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About that Egyptian freedom movement

Caution is in order:

According to a major survey conducted last year by the Pew Research Center, adults in Egypt don't crave Western-style democracy, as pundits have blithely trumpeted throughout coverage of the unrest.

Far from it, the vast majority of them want a larger role for Islam in government. This includes making barbaric punishments, such as stoning adulterers and executing apostates, the law of their country. With the ouster of their secular, pro-American leader, they may get their wish.

Among highlights from the Pew poll:

• 49% of Egyptians say Islam plays only a "small role" in public affairs under President Hosni Mubarak, while 95% prefer the religion play a "large role in politics."

• 84% favor the death penalty for people who leave the Muslim faith.

• 82% support stoning adulterers.

• 77% think thieves should have their hands cut off.

• 54% support a law segregating women from men in the workplace.

• 54% believe suicide bombings that kill civilians can be justified.

• Nearly half support the terrorist group Hamas.

• 30% have a favorable opinion of Hezbollah.

• 20% maintain positive views of al-Qaida and Osama bin Laden.

• 82% of Egyptians dislike the U.S. -- the highest unfavorable rating among the 18 Muslim nations Pew surveyed.

This empirical evidence refutes the sympathetic narrative broadcast as a continuous loop in the media over the past fortnight. Even after getting beat up by anti-American mobs, CNN's Anderson Cooper portrayed rioters as largely secular yuppies yearning for modernity and the triumph of human rights over martial law.

He and other media elite have it exactly backwards: Egyptians are revolting against Western-style democracy. The Pew poll reveals they do not, in fact, value our principles of individual freedoms, human rights and separation of religion and state.

I think we tend to forget that pure Democracy can be problematic.  On a stranded island where three men and two women are practicing Democracy, the men could vote to rape, abuse and otherwise demean the women and Democracy would reign.  Not that this would happen in an Arab state.

H/T Tom Elia.


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Comments (34)

What were the percentages b... (Below threshold)

What were the percentages before the uprising?

Does this mean that 84% thi... (Below threshold)

Does this mean that 84% think that Obama should be executed?

Someone - I think it may ha... (Below threshold)
Mark L:

Someone - I think it may have been Churchill - defined pure democracy as three wolves and a sheep voting on the lunch menu.

Again Obama's administratio... (Below threshold)

Again Obama's administration demonstrated their total incompetence during this "movement". And the left, who thinks Suddam Hussein should stay in power but the left wants democratic elections in Egypt. I guarantee you, it is going to cost americans big bucks to keep Egypt as an allie. ww

Thanks to our forefathers w... (Below threshold)
Maggie Mama:

Thanks to our forefathers we don't have a democracy but a republic although today many on the left would like to change that around.

There's also the "unpersons... (Below threshold)

There's also the "unpersons" method of democracy: "Oh, those aren't real people because they're a member of group X, so they're not entitled to the same things as our regular citizens." So say the law, like, oh say, islamic sharia, defines, oh say, a woman as having lesser worth and being essentially property. Then any man who desires to abuse "his" woman may do so - after all, he's only abusing his own property and the law has no business getting involved.

Amazing that when the "unpersons" are black people in the US this is so awful that correcting the situation requires continuing major steps a generation or more after they've become full and equal in every sense of the term. But when it's women in the Islamic world, well it's all ok...

""Oh, those aren't real peo... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

""Oh, those aren't real people because they're a member of group X, so they're not entitled to the same things as our regular citizens." "

In the U.S., those unpeople are known as 'straight white males'; but that's a topic for another post.

Feh. Pure democ... (Below threshold)

Feh. Pure democracy inevitably leads to anarchy. Which morphs into a party exerting iron control over a populace. And that goes down a familiar road.

The MB IS going to gain ascendancy, as was said prior. In due time, Egypt will be Iran redux.

The next several years is gonna be interesting, putting it mildly. I smell a problem coming with the Suez Canal, that will require US to resolve--IF we have a President with the nerve and intelligence to do so. Currently, we don't have such an individual.

"...and may I take this ... (Below threshold)

"...and may I take this opportunity of emphasizing that there is no cannibalism in the British Navy. Absolutely none, and when I say none, I mean there is a certain amount, more than we are prepared to admit, but all new ratings are warned that if they wake up in the morning and find toothmarks at all anywhere on their bodies, they're to tell me immediately so that I can immediately take every measure to hush the whole thing up.


