Are we being naive about the possibility of Egyptian "democracy"?

If you think that the Muslim Brotherhood is actually in favor of the mothers of young children working outside of the home then you’ve been given some extremely inaccurate information about them.

When it comes to the role of women in society, they think Phyllis Schlafly is dangerously liberal.

If you read up on Sayyid Qutb who’s was their leading theologian when they exploded in popularity, he lived in the US in the 1940s and he found that society to be appallingly wanton. In fact, he was utterly horrified when observing a square dance which to him was as bad as an orgy.

Well, there is Keith Ellison a Congressman from Minnesota and a few others. Now, you’re correct being an “atheist” or a “pagan” would be a problem running for office in the US, but it’s a far bigger problem in a country like Egypt where all citizens have their religious affiliation stamped on their ID cards and you’re not allowed to put down either “pagan” or “atheist” particularly since being one of those would, depending on the mood of the Egyptian government at the time, be illegal and a quick way to get thrown in prison and tortured.

Denying the existence of God will certainly cause some issues but you don’t have to worry about getting murdered or locked up for that whereas those are definite possibilities in Egypt.

Also, you certainly don’t have to be Christian to get elected to high office in the US. I think about 10-13% of the US Senate is Jewish despite the fact that Jews only make up about 2% of the country.

I’m sorry, but you’re comparing apples and oranges.

Since you mention the Westboro Baptist Church I’m sure you’re aware that aside from family members of Fred Phelps, you could probably count the members of that church on two hands.

That’s hardly true of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Moreover, while I strongly suspect that you would find many of the “moderate” clerics unpalatable when it come to their views on a number of social issues.

For example, until his recent death Sheikh Tantawi was the head of the Al Azhar University and the Chief Imam of Egypt’s largest Mosque. He was long praised as moderate for speaking out against suicide bombers(including those who targeted Israelis), opposing female genital mutilation, and for pushing to have women prohibited from wearing the Niqab.

However, he’s also the same man who proclaimed Jews to be “the enemies of Allah, the descendants of apes and pigs.”

Well, I certainly don’t know what “categories” you fall into, but I’m not sure what “categories” you’d fall into where you’d have as much to fear in a society run by the Tea Party as the Muslim Brotherhood.

Are you an atheist? Well, members of the Tea Party are categorized by lots of things, but hatred of Ayn Rand, who was one of the most outspoken atheists of the 20th Century, isn’t one of them. In fact, it’s common for them to quote from her and to hawk her books.

Also, while I could certainly understand gays in America thinking that the Tea Party is hostile to them, as far as I know, the worst they’re ever guilty of is not letting gays get married or serve openly in the military.

By contrast in Egypt under Mubarak, to appease Muslim radicals, the police periodically will arrest large numbers of gays and throw them in jail on trumped up charges of prostitution, rape, insulting Islam, or something similar. Yes, being gay is technically not illegal in Egypt, but the days of the 60s and the 70s when Egypt was arguably more gay friendly than the US is long gone and as far as the Muslim Brotherhood is concerned, it’s still way too liberal.

I don’t think the Tea Party wants people locked up for being gay much less executed.

Suppose we decide to continue to “support Mubarak”. What good would that do?

I’m a liberal and an atheist; I give good odds I’d be imprisoned or executed under a “Tea Party” government; probably tortured too. And they’d run the country right into the ground on top of it; I doubt there’d be an America after them, just several successor states forming from the wreckage. They’d quite possibly start a nuclear war on top of everything else, rattling them at everyone or even outright using them because those foreigners aren’t properly bowing before the Greatness of America, or for not being Christian or capitalist enough. The American Far Right is both incompetent and insane.

Which is probably why Broomstick said “or Jewish” in the very passage you quoted.

You really, really should get some professional help. Seriously. You’re living in a world where anvils fall from the sky, hit people on the head, and bend.

Translation: No matter how crazy, how blatantly irrational and evil the American Right Wing becomes, pointing that out is taboo. Bash the Left all you like, but the Right is to be deferred to at all times.

Yes, the point being that being a non-Christian in the US is not comparable to being a non-Muslim in Egypt.

Are you serious?

I can understand Muslims being worried about being locked up, though I would think that’s an overreach, but I’ve never heard any Tea Party leaders calling for the arrest or execution of atheists.

Can you please list some who’ve called for the arrest and execution of gay?

Moreover, considering how much they love Ayn Rand, who was as outspoken an atheist as you can get, what makes you think they’d froth at the mouth at atheists?

Here you go. Good luck.

magellan01, this kind of personal commentary is not allowed in Great Debates. Take it to the BBQ Pit or stop it.

It wouldn’t, unless Mubarak and his cronies were likely to retain power. Because it’s looking like he’s on the way out, our government has conveniently come out in support of the people. I’m betting if Mubarak had come out swinging from the start we would have denounced him while maintaining our support.

My point was that Serious People can make persuasive, intellectual arguments on why the Middle East isn’t ready for democracy. I’m just not going to listen to them.

