Egypt burning

Egypt is witnessing an unparalleled uprising now. I am watching live video of the night time riots, which are happening in violation of a presidential curfew. Apparently the army has been called in so things are escalating rapidly. We can know that human beings are being hurt and killed in the chaos.

I found this source which provides a succinct explanation of what is going on:

What’s happening? Inspired by the recent protests that led to the fall of the Tunisian government and the ousting of longtime Tunisian dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, Egyptians have joined other protesters across the Arab world (in Algeria, notably) in protesting their autocratic governments, high levels of corruption, and grinding poverty. In Egypt, tens of thousands of protesters have taken to the streets.

Why are Egyptians unhappy? They have basically no more freedom than Tunisians. Egypt is ranked 138th of 167 countries on The Economist’s Democracy index, a widely accepted measure of political freedom. That ranking puts Egypt just seven spots ahead of Tunisia. And Egyptians are significantly poorer than their cousins to the west.

Please join me in expressing solidarity with those in #Egypt, that peace and justice may be restored, and that more Egyptians may experience the fruits of freedom in the wake of what is now taking place. Please also pray for their safety, and especially for the safety of Egypt’s minority Christian community.



  • Linus

    Not complaining when there are serious problems which aren’t being addressed is not a reason for pride. Winston Churchill was a great man but his words cannot settle important debates about crucial topics. It seems to me that if democracy brings the same–or possibly worse–results than outright totalitarianism, what makes it so great? The fact that we do in fact have free elections and yet we still wind up with more entrenchment and dynastic oligarchies than even a constitutional monarchy like Britain would indicate to me that democracy does not bring about the desired result. It seems obvious that people value security and stability–familiar faces like Slick Willy, Shrillary and Dubya–more than any kind of real freedom or self-determination. For example: I watched the BBC in 2003 during the run-up to the Iraq war and saw a “town hall”-type meeting with Tony Blair where he actually sat down with British citizens who questioned and criticized his push for war right to his face. Some were visibly angry and almost confrontational, and yet he sat there and engaged with them for over an hour. Try to imagine such a thing in America–it’s unthinkable. Do you remember the woman who told Obama a few months back at his “town hall” that she was a supporter who had become “tired of defending him” from people who were dissatisfied with his tenure? Did you know that she has since been fired from her job at a federal agency? That’s the nature of what we’re dealing with these days. Instead of one tyrant, we get dozens if not hundreds or thousands. I was born and will die in the USA. I’m never leaving this country (permanently) no matter what, so I would desperately love to be proven wrong about what I’m saying. But I’m still waiting for a convincing rebuttal to the points I’m raising.

  • Linus

    To anybody who thinks the power vacuum will NOT be filled by Islamists: please pass me some of whatever you’re smoking. If you think these people are rioting because they want Burger Kings and Methodist churches, think again.

    The rioters say they are fed up because Mubarak has been in power since 1981. I find it a little ironic that freedom-loving America has been dominated for at least that long by a relative handful of people and families. Consider that if Hillary Clinton had been elected instead of Barack Obama, it would now have been over thirty years since a Bush or Clinton had not occupied the White House as President or Vice-President. But that’s a crazy, irrelevant thought that means nothing, I’m sure.

    • Brian C

      Linus, your thought is not crazy, but it is irrelevant because every 4 years, we have a real opportunity to elect our president. From what I hear, there have not bee real free elections in Egypt with Mubarak in power.

      • Linus

        While I have no doubt that America is not (yet) as oppressive as Egypt, the “real opportunity to elect our president” that you speak of comes in the form of a choice between two people chosen by a very entrenched, amoral, materialist establishment. The majority of Americans only become aware of the major-party candidate choices after those choices have been thoroughly screeened by both party machines and proven their willingness to compromise absolutely any principle for the sake of maintaining the status quo. It may be less crude and less violent than in the middle-east, but the result is the same. You’re telling me that in this entire country of 300,000,000 there has been nobody outside the Bush and Clinton families–and I guess the Obamas have now broken into the equestrian class–fit to be chief executive for the last thirty years? Don’t tell me “we have a real opportunity.” A relatively small hadnful of people are allowed to have input on which of two narrow choices are put into office. The illusion of “real opportunity” is the most insidious nature of it all. At least the people of Egypt know exactly where they stand in relation to Mubarak’s regime.

        • Brian C

          I see the point you are making about the choices being prescreened, but my response would be to quote Winston Churchill, who once said ‘democracy is the worst form of government, except for all of the others’. Our system is far from perfect, but compared to the systems of the past, and most countries of the present (including Egypt), it is hard to complain.

  • Angelika

    Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, you once found safety in Egypt as you were fleeing the persecution of an evil king. Pray for the safety of the young people of Egypt. May they be granted the gift of freedom in their country, especially freedom of religion. Amen.

  • wtrmute

    For now, I don’t think the Muslim Brotherhood is in a good position to take over power — even though they are the single largest opposition group, they are just reacting to the protests as much as the security forces. This demonstration was organised mostly by secular Egyptians who want simply jobs, something the MB is ill equipped to provide. If the West doesn’t interfere and polarise the people against us like we did in 1979, I don’t think that country will turn to fundamentalism. It has not been a month since regular Muslims have gone to the Coptic cathedrals to try and thwart violence against our Christian brothers, after all.

  • Maria Lima

    Lewis is right…the concern would be that a Muslim dictator would step in to fill the power vacuum…Israel would be in great peril, as would all the world! We must pray for peace and justice for the Egyptian people, but more importantly, that a Muslim government will not take over!

  • Lewis Kapell

    Unfortunately, the power vacuum will probably be filled by the Islamic extremists – I understand that the Muslim Brotherhood is by far the largest and most powerful “resistance” group in Egypt.

    I fear for Egypt’s Coptic minority. They have been the victims of numerous violent attacks in recent months – if the Islamists gain power, their situation will almost certainly become even worse.

    • SKay

      Remember Jimmy Carter and Iran. That did not turn out well.
      Iran seems very happy about what is happening in Egypt at the moment. They must see an opening for themselves.



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