Sir-- Thank you for your interesting article 'Europe ahoy' (14-20 June Al-Ahram Weekly). I hope the subject of relations between the Council of Europe and the countries of the Arab Spring -- which is, of course, extremely large -- will continue to be a focus of your work. It is a story that will continue for several years, just as the fall of the Berlin Wall reverberated through the news of the following decade or so. We would all like to see the emergence of liberal and progressive Arab states on the periphery of Europe, and I am sure the council will do what it can to help the process. But we should all be careful not to overestimate the impact that European voices can have in what is essentially a process towards modernisation that the Arab people of the region are undertaking themselves. I would appreciate reading your contributions to that process.
Press correspondent for the United Kingdom
Council of Europe
Sir-- The Arab spring in Egypt cost a lot of lives to switch from a tyrant to a military junta. Whoever wins the presidency is going to be controlled by the military whether they want to or not, so we might better be served by paying more attention to power struggles within that arm than with the elections. The elections will have little impact compared to the military takeover that has occurred.
Sir-- Nobody should forget how the Obama administration helped to orchestrate the overthrow of Mubarak and how, by leading from behind, the Obama Administration has allowed the worse case scenario to unfold in Egypt. Obama openly backed the Muslim Brotherhood, saying it was not a secular, radical organisation. Now we are about to see the truth of it all. They will enact Sharia law in Egypt, set up an Islamic republic, declare the US an enemy, and become strong allies of Iran. It won't be long now.
Sir-- Your choice is iron-fisted military rule or iron-fisted theocratic rule. Take your pick. I think a non-religious military junta is preferable to an Islamic theocracy in Egypt.
Sir-- The Muslim Brotherhood or military generals? What a choice. Neither will end up giving more freedoms to the everyday hard working tax paying populace. Freedom and liberty are flying from the grasp of Egyptians.
Afraid in the US
Sir-- The people in the White House are cutting the defence budget when they should be arming us to the teeth. Our enemies are growing stronger while we drown in social welfare debt and become weaker. It appears the Arab spring time of democracy is now officially the summer disaster. Has the US foreign aid check been sent? If it has, stop payment.
Sir-- Some comments suggest the Muslim Brotherhood will rule. Nonsense! The Egyptian military is firmly in control after introducing the interim constitution in which the military is not about to allow their control over Egyptians to wane. The military is the linchpin of national security and that's that.
Sir-- Hamas, the sibling of the Brotherhood, also promised democracy and freedoms, then tightened their grip and installed Sharia law.
Sir-- If the majority of people want Islamic law, then they should have it. I don't want it for myself or for my children but then again liberty does not have to look like me.
Might regret it
Sir-- Perhaps the irony of it is women voted in an election where the Islamist is likely to take away their rights.