Democracy: Egyptian Style

It was just a few months ago that the world welcomed the arrival of democracy to Egypt which would herald in a new era of respect for human rights. As I recall, those protesting the regime of Hosni Mubarak complained he violated individual rights. Alas, that was yesterday, and today is today. Christians and Muslims clashed in the streets of Cairo over the issue of a Christian who supposedly converted to Islam. Conservative right wing Muslims accuse the Christian Coptic Church of refusing to allow a Christian woman become a Muslim. Crowds of angry Muslims flocked to Christian areas when word spread that a Christian woman had married a Muslim and was now a prisoner in a church. Islamists(remember, the ones shouting in the streets of Cairo for democracy and individual rights last month?) threw firebombs and burned Christian homes as they shouted: “with our souls and our blood we defend you, Islam.” At least five are dead and many homes have been burned.

In the new democracy of Egypt it is still against the law for people of the Muslim religion to marry a Christian–don’t even mention the idea of marrying a Jew! According to state law it is forbidden for a Muslim woman to marry a Christian but it is OK for a Christian to convert and become a Muslim. I trust all now understand the meaning of democracy in the post Mubarak Egypt.

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