Can Democracy Work in Egypt?

Politics 2011/02/03 12:00:00
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Vaclav Havel, an activist and former president of the Czech Republic, said the problem with the West's view of democracy is that it believes there is only one way to practice it. But democracy -- the rule of the people -- comes in many forms, he said, and some we may not like.

This so-called version of democracy may be what evolves in Egypt. Millions of demonstrations have continued packing the streets despite pledges by President Hosni Mubarak to not run again. Protesters want him to resign immediately.

But what happens if he does? According to the Pew Research Center Global Attitudes Project, Egyptians hold what the West would consider anti-democratic ideals as well as democratic ones. Eighty-four percent say they agree that anyone leaving the Muslim religion should get the death penalty, but 90 percent believe in freedom of religion. A majority would back Islamic fundamentalists to run the government over secular modernizers.

But a strong majority of Egyptians believe in freedom of speech, the rule of an impartial judiciary and an uncensored media. So where does that leave the country -- and one that, by the way, holds a dim view of the United States.

As The Washington Examiner says, this could be a grand, democratic experiment where a country holds ideals that the West would spend a lifetime opposing.

Read More: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/03/world/middleeast...

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  • VICTORIA David850 2011/02/15 07:43:57
    Wood Dragon Horoscope

    People who are born in the year of Dragon with the element of Wood are temperamental and reticent. Their Interpersonal skills are relatively weak. However, many of the wood dragon people are talented. They love challenges in life and never give up. Their hard working attitude are often recognized and appreciated by supervisors. Wood dragon people are never lack of money, but more wealth will bring them more headache. This is due to wood dragon people are very "precise" money spenders. They want every penny to be spent on "absolutely important" things. Wood dragon people are family oriented people, they believe in harmony among all members under the same roof. They are good candidates for roommates. Wood dragon people do not like to be in debt, they rarely borrow money from others, when they do, immediate pay-back is expected.

    Suggestions for Wood Dragon People

    Wood dragon people is more suitable to leave their homeland and explore for new opportunities from afar. An interesting point about wood dragon people is that they are often very lucky with "un-expected wealth" which means they should go try out the lotteries since they would have higher chances to win. Watch the diet, since wood dragon people can be plagued by gastrointestinal diseases.
  • VICTORIA David850 2011/02/15 04:42:57
    Oops, I misunderstood the question.
    Actually, I studied astrology in depth for several years,
    I developed a correlation between west and east, and ascribed a whole system of symbology - even had a job doing it as a consultant-that's another story for another time.

    SO I never needed the placemats-

    Actually, the Ox corresponds to Capricorn (earth)
    And the Dragon to Aries- (fire)

    And the year of the Rabbit or Cat just started (Pisces)
    YAY! Pisces!
  • David850 VICTORIA 2011/02/15 05:25:40
    Cool. I never studied astrology or put any real belief in it, but it's still interesting: always like to see how well it corresponds to my personal experience. How do you see it?
  • VICTORIA David850 2011/02/15 07:46:23
    I see it as half lies and half truth. Just enough truth to suck you in, but ends up leading you astray.
    But I was wildly fascinated with it for awhile.
    Then I rejected it.
  • VICTORIA David850 2011/02/15 07:48:11
    I think anything that helps you to understand yourself better is a good thing- but you have to remember why you started, and when it stops becoming an enlightening experience and you find yourself trying to deny yourself to fit in with it- it has to go.
  • David850 VICTORIA 2011/02/15 04:27:37
    They probably didn't want it to go to your heads and turn you all into prima donnas!
  • VICTORIA David850 2011/02/15 04:43:40
    You know, that is exactly the reason- they told my Mom they didn't want our little heads and egos to swell.
  • David850 VICTORIA 2011/02/15 05:21:57
    I kept thinking about this, and decided that they should have told you -- my daughter just turned 7 and I want the school to encourage her and her classmates.
  • VICTORIA David850 2011/02/15 07:54:54
    Told us we were on TV?
    In the age of handheld video cams- she probably has already seen herself on video- right?

