TED Conversations

Roger Farinha

Founder, New American Spring

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What is the future of middle-eastern democracy, as implied in contemporary Egypt?

We see how the Muslim Brotherhood is frantically attempting to hijack Egypt's move to democracy, but the diverse people of Egypt will have none of it. I understand Islam as the traditional binding force of Arabs generally, a people who were formerly characterized by tribal diversity. Yet Egypt, perhaps for its long existence as a nation, has the more opportunity to get past tribal difference, hence perhaps for this reason making Islam less necessary for the cohesion of the people. The presence of the Muslim Brotherhood, however, shows the still significant pull of Islam. Do you feel that Egypt will cross the precipice of democracy, managing to develop a constitution truly representative of the diversity of its people; one, moreover, capable of assimilating the growing movement toward Western-like secularism, consumerism, and liberties in the Middle East?


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    Nov 30 2012: Initially, here in the US, our fledgling Democracy only permitted "landowners" to vote. Over time, as we evolved through tests to our resolve as a nation to build and maintain a Democracy, we have enabled the lifting of restrictions and become more inclusive. We still have a distance to go before attaining a fully inclusive and equal society under the law and in practice, but we have come farther in 200 years than many.

    Egypt like any fledgling Democracy will undergo numerous tests to it's people's resolve in their bid for the freedoms and equality offered by such a political system. The move from theocratic rule to secular is often very difficult, but I have faith in the Egyptian people's resolve to end tyranny and continue the long path to secular democratic rule. And their Democracy will be their own, paid for in their own blood, sweat, and tears.

    I harbor the same faith and hope for we in America as well.

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