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Egyptian Blogger Sentenced to 15 Years For Organizing Protest

timothy posted about 3 months ago | from the very-heaven dept.

Censorship 70

The Guardian reports that Alaa Abd El Fattah, "one of the activists most associated with the 2011 uprising that briefly ended 60 years of autocratic rule, was sentenced to 15 years in jail for allegedly organising a protest – an act banned under a law implemented last November, and used to jail several revolutionary leaders. ... Abd El Fattah was also jailed under Mubarak, the military junta that succeeded him, and Adly Mansour, the interim president installed after the overthrow of Mohamed Morsi last summer. Under Morsi, Abd El Fattah escaped prison, but was placed under investigation." The EFF points ou that Abd El Fattah "is one of many caught up in the Egyptian government’s attempt to assert powers. Alaa set an example for how the Internet could be used to organize and exercise free speech: Egypt's leaders should not be permitted to make an example of him to silence others." Update: 06/12 20:02 GMT by T : Reader Mostafa Hussein points out that Abd El Fattah took part in a Slashdot interview more than 10 years ago, too; it gives some insight into the tech scene (and a bit of the politics) of Egypt at that time.

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And that is why (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47222473)

And that is why Snowden should get life in prison for his treasonous acts! /kidding

Re:And that is why (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47224283)

Some moderator not realizing when the pot is calling the kettle black.

Allau Ackbar (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47222491)

This is the result of Arab Spring.

Re:Allau Ackbar (2)

i kan reed (749298) | about 3 months ago | (#47222743)

This happened after that, and since things always have exactly one cause, you must be right.

Re:Allau Ackbar (3, Interesting)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about 3 months ago | (#47222771)

American revolution: 1765 to 1783. About 18 years. Up to 50,000 Americans dead or wounded. [wikipedia.org]

Arab spring: (Egypt), 2011-today. About 3 years so far. Deaths: over 1,100. 6,400 or so injured [slashdot.org]

American revolution casualties per year: ~2,700
Egyptian revolution casualties per year: ~2,500.

Oh yeah. It's a total clusterfuck over there, the likes of which the world has never seen, and the difference is clearly religion. Centuries from now, to say nothing of decades, the area will be total hell. Americans after and during the revolutionary war never had legal issues of any type. (/heavy sarcasm)

Lest you say "Oh, but sectarian violence, and rape!" remember that America had outright slavery, and women couldn't vote. Ending either wasn't even much of a discussion. On top of that, America benefitted from being a giant ocean away from most meddling, while Egypt is surrounded by foreign governments trying to weigh in, largely pushing towards sectarian violence. And the worlds superpowers of China, Russia, the US, and the EU are all all up in their buisiness too.

Face it: the Egyptians are handling this a lot better than we did. It could be better in theory, sure, I don't think anyone would question that. But to suggest it's terrible and it's because of religion, which many Americans seem convinced of (not just trolls) is really stupid.

Re:Allau Ackbar (1)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | about 3 months ago | (#47223011)

Face it: the Egyptians are handling this a lot better than we did.

And there it is.
No matter what issue, wherever on the planet, or how fucked up it is.....the US did it worse. And s still doing it worse.

Re:Allau Ackbar (1)

rockout (1039072) | about 3 months ago | (#47223101)

Your automatic extrapolation from "The Egyptians are handling this better" to "The US did it worse no matter what or where" is a knee-jerk reaction that shows off your ass-hattedness.

Re:Allau Ackbar (1)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | about 3 months ago | (#47223783)

I didn't say we did it worse, the GP did.

Every problem that exists, anywhere in the world, someone will be along quite early in here to proclaim the US did/does it worse.
The OP having to reach back 200+ years to how things were handled during the American Revolution for a comparison simply shows this stupidity in its full glory.

There could be an article here about the nutritional comparisons of boiling grass or tree bark for soup among North Koreans, and some asshat will proudly proclaim conditions in the US are worse.

Re:Allau Ackbar (1)

rockout (1039072) | about 2 months ago | (#47236009)

Yeah, you missed my point completely. The GP said the Egyptians are handling their revolution better, and you went off on your tangent of "why does everyone hate America!" by sarcastically belching "oh yeah the US did it worse no matter what it is".

