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magicalfreddiemercury user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 02 Feb 11, 07:45 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I’ve been in awe of the dignity protesters in Egypt have shown during this ordeal. It’s heartbreaking – though not completely unexpected – to watch now as chaos erupts with the onslaught of pro-Mubarak gangs. These people are charging on camelback into the peaceful crowd. It’s clear this is a deliberate attempt to alter the mood of this peaceful – albeit angry - protest into a bloodbath.

They’re saying the military can stop this before it gets any more dangerous but for some reason they’re holding back.

Opinions?


"The others don't like my interviews. And frankly, I don't care much for theirs." ~ Freddie Mercury



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Posted: 02 Feb 11, 08:32 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Looks like Mubarak's "honor" is sustained by attacking peaceful, unarmed men, women and children. He forgot that thanks to international satellite TV the whole world can see through the scheme.

http://english.aljazeera.net/watch_now/ /

Thanks to the brave Al Jazeera reporters who show us these truly heartbreaking images.

The army must be in a difficult position - no real legitimate chain of command - who will decide that soldiers shoot at their own people in the streets of Cairo.


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Posted: 02 Feb 11, 20:13 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

>>>YourValentine wrote: The army must be in a difficult position - no real legitimate chain of command - who will decide that soldiers shoot at their own people in the streets of Cairo.<<< ===

It seems they're under orders not to intervene. As bad as that is, it's better than an order to shoot. Just one day ago, the people were cheering them, saying they were all one.

After Mubarak's speech yesterday, comments from Egyptians touched on this. People, naturally, didn't believe him and worried what he would do to them from now until then. I hate to think it will get worse than today.


"The others don't like my interviews. And frankly, I don't care much for theirs." ~ Freddie Mercury



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Posted: 02 Feb 11, 20:50 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I am like most, and am biding my opinion for now.

Why?  Because we in the US are frightened. 

Yes, we love democracy.  Yes, we want the people to have their rights.  The problem is that we saw what happened in Iran in 1979.  The masses overthrew a dictator.  The majority chose, and got what they wanted.  They are still suffering from Islamic rule three decades later, because they got what they wished for.  Only, it was not what they wished for.


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Posted: 03 Feb 11, 03:46 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

i wonder if Fox News have brought an atlas yet?
yesterday they were scare-mongering the natives by stating that Egypt was in the Middle East and showing it on a map,only problem was that they put Egypt exactly were Iraq is..
anyways.thanks to satelite tv the whole world got to see the molotov cocktail throwing rioting protesters.
ps,how many Americans realise that they actually fund the Egyptian army to a tune of £1.5bn a year?


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Posted: 03 Feb 11, 05:45 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

>>>JoxerTheDeityPirate wrote: ps,how many Americans realise that they actually fund the Egyptian army to a tune of £1.5bn a year? <<<
.
====
.
Seven. And five of those realize a portion of that 'aid' is designated to purchase US-made goods... like... I don't know... tear gas, perhaps?


"The others don't like my interviews. And frankly, I don't care much for theirs." ~ Freddie Mercury



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Posted: 03 Feb 11, 12:09 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

It's not only the USA who supported Mubarak, the Europeans are the same. For the peace with Israel and some stability in the region the Western nations  have limited their call for human rights in Egypt to routine lip services. Surely, the White House is now working hard behind the scenes to get rid of the regime hoping that a swift change will avoid radicalization and prevent the Muslim Brotherhood to gain more influence. Somehow I am optimistic that the people of Egypt will get a more democratic system. However, democracy does not necessarily mean instant higher income and a better life for everybody, so it has to be seen if the people have enough patience to give it a chance.


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Posted: 05 Feb 11, 01:39 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

*goodco* wrote: "I am like most, and am biding my opinion for now.


Why? Because we in the US are frightened.

Yes, we love democracy. Yes, we want the people to have their rights. The problem is that we saw what happened in Iran in 1979."

The last thing the Egyptian people would want is another Iran. Forget what Americans or anyone else think, the Egyptians are the last people who would want another Iran. However, if there is to be democracy, and that is no certainty, as post-Shah Iran has never been democratic; but if there is to be democracy, then I for one couldn't care less what Americans or anyone else think. If Egypt is to have democracy, then the only people whose views matter are Egyptian.