    We didn't have that....but actually, it was a school for gifted children, and we had to have an IQ over a certain number to be invited-
    so we knew our IQ was higher than that number- but they wouldn't tell us the exact number. :).
  • David850 VICTORIA 2011/02/06 03:17:36
    I guess you could lump me in there too, since my ancestory is SwedISH, BritISH and German!
  • VICTORIA David850 2011/02/15 07:55:16
    And I would have! I still am!
  • VICTORIA David850 2011/02/05 06:38:22
    Semantically, it may be possible- but this is in reference to a specific comment.
  • David850 VICTORIA 2011/02/15 04:30:22
  • VICTORIA David850 2011/02/15 04:44:19
    I forget what you're agreeing about- but it's nice.
  • mg's ha... VICTORIA 2011/02/05 06:22:06
    mg's haven~POTL~PWCM~JLA
    I have even heard muslims say i only follow allah's rule. How can that happen and have people getting freedoms. no plahpemy can be mixed with everything and the punishment for that is stoning (inhumane by anyone's standards) that doesnt sound like freedom of expression to me.Nor does equality...from what i understand if it isnt in keeping with tradition its followed by stoning (again inhumane not accepted) and completely covering yourself I dont care its still more freedom of expression and not allowed..(a silouette cannot be hidden so do start that one) and the forcing people to be a certain religion or they have to be ostrocized at the very least...more freedom ...not accepted How can this be freedom of anything if you cant bed free to speak your mind at all times..You cant have the rest without freedom of expression.
  • VICTORIA mg's ha... 2011/02/05 06:25:56
    You're hanging out with Muslims who are idiots then.
  • mg's ha... VICTORIA 2011/02/05 06:50:45
    mg's haven~POTL~PWCM~JLA
    Thats the point Nobody is putting their foot down on this to stop it. Until this happens there will be no change. There has to be action to change something. Protesting is one thing making it happen is what gets it done..Like i keep saying while people are running their mouth policies are getting put into place. I do not see anyone trying to stop that. I see yelling and throwing rocks ..no one is changing islam to fit into the new worlds we live in.. Everyone else has.
  • VICTORIA mg's ha... 2011/02/05 06:54:34
    Dear, you really really need to read the first post I made to you.
    I truly understand what you're saying, but I have to go now and I promise when I come back I'll work on it with you, ok?
  • mg's ha... VICTORIA 2011/02/05 07:09:19
    mg's haven~POTL~PWCM~JLA
    Fair enough. We can talk more later
  • VICTORIA mg's ha... 2011/02/05 08:47:25
  • mg's ha... VICTORIA 2011/02/05 18:22:52
    mg's haven~POTL~PWCM~JLA
    I hope i havent completely missed you. ....Here's what i see I see I see foul punishments for indiscretions ..islam is not changing them but freedom requires those changes. caning and stoning seem to be the prefered punishment for things...That cant be done anymore.
  • VICTORIA mg's ha... 2011/02/05 21:50:58
    Well, ok- and the entire continent of Europe is shocked at how we still execute people in AMerica, as well as having the most prisoners of any country on the planet.

    But we're not discussing draconian and barbaric criminal systems- but the flowering of democracy in Egypt, and it's compatibility with Islam.

    As i demonstrated.
  • mg's ha... VICTORIA 2011/02/05 21:58:17
    mg's haven~POTL~PWCM~JLA
    Thats the thing the ruling people calling themselves muslims live by those rules not the new democratic ones. They do intendt to taek everyone back to those days. I can see trying to loosen some of islams rules a bit like allowing for some things to be done. For instance they should make it ok to have strong relationshipd between muslims and nonmuslims. There are fatwas out of saudi arabia saying its a crime for that to happen. ( i do know there is a differece in the ideas between the sunni and shiite islam) One is more strict than the other.
  • VICTORIA mg's ha... 2011/02/05 22:27:36
    Well, that's why people are protesting in the streets of Egypt, and Yemen, and Tunisia, and Jordan, and Syria.....

    to get rid fo the dictators and establish democratic governments.

    WHich is happening, today.
    And they're all Muslims.
    Christian-Muslim Solidarity in Egypt
    rid fo dictators establish democratic governments muslims christian-muslim solidarity egypt
  • mg's ha... VICTORIA 2011/02/05 22:37:53
    mg's haven~POTL~PWCM~JLA
    Which is good however There are people calling themselves muslims (whether they are or not) making sure the old way of doing things doesnt get changed. Instead of changing the way of islam here to fit in with the US democracy people are trying to bring in the old way of doing things andc its working slowly. We have been censored we have had to give up christian traditions completely and adopted those of islam. I cant see how that is freedom of anything. And if it can happen in the US it will happen in areas where islam is part of tradition. It might not sound right BUT These people have it in their head they can do and say what they want simply because they can call freedon of religion (nobody will go against that)
  • VICTORIA mg's ha... 2011/02/05 22:43:30
    I'm not sure where you get your ideas about how Muslims are thinking right now- so I'll give you an example-
    The Jasmine Revolution in Tunisia, is where this all started and has flowed from.
    The President Bin Ali has been ousted.
    Rashid AlGhanoushi has been exiled from Tunis for 20 years.
    He just returned to the open arms of the people.
    Here is what he said in 1992.

    A relatively neutral starting point for Muslims is presented in a 1992 interview in the London Observer with the Tunisian Islamist leader and political exile, Rashid Ghanoushi: “If by democracy is meant the liberal model of government prevailing in the West, a system under which the people freely choose their representatives and leaders, in which there is an alternation of power, as well as all freedoms and human rights for the public, then MUSLIMS WILL FIND NOTHING INTHEIR RELIGION TO OPPOSE DEMOCRACY,AND IT IS NOT IN THEIR INTERESTS TO DO SO.” Many Muslims, including Ghanoushi himself, go beyond this and view democracy as an appropriate way to fulfill certain obligations of the faith in the contemporary world
  • mg's ha... VICTORIA 2011/02/05 22:53:37
    mg's haven~POTL~PWCM~JLA
    Try reading this and see what im talking about..

