dinsdag 1 februari 2011

What about Egypt? A grey wise continents’ answer

What about Hosni Mubarak, still Egypt’s PM? Tonight Mubarak gave a speech in which he said he would not be running for president again next elections. He has been Egypt’s ruler for 30 years now. The protesters do not think his promise is enough. They want him to leave today. He has become the face of suppression they felt upon themselves for generations.

After Tunisia, and before Jordan, maybe predecessor of other autocratic nations, Egypt is in a riot. People march the streets of Cairo for change. They demand freedom. And off course they are right: freedom is a basic human right. The West and Israel are genuinely concerned about this. They like Egypt the way it is under Mubarak’s reign. For stability in the region. For keeping the Palestinian in control…. as much as possible.

But the working Egyptian man or woman has become tired of a ruler who flirts with the West/Israel without providing basic needs to his own people, without freedom of expression and true liberty.

That is where we all go the wrong way; The Americans, the Europeans and the Israeli rely on regimes, which are cooperative and not too bad on human rights. We support this kind of regimes without taking into account what impact they have on their own people. Because we think these people are different and they don’t need freedom of speech, religion, and we think they like to be bossed around. Asylum seekers from Egypt did not stand a chance in Europe last decennium, because we thought the country not to be as bad as other nations, like Iraq or Somalia, and because we found Egypt a convenient partner. Which Western leader has spoken sincerely about human rights and personal freedom to Hosni Mubarak the last 30 years and drew the consequences? The same goes for Tunisia and many other regimes that on the outside support Western ideals but on the inside suppress their own people.

And now some of us stand up, with indignity we call out loud that the Egyptian people have the same basic rights as we have. And, we are afraid that some extreme Muslim party will seize power. This anxiety we cover up with serious arguments over human rights (stating that extreme Islam will not protect these)
But aren’t we wrong all the time? We know so very well what is good for the other, without listening, afraid for our own interests. Shouldn’t we be more empathic and let the other be who they are? Stay away from moral judgements and try to be supportive in a non-judgemental way? Is our democracy the Holy Grail? Or are there other ways to human dignity?

I think there are. I think Europe is beyond democracy and needs to find a new political system. One that is more in line with the needs of individuals it represents. In Arabia, Africa, China and many other countries new systems of governing are required as well. But they need not necessarily to be the same as the European: different people ask for different governance. One thing is the same though: nobody benefits from a dictator, except for the dictator and his flock!

This should be every countries’ foreign, development and immigration policy: We want to deal with you, Mr or Mrs President/Minister/member of Parliament as long as your own people want to deal with you in freedom. No freedom, No deal. Not for climate change, not for education nor health care. No deal at all. But we will take care of the people who come to us for aid. To them we shall give it: We shall protect their voices, teach them what we know, heal them when they are sick and support them in every way we can. That type of reaction would be a grey wise continents’ answer to a global question.


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