Even as you're walking it back now by claiming "no I didn't say that, I said SOME ASSHAT will proudly say we're doing it worse", it still has nothing to do with the fact that he made an interesting point: many Americans like to claim that the savages in the Middle East can't handle or don't deserve democracy, while forgetting (or maybe they never learned) how messy our own revolution was. If you don't want to debate that point, fine, but your knee-jerk counter-point that abhors any criticism of 'MURRICA! is off-topic, adds nothing, and sounds like Archie Bunker.

Re:Allau Ackbar (2)

NotDrWho (3543773) | about 3 months ago | (#47223689)

I think a much more apt comparison would be to the French Revolution: a popular revolt against the establishment that ended up with lots of public violence, several failed democratic regimes, and ultimately led to the rise of a dictator who put down any further revolts by killing and arresting the protestors.

Coming soon ... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47222533)

Coming soon to America.

Enjoy your fascism.

Re:Coming soon ... (4, Insightful)

gmuslera (3436) | about 3 months ago | (#47222831)

You mean like the plan for killing Occupy high profile members [whowhatwhy.com] from a couple of years ago? Or the political prosecution of Aaron Schwartz [slashdot.org] ? Or the more recent classifying peaceful protests as terrorism [globalresearch.ca] ? It is already there, just that most people didn't realized it yet.

Not Surprising (1)

mugetsu37 (1485997) | about 3 months ago | (#47222559)

The progressive leaders and instigators of unrest and revolution are always attacked afterwards. Look at the Irish War for Independence, the Iranian Cultural Revolution, the Russian Bolshevik Revolution, the list goes on.

Re:Not Surprising (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47222627)

More generally, the losers are always demonized and the winners write what goes in the history books. It doesn't matter if this guy helped to organize things since the party that took over is equal to, or worse than the government they overthrew, thus he's on the side of the losers.

Re:Not Surprising (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about 3 months ago | (#47222685)

Yeah, and not to derail into an unpopular political argument, but I thought Arab spring was a remarkable warning against the idea of revolutionary solutions to democratic problems. You can always get a worse system of government as the result of a revolution, and you should be exceedingly careful about throwing off the shackles of a temporarily unpleasant democratic government through violent revolution.

That's not the contentious derail part: the derail part is how negatively that reality reflects on the 2nd amendment and its support in the US.

Re:Not Surprising (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47222833)

> Yeah, and not to derail into an unpopular political argument, but I thought Arab spring was a remarkable warning against the idea of revolutionary solutions to democratic problems

The thing is they came sooooo close to getting it right in Egypt. When Morsi was elected, it was only because the two liberal candidates ended up splitting the vote. Together they had a super-majority of the vote. But Morsi just barely beat both of them on an individual basis. So then he gets in and does lots of stupid shit (not all that different from the stupid tribal shit that's been going on in Iraq which has fomented the return of terrorism by the disenfranchised there).

But unlike Iraq, in Egypt the military steps in to depose Morsi and lots of people had hope that they were kind of like previous military interventions in Turkey that kicked out the crazies and put the country back on a more liberal path. But instead it turns out to be just another opportunistic "strong-man" and now they are probably worse off than they were under Mubarak because this guy knows what happened to Mubarak and he's going to make damn sure it doesn't happen to him. Plus the general population is weary of all the strife, most people are willing to accept authoritarianism when it seems like the only other choice is chaos.

But all this could have been avoided if the (brand new) electoral system had been designed to require a run-off between the top two instead of leaving it at just whoever got the most votes in one election. In that way a simple technical decision has had a terrible impact on a country's future.

Re:Not Surprising (1)

BradMajors (995624) | about 3 months ago | (#47223093)

But all this could have been avoided if the (brand new) electoral system had been designed to require a run-off between the top two instead of leaving it at just whoever got the most votes in one election. In that way a simple technical decision has had a terrible impact on a country's future.

Stop making stuff up.

There was a second round of voting with only the two top candidates. And, the second leading candidate was no "liberal", but a former general and member of the Mubarak regime.

