Saturday, January 29, 2011

Muslims vs. Secularists...True Change or False Hope?

I'm probably one of the youngest people commenting on this particular event, and giving it this particular comparison, given that I was born at the tail end of the Carter administration, but this issue in Egypt seems very similar to me to the fall of the Shah of Iran in 1979. Then again,I could be completely wrong and this could be a good thing, but demographics involving Egypt don't paint a pretty picture. Via AllahPundit at Hot Air:

In Egypt, 30 percent like Hizballah (66 percent don’t). 49 percent are favorable toward Hamas (48 percent are negative); and 20 percent smile (72 percent frown) at al-Qaida. Roughly speaking, one-fifth of Egyptians applaud the most extreme Islamist terrorist group, while around one-third back revolutionary Islamists abroad. This doesn’t tell us what proportion of Egyptians want an Islamist government at home, but it is an indicator.

In Egypt, 82 percent want stoning for those who commit adultery; 77 percent would like to see whippings and hands cut off for robbery; and 84 percent favor the death penalty for any Muslim who changes his religion.

Asked if they supported “modernizers” or “Islamists” only 27 percent said modernizers while 59 percent said Islamists…

Granted, that last one there is a clear majority, but still, that leaves a nice chunk of undecided who could influence some of the Islamist supporters, but that's about as likely as Nancy Pelosi seeing the light and espousing the views of Ronald Reagan. Still, one can dream. And the picture isn't all doom and gloom, either, if these preliminary reports from Hot Air are any indication:

Even as pockets of protesters clashed with police, army tanks expected to disperse the crowds in central Cairo and in the northern city of Alexandria instead became rest points and even, on occasion, part of the protests as anti-Mubarak graffiti were scrawled on them without interference from soldiers.

“Leave Hosni, you, your son and your corrupted party!” declared the graffiti on one tank as soldiers invited demonstrators to climb aboard and have their photographs taken with them…

In another central Cairo square on Saturday a soldier in camouflage addressed a crowd through a bullhorn declaring that the army would stand with the people.

“I don’t care what happens,” the soldier said. “You are the ones who are going to make the change.” The crowd responded, “The army and the people will purify the country.”

The army, according to Allah, and several other sources, has been siding with the protesters the vast majority of the time during which the protests have taken place, even despite, as noted above, clashes between the two entities. If indeed the protesters have the support of the army, then at the very least battle lines will be drawn, and if the Muslim Brotherhood, as many say, are serious about seizing power, we could have another Islamic Revolution on our hands, with Mubarak playing the part of the Shah.

The more optimistic part of me says that this will play out anpd Egypt will emerge stronger and more pro-democracy than before, but the cozy ties that the supposedly pro-democracy leader of the protests has with the MB make me wonder. All in all, if we get another Iran, it's going to be bad.