Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Thoughts on Eygpt

When I first heard about the riots happening in Egypt I didn’t know what to think. But as time rolled on I began to learn why. As I understand it, the riots in Egypt, Jordan, Yemen, and Saudi Arabia are a domino effect from what originally happened in the country of Tunisia. After a having a fruit stand – his only source of income – seized by Tunisian government, a man set himself on fire because he could no longer handle the life of oppression and poverty brought on by the government. Shortly after the Tunisian people banned together and revolted against their regime. Through the tools of social media the aforementioned countries soon followed suit.

Knowing that protest has the power to overthrow government and sharing the same economic situation as those in Tunisia, the Egyptians organize and lead a protest to oust their current leader, Hosni Mubarak. Hearing that he was a dictator and held the Egyptian people under oppression, I’m glad the Egyptian people are united against their hatred of the man’s leadership and are doing something about it. I don’t know the full story, just from what I’ve heard through varying media outlets. But based on that, I would have no problem in joining the Egyptians in their protest. In fact, I’ve often toyed with the idea of showing my support by putting something in my twitter account. There’s just one thing stopping me. I’m not sure if rioting is the best way to overthrow a government.

I consider why their rioting and I think “Awesome! Its great to see the Egyptians are letting their voice be heard.” And I’m optimistic that change will come of this. But is rioting the best way to do it? Last I heard, they are now storming the cabinet ministers’ place of business (don’t know the official name for it, but it’s like the House of Commons in Canada). Is this the best way to show your discontent? Maybe it is and I’m just looking at it through my “western civilization glasses”. I mean at this point, other would leaders have stepped in and tried to settle with the famed dictator in a more civilized manner. U.S. president Barack Obama, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and others have asked him to step down. Their efforts were more civilized yet ineffective. Hosni Mubarak is not yielding. In that case right on Egypt! Keep on trucking!

But suppose rioting is the absolute best way to get something done. When is it too much? If the grocery store has outrageous prices and refuses to lower them, does that mean we can smash all the windows and resort to looting and other violence until they lower the prices? Personally that seems a little too much and someone does need to step in and control the masses. In the case of Egypt though, that’s a tad different. The way I see it, they are upset with their government. Hosni Mubarak has had them under dictatorship for roughly 30 years. Three decades is a long time. That’s almost an entire generation. If the Egyptian people have tried other methods to oust Mubarak, and they have failed then maybe rioting is the best way to get rid of a dictator.

1 comment:

  1. It is a fair question to ponder the value of rioting. There are many different ways it can be done though. Take for example the riots in LA after the Rodney King incident; they were violent and many of the participators not only hurt bystanders but also looted store fronts.

    Standing for justice is an honorable virtue and as a Christian we must stand for the justices of Christ's Kingdom! That said, we cannot stand blindly nor participatory in the exploitation of such efforts for unjust means or ends. We must riot with great character, honorable hearts, and clear consciousness in relation to Christ's calling! Another example might be the riot marches Martin Luther King made in the 60's.

    It is distressing what Mubarak has done in Egypt over the past three decades and the people must be heard as they cry for freedom. I pray for his resignation but I also pray for peace in the lands of Egypt. Answers will not be easily found but by standing and rioting in non-violence I encourage the Egyptian people; the world is watching friends and justice will be found!