Re:Not Surprising (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47223277)

Eh, so he was little bit wrong. The split was in the first round when it broke down like so:

Morsi 25% (islamist)
Shafik 24% (mubarak's guy)
Sabahi 21% (revolutionary)

So the 2-way run off meant people who voted Sabahi had to choose between Morsi the theocrat and Shafik the former mubarakian.
At that point they were damned either way. Given that they had fought to be free of mubarak, Morsi seemed the lesser of two evils. And maybe he would have been, obviously his grip on the government was less than Sisi's has turned out to be with this fraudulent election. (any election where a candidate wins with 97% of the vote is fraudulent)

Re:Not Surprising (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47224709)

Which is why they should have used the Condorcet method. Majority votes are not a good way to do things. Even if they have worked out better in other countries (they still have issues).

Re:Not Surprising (1)

Yakasha (42321) | about 3 months ago | (#47224019)

That's not the contentious derail part: the derail part is how negatively that reality reflects on the 2nd amendment and its support in the US.

Nah. The problem with the 2nd Amendment argument (for or against) is that nobody making the big arguments is considering the rest of the Constitution. Any one part of the Constitution can be used, by itself, in support or against that particular clause, to fuck people up. The entire document is supposed to be used in full.

The 2nd Amendment goes hand-in-hand with not having a standing army. But we have one, imho in violation of the Constitution, which has now warped the 2nd Amendment into one of personal self-defense. Criminals breaking into homes is not even hinted at in the 2nd Amendment. That argument is completely irrelevant. Overthrowing the government by force is also silly if the States have the power they are supposed to have, and the people have the power they're supposed to have, and the Federal government has to ask the people to form an army before they up and declare war.

In fact, the very same arguments against the 2nd Amendment rights (the availability of guns invites the proclivity to use them); are the exact same arguments made against a standing army. For Iraq, from vote to invasion, was less than 3 weeks. And every one of the hundreds of thousands of men & women that went in and out of there had already signed a contract, without even the slightest inkling that we'd be invading Iraq, who had not attacked us, and so had no choice as to whether or not to go.

Would Bush have even been able to raise an army to invade, considering the protests that filled every city on the planet at the time? I highly doubt it. Would he have been able to invade in just 3 weeks? Oh hell no.

So I will disagree with you strongly about how the Arab Spring reflects negatively on the support of the 2nd Amendment in the United States. It might reflect negatively on one weak argument, but not support entirely.

What? (2, Insightful)

Chrisq (894406) | about 3 months ago | (#47222585)

that briefly ended 60 years of autocratic rule

Haven't we learned from Syria and Iraq that autocratic rule is better than Muslim rule. During the brief Islamic rule of Egypt non-Muslims were killed, raped, burned out of homes and places of worship [huffingtonpost.com] . Yes, they are a bit hard on this blogger - but lets not forget what the movement he supported stood for.

Re:What? (1)

cpghost (719344) | about 3 months ago | (#47222679)

I very seldom agree with your islamophobic comments, but on this point, you're absolutely right. Autocratic rule is much better for minorities, but also for moderate muslims, than a theocracy imposed by muslim brothers or similar sects like ISIS. This, Obama's administration doesn't understand (yet), and keeps pushing islamism on muslim-majority countries that would better be left alone, as they know better how to deal with their demons.

Re:What? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47222861)

"islamophobic " a made up word used by douche bags to try and put themselves on a higher standing. Stick it up your ass fuckwad

Re:What? (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | about 3 months ago | (#47222979)

I very seldom agree with your neologismphobic comments, but on this point, your rhetoric is just as elegant and witty as usual.

Re:What? (2, Insightful)

a_mari_usque_ad_mare (1996182) | about 3 months ago | (#47223015)

Actually, its the right word to describe the paranoid world view of cowards who see Muslim invaders in their soup.

Re:What? (1)

EuclideanSilence (1968630) | about 3 months ago | (#47224517)

Unless you are actually suggesting that a person suffers panic attacks in the perceived presence of something, then -phobia is not a correct postfix.

Re:What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47224901)

-phobia [wiktionary.org]
-phobia
1. Used to form nouns meaning fear of a specific thing.
e.g. claustrophobia
2. Controversially used to form nouns meaning hate, born out of fear, directed towards a particular type of person.
e.g. homophobia
3. Controversially used to form nouns meaning political or religious organizations or viewpoints concerned with limiting or restraining a specific thing or idea.
e.g. erotophobia

Re:What? (1)

Mashiki (184564) | about 3 months ago | (#47225521)

Actually, its the right word to describe the paranoid world view of cowards who see Muslim invaders in their soup.

