Monday, August 26, 2013

The future of the Sunni Muslim Soul, part I

Thomas Friedman had hi usually provocative op-d article in last Sunday's Times:

The New York Times,

The article is worth reading in full.  Here are some quotations from the article I want to emphases.  My comments are in italics and blue.

In short, I see in Egypt and especially in Syria a battle for those Sunni soul: those Sunni in Turkey and elsewhere who are willing to accept democracy; and those in Saudi Arabia and theEmirates who prefer a secular dictatorship to any Sunni acceptance of any form of democracy.  We'll see how it plays out.
What’s especially depressing is that the leadership and options needed to reverse these trends don’t seem to be on offer. Egyptians today are being given a choice between a military that seems to want to take Egypt back to 1952, when the army first seized power (I think the Saud dictators an those in Dubai prefer either of Friedman's choices.   Eighteen Billion from the Saudi and Dubai (Dick Cheney's preferred tax haven) speaks with a loud voice).— and kept those Muslim Brothers in their place — and the Muslim Brothers, who want to go back to 622, to the birth of Islam and to a narrow, anti-pluralistic, anti-women, Shariah-dominated society — as if that is the answer to Egypt’s ills.
“Egypt’s striking lesson today is that its two most powerful, organized and trusted groups — the Muslim Brotherhood and the armed forces — both proved to be incompetent in the business of governance,”(The US press asserts Brotherhood incompetence as if its truth is self-evident; always without any suggestion of proof.  Did the Saudi and military fore-ordain failure?  Did they help it along?  I don't know; I am unwilling to accept the incompetence assertion on faith.) the political scientist Rami Khouri wrote in The Beirut Daily Star last week.
The lack of other organized and credible indigenous groups of citizens that can engage in the political process and shape new constitutional systems is largely a consequence of how military officers, members of tribes, and religious zealots have dominated Arab public life for decades.

 Images  from Cairo this past week fro rt, a Russian national publication:  Russian point of view; perhaps not always typical but always the most dramatic images.  Don't know the Russian point of view on Egypt's troubles.

Areas of Egypt affected by the curfew.  
Rocket from the Sinai are reported to have landed i Israel.

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