Egypt and Democracy (or Islam)Nowadays people in Egypt still feel the euphoria of revolution. After Husni Mubarak goes down, they ensure that they'll become democratics than ever. After Egypt held...
Nowadays people in Egypt still feel the euphoria of revolution. After Husni Mubarak goes down, they ensure that they'll become democratics than ever. After Egypt held a referendum, most of Egyptian say that Egypt must change its constitution. That's a signal that Egyptian want democracy as government system.
But, they are oppossed by Islam, what I mean here is Muslim Brotherhood. In my opinion, that group could injured or tackle the democratization in Egypt. Even though in later Muslim Brotherhood being choosen in election, they'll make Egypt become Islamic country, like Palestina or Iran maybe. That's very possible become new authoritarian issue.
So, how to keep or protect democratization there? So Egypt later become democratic country, not an islamic country?
Successful political revolutions don't happen spontaneously. Although they are born from the anger and frustration of the citizenry, they are organized and orchestrated by strong leaders. The leaders of the American Revolution, because it succeeded, became the Founding Fathers of a new nation. The revolution in Egypt was well planned and well organized, which became clear as events unfolded, and nothing suggests the leaders are Muslim extremists or that the Egyptian people embrace Muslim extremism. This is a far different culture from that of Iran when their revolution was fueled by religious extremism and hatred of the West.
Democracy may very well take root in Egypt, but the cynic in me makes me believe that those behind the revolution rather than the Egyptian population will determine the future direction of the country. What is their vision for the country? What are their principles? The world at large cannot dictate the political future in Egypt, but Western countries through trade and economic development can make democracy in Egypt financially beneficial for those in Egypt with economic and political power. The Egyptian people want to live in a free society--they have made this abundantly clear. Actions by Western countries that financially reward democratic leadership in Egypt will help them achieve it and will make Muslim extremism unnecessary and unappealing.
Sadly, there is no way to protect democracy from the outside. The US has tried to do this in Iraq and Afghanistan, for example, but it is simply impossible. The reason for this is that democratic attitudes cannot be imposed on other people. They can only grow from within.
We will have to see how much power the Muslim Brotherhood gets and what their actual intentions are. It is not clear that they are interested in making another Iran. However, we simply cannot know.
I would argue that the only way Egypt can become more democratized is for it to grow economically. Middle class people are generally much more likely to demand a government that responds to them and gives them some amount of freedom. I think that this is the only hope for any democratizing country -- that it might grow economically so that its people demand democracy on their own.
This is a problem that is very difficult to find a solution for. In a democracy, it is the majority that create laws and rules that they find suit their interests the best. The minority has always had a tough time, and I guess always will.
Take the case of Europe, after the terror attacks by the extremists who followed Islam, not only have the minority peaceful Muslims lost their rights but even those who follow religions like Sikhism, etc. now have a difficult time doing what they have to according to their religious beliefs.
The majority will always impose on the minority what makes the majority feel comfortable. And as the basic tenet of democracy is a rule by the wishes of the majority, it can't be helped.
Without pretending to understand the dynamics of Egyptian politics, I would think it will be difficult for the Muslim Brotherhood to force a religious state on the Egyptian people. The Egyptian people--especially the youth--forced Hosni Mubarak from power in just 18 days, without violence and through sheer force of will. Democracy is not easy, and we still struggle at times with democratic concepts and practices in the United States after more than two centuries. If Egyptians don't want a theocracy, they can prevent one, the same way they prevented Mubarak from maintaining power.
I don't necessarily think that democracy and Islam are necessarily mutually exclusive as you seem to suggest in your original question, but I do share my doubts about the euphoria of the Egyptian revolution. Democracy is not something that happens overnight, and I think it will be very interesting to see what precisely happens in Egypt over the next weeks, months and years. I agree with #4. The way in which Egyptians were so successful in deposing Mubarak should give any group pause for thought if they wish to seize power and impose their minority agenda on the majority.
According to pewresearch.org 's polls, Egyptian still want to exercise Sharia as their law or at least compile Sharia to national law. In my opinion, it can not be accepted to create democracy. If one of religion's law accepted as general law, then it can be no guarantee to minority rights.
So, how to deal with this problem?