preliminary thoughts on egypt

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“Where there is a danger, as I wrote yesterday, is that if the United States does not come out explicitly in favor of the people, subsequent events will become more confrontational, and may even see the introduction of a more cultural and civilizational rhetoric. The Shah monopolized power and sought to erase a culture. Mubarak, for all his brutality, has had no such grandiose presumption.” on religion dispatches  Haroon Moghul, Ph.D. candidate at Columbia (via Religion Dispatches).

As someone who has not been following closely what has been happening in Egypt, I might not be the best person to come to with a deep analysis. However, I do have some preliminary thoughts about it, as I begin to think more critically about what’s occurring. As the author at philosophy in a time of error implies, the media seems to be turning the protests into something scary without any mention that they are happening in the first place because of the brutality of President Mubarak. Can we stop here to talk about Noam Chomsky’s concept of the manufacturing of consent. Clearly, President Mubarak is good for the United States and as long as he is leader, our government and the majority of our media will shy away from explicitly condemning him. Vice-President Joe Biden refused to call him a dictator. President Obama is calling on the citizens of Egypt not to resort to violence. The media rarely reports or mentions the brutality of President Mubarak. Are we surprised when Mubarak is a useful political ally. Since the media is a business and relies heavily on profit, it can be excluded from the government’s source of information if it incurs its disfavor. As such, this is all we see in the media.

Let’s stop pretending like their protests are scary. What we should really be worried about is Mubarak’s reaction to the protestors or the fact that the tanks, tear gas, and weapons used in Egypt are from the United States. We are somehow suspicious of Muslims who revolt but the Tea Party, who revolts, is practicing democracy or somehow fighting for freedom. If Edward Said were alive today, I wonder what he would say.

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