Tuesday, 9 July 2013

POV: Rocks And Hard Places

Photo © Max Lee-All Rights Reserved

I occasionally depart from opining on photography or on stuff that piss me off...but this time, this POV is personal.

Egypt, my country of birth, is once again facing an incredibly dangerous phase in its 7000 years' history. I've spent most of my life elsewhere, and while perhaps in some ways that detaches me from it, I still have a connection. Seeing the current turbulence on the various television channels and reading the news articles enhances that connection, and whatever my current emotions are, they're based on the residuals gleaned during the earlier years of my life.

As everyone knows, there are three main power centers in Egypt at this time: the 'street' who's had enough of  authoritarian regimes but is ill-organized, the military and the Islamists/Muslim Brotherhood...both well organized.

I've already expressed my views on the removal of Morsi from the presidency in other forums, so I won't repeat them here....but in summary, my view is that he deserved his removal due to his administration's abysmal record during the past 12 months, and Egypt can ill-afford suffering another 3 long years of this terrible governance.

My personal position is this: I don't want a religious clique to govern Egypt...I don't want them to impose their interpretation of Islam on anyone....whether Muslim, Christian, Jew, Baha'i, Shia, Sufi,  agnostic or atheist...I don't want them to impose a style of dress on women...I don't want them to tell women to stay home and not work....I don't want them to interfere in anyone's personal or public life...I don't want them to claim 'jihad' for any cause they deem appropriate to sully Islam further...I don't want them to influence education (already bad enough) in Egypt...I don't want them to tell anyone what to read or not to read...to view or not to view...I don't want them to discriminate against anyone...against any gender or lifestyle....

With the 'street' as disorganized as it is, lthis eaves the military as the only, and potentially temporary, viable alternative. I'm uncomfortable with that option...very uncomfortable. But the military -while execrable when confronting threats to its authority- is more interested in administering its industrial complex and business interests than interfering in daily life....and having a political role distracting them from their lucrative activities.

Eventually, the 'street' will mature, get organized and rise to the task of democracy...and perhaps the military will then cede the reins. Perhaps the youths of the Muslim Brotherhood will remove its current old ideologues and reshape themselves into a constructive political party.