That's funny and all, but let us be realistic shall we? There are places in Canada which are muslim dominated where I wouldn't travel now. There are places in France, Germany, Norway and Sweden which are called "zones of cultural sensitivity" where police, fire and EMS will not go unless it's in large groups. These are the same areas where police are attacked, stoned, and assaulted in broad daylight. There are places in Australia where the same thing goes on. Hell in the UK there's recently been an on-going case where muslims attempted to hijack several schools, and install theocratic education with an emphasis on sharia law.

If you want to bury your head in the sand and call it paranoid, feel free. But don't pretend that this isn't a problem. Especially when you're now seeing in the justice system, where muslims are claiming "religious rights" to be able to do things like rape, and attack people who aren't "just like them."

Re:What? (1)

a_mari_usque_ad_mare (1996182) | about 3 months ago | (#47225821)

Do you know any Muslims in real life (ie a first name basis)? I do, and I haven't found them to be any worse or any better than people from other religious groups. The only extreme religious folk I have met and been affected by personally were Christians (I know that's a cliché, but that is my personal experience).

I would like to know where these 'no go' zones are. I live in Ottawa and pretty much feel safe everywhere. I wouldn't believe everything you read in the papers about 'no go' zones, and even if I did it's a stretch to go from 'poor/violent area where social group X live' to 'global conspiracy by everyone in social group X', which is what I meant by Islamophobia. Remember that even in the most crime-ridden or violent areas the majority of people are still law-abiding, and usually are victims of the crime around them.

If you don't believe in a pan-Islamic conspiracy, then fine, I wouldn't call you Islamophobic. Some people do (e.g. see smalldeadanimals.com) which is why we need a word for it.

Re:What? (1)

Mashiki (184564) | about 3 months ago | (#47225993)

Do you know any Muslims in real life (ie a first name basis)? I do, and I haven't found them to be any worse or any better than people from other religious groups.

Yep, went to college with one. He was moderate, his father wasn't, nor was his uncle, or his grandfather.

Your no-go zones in Canada: Take pick of various parts of Toronto or London. You mean those "poor areas" like in France, where the areas are all muslim and their favorite past time is going out after friday prayers and torching cars?

And if you think that smalldeadanimals is islamophobic, I'm sure you think that blazingcatfur is as well. Even though both sites have done a bang up job pointing out the amazing double standard, including issues that the press will ignore for fear of being labeled racist. Seriously, when the press refuses to report on abuses by a religious group for being labeled racist, then there's already a problem.

Re:What? (1)

a_mari_usque_ad_mare (1996182) | about 3 months ago | (#47226117)

I had not heard of your second site, but I can only imagine in horror. As for small dead animals, yep, they fit my definition to a T. They seem like the kind of folks who would enjoy The Turner Diaries, or The Protocols of the Elders of Zion if their political prejudices were a bit different. These people are always angry because their views are way beyond our mainstream Conservative party, and because there's no younger generation of 'true believers' to replace them. I'm in my 20s so I plan to just wait them out.

I'm sympathetic to the fact self censorship due to accusations of racism, but I don't know what abuses you are referring to.

Re:What? (1)

Mashiki (184564) | about 3 months ago | (#47232937)

That's funny, because your average reader of both sites is between 20-35, with college education or higher and a median income of +80k. You're impressing your own views of perceived bigotry, while ignoring the others going on around you.

What abuses? Well we can start with the mosquiteria scandal if you want to begin, or the variety of attacks by muslims on your average canadian. Or we can even start with the attempts by muslims to force censorship on your average canadian by using the various HRC's across the country.

Re:What? (1)

NotDrWho (3543773) | about 3 months ago | (#47223755)

That's because the predominant narrative in the U.S. since the beginning of the Cold War has been that a combination of democracy and capitalism is some sort of cure-all for every country's ills.

They're not. Just ask the people of Iraq if they're better off with democracy today than they were with a autocratic dictator.

