most reasonable face of Islamic politics in the Arab world today.
Meanwhile, Egyptians from across all religious denominations have come together to oppose the 30 year reign of Mubarak, with the rallying cry, ‘Muslims, Christians we are all Egyptians’; this coming after recent attacks against Christian churches, which were blamed on Egyptian Muslims but were roundly and uniformly condemned by them, will surely be exploited by Israel and other secularists who want to drive a wedge between the two groups. The Mubarak regime won’t relinquish power easily and is even willing to allow lawlessness to reign during the unrest in order to make the point he is indispensable. Moreover there is now the threat of the Army or some other forces which have the ability to do so to shed blood on a score sufficient to get the people to stop for what is now a spontaneous eruption against a despot. Look for just that result; it will be meant as a sign for all Middle Easterner who are chaffing under oppressive regimes not to follow the examples of Tunisia or Egypt.