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Something novel in this unrest

Reader comment on item: Turmoil in Egypt

Submitted by Gopal (United States), Feb 1, 2011 at 01:36

Dear Dr Pipes:

A widely spread misconception in the middle eastern communities is that dictators supported by the west are responsible for the region's problems. This convinient lie allows people to exonerate their political culture from all blame. If you ask a middle easterner, the turmoil in Egypt/Tunisia/Moracco/Syria/Jordan/Saudi Arabia is not due to any cultural/political/idological shortcoming but to the dictators who are supported by the west. Under this vision when the dictators supported by the west are ousted by Islamic Emirates, Islamic Utopia will be achieved. Anything that goes against this theory is ignored. For example, the fact that Islamic revolution in Iran caused more misery in that nation is ignored. The fact that Pakistan has experimented with all sorts of goverments but is still in turmoil, is also ignored. The possibility that any prosperity in Islamic kingdoms in the middle ages could be partly financed by mass scale loot is ignored.

The change of government in Tunisia is the first change of power in the middle east that has happened without much violence and without any western interference (peaceful, violent or otherwise). Egypt might turn out to be the second. These two uprisings are also the first that have happened in the age of mass media and the internet. Even if these changes in power lead to increase in the fundamentalists' power, the hope is that when Islamists' revolutions fail, they will not have anyone to blame but themselves.

Those of us who have studied the failure of communism/socialism and who have seen the happenings in Iran in the last thirty years can predict that an Islamic Emirate has as much chance of bringing prosperity to the people as communism had. Hopefully, in this age, social and economic failures of any future emirates will occur faster than it took communism to fail and Iranian revolution to exhibit signs of failure.

Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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