2012 December 22 Saturday
Democracy Reduces Human Rights In Egypt

The US State Department supports the spread of democracy in the Middle East. Meet the new boss, worse than the old boss. Why? The majority are not keen in freedom.

"Things are definitely worse than under the old regime," said Gamal Eid, of the Arabic Human Rights Initiative. "It is because of the Islamists having power – their sense that they have won."

The Islamist constitution just got approved by a wide margin in a popular vote. As you might expect, the constitution elevates Islam and heightens the intimidation of Coptic Christians. Christians were disenfranchised.

ASSIUT, Egypt -- A campaign of intimidation by Islamists left most Christians in this southern Egyptian province too afraid to participate in last week's referendum on an Islamist-drafted constitution they deeply oppose, residents say.

The overwhelming majority of Egyptian muslims favor death for anyone who would leave Islam (apostasy). Democracy does not produce a Western society when the society's values are incompatible with Western values.

The Islamists probably put Christians and general secularists as their top priorities to suppress. Go for the bigger targets first. But artists expect they'll be targeted once the Islamists get to them.

"I think we are at a brink point. The Muslim majority [in Egypt] could just react and suppress artistic expression even more than Hosni Mubarak," Barakat said. The Egyptian playwright Ahmed el-Attar said: "I'm afraid the country is sliding towards fascism. So far culture has been kept on the side. The Muslim Brotherhood don't yet have a cultural agenda. They're talking about focusing on historical Islamic figures. I'm not sure that applies to the Salafis, who question the notion of art itself."

Egypt is an illiberal society. So it will have an illiberal democracy.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2012 December 22 10:02 PM 

ivvenalis said at December 23, 2012 12:13 AM:

I saw Fareed Zakaria on CNN about a week ago arguing that Egypt wasn't a democracy, because a democracy respects liberal values and minority rights.

Wolf-Dog said at December 23, 2012 1:56 AM:

Long before the new referendum that got the Islamist constitution got approved, Egypt already had a de facto Sharia law.

For instance, according to this article written in November 28, 2012, an Egyptian court sentenced to death (in absentia) those Eygptian Christians in the United States who made the movie that insulted Islam. The accused obviously escape the death penalty because they live in the United States, but the legal system apparently makes it possible to apply such harsh punishment for such a movie.


CAIRO (AP) — An Egyptian court convicted in absentia Wednesday seven Egyptian Coptic Christians and a Florida-based American pastor, sentencing them to death on charges linked to an anti-Islam film that had sparked riots in parts of the Muslim world.
The case was seen as largely symbolic because the defendants, most of whom live in the United States, are all outside Egypt and are thus unlikely to ever face the sentence. The charges were brought in September during a wave of public outrage in Egypt over the amateur film, which was produced by an Egyptian-American Copt.
The low-budget "Innocence of Muslims," parts of which were made available online, portrays the Prophet Muhammad as a fraud, womanizer and buffoon.
Egypt's official news agency said the court found the defendants guilty of harming national unity, insulting and publicly attacking Islam and spreading false information — charges that carry the death sentence.
Maximum sentences are common in cases tried in absentia in Egypt. Capital punishment decisions are reviewed by the country's chief religious authority, who must approve or reject the sentence. A final verdict is scheduled on Jan. 29.
The man behind the film, Mark Basseley Youssef, was among those convicted. He was sentenced in a California court earlier this month to one year in federal prison for probation violations in an unrelated matter. Youssef, 55, admitted that he had used several false names in violation of his probation order and obtained a driver's license under a false name. He was on probation for a bank fraud case.

Snippet said at December 23, 2012 6:55 AM:

This may sound cold, but something has improved. We now have clarity regarding who is responsible for the mess in Egypt. Under Mubarak, one could plausibly (if incorrectly) believe that the powerful, rich, and hypocritical Americans who supported Mubarak were the reason his life sucked. No more.

ASPIRANT said at December 23, 2012 10:14 AM:

Snippet: Do you really believe that we will allow such a dumb little thing like the truth to impede our self-congratulatory celebration over finally bringing them into parity with us? Do you think it will ever be reported just what a mess they've made of their own society?

Absolutely not. We don't want to hear anything that betrays our narrative… We're the heroes, and through chrstian values or liberal humanistic rectitude, we will fix the world. We're killling ourselves.

Tony said at December 29, 2012 6:19 AM:


We should never complain about the ideal of Democracy. It is the best system. We need more real democracy, i.e. national referenda, so people can decide what is best for them, not some corrupt politicians, even if is not the best choice.

The God (or nature) made us and we are autonomous beings and must choose what we want and do--good or bad and face the consequence of our bad choices, such as eating junk food, becoming fat and choosing Sharia law.

We can debate the choices people made, even if they are bad, but never the ideal of Democracy, which is best manifested in national referenda where people decide on the issues, not people (politicians) and then beg the latter to choose the issues for them.

Many other countries, including 3rd world countries, have it, but not the US! It is a shame that US, which claims to be a "world-class" advanced nation, is a mere pseudodemocracy. It is tragic that our constitution lacks the most basic and elementary human right--national referenda

The three branches have become corrupt, usurped power, and all three branches figured out that it is better to conspire, mug and terrorize the nation and totally ignore the owners, the US Citizens. So they keep imposing tyranny on us with impunity.

But there is a solution to this govt's war on the nation. It is a constitutional amendment to allow irreversible binding superseding national referenda, so people can pass good laws in the national interest themselves. These laws will supersede laws passed by Congress and cannot be overturned except on constitutional grounds by a supermajority of both houses and a unanimous vote of the Supreme Court. The people can then still override it with a 66% vote. Some believe that this right to amend the constitution is inherently vested in the American public (the US citizens). Others suggest an actual amendment. A survey showed that 76% of the public approved the idea.

We can pass a national referendum that all laws that affect the nation as a whole, such as raising taxes, large welfare programs, foreign aid, immigration, bailouts, and raising the debt ceilings, etc. can become law only if finally approved by the people. We will solve 90% of our problems this way.

For eg., see:


The National Initiative For Democracy above (ni4d) is in the process of making a documentary about national referenda to bring this issue to a wider audience. They are seeking contributions.

We Americans need to visit these websites, join these groups, contribute and call radio talk shows, etc. and promote this idea and get the process started soon, before it is too late or America, as we know it, will be finished.

Sinclair said at December 30, 2012 1:30 PM:

"Democracy Reduces Human Rights In Egypt"

The sentence is nonsense. Either there is democracy and therefore human rights or there is no democracy.

Randall Parker said at December 30, 2012 4:03 PM:


Does Egypt have a democracy? Does Egypt have human rights?

McNeil said at December 31, 2012 9:02 AM:

No country has a democracy, not even the U.S. of A. Last democracy that ever existed was in ancient Greece.

Randall your post reads "Democracy Reduces Human Rights In Egypt". Therefore it means either that there is a democracy in Egypt or that Democracy reduces human rights, or both.

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