News update: Egypt

Demonstration in Egypt quited by force: A while ago, two judges alleged that the parliamentary elections were fixed. (They were) The judges faced a disciplinary hearing for saying so, and there have been protests by the public against this for a while. Big protest today, put down with force by the government.

Further background on this: Egypt is run by a secular dictatorship. (Um, sorry. He’s a president, really. Of course you can vote for anyone you want. It says so right here on the label, next to the nice man with the gun.) They’re not particularly popular because the economy is, as usual, in the toilet. The Muslim Brotherhood is essentially the original radical Islamist group; they were founded in Egypt several decades ago, and most modern organizations of that sort claim some sort of descent from them. They originated in Egypt to resist the local government. While they have pursued terrorism, their other major tack is to get legitimate political power. Since the parliament and presidency are under tight control, they’ve been slowly taking over the judiciary: an increasingly large fraction (already in the mid-double-digits) of Egypt’s judges are strict Islamists.

This is the sort of thing that has the potential to boil over into broader social conflict or even revolution. Egypt is the most populous Arab state; trouble in there could easily seep over the borders to Saudi, Jordan, etc. Watch it carefully: things may happen there soon which impact daily life in the U.S.

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Published in: on May 18, 2006 at 15:41  Comments Off on News update: Egypt  
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