To misquote and/or to possi... (Below threshold)

To misquote and/or to possibly mis-credit Ben Franklin, "Democracy" is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to eat for lunch but only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become more corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.

None of the world at large and most Americans fail to appreciate that the essential ingredient in the cement that binds our beloved fraternal republic and that holds together the very Judeo-Christian/Western/Human Civilization America's blood and America's treasure has, these past more than two-hundred years, vanguarded -- and has also guarded -- is, in fact, Judeo-Christianity.

No nation/state without a Judeo-Christian foundation has ever or will ever achieve other than a thin veneer of Civilization or be ever other than but a poor Xerox copy of a Judeo-Christian/Western/Human-Civilized Nation.

Japan, once held together by McArthur's imposed Judeo-Christian/Masonic morality, soon gave itself in hock to its murderous standover-merchant Yakuza - that presently preside over its slide into history's dustbin. The elitist corruptocracy's delusions notwithstanding, India's one billion sub-poverty poor may never live other than in the middle ages.

China's rapidly-growing around three-hundred million Christian population offers hope. But only if Chinese Christians can throw off the murderous reign of several thousand years of the dictatorship of the most dangerously dullard as presently represented in trumps and on steroids in the persons and practices of the self-anointing, self-appointing and self-perpetuating heirs to the world's most prolific-ever mass-murdering child rapist, Mao. Throw off, that is, the Peking pack of predatory piranhas that so grandiosely calls itself -- and the inhabitants of the two and a half million square miles of other People's lands, territories and sovereign states it includes in its reckoning -- "China." And begin to know how essential the consent of the governed is to government and to nationhood.

As of today, Egypt's chances of a lasting government of, by and for its People? Of other than a very poor Gestetner-Rotary-Cyclostyled copy of a Judeo-Christian/Western/Human civilized nation?

Less than Zero. Egypt is but a symptom of a very much deeper malaise.

For let us never forget -- and before we get too cocky -- that to the extent our enemies domestic (also known by their street name: the "Democratic" (National Socialist Workers and RICO-Racketeers' Party -- and such of that gang's as-execrable cohorts as the American Criminal Liberties Union and the states' and territories' and districts' Bar Associations and activist/fiat "judges" and its allies among the near and far abroad's most evil) have stripped and continue to strip Judeo-Christian morality and its tenets from our Constitutional underpinnings, we are also weakened and diluted and/or is our nation's Exceptionalism destroyed.

Christianity itself? I don... (Below threshold)
James H:

Christianity itself? I don't think so. Seems to me the real important element is institutions -- that is, entities that people build and transmit from one generation to the next.

And before we go off on assumptions of cultural superiority, it's worth remembering that while much of Europe wallowed in the Middle Ages, art, mathematics, and astronomy flourished in the Muslim empires of the time.

Yes James H, and so did sto... (Below threshold)

Yes James H, and so did stoning, disembowelment, beheading and mass slaughter of enemies.

Yes, Epador, those Christia... (Below threshold)
James H:

Yes, Epador, those Christians were quite brutal. I particularly liked the burning of witches.

Democracy can be viewed as ... (Below threshold)
Constitution First:

Democracy can be viewed as three wolves and a sheep deciding what to have for dinner.

A Federal Republic can be viewed the same, except with a well-armed sheep.

"And before we go off on... (Below threshold)

"And before we go off on assumptions of cultural superiority, it's worth remembering that while much of Europe wallowed in the Middle Ages, art, mathematics, and astronomy flourished in the Muslim empires of the time."

So does that mean we're going to devolve eventually to head-hacking, a Christianized Sharia, and all the various goodies including strong-man dictatorial multigenerational regimes?

Seeing they're so advanced and all...

• 84% favor the death penal... (Below threshold)

• 84% favor the death penalty for people who leave the Muslim faith.

• 82% support stoning adulterers.

• 77% think thieves should have their hands cut off.

Barry J Clinton, would they be stoned before or after lopping off head & hands?

Important distinction. In ... (Below threshold)
James H:

Important distinction. In a dictatorship, death penalties and so forth will be set by the dictator. In a democracy or republic, those things can be set by the will of the people. And the people's will can be changed over time. Worth remembering when reading these polls.

Notice I used the past tens... (Below threshold)
James H:

Notice I used the past tense, JLaw. Certainly, elements of the modern Middle East need changing, just as elements of the modern West do.

But as for descending into a Christian version of sharia ... I would say all things are possible. But it is certainly not inevitable.

95% prefer the religion ... (Below threshold)

95% prefer the religion play a "large role in politics."

Why is this bad? A poll of republicans would likely yield similar results.

"95% prefer the religion pl... (Below threshold)

"95% prefer the religion play a "large role in politics."

Why is this bad? A poll of republicans would likely yield similar results."

It's bad because we are talking the religion of peace here George. While a poll of dems would yield similar results. A poll of repubs would likely yield opposite results. Even less among conservatives.

What is a "Christian versio... (Below threshold)

What is a "Christian version of Sharia Law?" Wow! You are off the deep end buddy.

Okay, I get it, the Muslim world needs to change some things like we do. Okay, we'll stop stealing planes and crash them into buildings killing thousands. We'll stop beheading people on camera to demonstrate how fierce we are. We'll stop stoning women for having sex outside of marraige. We'll stop making women cover themselves from head to toe. We'll stop telling our citizens that they will get ahead of the heaven line by killing infidels. James, as always, your analogy is pathetic. ww

"But as for descending into... (Below threshold)

"But as for descending into a Christian version of sharia .."

? WTF?

It's bad because we are ... (Below threshold)

It's bad because we are talking the religion of peace here George.

90% of Egypt is Muslim yet they were cabable of having a non-violent revolution. What does that say about pre-conceived notions?

#22Ask Hosn... (Below threshold)


Ask Hosni for the answer to that.

There is chaos in the stree... (Below threshold)
Jim Addison:

There is chaos in the streets of Iran today, but of course this only merits a passing mention in our media, who find it more interesting when American allies are beset with democracy demands, not those who oppose us.


James H has an interesting view of history. He seems to think that because Western societies engaged in barbaric behavior 400 and more years ago, this is the equivalent of what shari'a law is doing TODAY.

Of course, it is ridiculous to make such a comparison but, when one seeks to apologize for barbarians who stone rape victims and mutilate the genitals of young girls, making sense is not really an option, is it?

1) JLawson, not I, introdu... (Below threshold)
James H:

1) JLawson, not I, introduced the concept of "Christianized Sharia." I merely expanded on it with speculation of where history could potentially turn.

2) A so-called "Christianized Sharia" can be extrapolated from portions of the Bible, particularly the Old Testament, relevant to classic religious law. Additionally, the behavior of such a hypothetical regime can be extrapolated from the behavior of past Christian organizations, including the Spanish Inquisition.

3) Jim Addison completely mischaracterizes my argument. At no time did I attempt to defend extreme examples of behavior in the Middle East. I merely pointed out that civilizations on both sides of the East/West cultural divide are capable of both good and evil, and that civilizations on both sides of the divide have done so in the past.

James H:You only c... (Below threshold)

James H:

You only caught half of my unspoken comment, and from my point of view stepping in a big smelly pile of dog poop that just won't scrape off your sole (or is it soul?).

So if the Islamist and the Christians were brutal then, and now just the Islamists, what does that say about your pie in the sky view of Islamic culture?

Now, to drift away slightly... (Below threshold)

Now, to drift away slightly from the thread, if BO would just make a public statement decrying the protests in Iran and restating the validity of the current regime, maybe, just maybe, he can have yet another positive effect by deflating yet another person/government he voices support for.

I'm OK, Rick, with your ... (Below threshold)
gaius piconius:

I'm OK, Rick, with your gypo stats but gypo freedom is valid....after all they are gypos and have their own ideas of freedom called, I suppose, from your figures...Islamo-freedom. But democracy it is not. Going back to my distant tutoring, democracy existed when the sovereignty of a nation was owned and was held in stewardship, BY THE PEOPLE; a 'keep it simple stupid' ideal. Islamic nations eschew it wholesale, and it will be as dead among islamics in future years as it was in the past. Clearly no discussion required, if you buy that simplicity. But I intend a second follow on comment taking simple issue with your statement that 'pure democracy can be problematic'. Not so!... unless the simple ideal has been muddied by add on features obscuring the limits of the original...features like justice which appeals as a fungible tool, one that serves your democracy, this way today but differently next week. It is, more acurately, an institution and an indispensible tool that complements but is not, democracy; 'cause it ain't cast in concrete like it's master.
Just allow me, Rick, a few minutes to to stir up that mischievous little squirrel that likes to dart about in my...'loaf of bread',(head).

