Thursday, 6 December 2012

Arab 'Spring' Turns Heated?

Watching the latest news from Cairo it is evident that the overthrow of the Mubarack regime, hailed by left wing and liberal western media, has failed to produce the "liberation" from tyranny they proclaimed. The elections, as I suspected, were won by the Islamic fundamentalists. It certainly didn't take President Morsi long to try and impose a Sharia based constitution severely curtailing the hard won rights of women and to try to impose absolute rule by decree immune from the challeneg of the Courts.

It does rather prove the old saying that it is sometimes "better the devil you know" since his place may well be taken by something worse. The hoped for 'liberation' from oppression seems, everywhere, to have been surrendered to fundamentalists wanting to impose a theocratic dictatorship.

It is sad, but not entirely unexpected to those who have visited some of these places and seen the tensions bubbling away beneath the surface. The "Old Regimes" were only nominally religious. Secularising policies kept the excesses of Sharia Law and the fundamentalists in check - but they were always there, always working to the moment the grip on power slipped. Now they have seized the moment, the 'liberties' and 'rights' of women and minorites are vanishing faster than I can type.

A large part of the problem - from a western perspective - is that the majorities in all of these countries are simple rural and tribal folk, many deeply religious. So they will inevitably vote to maintain the strength and power of their religious beliefs. They do not see the western model as either appropriate or desirable and they reject it. The educated city dwellers are a minority, so they will always be outvoted, out rioted and kept out of positions of influence.

The 'scholars' and supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood in Cairo know this. It is only a matter of time for them, and the feminists and human rights groups will be suppressed - and so will Egypt's large Coptic and Orthodox Christian population.

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