Egypt, Islam and Democracy

The military are still the power behind the throne in Egypt despite the victory of the Muslim Brotherhood candidate in the Presidential election.They appear to have learned a lesson from events in a Algeria over two decades ago. In December 1991, an Islamist party calling itself the Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) won an outright majority in the first round of Algeria’s parliamentary election. The army immediately responded by cancelling the second round of the contest, which would have taken place in January 1992. Algeria’s ruling military council then mounted a thinly disguised coup that sealed their dominance of Algerian politics.

Since, the “Algeria option” has become shorthand for preventing Islamist parties from actually taking power even if they happen to win elections. It has also become shorthand for bloodshed, folly and failure. The Algerian army’s catastrophic decision forced the country’s Islamist movement underground, rendered it far more extreme and compelled its leaders to take up arms. The result was a terrible civil war which, by the turn of the millennium, had claimed 100,000 lives. Although much abated, this conflict continues to this day. Meanwhile, some of Algeria’s Islamists allied with al-Qaeda and helped to form a terrorist organisation that has now spread across a swathe of Africa.

So the Egyptian generals did not go so far as to rob Mohammed Morsi, a pillar of the Muslim Brotherhood, of his victory in the presidential election. They will allow him to take office, while seeking to constrain his power and solidify their own role, to the extend of overturning the results of parliamentary elections and appointing members to the assembly.

But thery have not ignited the highly volatile situation by simply installing their man as President. Such comtempt for the electorate could have triggered civil conflict. It is worth noting that the President elect, who has not taken office yet, has already said he wants closer ties with the Shi’ite regime in Iran. We cand only wait to see how the Sunni dominated Egyptian military will react to that.

All this again demonstrates why Little #Nicky has always been right to oppose intervention in the internal political affairs of middle eastern nations. They have their own ways of doing things which we do not understand. Intervention, no matter how well intentioned, in national conflicts, no matter how bloody, is far more likely to make things worse rather than better.

Advertisements

Tags: , , , , ,

2 Responses to “Egypt, Islam and Democracy”

  1. MichaelStMark Says:

    Nice history lesson there teach’. 🙂
    A lot of Arabs seem to me to have quite child-like mentalities, that is one minute wildly celebrating “victory” and the next involved in what is often pretty fearsome violence against one another.
    As you say, they have their own ways.
    But the days of brutal crackdowns in Egypt at least appear to be over, thanks mostly to the ferocity and scale of the former protests creating a firewall of sorts against the trying of it on again, Mubarak-style.
    Syria meantime is taking a different road to what will likely still be a similarly more positive outcome.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: