In the light of David Burchill's op-ed inThe Australian there is this interesting discussion of the uprising in Egypt on Al Jazeera English features two well-known intellectuals: Tariq Ramadan, a Muslim scholar at Oxford whose grandfather, Hassan al-Banna, founded Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood in 1928, and Slavoj Zizek a Slovenian philosopher.
In Egypt, religion is not an dominant factor in the uprising, which so far is a informal, spontaneous people's protest. The people have revolted against an oppressive regime, its corruption and poverty, and demanded freedom and economic hope. Even though religion is a crucial component of the unfolding dynamic, the possibility of Egypt becoming a second Iran is small--ie Khomeini's successful hijacking of the revolution in Iran in 1979.
Many are warning of the risks of Egypt descending into some sort of Islamist dictatorship that would tear up the peace treaty with Israel, engage in anti-American policies, and deprive women and minorities of their rights (as if they had so many rights under the Mubarak dictatorship).
What is likely is that whether, Islamist or secularist, any Egyptian government "of the people" will turn against the neoliberal economic policies that have enriched regional elites while forcing half or more of the population to live below the $2 per day poverty line.
Mona Seif, an Egyptian woman and blogger, gives her graphic account of the violence unleashed by Mubarak's regime.
It indicates that no correspondent, even those who are free to move around Cairo with their equipment, is able to provide the range of information and views coming from the Egyptian citizen journalists using Twitter.
| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 8:29 AM | Permalink