To the Editor:
Excellent article about Egypt. I wonder whether demonstration fatigue has set in among the general populace. Egyptians supported the initial demonstrations calling for the ouster of President Muhammad Hosni Sayyid Mubarak, but once that was accomplished, perhaps most of the general populace just wants to get on with every day living. In fact, to many the presence of the military is seen as a stabilizing force in the transition from Mubarak’s rule to something else.
The irony, of course, is that the Muslim Brotherhood and the Al-Nour Party will rule Parliament while the secular and liberal forces who were the main element behind the uprising against Mubarak are being left in the dust. Now we will have to see the results of the presidential elections. Will the military interfere in the presidential elections? Will the military attempt to control the writing of a new constitution? In fact, I understand the U.S. is pressing the military to maintain special powers and rights over any future government including a declaration that the country’s recent parliamentary elections will have no bearing on the makeup of Egypt’s future executives.
Why the U.S. interest? Because of the Muslim Brotherhood’s deep hostility to Israel — which reflects majority public opinion in Egypt — would pose difficulties for American policy. And its conservative views on the rights of women and intolerance of religious minorities are offensive by Western standards.Ultimately, we will probably see a power struggle between the military and the Muslim Brotherhood.
Ralph E. Stone
126 Hyde Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
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