Monday, November 20, 2006

Why Mubarak Regime has the Same Effect as the Muslim Brotherhood?

Many of my non-Egyptian friends keep asking me this question, isn't it better to have the Mubarak family in power than the Muslim brotherhood? I am usually speechless. I would contradict my conscience if I say yes President Mubarak is better. I all go against all my beliefs and my confidence that Egypt deserves a better present and a future of democracy and freedom. If I say yes to the Muslim Brotherhood through ballot boxes, then I am agreeing to humiliate my humanity. Being a woman under a regressive backward ruling means asking for asylum in one of the western countries to live with dignity.

My answer now is that the current regime and the Muslim Brotherhood are equally dangerous to the future of my beloved Egypt. I knew it all the time, but here is a clear cut evidence.

The Egyptian Minister of Culture, Farouk Hosni, is under ferocious attack for his comments about the veil in Egypt. He said that the veil is a regressive trend in Egypt. It was expected that he comes under fire from Islamists representated in the Muslim Brotherhood. But Mubarak's ruling party, National Democratic Party, is giving him a harder time and asking him to resign. He admitted that his comments were personal and do not represent any official line. Still he is tormented by all the ministers and member of parliaments who belong to the National Democratic Party. In their defense, they said we won't take any statments that touches our Islam or attempts to insult our religion.

This is just a hint to tell you how rigid and intolerant Egypt became under military Islamic ruling and how strong the religious institution became. There is no room for freedom of expression and there is no freedom to question the herd's culture.

Islamists are asking the minister of culture to quit over remarks and the government is summoning him over remarks!

The other scary part is that there is nothing to get annoyed about except the veil comments! It is unbelievable! As if there are no trains or bus accidents every month and dozens are killed... As if there are no one million homeless street children... As if there are no pollution problems........ As if there are no patients dying in thousands on a daily basis from cancer and organs' failures not of the diseases themselves but because of the bad health care ... As if public transportation are the best and available to all citzens .... As if education system is the best and we can compete...


At 1:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"This is just a hint to tell you how rigid and intolerant Egypt became under military Islamic ruling and how strong the religious institution became."

lol... how long have you been out of Egypt?? 100 years?

Where is that "military Islamic ruling and how strong the religious institution became."? Feen da?!

Do you want to convince us that Mubark’s regime is a “military Islamic ruling”? you must be kidding! lol

As for the” how strong the religious institution became”, it is a known fact that the religious institution became is extremely weak in Egypt. Ask any Egyptian in the street if he\she thinks that Al Azhar is as strong as it used to be...they'll say "no, of course not"...your dreaming :)

As for what you said...
"There is no room for freedom of expression and there is no freedom to question the herd's culture."
I agree with you.
He had the right to say what he thinks. But, the thing is that as an official you have to be careful what you say.
If you want to say such things, go ahead...but do it after you leave your official it as an individual.
As a Minister of Culture you should act like one.

Imagine this happening in a different way ( with a bit of a twist)…
Imagine if a European Minister goes out and says:” I think that women showing off their bodies is outrageous”. As we know this is completely opposite to what the vast majority of Europeans think.
Do you think people will be happy with that minister?
Maybe as an individual he has the right to think that. But not while he is in office.
Of course we all know where he’ll end up!

Back to the subject… as long as he did not insult\humiliate\curse anyone or any belief, he has the right to say what he wants. That’s how I see it.

At 4:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read the blog post but I cant help to point out that Hosni said that the veil was a sign of “regression”, not a regressive trend. I think there is a difference to the wording you used and Hosni used.

On a note of content, does it not strike you as strange that Egypt's Minister for Culture is ordered to stay on after resigning over a fire killing dozens in a Beni Suef makeshift theatre and is now almost ousted by inter alia his fellow party members over a comment on the nature of the veil? It seems that Egypt's administration needs to get its priorities straight.

At 6:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not against hijab myself, but the remark that its a sign of regression could actually be true, seen objectively. The spread of hijab in Egypt didn't come with an increased moral and it didn't turn people into tolerant accepting and polite people, I'm afraid its only a way of dealing with a superficial society that judges the woman by what she wares and I don't blame women who are facing the "hell" of not getting married in an already regressed society. A simple proof on what I'm saying is the "sexy mohagaba" model where she satisfies the community by covering her hair but at the same time she's not cutting her chances of getting married by being sexy.

At 7:53 AM, Anonymous Ha Ana Za said...

Great Post! And I particularly lik your conclusion- it is strange that the people focus on the words of one minister and yet ignore the actions of an entire government.
I would also like to comment on adham's comment which I totally agree with- definitely a regressive trend when it is worn out of mere hypocrisy and a herd instinct.