One of the problems is that too many people, and too many leaders, only embrace democracy if they are happy with the result. Furthermore, dictators have be backed because democracy was too dangerous to particular interests. Well, in 2011 it's no longer acceptable, and Egyptians have as much right to decide their own fate, as any othe people, regardless of what other people who themselves live in democracies think. The Egyptians want the same rights as anyone else on this board, and not to come down on you in particular, but whether Americans are frightened is irrelevent.

That said, I don't think there is much to worry about, should there be free and fair elections between viable alternatives. Within the Islamic world, just like in the non-Islamic world, when there is a choice between a moderate and secular alternative and a fundamentalist and extremely conservative alternative, the former almost always wins. Malaysia, Indonesia, Pakistan, Iran etc... speak to this, and in several Muslim countries (Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh), female leaders have been elected.

Alternatively, when the fundamentalist party is elected, it is usually because of corruption. Hamas, for instance, was elected precisely because it offered a clean alternative to the incredibly corrupt Fatah. Nobody likes corruption and greed, so if a party is corrupt or greedy, they will look elsewhere.

One last comment on this: in a secular and brutal dictatorship such as Egypt, it is only natural for the people to look towards religion and organisations such as the Muslim Brotherhood. That does not mean, however, that in free and fair elections, they will be supporting the Muslim Brotherhood. It especially does not mean that they will wish to live in a theocracy.

"The majority chose, and got what they wanted. They are still suffering from Islamic rule three decades later, because they got what they wished for. Only, it was not what they wished for."

Actually no. The majority did not choose and they did not get what they wanted. That is one of the tragedies of Iran; while they thought they would be free from the Shah's brutality, the post-Shah Iran was just as brutal. The secret police was simply renamed, and the torture in the prisions were elevated to a whole new level. Their lack of freedoms were replaced by a different lack of freedoms, so they never got what they wished for, beyond the Shah being deposed.

Also, the problem with Iran isn't that it has 'Islamic' rule; it doesn't. Iran has nothing to do with Islam whatsovever. In fact the past few years have shown the government to be nothing more than brutal power-hungry thugs who exploit Islam as a way to legitimate their rule. However over 70% of the country are under the age of 25 and have no connection to the Shah, and they view Islam as something to celebrate, and not to abuse, which is what the government is doing.

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Posted: 05 Feb 11, 07:22 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

>>>Amazon wrote: If Egypt is to have democracy, then the only people whose views matter are Egyptian.<<<

========

Exactly, and that's the only way it can be a true democracy.

Separately... I was surprised to learn (from a CNN interview with Christiane Amanpour), that the Egyptian constitution cannot be amended if the president is not in office. And, since their constitution indicates there can only be one presidential candidate, then for the people of Egypt to have a free and fair election, Mubarak needs to remain in office until an amendment can be made. It sounds like a Catch22.

Who can blame the people for demanding change. I just hope they (soon) accept that change might take longer than they'd like. Of course, the fear is the longer Mubarak remains, the more damage he will cause.


"The others don't like my interviews. And frankly, I don't care much for theirs." ~ Freddie Mercury



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Posted: 05 Feb 11, 12:28 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Hosni MUbarak may be a dictator who has ruled the country with an iron fist for 3 decades, depriving the people to choose their own leader, violating human rights,  and preventing the media to be free, etc but I still think he is better for Egypt than what the alternative offers at the moment.

I have worked with Egyptians and other middle east colleagues between 2006 and 2008 and it was clear as day to me the life and society in Egypt was more relaxed than other contries like for example Saudi Arabia or Iran. There is a sizable minority of Christians in Egypt who have freedom to practise their religion and have not been persecuted in their country as far as I know. There are also no restrictions under Hosni Mubarak's rule on women to not participate in education and compete equally with men in professional fields. Even though the country and culture is as Islamic as any other Arabic nation, the government is secular.

