Friday, May 06, 2005

 

If this is democracy spreading, it's spread awfully thin

Friend-of-America Husni Mubarak's regime has proved once again just how democracy is spreading in the Middle East. After massive demonstrations, led by the Muslim Brotherhood and organized against Mubarak, in several cities on Wednesday garnered Egypt the Angry Arab's Very Precarious Regime Award, Egyptian police arrested three leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood for ... (you better sit down to prepare yourself for the heinous nature of this crime) ... "planning to stage pro-Palestinian demonstration in Cairo."

Ahhh, nothing smells quite like democracy more than using the state's police force to quash an attempt to assemble and speak freely. Meanwhile, hundreds of demonstrators from the Wednesday protests are still being held by the police.
Police said 400 people were detained, but the Brotherhood claimed more than 1,500 were detained during nationwide rallies.

On Thursday, Egypt's prosecution ordered that 280 of the detainees be held another 15 days for further investigation.
Meanwhile, an Egyptian that I know told me that many Egyptians are bandying about the theory that two recent terror attacks in Cairo were orchestrated by the government to provide an excuse against elections and pro-democracy or anti-Mubarak movements, allowing Mubarak to crack down on demonstrators, dissidents, political organizations, etc. I don't subscribe to this particular theory myself, but the fact that this feeling is widespread in Egypt gives further credence to the Angry Arab's verdict.

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