Re:What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47222963)

Autocratic is better than Muslim ,
Are you really know what your are talking about ?? I really doubt,

more than 500 sentenced death with a court without lawyer
http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/egypt-more-500-sentenced-death-grotesque-ruling-2014-03-24

1000 at least killed at rabaa protest
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/14/world/middleeast/memory-egypt-mass-killing.html?_r=0

more thast 21,000 arrested
http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2014/01/13/21317-arrested-since-morsis-ouster-independent-count/

I am not sure if terrorists rule our countries, is there a worst image, if you make me choose between what happen in Egypt and Syria or Iran, I will choose Iran

Re:What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47226781)

Iran is not ruled by Obama's buddies in the Muslim Brotherhood, now is it?

Re:What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47222969)

Haven't we learned from Syria and Iraq that autocratic rule is better than Muslim rule. During the brief Islamic rule of Egypt non-Muslims were killed, raped, burned out of homes and places of worship [huffingtonpost.com] . Yes, they are a bit hard on this blogger - but lets not forget what the movement he supported stood for.

Compared to what? Mass executions, mass detentions, no freedom of speech or the press or freedom of religion, and rape under Sisi? Egypt under Sisi makes Iran look good. Autocratic rule thrives on extremism and instability and they cultivate and promote it in order to give their repressive measures justification. Stalin could always point to the Nazi threat and then the American threat to justify mass murder and repression. And why do we want to support a totalitarian regime in Egypt instead of a democratically elected leadership that has some Islamic underpinnings... Turkey has a democratically elected government with Islamic leanings.

Re:What? (1)

BradMajors (995624) | about 3 months ago | (#47223121)

Americans prefer autocratic rule for the Middle East because any democratic Muslim country would be anti-American.

Re:What? (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 3 months ago | (#47223195)

that briefly ended 60 years of autocratic rule

Haven't we learned from Syria and Iraq that autocratic rule is better than Muslim rule. During the brief Islamic rule of Egypt non-Muslims were killed, raped, burned out of homes and places of worship [huffingtonpost.com] . Yes, they are a bit hard on this blogger - but lets not forget what the movement he supported stood for.

You're talking about a very specific sect of Muslims. The vast majority of Muslims do not support what these groups are doing but it's hard to argue with someone when their form of argument involves stoning you to death. Basically relating the two is like relating the KKK, Nazis or other turn of the century fascist regimes to Christianity. Yes, they may have claimed to have been a part of it, but they in no way represent the religion as a whole. There are plenty of Majority Muslim countries in the world that don't do anything like the atrocities we're seeing in these countries now.

Re:What? (1)

NotDrWho (3543773) | about 3 months ago | (#47223813)

Yes, but unlike the KKK's version of Christianity, radical Islam seems to be spreading today--fast. Forty years ago, or even twenty years ago, I would certainly have accepted that radical Islam was a relatively insignificant and obscure movement within the religion as a whole. Today, with radical numbers, influence, and power growing rapidly every year, I'm not so sure I buy that anymore.

Re:What? (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 3 months ago | (#47224609)

Yes, but unlike the KKK's version of Christianity, radical Islam seems to be spreading today--fast. Forty years ago, or even twenty years ago, I would certainly have accepted that radical Islam was a relatively insignificant and obscure movement within the religion as a whole. Today, with radical numbers, influence, and power growing rapidly every year, I'm not so sure I buy that anymore.

But you have no numbers. You just have what's on the news, which is being exaggerated by our media to get more viewers and exaggerated by our government to get us to allow them more power and weapons. Just like the problems we had in the 1950s were used by the FBI to extend their own powers. There are a LOT of Muslims in this country... why aren't they blowing things up in the home of the great Satan? Because when given opportunity, jobs, education, they are no different than the rest of us. If you stuck our uneducated rural Christian americans in the middle of palatine I bet they'd be launching rockets into Jerusalem in no time.

Re:What? (1)

NotDrWho (3543773) | about 3 months ago | (#47224759)

Watching one moderate regime after another in the middle east either falling completely, or having to fight a nasty civil war to survive, is pretty convincing evidence that this ain't no minor fluke. Even secular stalwart Turkey is has been swung hard towards [bbc.com] becoming an Islamist state in recent years.

But you can keep telling yourself whatever you wish.

Re:What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47224555)

It's not like there are only two choices. It doesn't have to be either 'autocratic rule' or 'Muslim extremist rule'.

Most Egyptians that protested during the Arab Spring wanted a major change to the constitution that protected everyone - even minority groups (similar to the system most western countries have). That never happened.