Now if Mubarak goes, there is all likely-hood of Islamic rule like Iran coming into effect. Democracy does not succeed always. Islamic societies can very rarely be democratic, which is proven by history and also understandable by the "exclusive" nature of that religion. Egypt so far has been one of thefew crucial Arabic/Islamic states which has not based its international friendships on the basis of its own good, rather than on emotional grounds. This will be lost if Islamists take over the ruling of the country, and the middle east can really become a chaotic place.

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Posted: 06 Feb 11, 11:54 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

ParisNair wrote: "Hosni MUbarak may be a dictator who has ruled the country with an iron fist for 3 decades, depriving the people to choose their own leader, violating human rights, and preventing the media to be free, etc but I still think he is better for Egypt than what the alternative offers at the moment."


But that is up to the Egyptian people, not you, to decide. You may not think he is as bad as the alternative, but you're an outsider. What you think, what we all think, doesn't matter, and if the people want him out, that should be good enough. It amazes me that people on the outside would even offer an opinion on how good Mubarak is, when the only opinions that matter are those of the Egyptian people.

"I have worked with Egyptians and other middle east colleagues between 2006 and 2008 and it was clear as day to me the life and society in Egypt was more relaxed than other contries like for example Saudi Arabia or Iran."

But how is that relevant? Egypt may not be as repressive as Iran or Saudi Arabia, but does that mean the people should be happy? The people obviously aren't happy, and comparing Egypt to other entirely different countries isn't all that relevant.

Anyway there is no guarentee that Egypt would end up like either country.

"There is a sizable minority of Christians in Egypt who have freedom to practise their religion and have not been persecuted in their country as far as I know. There are also no restrictions under Hosni Mubarak's rule on women to not participate in education and compete equally with men in professional fields. Even though the country and culture is as Islamic as any other Arabic nation, the government is secular."

I very much disagree with your views of an Islamic society (for one thing discriminating against women isn't Islamic), however I don't think that most people would want to live in a single-religious society, irrespective of the religion.

In fact history has shown that most people tend to vote against fundamentalist parties, and when they vote for them, it is usually because the secular parties are corrupt. If the Egyptian people are given a chance to vote and to control their destiny, I suspect that the parties they vote for would be similar to the kinds of parties the members of this site would vote for.

"Now if Mubarak goes, there is all likely-hood of Islamic rule like Iran coming into effect. Democracy does not succeed always. Islamic societies can very rarely be democratic, which is proven by history and also understandable by the "exclusive" nature of that religion."

Iran isn't Islamic; it calls itself Islamic, however it's really just a dictatorship. Anyway, whether Islamic societies can be democratic or not (I would question how many religious societies can be democracies, not just Islamic societies), the Egyptian people need to be allowed to risk and fail. Democracy may fail, they may get a government they hate more than the current one, however it is a risk they will be taking and not us (Iran, for instance, is a threat mostly to its own people), and whether they take the risk has nothing to do with us.

"Egypt so far has been one of thefew crucial Arabic/Islamic states which has not based its international friendships on the basis of its own good, rather than on emotional grounds. This will be lost if Islamists take over the ruling of the country, and the middle east can really become a chaotic place."

Do you mean 'which has based' rather than 'which has not based'? Anyway, there is no doubt that should Islamists take over, there will be chaos. But there is no certainty that will happen. Also, the idea that a brutal dictatorship should be kept in place simply to ensure that a less desired alternative doesn't take power is no longer acceptable. The Egyptian people want change; and what the Americans or the Europeans or the Isralies or the Iranians or the Saudis think can not take priority over what the Egyptian people think.

ParisNair, it is all very well to speculate on what will happen and what should and should not happen, but we are talking about a country whose people want the same rights and opportunities as you.

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Posted: 06 Feb 11, 12:45 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

magicalfreddiemercury wrote: "Who can blame the people for demanding change. I just hope they (soon) accept that change might take longer than they'd like. Of course, the fear is the longer Mubarak remains, the more damage he will cause."


I certainly don't blame them for wanting change. I really hope they get it. Obviously it will be extremely difficult, and there is every good chance that things won't go as hoped, but I think it is truly wonderful that the Egyptian people are taking things into their own hands. :D



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Posted: 06 Feb 11, 13:03 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Amazon wrote:
Do you mean 'which has based' rather than 'which has not based'?

Holy cow! I did mean "which has based..."

