Friday, February 11, 2011

What Egyptians Really Want?

What Egyptians Really Want? It's a good question, particularly given the events of the recent weeks, culminating in the removal of Hosni Mubarak as president. There has been much speculation regarding the role of The Muslim Brotherhood in shaping the political future this country, but most of this is western speculation. The question remains though, what do Egyptians want for themselves? Last year the Pew Research Center conducted a poll that might surprise you and, if truth be told, scares the feces out of me.

Consider the following...

~ 49% of Egyptians say Islam plays only a "small role" in public affairs under President Hosni Mubarak, while 95% prefer the religion play a "large role in politics."

~ 84% favor the death penalty for people who leave the Muslim faith.

~ 82% support stoning adulterers.

~ 77% think thieves should have their hands cut off.

~ 54% support a law segregating women from men in the workplace.

~ 54% believe suicide bombings that kill civilians can be justified.

~ Nearly half support the terrorist group Hamas.

~ 30% have a favorable opinion of Hezbollah.

~ 20% maintain positive views of al-Qaida and Osama bin Laden.

~ 82% of Egyptians dislike the U.S. — the highest unfavorable rating among the 18 Muslim nations Pew surveyed.

Obviously these are not encouraging figures. Recently, I commented on the documentary "Iranium". The parallels noted regarding Iran in the 1970's and Egypt today was stark and does not bode well for the greater middle east, Israel, or the United States. I still am cautiously optimistic that Egypt will come out of the current crisis better that they were, but find myself exceedingly cautious.

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