Egypt: Be careful what you wish for

! This post hasn't been updated in over a year. A lot can change in a year including my opinion and the amount of naughty words I use. There's a good chance that there's something in what's written below that someone will find objectionable. That's fine, if I tried to please everybody all of the time then I'd be a Lib Dem (remember them?) and I'm certainly not one of those. The point is, I'm not the kind of person to try and alter history in case I said something in the past that someone can use against me in the future but just remember that the person I was then isn't the person I am now nor the person I'll be in a year's time.

Egyptian President, Hosni Mubarak, will be spending what is quite possibly his last night in the presidential palace in Cairo after the British and American governments called for “an orderly transition”.

Egyptian Soldiers

Image: MSNBC

The stability of Egypt is of great importance to most of the world for two reasons: the Suez Canal and Islam.

The Suez Canal cuts tens of thousands of miles of journeys by ships heading for the east coast of Africa, Asia and Australia and the pacific.  Threats to the Suez Canal have prompted invasions in the past.

Egypt is a muslim country but religion is banned in politics.  New laws in Egypt have to agree with Sharia but the government is still officially secular.  Along with Turkey, it drives a secular wedge between Islamic north Africa and the middle east providing a buffer zone along Europe’s borders.

The key turning point in the revolution was the military deploying in cities where protests were taking place to protect civilians from the police who have been marauding the streets in plain clothes with knives and indiscriminately threatening, abusing and even killing civilians.  The military is well respected in Egypt and whilst soldiers are careful not to intervene, they are overtly on the side of the protesters.  Protesters are having their pictures taken with soldiers and they are making no attempt to clean off the anti-government graffiti daubed on the side of tanks.

While it’s great to see Tunisians and Egyptians ousting their unpopular, undemocratic and oppressive governments – and I hope that one day soon we’ll see an uprising in England against the British government – there is a real danger that Islamists will end up taking power.  The recently ousted Tunisian president, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, was pretty strict in his opposition to Sharia and the oppressive aspects of Islam such as women covering themselves in public and treating women like slaves.  Christians and Jews in Tunisia have enjoyed relative freedom in Tunisia but the country is 98% muslim and there is a good chance the next government will be controlled by Islamists.  In Egypt too, Christians and Jews are well tolerated by the muslim majority but the Muslim Brotherhood is expected to convincingly win elections once Mubarak has gone.  With Tunisia and Egypt converted from secular states to Islamic states, most of north Africa – Europe’s maritime border – will be under the yoke of Sharia law or at least well on the way to it.


  1. axel (1214 comments) says:

    i too think the Muslim Brotherhood will win an election, if there is one, they are the only focussed organised opposition that are left.

    I think Israel will be the biggest loser,its main neighbour going from a corrupt American client state to…… to anything else, even a non islamist democracy, its fucked.

    Where next? Jordan? Saudi?

  2. Durotrigan (1 comments) says:

    Have you noticed how the BBC has been reporting the protests? It seems to have rather over-egged the secular nature of the protess. Although I think that there are many millions in Egypt who would welcome genuine democracy (i.e. Copts and nominal Muslims who don’t believe in Islamic doctrine), unfortunately there are millions who would prefer Shariah instead. If the Islamists do come to power in the form of the Muslim Brotherhood, they will of course twist the meaning of the word ‘democracy’ and say that they have created a genuine ‘Islamic democracy’. That would not bode well for the Copts and secular Egyptians:

  3. axel (1214 comments) says:

    what actually is ‘multiculturism’?

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