I have not been to Egypt or read much about its politics. But from friends and collegaues who'd been there, they love it. It is one Muslim country that embraces diversity and orthodox Christian Egyptians. It comes as a shock to find it in the gridlock between diverging groups.
What exactly did Mubarak do wrong and what was his political inclination? More than that, what triggered the recent mass protests in Tunisia, Algeria and what seems to be spreading over the ME in states like Jordan and Yemen?
No offence, but Egypt doesn't exactly have very good 'religious' relations.
There is massive discrimination and oppression of minority religions. Churches fire bombed, Coptic Christians (especially women) harrassed and raped, the list goes on.
Just a decade or more ago they had quite a substantial percentage of minority Coptic Christians but as the Middle East moves slowly but steadily towards Wahabi (Hardcore Saudi style Islam) influence the percentage whittled down to a single digit percentage as they migrated to other, particularly, European countries, became refugees, etc.
Example, most women didn't wear hijab (headscarfs) back in the day. Today you see it alot. I don't have anything against hijab - more power to the woman if she wants to wear it.
But the wearing of it symbolises the pressure women face to have to 'objectify' their religion to a single act of wearing the hijab. Women who don't are harrassed.
My sister visited Egypt and told me that men propositioned her on the street, and she got groped lots. She's not exactly a flashy dresser, if you consider jeans and long sleeves (no cleavage) scanty.
I think the whole uproar seems a little too coincidental.
The whole 'ripple' effect is strange. First Tunisia, then other countries. Just seems very staged.
Middle Eastern people have always thrived in dominion. Many of my Mid-East friends have said, its better to have a cruel leader in a 'stable' country rahter than 50,000 Arab tribes or Islamic parties shedding blood and jobs fighting over a piece of pie in perpetual war.
Look at Saudi Arabia. Its the pits for lots of people. And many people's version of hell - no mixing of the sexes, etc etc. But Saudis are relatively happy there. They prefer their corrupted, excessive fat cat Royal Family there than the decrepit self styled Mullahs hunched by the sides of the Royals with their disdainful, disapproving snarls of the 'unIslamic' ways of the Royal Family. Why? Stability. Wealth.
At least, better prospect than being ruled by ultra conservative Mullahs.
I'm not saying they SHOULD be ruled by dictators. Its basically them having to choose between a rock and a hard place.
Middle East has always been a very turbulent place. Its not going to be fluffy cream cheese and pink candy floss just because they tossed some tosser into the bin. Another will rise to take his place, put in by those with 'interest' or just some charismatic twit, or a Islamic party waiting to inflict some serious Taliban sh!t on them.