Wednesday, February 2, 2011

To be or not to be

For all the protests, Egypt's tragedy is that it has no viable political alternative.

A Baradei, who has spent a privileged life, lived most of his time overseas, has no real experience of an average Egyptain's suffering? A man whose family has not lived in and continues to live outside Egypt? To my mind, and I may be wrong, an opportunist who is using the current situation to his advantage...

Or a Muslim Brotherhood which is still not organised enough to run a government and which will plunge Egypt into a abyss of fundamentalism furthering the Shia Sunni divide, rendering the Middle East even more fragile than it is? Egypt has been a beacon of stability in an otherwise volatile Middle East. There is always a danger that Muslim Brotherhood coming to power may change all of that!

Whether you like or hate him, the reality is that Mubarak has kept Egypt from becoming another fundamentalist state much like the army has done in Turkey. Was his reign perfect? Far from it! Tragedy is that power and wealth became concentrated in a few hands and Mubarak and his people failed to deliver basics to the people.

If Egypt becomes a fundamentalist state under the leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood, it spells doom not only for the freedom that the Egyptians so crave but also for stability in the Middle East. Is that stability important for Egypt itself? Of course it is, at a minimum for the 11 billion dollars of tourism and American aid that supports the economy to a large extent.

Revolutions in the Islamic world appear to run the danger of alternate military /totalitarian/ fundamentalist regimes. An Iran is an example.

It is time for a change in Egypt. Whether its time for a change in regime or change in the way the regime functions remains to be seen. If the Egyptians do get Mubarak to go, what happens next? Is a rudderless state better than the existing state? Your heart goes out to the Egyptian people, whose long drawn suffering has finally found an outlet in this civil outburst but what next? Does Egypt really need a Muslim Brotherhood or the army? Both alternatives are equally scary!

1 comment:

rainydaysandsunsets said...

Hi! I'm Jasmine. I came across your blog while doing research about those affected by the protests in Egypt. Would you consent to an e-mail interview regarding your experiences as an Indian living in Egypt and how this unrest has affected you? I'd love to hear from you. Thanks!

By the way, I'm an Indian too, and I was born and raised in the Philippines. I'm doing an article for class about people of other nationalities affected by the protests. Thanks again! :)

-Jasmine Shewakramani