General Question

antimatter's avatar

What's is the real story behind Egypt's violence?

Asked by antimatter (4269 points ) August 24th, 2013

The riots in Egypt seem to be escalating, and yesterday a “Muslim” fellow told me that it’s a religious war sponsored by Christians, what do you think, is this beginning of another crusade?

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23 Answers

whitenoise's avatar

Another crusade? Definitely not.

This is driven from local politics in Egypt and regional politics in the Middle East.

More than anything ,it will be:
between Islamists and the rest of the population,
between Sunni and Shia, and
between pro- and contra Iran.

In that process Christian’s and a lot of other civilians will get hurt.

At least, this is my belief.

whitenoise's avatar

@johnpowell

That is a shockingly confronting story. Thank you for the link.

This line, from your link stuck to me:

“If you think you know who the good guys are, Please take a look in the mirror because the process happening in your mind is the same process that leads to war.”

ninjacolin's avatar

holy hell, keep reading after that story

SomeoneElse's avatar

@johnpowell I read it, and feel so sad about the whole damn situation. I don’t know who is ‘right’ or if anyone is.
The people who aren’t fighting must be so confused and scared.

Paradox25's avatar

The violence may be necessary unfortunately. Islam extremism is a very serious world threat, and it’s highly oppressive to both men and women. I’m betting (hopefully I’m right here) that the turmoil becoming more and more common throughout the mideast is the beginning of the end of the Islamists grip on power.

LostInParadise's avatar

Religion worldwide is dying. Secularism will eventually triumph. Unfortunately, religion is not going down without a fight, and it will fight harder the more desperate the situation becomes.

whitenoise's avatar

@LostInParadise

Aren’t you a bit too optimistic, when you think that it will be over when religion is taken out of the equation. You may be confusing the swords in the hands of the fighters, with the reason of their fight.

You really think this is more about religion than politics and economics?

LostInParadise's avatar

It is not just religion but the entire mindset that accompanies fundamentalism. As in the West, but even more so, there is resistance to the scientific point of view, resistance to tolerance of other cultures, and especially resistance to the rights of women. There has been opposition to fundamentalism in Turkey and just recently in Tunisia. My feeling is that the movement is going to spread.

Paradox25's avatar

@LostInParadise I believe that we’re gradually heading in the right direction worldwide, but like you’ve said the fascists will not go down without a fight. That’s the problem with absolute belief systems, they fuel the fire many people use as a weapon to oppress, insult and harm others.

I’ve always suspected that peace in the middle east will not come from military interventionalism, but when enough people over there get tired of the oppression and bullshit and overthrow their own governments. It appears that the seeds for the latter scenerio have already been planted as we’re seeing more and more Muslim women protesting without fear, and more backlash against religious conservatism overall.

mattbrowne's avatar

Fascism versus secularism.

whitenoise's avatar

@mattbrowne
I don’t belief secularism is at odds with fascism.

Unless you are equating Islamism with a religious form fascism. Which I think would be wrong, but understandable, since both end up in misery.

LostInParadise's avatar

The battle is between fundamentalism and secularism. There is a tacit agreement between Christian and Islamic fundamentalists to make it appear as if they are battling one another. They are not. It is just a ploy to distract people from secularism.

Differences between Christian and Islamic fundamentalists are insignificant compared to their differences with secularists. At some point, secularists of all faiths will join together to push out the fundamentalists.

mattbrowne's avatar

@whitenoise – Yes, I’m equating Islamism with a religious form fascism. Most features of fascism are identical. Male Muslims are the master race. Non-Muslims/non-Aryans are second-class citizens. Traitors get killed. Blasphemers get killed. Homosexuals get killed. And so forth. But most people in the West don’t realize this. They think appeasement is the way to go. Like in 1938.

How many people in the West have heard of Sayyid Qutb? My guess is less than 1%.

whitenoise's avatar

Well I would agree that both are very nasty, however… fascism doesn’t necessarily involve many of the traits of Islamism. Islamism you and I both perceive as a genuine threat.

i think we both also agree, that we should differentiate with Islam as a religion and the political movement that is in the process of hijacking that faith.

If we fight Islam instead of Islamism, we lose a very important ally… the moderate Muslim. We will drive more of the now moderate or secular Muslims into Islamism.

After all, by politically fighting their religion, we are politicizing that religion and it is the politicized Islam that we (need to) fear. From that perspective I like your terminology, but it still distracts from the true problem.

mattbrowne's avatar

I agree that we should join forces with moderate Muslims. Unfortunately, the vast majority of moderate Muslims don’t realize that even the non-political mainstream Islam is in urgent need of reform. Are you familiar with Irshad Manji’s books?

whitenoise's avatar

Nope… sorry.

Paradox25's avatar

@mattbrowne I was thinking more along the lines of liberalism vs conservatism. There have been several secular aristocracies, though I agree that a truly liberal government wouldn’t mix church and state anyways, but still allow reasonable religious freedom. It’s the conservative ideologies of many cultures that are used as an excuse to harm, oppress and torture others.

I agree with Dr. Altemeyer here, in that all aristocracies are right-wing, using conservative ideas as their propaganda. This is not to say that another aristocrat can’t attempt to out another, regardless of some differences in political ideology.

mattbrowne's avatar

@whitenoise – Both her books are worth reading:

“The Trouble with Islam Today: A Muslim’s Call for Reform in Her Faith” by Irshad Manji

http://www.amazon.com/The-Trouble-Islam-Today-Muslims/dp/0312327005/

“Allah, Liberty and Love: The Courage to Reconcile Faith and Freedom” by Irshad Manji

http://www.amazon.com/Allah-Liberty-Love-Courage-Reconcile/dp/B006LWHLT4/

I see her as a kind of Martin Luther of the Muslim world. She already has millions of supporters, but most of them don’t show their support openly, because they are scared.

whitenoise's avatar

Thank you @mattbrowne.

I’ll see if I can get a copy of one of her books. Seems interesting.

mattbrowne's avatar

@Paradox25 – The vast majority of conservatives in Europe are against mixing of state and religion. They see Christian opinions as one of several in pluralistic societies. The vast majority of Christians worldwide support the freedom of religion. The last time a Christian was killed because he or she became an atheist or a Muslim or a Buddhist was several centuries ago. Today’s Muslims still get killed if they become atheists or Christians. They even get killed when they criticize Islam. Irshad Manji has received hundreds of death threats.

mattbrowne's avatar

@whitenoise – I recommend starting with the first one. There are used copies that cost 1 cent plus shipping.

whitenoise's avatar

Yea likely not so easy to get where I live… Will keep aneye open, though.

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