Thx! I have stated above ... (Below threshold)
gaius piconius:

Thx! I have stated above the pure simplicity and soul of democracy, and the rape that you suggest, mischievously, is done by a 'vote' and may occur, but it ain't a democratic rape. It's a 'might makes right' event. And you are clearly not arguing this point, Rick, that's a given. And democracy is not implicated because a vote, anywhere, is not democracy, although our votes are, we hope, representative of democracy at work. Again, the vote is a tool, but it ain't democracy...Nancy P knew that well. That said let me explain my squirrel; years ago some aggravating flower power turd assured me that he did indeed have a right to higher education and responded angrily to my assurance that he had none, and that youngsters are 'gifted' the opportunity and duty to become educated and are legally obligated to attend most of high school. But of course democratic rights came up and my denial that democracy was involved in anyway at all in education popped his gasket. His ideal was that democracy guaranteed society a basket of social programs, which I again denied. He reasoned government as R.Hood,esquire., and I insisted that said Hood was primarily a thief, (although he looked a hell of a lot like Errol Flynn when I last saw him). Well, and this is the crux of my Wiznonsense today....society is clearly wishing to saddle our democracy with any number of social responsibilities, and there is a danger that democracy, being cast in concrete as you appreciate, will, actually, morph into some socialist utopian realm that cannot be got rid of....as Squire O and his merry men to are arranging right now. And be honest Rick...you, by your rape parable, already have one foot in the snare. Government and it's institutions and it's myrriad tools and all of it's acquired encumberances...is not democracy.....SOVEREIGNTY,(decisioning), IN THE HANDS OF THE PEOPLE...is, and it, unlike everything else in goverment, cannot be changed or amended. Now that's 'pure'. It also enables very clear prioritizing, like....defence of the realm and... security of the people as 'THE' cornerstone.
Gaius to the rescue Rick....gratis!

Brian Richard Allen...good ... (Below threshold)
gaius piconius:

Brian Richard Allen...good on ya...haven't seen you here before...do stick around. Would you be interested in my new high style tee-shirt....Jesus saves, Moses invests and Mohammed shit on posterity....$5. Allow six weeks for delivery.

Gaius, I'm not sure I'm fol... (Below threshold)
Rick Author Profile Page:

Gaius, I'm not sure I'm following ya... not sure what you mean by gypo... call me slow but I ain't gettin' ya...

But to be sure, I don't know that you're getting me...

We've been hearing about how the Egyptians were pro-democracy protestors... and I'm questioning this... I think they're upset with the Mubarak reign and I get that but... pro-democracy? Not like you and I think of democracy... and that's my point...

Given the survey stats, I'd be... concerned... about being in a democracy with this bunch... tyranny of the majority is what comes to mind...

Seen Rick, thx. To explai... (Below threshold)
gaius piconius:

Seen Rick, thx. To explain myself, know this. My background..coarse infantry soldier life long. Nobody was more surprised than I that, having left school at just 15, (compusory in 1952), Her Majesty bestowed on Gaius, with special trust, Her commission, after years of non-commissioned service. Well Rick,, you can take the boy out of the barracks but you cannot take the barracks out of the boy. Thus, with absolutely no political correctness to show us the way, thank goodness, this; Wogs..worthy oriental gentlemen, Gypos..egyptians, as the `parlance noir` that funnily enough flowed over seamlessly into the officers` mess. The Canadians breed a peculiar lot in uniform, (i`m a born englishman), and in my years among `em, those soldiers were, even at the margins, talented pros` by nature and by design...boisterous, rude and obnoxious in a humorous way, to the point of being very much like ministers of the Church of Scotland on, `high holy days`. (No bishops to show them the way, you see!) And this will show, no doubt, in some of my postings. There!...gypos explained...and with no regrets.
The remainder of your reply I am in full accord with. I`ve served in Lebanon, Syria Egypt and Israel and you can rest assured that arab muslims are as you suspect and fear. Democracy is and will remain alien to them and your stats explain that very effectively. As for the last paragraph in your blog, it tweaked a fear that I carry, about misidentifying what a democracy really is. It is not governance. The USA is not governed by democracy, rather it is a republic operated by a democratic people. Canada, the same, but a confederate setup with a parliamentary system. And my fear is the mystique that embraces the word..democracy..can be corrupted and will be coopted to a range of things that it is not. And the coopting it is taking place even now by progressives and would make the heritage of the people an obligation to be, their brothers`keepers. Fair enough I hope!

Fair enough indeed... thank... (Below threshold)

Fair enough indeed... thanks.






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