Will do. My apologies. I thought I was in The Pit. But now that we’re here, can you take out your moderator stick and beat DT for—wait, I don’t know if I’m allowed to say a certain “T” word. I’m never sure about that. Well, can you just take out your stick and beat him?

Surely, there is a distinct possibility that Egypt could end up ruled by quite hard-line islamists, but franckly I’m more worried about the way the army will organize the next governments, since I’m convinced they will be the ones who will eventually decide. And I’m not convinced that the new regime will be much more democratic than the current one.

IMO, the best case scenario (from a western point of view at least) would be a Turkish model (like it was in the 70s, not like it is now) where the army step in every time they think that the civilian government doesn’t act as it should, doesn’t respect whatever implied or explicit norms it fixed, is too religious for their taste, etc…

That, of course wouldn’t be a real democracy.

Quoted in Canada’s National Newspaper, the Globe and Mail, February 3, pg. A 13. Based upon interviews by Pew Research Center in April and May of last year, based on a sample group of 1000 Egyptians interviewed face-to-face.

I love everything you said in the above-cited post, Ibn. But I would guess that you may be a relative newcommer to the SDMB, since you are obviously puzzled as to how these people can compare apples and oranges. Your problem, Ibn, is that you are suffering from the afflictions of reason, common sense and realistic appraisal of the situation. Let me explain it to you.

You see, I have learned from long experience that the cardinal rule of the Politcally Correct, when it comes to criticism of conservative Muslim or other third-world societies, is simply this: If you can point to a single example, no matter how minor of something roughly equivalent existing in America, then the OP’s original complaint becomes totally invalid. Even examples from western history centuries ago can be used.

For example, does it outrage you that 84% of Egyptians in the 21st century believe that it is OK to kill someone who chooses to leave Islam? You have no right to be outraged, because there are some nutty Conservative Christians in America.

Now, you may well wonder how one phenomenon can be equated with the other. Surely 84% of Americans would not agree that anyone who leaves Christianity should be killed? Of course not. I doubt if even a majority of Conservative Christians would agree. I doubt if anyone but a handful of Christian loonies would agree with killing Christian apostates. But for some reason, the second fact means you may not be outraged over the first.

Christians in the Muslim world are living in fear of their lives, have had their churches bombed, are denied the right to build churches, and can be killed if they try to convert Muslims to their faith. But wait! In America, (where there are literally hundreds of mosques full of Muslims praying calmly and without fear, there has been bloodless, non-violent controversy about a proposed mosque in New York that some people feel is too close to ground zero. So the two situations are the same, correct?

Don’t worry, Ibn, you will get used to the logic of the PCers. I did.:rolleyes:

Read my OP again. I never said I had any answers to the problem. Yes, yes, I get the reference to a “final solution”. Cute way of using the “racist” card against anyone who criticizes Islam, even though Muslims are not a race.

Neither are Jews, so your complaining and acting martyr is more ironic - especially as you so resemble the reference.

Actual poll available here and more details here.

Among the findings that are interesting is that most in Egypt see no struggle between the fundamentalists and the modernizers. Also overall they are split evenly favorably and unfavorably on Hamas with a bit of a generational divide - the older and less educated more in favor and the younger and more educated more unfavorable. And both Jordan and Pakistani Muslims are up there with support for severe punishments, including death for aposty.

I can’t pretend I understand the dynamics in Egypt all that well but it does seem that a balance of power exists of sorts sort of like the branches of government in the US but not. There is the government putatively in power that runs the day to day show. There is the military, generally secular, who exert little to no control over the function of regular affairs but whose assent is needed for the government to have power. And there are the people whose approval of the military gives it its authority rather than the threat of force.

The military does not really care if the government is democratically elected or autocratic, fair or corrupt, but they need to respond in a way that preserves their place of respect from the people at large while serving their role as the force of stability. It seems like they have veto power over the government that they exercise rarely are prefer to do by declaring a broad area that would be acceptable and helping facilitate a solution within that range. An Islamist state, democratically elected or not, would not be inside that broad area. An Islamic influenced state, like current Turkey, would be though. Mubarak staying past September is also not, given how the people feel and if the people keep it up, staying even another few weeks may not be. They would be fine with enough compromises that the people settle down however.

I think it’s high time the US stopped using the term “Democracy” and use “Human Rights” instead. Many in America and Europe assume that those seeking democracy are naturally seeking human rights and justice for all which is not the case.

I’m sure there are no large groups of Coptic Christians protesting against Mubarak as they are very fearful as the last relatively undisturbed major Arab Christian population in the Middle East. Women would ultimately lose whatever freedom they have if the Muslim Brotherhood had it’s way

Technically speaking the current regime has been very good at enforcing secularism and bans any political groups to organize with religion as their platform.

Here is a link to the original, in full:

Pew Muslim Poll Results released 12/2/10


You are wrong, there is much Coptic involvement, I wish people who do not know things would stop the speculating

No technically speaking the Pharouh he hs been good at selling this story to the West but in fact they play up tensions as part of their Divide and Conquer methods, and pander to the salafists when they see advantage.

Ben Ali he was a true secularist, like Bourguiba but this Mubarak was a seller of lies to the Americans and the English.