    This is part of what is saying to me that your information might fit for 1992 but its not going to work now. I hope this link is ope for you.
  • VICTORIA mg's ha... 2011/02/05 23:16:22
    Ok, I read it. You've given me an opinion by Cal based on his own (to me) extremist religious views.

    I'm not listening to the opinions of religious extremists.

    On either side, neither are the people of Egypt.
    If you dismiss so easily an opinion because it was given in 1992- you are not being an honest debater.

    I assume you accept the opinions given in 1776 for the formation of our republic.

    CalThomas does not address one single point made by AlGhanoushi-

    I don't know what you expect me to get out if that. I've been reading Cal for years. I'm very familiar with his views.
  • mg's ha... VICTORIA 2011/02/05 23:58:24
    mg's haven~POTL~PWCM~JLA
    I am mearly saying they are not so easily accepted now as they had been back then. Democracy in any form is questioned everywhere now. The ideas ared being twisted to meet needs as they come not conisistently as they should be. Freedom of religion now means islam can do what they want but nobody else can. Freedom of speech now means islam can regulate how we see things on TV and the internet. Heck there are some things that are completely not seen as a something that can be done at all.
  • VICTORIA mg's ha... 2011/02/06 00:03:55
    What are you talking about? Al Ghanoushi hasn't changed, he's become better more open more inclusive more freedom loving.
    And the people of Tunisia KNOW his ideology, and love him.

    I don't understand how that is a problem.

    Hasn't America been saying for a decade we want Arab countires to become democracies?

    Well, now it's happening.
    Freedom of religion is an important part of the reform and change sweeping Arab countries.
    Including Egypt where Muslims and CHristians are standing together- shoulder to shoulder.

    How can you not support this/
  • David850 VICTORIA 2011/02/06 02:48:47
    As long as the revolution results in continuing freedom of religion, it's a good thing. I'm afraid that Egypt will end up like Iran, however. We, as a nation, are supporting the protesters in Egypt. Why did we not do the same for the protesters in Iran in 2009?
  • VICTORIA David850 2011/02/06 03:17:10
    Well, in a nutshell- we replaced Mossadegh who was elected and had a functioning democracy- with a monarchy and installed the puppet SHah-
    SO Iranians had some very understandable distrust of our interventions in their politics.

    SO when the Green Revolution happened- the protesters themselves requested that Obama please not say anything to support them-

    Despite what we think Ahmadinejad DOES have a solid support base in the countryside and rural areas.

    And, knowing A-Jad- they knew that he would accuse the protesters of being american puppets and point to our support as proof to the population.
  • David850 VICTORIA 2011/02/06 03:28:10
    Wow -- I didn't know that they actually requested that Obama not intervene on their behalf. I do understand that Ahmadinejad has a strong amount of support from the rural areas. In Egypt, is it true that Mubarak also has strong support in the countryside?

    Also, and I feel the need to point out again that I'm a "far righty", I DO believe that Ahmadinejad is trying to moderate the Mullahs and take care of his country and constituents. I just wish he would quit grandstanding against the USA. We might be able to work things out -- we don't need any more wars.
  • David850 David850 2011/02/06 03:30:15
    For what it's worth (not much), I wasn't of voting age when the Iranian Revolution went down. I remember the constant barrage on the news about the hostage crisis, but that's about it.
  • VICTORIA David850 2011/02/06 03:46:45
    The only people who support Mubarak are the ones whose paycheck depend upon him.
    If the military (who make great money on investments in seaside tourism through profit sharing and stocks) can get behind the people- as they seem to- they won'
    t even support him.
    No, noone supports mubarak, he's been imprisoning and torturing his won people for his whole term-
    Egypt has been under "emergency rule" for the whole 30 years. Also Egypt's population is very centered around their cities. Water.

    Well, there is no way America and Israel would ever let him be considered legitimate Also, he does not have the kind of power that Obama, as pres does- his power is limited.He had to deal with the mullahs. Hey! At least you spelled that right!
  • David850 VICTORIA 2011/02/06 04:49:04
    I'm seriously starting to think that our State Department needs to begin consulting with you on dealing with Mideast countries.
  • VICTORIA David850 2011/02/06 08:35:47
    Well, I'm completely disarmed and totally flattered now
    I don't remember that particular chapter in the Art of War ....
    It sounds like you're improving on it.
  • David850 VICTORIA 2011/02/15 04:34:10
    Well THAT was true flattery! Don't do it too much or it will go to my head! Seriously though, I think all of our political types (in the US and overseas) aren't listening to the people.
  • David850 VICTORIA 2011/02/06 04:53:50
    I do remember the reports about how the shah imprisoned and tortured his oppponents. I think we're (we as a nation) are about to be hit with a huge ball of "mind your own f*cking business", which we should have been doing all along.
  • VICTORIA David850 2011/02/06 08:38:09
    it's possible- but luckily Egypt is 2/3 under age 30-
    So they may associate the US with their own victory in the coming years and change our relationship dynamic completely.

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