At 9:43 AM, Anonymous Jonathan said...

I do agree with you, though i have one problem. if we want democracy, how can we add the different sects - including the Muslim Brotherhood, without letting them kill democracy? and on the other hand, is having a democracy without them better?

Re Mubarak, i'm not sure he is the best solution, but he is second to worst at least.

At 10:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To have true deomcracy we have to take in ALL groups... let's not have double-standards about it.

And to control them...that's the Constitution's job.
In short, if we have a stronge constitution that gives the power to people through ballot boxes. We can control anyone in Office!

That's what we need.

At 6:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Great blog as always. I agree with your assessment. People are becoming more intolerant to oppposing views. Why not let Farouk's remarks open up a good avenue for discussion of hijab and how important is it in respect to other issues in life we do not heed religion in.
I think some members in the NDP want to be more catholic than the the pope in order not to give the MB the propaganda floor as being the 'guardian' of Islam. How pathetic!
Egyptian in Germany

At 2:42 PM, Anonymous Magnus Andersson said...

fadfadation: In an egypt village some distance from Kairo a freind of mine couldnt get outside her room without a veil. Especially not during the cartoon buzz. Had to stay inside. Different in the large cities of Egypt.

If we must respect all groups - including the fundamentalist muslims - we must not permit women to appear in public places without the veil, or? We must actually adopt all the intolerant "do-this-and-do-that" and finally the intolerant religious law, or?

The answers on these rethoric questions other countries may give as examples in history?

Tolerance is not the tolerance of intolerance. It is the tolerance to think and speech in "an intolerant way" but NEVER to act and transform society in an intolerant direction. (A tolerant society - I think - may prevail if tolerating the seperation of intolerant gruops and their practices, if the members living within the seperated gruops stay there by choice and are free to leave.) To respect intolerant groups is not a good idea if respect is to meet their claims for intolerance.

The word NEVER: See, there is a kind of absolutism in tolerance too! Human rights is another absolute "object" connected to humanity and freedom (where tolerance is alive).

We shall never be intolerant to intolerant point of views! The arrested blogger in Alexandria is a shame for the city historically known for its library (knowledge and freedom). The interrogation of the Minister of Culture is too! There is no freedom to speech if different opinion is not tolerated. Why can't we allways look after the source of intolerance is and fight it?! In these examples it is not too hard to see the intolerance source, is it?

At 3:35 PM, Anonymous Magnus Andersson said...

Sorry that I wrote we shall never be intolerant to intolerant point of views just before the arrested blogger in Alexandria and the Minister och Culture was mentioned. These two are tolerant, but not aim to introduce intolerance in society. Intolerance at power accept no freedom or speech, political or personal freedom, and too many people i guess simply accepting the rules under intolerant regimes helps them to gain more power; decrease freedom.

To debate is probably the opposite to simply accept. Never stop debate this! The debate may also give ideas on how a totalitarian trend can be resisted?? The debate may be one of relatively freedom, where unique non-controlled voices can be heard. (Blogs are a beutiful tool here, not?)

fadfadation, You participate in a debate. Thats good. You can have apathy and tolerate the intolerant politics but this makes counter arguments that anyone be read and thoughts about what is discussed. If one act in intolerance within a intolerant society, that is bad but one can even say it's okey to murder someone in the free society, if its not a step in a murder plot of course. (Murder is a crime, yes! So is the arrest of Kareem.)

Regarding your remark about ballots and democracy:
If, now, intolerant politics does not tolerate the blogger or worry about veils in Egypt, then it is hard to believe that there is freedom to start and/or run political parties. If the alternatives is limited by the intolerance from one part in the political spectrum (influencing other parties, even within them!), then one can not say that there is a freedom of democracy. No freedom of speech, no freedom of thoughts - and definitely no democracy. Then there is one single political power surpressing all the criticism.

They have today ballots in many totalitarian regimes. Billions of people without democracy have and has had vote system.

At 4:26 AM, Anonymous Unimpressed said...

Its laughable to watch european fascists and the native informants discuss other people clothing as if they them. Get a life perverts, if a woman wants to wear a veil, its none of your fucking business.

At 9:28 AM, Anonymous Impressed said...

Unimpressed: Your language is more likely to be defined as that of the village idiots. Besides, it's interresing that you, as the idiot you are, happily avoid the topic. The topic that women are forced to wear the veil in hard line islam. No freedom there! By this reason millions of women are refuges from islamic contries. A rule included in radical islam oppressing women.

Thinking that even idiots know this, or at least could read and understand simple text and topics. I'm glad to learn something new! That some people don't even have that ability. Kinda impressing...

Happy New Year!


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