- February 9, 2011
Impediments to Clear Analysis of the Egyptian Revolution
Mubarak’s government is seeking talks with protestors hoping to end the demonstrations that are crippling the economy and destabilizing the regime. Protestors, however, simply want Mubarak to step down, seeking democracy and social justice. Not all opposition groups were present at the talks and with protestors crying for freedom from government repression, all important groups should be gathered at the table. Without proper representation these talks will be ineffective and clear analysis will be impossible.
The Muslim Brotherhood was present at the talks but despite their insistence that they do not seek presidential power, there are those who still fear that if they come to power in Egypt a repressive radical form of Islamic rule will be formed. It is important to note that the Brotherhood has been carrying out the Mubarak government’s role of providing food, clothing and shelter to Egypt ‘s impoverished masses for decades, seeking the will of the people. This is an aspect of their approach that should not be overlooked.
The international community is also paranoid about the Brotherhood and anything that faintly resembles ‘Islam’ and continually fails to see the pro-democracy trend of the Brotherhood. They have proved themselves incapable of considering Egypt as an entity in and of itself, and instead, sees Egypt in relation to its role as a neighbor of Israel and its possible response to US policies and interests like the Suez Canal as well as its ability to contain the Al-Qaida threat.
Such issues are dominating analysis of the Egyptian Revolution, instead of the overriding cause of the uprising which is the need for governmental transparency and integrity as well as economic and social reforms and the dismantling of the police state.
With post World-War-II tension and instability still fresh in the minds of Western powers, they see that, although social reform is obviously needed it Egypt, international stability is a higher priority, and so the Egyptian people’s call for their rights and democracy is, in reality, falling on many deaf unsympathetic ears.
The world watches breathless, as rapid developments take place in Egypt . Clearly, this is a youth movement, motivated by the need for economic development, not the Islamic revolution driven by Iran that the West fears. This has left the West floundering, unable to grasp the notion of ‘Muslims’ and ‘democracy’ in the same context. It has, however, made the international community more aware of Egypt ‘s importance regionally and internationally.
Moreover, Egyptians have proven that they are not passive; that they deserve respect, overriding Omar Suleiman’s recent comments that "Egyptians are not ready for democracy". The legitimacy of the protestors cause and their dignified manner of making this call has garnered a great deal of international sympathy and respect but whether or not the international analysis of events will be objective and insightful remains to be seen.