It amazes me that people on the outside would even offer an opinion on how good Mubarek is, when the only opinions that matter are those of the Egyptian people.

So I gave my opinion, am I not allowed to now? Anyway, I am not saying that Mubarak is the best leader in the world. What I did say, is that, Egyptians are better off under Hosni than what the alternative has to offer. Probably he should plan elections in another 2 years, giving enough time for himself and others to prepare for a political battle.

I very much disagree with your views of an Islamic society (for one thing discriminating against women isn't Islamic), however I don't think that most people would want to live in a single-religious society, irrespective of the religion.

In that paragraph I should have used "Arabic" instead of Islamic. I was talking about the culture/society rather than the religion. Men and women are free to mingle with each other and participate equally in the work-force in Egypt, which cannot be said of many Arabic states.

ParisNair, it is all very well to speculate on what will happen and what should and should not happen, but we are talking about a country whose people want the same rights and opportunities as you.

Its true that people always want change, its human nature. I am also of the opinion that Hosni Mubarak should have left the presidency long ago. But I just feel it should not be in such an atmosphere where emotions are running high, and people can easily be taken for a ride by vested political interests.

How many examples of governments, formed out of mass uprising againts a dictator/despot which has ensured stability in the country, can you give me? I give you Pakistan, Nepal (my immediate neighbours!), Indonesia . Such movements are always spearheaded by political interests and the common man gets a raw deal out of them.

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Posted: 07 Feb 11, 07:49 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

>>>ParisNair wrote: Its true that people always want change, its human nature. I am also of the opinion that Hosni Mubarak should have left the presidency long ago. But I just feel it should not be in such an atmosphere where emotions are running high, and people can easily be taken for a ride by vested political interests.

How many examples of governments, formed out of mass uprising againts a dictator/despot which has ensured stability in the country, can you give me? I give you Pakistan, Nepal (my immediate neighbours!), Indonesia . Such movements are always spearheaded by political interests and the common man gets a raw deal out of them. <<<
=====
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I agree with you on some level and fear what 'could' happen in Egypt if change comes too quickly. However, we have to realize that change of any kind would not come about over there without this mass uprising. In the States, we can speak out, protest, hold rallies, write to our representatives and vote. We don't have to take to the streets en mass for absolute change. Many of us are simply 'content' with our lives and, therefore, are not motivated enough to get out there and demand the kind of change the Egyptian people so desperately want - and deserve.

btw - off topic - you have to tell me how you managed to get quote boxes in your reply. !!!


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Posted: 07 Feb 11, 08:58 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

ParisNair is of course right in pointing out that there was peace and stability in Egypt under Mubarak. This is why rich Egyptian people have spoken out in favour of Mubarak - if you have a good life under a government you are not likely to take to the streets and risk your life in protest. Unemployment and lack of perspective is probably the bigger drive than not having freedom of speech and free elections - as yet there are no mass protests in Saudi Arabia where the government is even more oppressive than in Egypt. In Europe you can see how people who have a good life are totally immune when the government takes away their rights. It's only fear and rage that brings the masses into the streets in protest.

I do not know why you think that Christians are not persecuted in Egypt . - they are. On December 31, 2010 17 Christians were killed in a suicide attack on a church in Alexandria, at least 41 were wounded.  11 Christians were killed by their Muslim neighbours on January 30, 2011 in the village Sharuna, among them an 8 year old boy and a 3 year old girl. Last Saturday a church was burnt down on the Sinai peninsula. It's nice to see the people unite in protest in Cairo but the everyday life is somewhat different. The Egyptian government is secular but the state religion is Islam and the jurisdiction is based on Sharia law according to the constitution.


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Posted: 07 Feb 11, 09:04 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

ParisNair wrote: "It amazes me that people on the outside would even offer an opinion on how good Mubarek is, when the only opinions that matter are those of the Egyptian people.


"So I gave my opinion, am I not allowed to now?"

