Al-Ahram Weekly Online   5 - 11 April 2012
Issue No. 1092
Reader's corner
Published in Cairo by AL-AHRAM established in 1875

Readers' corner

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Brotherhood mistake

Sir-- Upon announcing Khairat El-Shater as their candidate for the presidential elections, the Brotherhood has just made a big mistake. Their greed got the better of them. The truth is that they are proving each day that power is their only goal. Now the Islamist votes will be spread among more Islamists running. If the liberals are smart they will unite around one candidate and maybe they can then steal this election from the Islamists.

Ahmad Abdel Tawwab

Iran coming

Sir-- It looks like Egypt will be the next Iran and in a few months Mubarak won't look so bad. Only to the mainstream media was this reversal of an earlier decision to stay out of the race a surprise. Those of us who did not bury our heads knew exactly what was coming. One Arab Spring equals one step forward and three centuries back and Egypt will democratically vote itself in to the eighth century.

Tommy Howard


Sir-- Remember after Mubarak was ousted, the Brotherhood said they would not seek the presidency. But here we are. A Western-style democracy is a pipe-dream for people in this region with the exceptions of Turkey and Lebanon and maybe Morocco.

Robert Monahan

Nowhere moderate

Sir-- Most of the Muslims I speak to keep saying that the vast majority of Muslims are moderate and do not support the extremist form of Islam. However, everywhere I look -- Iraq, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Egypt, etc extremist Islamist groups are taking control and shaping the image of Muslims. Where are all the moderate peaceful Muslims?

Paula Carradine

One-way spring

Sir-- The Arab Spring is nothing less than a total radicalisation of once moderate states. Every country involved has gone to extremist Islam which means women no longer have any voice, Sharia law will be implemented, religion freedom is gone, and their ideals now go directly against that of the US. Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and Yemen are all now controlled by radical Brotherhood and Wahhabi Salafis. Perhaps the secular, pro-West so-called dictators were the better alternative after all.

Nassif Attiya

There's a limit

Sir-- The easy answer to all of this is to institute constitutional democratic rule, as we have in the US. Here, we say it's a democracy, but this constitution guarantees certain civil rights, one of them being freedom of religion, and freedom from religion. This has saved us from the establishment of religion that the Islamists would like to see. The generals need to stand on that principle, and tell Egyptians their freedom to be Islamists is limited by the freedom of others to enjoy basic human rights.

Julian Hanson

Not smart enough

Sir-- Some societies aren't meant to adopt democracy when they aren't developed enough to reflect what is best for themselves and their neighbours. The Arabs are only fooling themselves if they think they'll be able to govern themselves democratically. Democracy is never a guarantee of good government since it's the rationality of its people that determines its success.

Ken Lucas
New York

Dictators preferred

Sir-- What's interesting is that we in the US say we're pro-democracy, but only as long as the democratically elected leaders support our foreign and economic policies. So when Egypt or Palestine freely and democratically elect Islamists, suddenly we're not pro-democracy anymore. It was never about freedom or liberty; it was always about making sure other governments support ours. America prefers a dictator that supports our policies over a democratically elected government that doesn't.

Elaine Downs

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