The guy who took power after the fall of Mubarak was Mohamed Morsi - who was backed by the Muslim Brotherhood. That is not the guy or the political system that most of the protesters were fighting for. That's why Morsi was removed from power by the military in response to an even bigger follow-up protest (millions of people participated).

Re:What? (1)

rtb61 (674572) | about 3 months ago | (#47226837)

I think North Koreans would disagree with you on that claim. As would Germans under Hitler (as well as a big chunk of the rest of the world's population). A whole list of countries and people under Stalin, of which Russia and Russians where just another bunch of victims. Chinese under Mao. Chileans under Pinochet. Then there was a whole world of feudal serfs under many different monarchists. The list just goes on and on and on.

So regardless of the brand, whether religious, ideological, monarchist or corporate 'ALL AUTOCRACIES SUCK BALLS'. What happens is one autocracy is just replaced with another autocracy, just run by different psychopaths. Psychopaths being the real problem, those conspiring ass hats always colluding to gain control of any and all groups for their own personal psychopathic advantage, including corrupting democracy. So no, replacing one autocracy with another autocracy is never better as a bad penny will always turn up in the family line and destroy everything that was achieved. The inevitable end of all autocracies unless they are ended before hand and turned into properly managed democracies.

Think about it, what is sane about devaluing you own children in favour of the children of the autocrats. Why would you accept the children of the autocrats having a greater right to power and life. Why would you ever accept autocracies sacrificing the lives and happiness of your children to keep the autocrats children in opulent luxury and to feed their egoistic need to abuse your children. That is the true underlying reality of autocracies, monarchies, oligarchies et al.

Eh?? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47222649)

Organized a protest in 2011.
Ban on protests signed into law in November 2013.
Get put away for 15 years?

If I clap my hands today, and handclapping becomes illegal tomorrow, will I get put away for 15 years too?

Re:Eh?? (2)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about 3 months ago | (#47222985)

Ex post facto protections aren't a god-given privilege.

Re:Eh?? (1)

cdrudge (68377) | about 3 months ago | (#47223709)

They however are against The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights, and Arab Charter on Human Rights, with Egypt being signers on the first two but not the third yet.

Re:Eh?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47222991)

In America, yes.

Note to EFF (2)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 3 months ago | (#47222705)

Egypt's leaders should not be permitted to make an example of him to silence others.

While I don't disagree with the sentiment, I would point out that Egypt isn't the US and the protections and institutions available to us are not available to Egyptians. This does point out, yet again, the problem with the 'Arab Spring' or any rapid move to a rule-of-law, marginally democratic republic: you need strong political, legal and financial institutions for all of that to work. You have virtually none of that in the Arab world.

How you get from a military theocracy to some sort of representative and stable government is a question that has yet to be answered.

Re:Note to EFF (3, Informative)

cpghost (719344) | about 3 months ago | (#47222727)

How you get from a military theocracy to some sort of representative and stable government is a question that has yet to be answered.

Well, for Egypt, the question is rather to choose between an autocratic military regime on one side, and an autocratic theocracy on the other side.

Re:Note to EFF (3, Interesting)

gstoddart (321705) | about 3 months ago | (#47222797)

Well, for Egypt, the question is rather to choose between an autocratic military regime on one side, and an autocratic theocracy on the other side.

This particular blogger was advocating the 3rd option ... a democratically elected, representative government which didn't impose one religion or another on the populace, treat that one as the law of the land, and the oppress the minorities.

Many many Egyptians are pushing for that.

Re:Note to EFF (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47223915)

The problem is that in predominantly Muslim states, you need the military to guard against democracy turning in to theocracy. The way things worked out in Egypt was that the military very quickly had to that job. In Egypt as it is now, there are only two options: military rule or theocracy. Democracy in Egypt was a failed experiment and can only work if either the population gets more secular, or Islamic politicians stop forcing the military to put them out of office by trying to turn Egypt into a theocracy.
The blogger from TFA may be well intentioned, but he's also severely misguided. And when you try to do good, as always in life, your first task is to educate yourself on what the consequences of your actions are going to be. The EFF is defending the indefensible her.

Re:Note to EFF (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47224533)

It appears the the vast majority of Egyptians prefer the military to the muslim brotherhood. These are there two choices at the moment and it wasn't even close. That tells you how bad the muslim brotherhood really is.

