assuming everyone is aware of the situation over there, i wanted to raise an important point.  

from what i can gather, this is largely a reaction to a theocratic government.  while Egypt is largely Muslim, the people want a secular government.  if this is truly the case, i say hoorah!!

but my question is, why are so many in America going in the opposite direction?  the entire right wing is for more religion in government.  religious laws like abortion and contraception, religious teachings in science class, legal discrimination against homosexuals, etc. - these are some of the most important tenants of US conservatives.  

meanwhile the world will cheer if the Egyptian situation works out.  can the world speak out and condemn this growing movement in America?  please???

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ok, the more i hear about this the more it reminds me of what's going on at home.  

they're saying the big city, liberal elites in egypt want a secular gov't, while the poor rural areas want the conservative Muslim Brotherhood.  now they are hoping to battle it out at the ballot box.  problem is, that just happened.  

seriously, how different is egypt from the US right now?  only difference is the religion they favor.  

What little I know about this is from the excellent ABC radio here is Australia which has covered it well.

Stating that i think its a bit more complex than your initial assertion.

Muburak's government always had more support in the cities than the country areas, but being a dictator that really didn't matter.

During the Arab spring secular and Islamist groups banded together to put pressure on Muburuk to resign, which he did after only 14 days.

The army which then took control quickly instigated elections, but crucially there was not enough time for the secular groups to properly organise themselves. As a result the Muslim Brotherhood, who despite officially being illegal, had enough grass roots support, and more importantly, organisation dominated the elections winning most of the seats and the presidency.

Morsi who has served as president since then has lead an increasingly Islamist programme in Egypt. He introduced a Constitution that greatly increased the role of Islam in the working of government.

His support has mainly been through the Muslim Brotherhood and their massive support in rural areas. Recent demonstrations have seen the erosion of that support and now the military has intervened.

I'm torn on this situation. Part of me says that it would have better if the secular forces in Egypt had used the political process to replace Morsi, but you have to wonder if the Islamist constitution in place that they would have even had a chance.

As such I would say there are superficial similarities with the conservative politics in the US, but without them controlling the political process and the constitution they are unlikely to get the same results. Of course a SCOTUS leaning in their favor wont hurt the chances of them doing so.


Even if a secular government was elected in Egypt, they'd still have faced the same problems the Islamic Brotherhood faces right now. And that is the Military. 

If you look at all the previous presidents of Egypt, they were all military. 

Gamal Abdel Nasser was a colonel and president from 1956 - 1970

Anwar Sadat was a lieutenant and president from 1970 - 1981

Hosni Mubarak was a Air Chief Marshal and president from 1981 - 2012

Also I was told that all the governors and mayors of Egypt are all ex-military. I tried to verify this but found it a little difficult. But since Nasser it does seem that ex-military have been in office most of the time.

Previous Governors:(Under the Military Junta)

Alexandria( General  Mohamed Abdel Salam Mahgoub),Aswan(General Mostafa Ahmed El Sayed),Asyut(Maj. General al-Sayyīd al-Bura'ī), Beheira(Major General Mohamed Sharawi), can't be bothered doing the rest.

Current Governors(Under The Islamic Brotherhood)

Adel Asaad El-Khayat (former terrorist), just stepped down as governor of Luxor

So, if a (military) organization controlling a country, had all the money and power from 1956 to 2012, and then suddenly had to hand it over to somebody else (regardless of them being secular or religious), surely the people in that (military) organization would try and get the power and money back if they could. 


My thoughts on the original question:

but my question is, why are so many in America going in the opposite direction?...

I think the people in America who have the power, want to keep it. They don't want to let go of it. Maybe using religion is the best means for them to keep all the money and power they have. Just a thought though. 

There is an interesting book entitled The Anatomy of Revolution by Crane Briton. He analyzed the English, American, French and Russian revolutions for commonalities or, stages if you will. And, they seem to fit with many, if not most revolutions. His thesis was that revolutions don't occur when the populace is completely crushed, but when there starts to be a middle class whose economic and social position feels threatened by the oligarchy, dictatorship,.monarchy, etc. Disparate groups then unite to overthrow the powers that be, and once gone, there is a vacuum in leadership. The once united factions split, which ultimately leads to civil war. In the case of Russia, the fight between the Mensheviks and Bolsheviks didn't take long. In the case of America, 70+ years - but civil war nonetheless.

While this is a thumbnail sketch of Crane's thesis, it seems to be playing itself out in Egypt. I think MB's comment is highly salient. The Muslim Brotherhood was better organized than their prior allies against Mubarak, the secular forces, and stepped into the vacuum left by his overthrow to impose their agenda on the nation. Now, those anti-Islamist groups are banding together and threatening civil war. The military has stepped in to keep a lid on things, by removing Morsi, but I wonder how long the military will be able to keep the lid on this boiling pot before it explodes.

I think this is the view of what is happening in Turkey and last year in China and elsewhere as well.  It could be the start of a powerful secular trend in the middle ease which may be the way we get our atheist toe in the door in the islamic hegemony.  

Could be that we need an internet-free Islam patterned after the old radio-free Europe.  Then all we'll need is Reagan come to come back from his hereafter and say,  'Mohommad take down that sword from your daughter's neck!'

Eric Stone

great, and i hope so, but it pisses me off that elsewhere they're becoming more secular while nearly half of our country wants to be less secular.  it's embarrassing.  

I was listening to a discussion of the situation in Egypt and the speaker was giving an explanation of how the Muslim Brotherhood came to be in power in the first place.  According to the speaker, they outsmarted the secular groups by hitting the pavement early to rally Muslim voters.  It seems the secular groups dropped the ball as far as the actual voting went.  Maybe they won't be so overly confident this time around and can make sure they get out the secular voters.

Maybe those who want a secular government in the US need to begin planning early to assure a favorable outcome in the 2014 and 1016 elections.

Our group (Westchester Atheists, NY) had 2 tabling events and just started collecting signatures on a simple petition to end tax exempt ionfor all non charitable functions of religion (more than 70% of their expenditures).  We got about 160 signatures from 2 tabling events (as well as a great deal of support from the public) and are going to send the actual copies of the signature to politicians.  When they see the amount of opposition against tax exemption they may not be so scared to vote against it. 

This issue has legs even among many of the believers.

well, that's certainly the most cynical take i've heard on this.  sounds like you know what you're talking about.  still, i'm going to choose optimism here.  


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