Reformist Muslim

Exploring possibilities for the future of Islam and other thoughts

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Location: London, United Kingdom

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Why Egypt Voted For The Muslim 'Brothers'

Calabash has some interesting analysis on the Egyptian elections on his blog. Not surprisingly, it seems that by voting for the 'brothers', most Egyptians are hoping for the creation of jobs and better social services rather than increased religion in government.

Unfortunately I strongly doubt whether the Ikhwan will be able to deliver on this and it looks like the Egyptian people will have to experience such a government, before being able to discount its viability (For example, how do the Brothers intend to reconcile the importance of the tourism to the Egyptian economy with bringing their interpretation of Sharia law?).

I think it goes to show that if you suppress all alternatives like the Egyptian government has systematically done, and don't back it up with decent economic progress (like Singapore perhaps), then the utopian alternative becomes a lot more attractive than it should.

Hopefully, Egypt's electoral system will be further liberalised before Hosni Mobarak's regime is forced from power, enabling other political parties to establish themselves enough so that they can provide a legitimate alternative to both the Brothers and Mobarak. Given the popularity of the Brothers in the elections, this needs to start happening now. Otherwise, it may be too late and America's quest for stability in the Middle East by financing the Mobarak regime may well end with a fundamentalist government in stead.

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