Vote for Sisi or die, bitch! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47223543)

Actually for Egypt the choice is now for Sisi or Sisi... or Sisi. Vote for Sisi or die, bitch!

Re:Note to EFF (5, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | about 3 months ago | (#47222775)

Yes, they are a bit hard on this blogger - but lets not forget what the movement he supported stood for.

Indeed, let's not do that [wikipedia.org] .

He wasn't in favor of Islamic rule. He was against the oppressive regime. Toppling that led to a newly formed brand new oppressive regime, not of his making or support. The Muslim Brotherhood was subsequently elected.

So let's make damned sure we're not accusing him of something he didn't do.

In his own words [democracynow.org] :

ALAA ABD EL FATTAH: Yes. That was on the 9th of October. There was a big march planned by several movements that were born out of the Coptic Christian community, basically protesting, you know, sectarian strife, violence against churches or, you knowâ"and also laws that restrict building or renovating churches. So, and it was a peaceful march, and it was quite big. I mean, I think it was like the biggest march to focus on the Coptic issues, you know, maybe 20,000 or 30,000. They marched from a popular neighborhood called Shubra, and the plan was to get just right here, behind me, to surround the Maspero building, which is where the state broadcast, radio and TV, broadcasts from. I think the symbolism around Maspero is that state media have always been, you know, downplaying the role of Christians and any other minorities in Egypt, but also have been downplaying the reality of sectarian strife in the country.

It was a peaceful march. They were supposed to just spend one hour in front of the building and then leave. But before they reached the building, they were attacked by the military. Three armed personnel carriers drove through the crowds, killing 17 people, and then live bullets were used against the protesters. Most of the protesters fled the scene. Many were injured. Around 28 people died. Then they started resisting. They started breaking the pavement and resisting the military with rocks and clubs or, you know, anything that they could get their hands on.

During that time, the media crackdown operationâ"there was a media crackdown operation by the military. Also they actually invaded a couple of buildings where independent TV channels were trying to cover the events live. The state broadcaster was showing a completely different picture. They started from the reaction. They started from the resistance, showing Christian protesters attacking the military. And then they started making false claims that tens of officers have been killed, and so on, in what appeared toâ"in what appears to have been a plan to incite sectarian strife. They were basically practically asking Muslims to come down and protect the army and attack any Christians that they find in the streets.

And yet you seem to be insinuating he was some kind of militant Islamist ... when nothing could be further from the truth.

Protesting an unjust regime and ending up with another isn't his damned fault.

Seriously, check your damned facts and at least know WTF you're talking about. Otherwise you just sound like some random idiot spouting random things -- which in this case are completely false.

But, hey, maybe you're an American and therefore in favor of bombing civilians if they're dumb enough to be near the people they actually want to kill. At which point, why should your citizens be exempt from such crap?

Re:Note to EFF (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 3 months ago | (#47222819)

Crap, my apologies to the grandparent post ... Slashdot is having some issues today and I replied to the wrong post.

Re:Note to EFF (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about 3 months ago | (#47227499)

"Protesting an unjust regime and ending up with another isn't his damned fault."

Yes, it is. It was entirely predictable the MB would get into power after Mubarak. It's what everyone said would happen, and happen it did. Darlings of the Left like the blogger are so obsessed with Having The Revolution that they scarcely think what will happen afterwards. Then, it becomes, "Oops, we didn't think about that, our hearts were in the right place, forgive us, mea culpa."

Re:Note to EFF (3, Informative)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 3 months ago | (#47222807)

How you get from a military theocracy to some sort of representative and stable government is a question that has yet to be answered.

If the US is any guide, you need a couple hundred years of near-anarchy conditions to get the people used to self-determination, self-ownership, and self-responsibility. Then, if they accept a govenment, they'll put strong restrictions on it (whether those are honored is another matter). Colonial America wasn't pure anarchy, but compared to most of the regions of the world today, it was pretty close.

Given modern communications, that couple hundred years might not be necessary, though there are limits to generations' flexibility and those generations have lengthened, not shortened.

Colonial America wasn't perfect, but the oppression of a strong military certainly isn't better.

