Free «Egypt and Democracy» Essay Sample

Egypt is a very common African nation and just like many other African nations there are countless problems with its political affairs. This country has been under dictatorship rule for quite a long time until recently when the citizens could not take it anymore and decided to hold demonstrations so as to force their president Hosni Mubarak to step down which he eventually did. This has sent a very important message to the whole world that indeed Egypt is now very much ready for a democratic rule. But this does not come so easily as there are numerous challenges for this to be achieved.

With the decision by Hosni Mubarak to step down, nothing will ever be the same again in Egypt, and perhaps in the entire Arab world. It is hard to fully understand the extent of this event in Egypt. The success of huge popular protests in removing Mubarak from power is an amazing development, which could shape the entire region for decades to come but could also fizzle out, of course, with business returning to normal with the region's dictators. The future cannot be easily assessed nor is the fact that if democracy will really be embraced and take root in the country. Democracy in Egypt will be affected by regional developments which will in turn affect the people. Important elements in the Egyptian society have been completely ignored. This does not preclude democracy from taking root in Egypt. However, there should be no underestimating the massive internal and external effort required if the green shoots of democracy are to begin to blossom. (Maor, 2011)

For meaningful change to take place in the democracy of Egypt, huge commitment must be required from both the citizens and the leaders, the people have to also soften their take on several issues that have been staunchly supported which have greatly been undermining democracy. Egypt's current constitution pays lip service to the concept of popular government while it is actually submitting actual power to a supreme ruler. Egyptian economic wealth is dominated by elites while societies are characterized by a potent militaristic streak, and the generals themselves have significant power base. The constitution should first be amended so that the government should not be under the control of the elite society but should be controlled by the fairly elected leaders with the full support of the common people. However, the Muslim Brotherhood and the current Egyptian ruling elites are unlikely to easily give up on the powers that they have over the country. This may be because they have other plans for Egypt and hope to destabilize if not outright scupper the democratic hopes of the masses.

With the resignation of Mubarak as the president, the powers have been put to the hands of the military. Note that Mubarak was a military man while those in power right now are appointees of the ex-president. The military cannot easily give away power no matter the promises they have given the people. They will ensure that one of their own has access to the presidential seat. The regime has not fallen yet, it is just that they want to bring in a new face that will give the people hope while in the real sense everything will be the same. For democracy to succeed the military, should let go of all the string that it holds which is highly unlikely. Also if the links between Israel and Egypt were not that severed, Egypt could have used the support and help of Israel to transfer a democratic system considering the very good system in Israel.

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Democracy has little to do with elections, but rather with the freedom it brings in its wake including freedom of speech and action. Egypt has a long way to go. Democracy has so many meanings, and it can be used negatively by rulers as a panacea to cool the flames of people who have ample reason to complain. Egypt doesn't seem to want democracy, the fact that they hate the western society, is enough reason for them as they would not wish to emulate western countries by instilling democracy in their system, on the other hand, they are held hostage by their own religion, the Imams, rulers and terrorist organizations. They believe in the fact that leaders live like kings thanks to terrorist acts and hence practicing democracy would undermine the powers of their leaders which they don't wish to do.

The cultural heritage and demography is enough for Egypt to succeed in practicing democracy but the presence of the Muslim Brotherhood attempting to create a political party would give no chance for a democracy development. Egypt also has no tradition or experience with running an open society. If for example there happens to be free and open elections which of course is most unlikely, the most likely outcome is a slow decent into putting control in the hands of Islamists who would take the country into either a civil war or into a Khomeini-style regime as like Iran.

Egyptians have to accept changes that may have to go against their beliefs. For examples it is highly unlikely for them to accept a woman who wins elections to become a leader, In fact they cannot even allow her to vie for any seat no matter the leadership traits seen in her. Recently, a reporter, one Larra Logan had been sexually attacked in Cairo by more than two hundred Egyptians she was fortunately saved by a group of women and apparently a group of more than twenty soldiers who came to her help. So how democracies succeed in a country where a lone woman can be attacked because of her different belief? They also have limited human rights, others are plain theocracies, while many are outright tyrannies and police states hence to try and introduce democracy is as hard as trying to teach them how to practice it.

Democracy can be realized in Egypt if the democratic world can fully support it, however there appears to be a lot of caution by the said states of commitment while at the same time Egyptians are being given enough opportunity to choose their own leader from whom they will expect to throw his weight behind a genuine struggle for democracy even though it will prove to be a long and difficult fight. Failure for the leader to heed their call is likely to result in a throwback to the revolutions. The fact that other democratic countries are reluctant to fully commit in supporting democracy development in Egypt shows that they have no faith it will be fully implemented and successful. Therefore they are trying to avoid being blamed in the future. (Kosky, 2010)

Statistically, there are currently fifty six Muslim states including twenty two in the Arab League, There are additionally about fourteen other states with strong Muslim influence. Please note that there is not one single true democracy among them. So the probability of Egypt trying to practice it is very minimal, but if it takes the will of the people to practice democracy then the form government may not be able to sustain it .A good example is what happened to Germany after the first world war .The chances are slim to none that it could last. (schoolhistory, 2006)

Democracy is, of course, not only about votes and elections, but it is also about far more than that. Deep democracy is the respect for the rule of law, freedom of speech, an independent judiciary and impartial administration. It requires enforceable property rights and free trade unions. It is not just about changing government but about building the right institutions and attitudes. In the long run, on the other hand surface democracy is where people casting their votes freely on Election Day and choosing their government. Democracy cannot not be said to be successful if deep democracy fails to take root. (schoolhistory, guardian, 2008)

Democracy is an ongoing process and not something obtained in an instance. There has to be proper mechanisms in place to manage and ensure the continuation of democracy. For the Egyptian Muslim society to embrace democracy, it has to downgrade selfishness and self-righteousness to the back seat. in addition, Egyptian society has to learn and understand civic sense. Deep in the Egyptian Muslim psyche there has to be an unlearning of the hatred and barbarism taught by their religious leaders. Above all they have to get rid of their unfounded religious superiority complex.

Friday prayers should be devoted to praying and not listening to venomous lectures being given by their religious leaders. If these precepts are observed surely Egypt can be a wholesome and continuing democratic nation. If not, all that the world will see is the making of another Iran, Pakistan, Gaza, Iraq, Afghanistan and a theocracy that follows after an initial make-believe of installing a democracy. There are too many qualities wanting in Egyptian society that makes the likelihood of a stable democratic nation a remote possibility. In short only dictatorship can maintain some semblance of stability in a society that is so fundamentally rooted in prejudice. (Guy, 2011)

Therefore it is quite clear from the recent actions and activities that have occurred in Egypt it shows that clearly democracy can take root in Egypt. There only needs to be some numerous changes to people's beliefs and religion. The country's constitution is also a very vital factor to ensure that democracy takes root in Egypt. Only this would ensure that Egypt catch up with the rest of the world and would also ensure freedom of expression for its citizens.


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