I never said that. However, when it comes to saying whether Mubarek is good for the people or not, no, I don't think you have the right to express an opinion. None of us do really. Since we don't live in Egypt, and what happens doesn't affect us, I don't think any of us have the right to express an opinion. Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to deny anyone their precious freedom of speech. However we are not dealing with a political leader in Europe, America, Australia or India. Considering that the Egyptian people aren't in a position to determine whether they want to keep Mubarak, those of us who are in a position to elect our leaders should keep our opinions on how good Mubarak is to ourselves.

"Anyway, I am not saying that Mubarak is the best leader in the world. What I did say, is that, Egyptians are better off under Hosni than what the alternative has to offer."

Except that's not a decision for you to make. You live in India right? Imagine if you lived in a dictatorship, and outsiders expressed opinions on your government, do you really think you would accept that? Or imagine this was 1947, before independence, and I said that I thought that still being part of the Empire was better than the alternative, would you really accept that? Or would you dismiss me as an arrogant outsider?

I really do think that it is incredibly arrogant to say that Mobarak is better than the alternative, when not only will you be unaffected by what happens, but all the Egyptian people want is the right to determine whether they want Mobarak or an althernative. They want the rights that you have.

"Probably he should plan elections in another 2 years, giving enough time for himself and others to prepare for a political battle."

Except the Egyptian people don't want to wait for two year. They don't want to wait two months, and really, why should they? Egypt is a dictatorship, and they want to control their destinty. Would you be prepared to wait? Why should they wait when they are demanding, and are entitled to, the same rights that you and others on this board enjoy?

This really does astound me. Not only do you think that the Egyptian people should wait to enjoy the same rights that you do, but you think they should wait 2 years! Absurd, absolutely absurd.

Anyway, Mubarak is finshed. Whether or not the people would ever have voted for him should he have ran in a free and fair election (doubtful), the one thing that they want is for him to resign, and to do so now.

"In that paragraph I should have used "Arabic" instead of Islamic. I was talking about the culture/society rather than the religion. Men and women are free to mingle with each other and participate equally in the work-force in Egypt, which cannot be said of many Arabic states."

Not that it's particularly relevant to this discussion, but I still don't agree.

"Its true that people always want change, its human nature. I am also of the opinion that Hosni Mubarak should have left the presidency long ago. But I just feel it should not be in such an atmosphere where emotions are running high, and people can easily be taken for a ride by vested political interests."

The problem is that you can't force change unless emotion is running high. Mobarak would never have left on his own accord if emotions weren't running high. Until this happened, he had planned on annointing his son as successor; however that is now unlikely to take place.

"How many examples of governments, formed out of mass uprising againts a dictator/despot which has ensured stability in the country, can you give me? I give you Pakistan, Nepal (my immediate neighbours!), Indonesia."

Not many, and I would even question one (possibly two) of the countries you selected. However, that does not mean the people should do nothing.

"Such movements are always spearheaded by political interests and the common man gets a raw deal out of them."

Absolutely. I guess all we can do is hope that, no matter what happens, the common man in this case doesn't get screwed.

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Posted: 07 Feb 11, 09:38 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

magicalfreddiemercury wrote:

btw - off topic - you have to tell me how you managed to get quote boxes in your reply. !!!


See Grateful Fan's posts in this thread:

http://www.queenzone.com/forums/1226656/why-is-nothing-working-.aspx

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Posted: 07 Feb 11, 11:47 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

 tcc wrote: magicalfreddiemercury wrote: btw - off
topic - you have to tell me how you managed to get quote boxes in your
reply. !!! See Grateful Fan's posts in this thread:

http://www.queenzone.com/forums/1226656/why-is-nothing-working-.aspx 


Thank you tcc!! (and Grateful Fan!)


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Posted: 12 Feb 11, 03:26 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

At the moment one can only feel happy for the Egyptian people. It is admirable how they succeeded in a very peaceful way. Hopefully, they now get what they want: democracy, peace and stability.

On a very selfish note I am starting to hope I can remove Egypt from my "no-travel" list soon and can see the pyramids in my lifetime:-)


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Posted: 12 Feb 11, 10:13 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

The quest for freedom has gone 'viral', it seems, as Algerian people now rally for democracy. It's not looking too good for the protesters right now, but if they stand together there as they did in Egypt, maybe they will succeed as well. We can hope.

These people are so brave.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wSxMZu_7AT8&feature=youtu.be


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