Re:Note to EFF (1)

a_mari_usque_ad_mare (1996182) | about 3 months ago | (#47223789)

I actually think that British colonial rule is what set up the US to be a democracy. The revolutionary US population had lived for several generations under a parliamentary democracy, with strong rights and the rule of law. When they declared their independence from Britain they naturally chose to set up a very similar system.

Compare the experiences of former British colonies like the USA, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand with Latin America, Liberia, Algeria, and other former colonies which rebelled against despotic rule.

Re:Note to EFF (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 3 months ago | (#47224231)

Which speaks to the point that the Arab states are unlikely to repeat those experiments. The past 60 years or so of Middle East history does not bode well for attempts to springboard off of a stable 'mother' system. Chaos begets chaos. Breaking that pattern is going to be very hard.

In fact, looking at several thousand years of history in the region, breaking that pattern will be impossible.

Re:Note to EFF (1)

a_mari_usque_ad_mare (1996182) | about 3 months ago | (#47225863)

I don't think its totally impossible, or democracy would never have started anywhere. However, you're right that history is working against the region here.

America pays for Tyranny. (1)

bigpat (158134) | about 3 months ago | (#47223085)

Egypt isn't the US, but we do provide them with a lot of weapons and financial support while we hold adversaries like Iran, North Korea, Syria or even competitors like China to a different and higher standard of human rights and justify our antagonism towards those countries partly or largely based on their human rights records.

I don't expect the US to impose freedom and democracy around the world wherever we find tyranny, but neither do I want my tax dollars to be used to fund and arm tyrannical regimes like Egypt. Trade with them, okay sure. Arm them, no.

Re:Note to EFF (1)

Joe Gillian (3683399) | about 3 months ago | (#47224241)

The answer is that you need a government that is representative of the people, and has a firm grasp on the entire country. This is what happened in Ukraine, both with the Euromaidan protests that brought down Viktor Yanukovych and the pro-Russian militias that are trying to push for independence in Donetsk.

Yanukovych represented the Eastern side of Ukraine, where Russian is the biggest ethnicity. Sure, there are other groups that live there, but they're all minorities to the ethnic Russians. He cared only for those people and his own wallet, so he sided with Russia - which caused the people in Kiev, where the majority are ethinic Ukrainians in favor of Europe, to revolt because they felt disenfranchised.

Now that the pro-Europeans control Kiev, it's the other way around. Crimea may have been an act of aggression by Russia, but the independence movement in Donetsk was not - there are plenty of people there who want to be part of Russia and feel disenfranchised because that's not what the government in Kiev wants, and this causes them to take up arms against the mainline Ukrainian army. This is why you didn't see the Ukrainian army soldiers deserting in Crimea, but did see it frequently in Donetsk.

The same thing happens in the Middle East, but instead of Russians vs. Ukrainians vs. minority ethnic groups, it's Sunnis vs. Shiites.

Re:Note to EFF (1)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about 3 months ago | (#47224923)

>How you get from a military theocracy to some sort of representative and stable government is a question that has yet to be answered.

Most of Europe managed it.

So unfortunate (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 3 months ago | (#47223191)

It's a shame the US is more civilized than Russia or we'd just bomb them, take it over, and have 51 states. Then probably hit North Korea and Syria and every other complete asshole country where the government terrorizes and kills their own people.

Re:So unfortunate (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47223517)

Then probably hit North Korea and Syria and every other complete asshole country where the government terrorizes and kills their own people.

No, instead the US is terrorizing and killing the people of other countries.

How many civilians have died in drone strikes and been written off as collateral damage?

Sorry, but Americans have lost the moral high ground on this one, because you commit war crimes and act like it's OK.

America's definition of 'civilization' boils down to "because we said so and you can't stop us".

And this is why the rest of the world thinks Americans are assholes.

Obligatory (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47223691)

Coming soon to the UK(TM)!

Alaa's Slashdot Interview (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47224569)

Ten years ago Alaa answered your questions about GNU/Linux and technology in Egypt. [slashdot.org]

He shouldn't have watched The Matrix. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47225089)

Is it still banned over there?

That will teach him (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47225139)

the price for leaving the Free Speech Zone (TM)

It's like a physical law of Nature ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47225767)

The comments for pretty much every article on Slashdot devolve into an "America sucks" circle jerk ...

Envy really is ugly!

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