Sunday, February 6, 2011

Role of Faith in Egypt's Democratic Aspirations

During my visit to Cairo last month, I witnessed an incident that today seems almost prophetic. At one of Cairo's posh coffee shops, I saw a customer screaming at the young man serving him, claiming that the waiter had shown him disrespect. The young worker responded firmly, "I did nothing wrong. You yelled at me." "Do you know who I am?" the customer slammed back. He then went on to demand that the cafe manager reprimand the worker publicly, by, in the customers' words, "dragging the dog's honor in the dirt."

Anyone familiar with Cairo has seen this scenario too many times: a member of the "protected" upper class elite abuses a member of the working class for a trivial perceived offense. What came next however was new. Instead of cowering into an apology, the young worker looked his accuser in the eye and said, "You're not God. I'm not your subordinate. I'm a person just like you."

Many Western analysts and media outlets are attempting to force categorize Egypt's uprising as either a secular demand for democracy (which we should therefore support) or a religious revolution (which we should fear and try to stop). Neither depiction captures the complexity or the opportunity of this historical moment in Egypt. To truly partner with the Egyptian people, as President Obama recently promised, U.S. policymakers must first develop a far more sophisticated understanding of Egyptian aspirations.

Click HERE to read full article. 

by mail from    IslamiCity Bulletin
Lonely Planet Egypt (Country Guide) 

No comments:


Related Posts with Thumbnails