Friday, February 04, 2005
Several people emailed me right after Iraq's election telling me that they hope that Egypt would one day witness such a day. I too hope this but I have to be very cautious as to when I wish that to happen.
A quick look at Egypt's current opposition entities is enough to install tremendous fear within me. Today there is no viable attractive opposition in Egypt that could replace the rule of Mubarak. I am sure that my country has a lot of capable personalities and political entities who can serve the Egyptian people and somehow pull them a little from the abyss they are in. The problem is that I cannot see them at the moment.
The best organized and the most well financed opposition entity is the Muslim Brotherhood. Those call for democracy yet they don't practice it within their own organization. Besides I'd rather have a million years of Mubarak than one day of the MB. On the other hand, the other small opposition parties do not have enough influence over the public and they are headed by old political figures that stay at the helm of their organizations until the day their spirits leave their bodies.
Egyptian liberals and democrats are very weak. I simply cannot hear their voices and I am not sure of how well they will do if Iraq's tsunami hit Egypt. I have no problem with Islamists or Nasserites (remnants of the Nasser era) joining the political process, however, I am afraid that if they reached power they would remain in power. I just hope the Iraq tsunami will wait until we have decent alternatives.
Iraq is lucky. First, its different ethnicities and religions will prevent a single group to dominate the country forever. Second, Iraq's constituents are multicolored in their ideologies. The coming national assembly will be filled by Islamists, secularists, communists, and constitutional monarchists. Third, there is a powerful secular force in Iraq; the entire Kurdish population is secular in its outlook. Fourth, the most superior religious figure there is a moderate who belongs to the quiets school of Shiism. Fifth, Iraq's road to decency and pluralism is guarded by Abram tanks and AC-130 aircrafts!