Thursday, 27 January 2011


previously unthinkable scenes in Cairo.  To this TV viewer it looks as though the Egyptian police are being a bit less heavy-handed than their counterparts in Tunisia recently, and a bit more conscious of the TV cameras, so that heads, if broken, will be broken in more secluded places.  But Mubarak and his family and henchpeople must be terrified, although unlike Ben Ali in Tunisia they are staying put, for now at least.  There is a little less coverage of Egyptian events on French media than there is/was of those in Tunisia, largely I think because francophones are a bit harder to find in Egypt.  And similarly we are not hearing from the Muslim Brotherhood (good), and the only place you find Hamas getting a platform is in the Guardian.  Which also publishes a letter from somebody called Ted Hunderich saying terrorism is OK if carried out against Israelis - he doesn't say if he includes Israeli Arabs, Christians or Muslims in that, but I think we can guess.  Despite the latter, the events in this part of Africa give me real hope. 

1 comment:

Sauti Ndogo said...

The problem - or rather, one of the problems - is that there is no obvious happy third alternative to Mubarak on the one hand and the Muslim Brotherhood on the other.

I was in Cairo at the end of November, at the time of the laughable parliamentary elections. Thoughtful middle class people I spoke to said they were indeed utterly fed up with Mubarak and his clan. But, as "we don't want to be another Sudan or Iran", they would - on balance - rather have Mubarak (father or son) than the MB. This was relatively politicized people speaking, so the feeling among more ordinary members of the middle class is probably even less inclined towards radical change.

There is a liberal secular opposition, but it is small and has very limited appeal to the masses. Until a realistic althernative presents itself, we outsiders should be careful what we wish for.