Sunday, August 7, 2011

Egyptian revoution going to Shariah law?

A protester from a Salafist group, among the most conservative and puritan Islamist movements, shouted Koranic verses and held an Egyptian flag at a rally on Friday in Tahrir Square in Cairo.
When the Arab spring started in February, I was concerned with the possibility of Egypt following in Iran's foot-steps: A popular revolution being co-opted by the clerics for their own purposes. At the time I though it would be the Muslim Brotherhood who would try to take the reins. I was wrong, it is even worse.

According to a recent NY Times article, the Muslim Brotherhood is one of the more liberal groups trying to hold elections while the more strident groups are shouting slogans like:“Islamic, Islamic! Neither secular nor liberal.”
The few liberals left in Tahrir Square are getting disheartened by the overwhelming majority of Salafists who are drowning out their revolution:
“They’ve come to show their muscles,” said Amr Hamza, a 25-year-old secular activist who has camped out in the square for weeks. With a hint of awe, he looked around the square, dominated by people in conservative dress. “There sure are a lot of them.”
A demonstration Friday in Cairo's Tahrir Square was billed as a show of national unity, but adherents to religious movements outnumbered other voices.
With the trial of Mubarak underway, perhaps we'll see some progress toward elections going on in the background while the people are watching the sideshow. But I'm afraid the fundamentalist Muslims will dominate the streets and take over this revolution, leaving the common Egyptians, particularly the women, in much worse shape than they were in under Mubarak.

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