what egyptians want ii

according to a new survey from pew:

“Egyptians also want Islam to play a major role in society, and most believe the Quran should shape the country’s laws, although a growing minority expresses reservations about the increasing influence of Islam in politics….

“When asked which country is the better model for the role of religion in government, Turkey or Saudi Arabia, 61% say the latter….”

“However, most also endorse specific democratic rights and institutions that do not exist in Saudi Arabia, such as free speech, a free press, and equal rights for women….

“There is no consensus among Egyptians as to whether American financial assistance to their country is primarily economic or military. A plurality (34%) believes the aid is mostly to help Egypt develop economically, while 23% say the aid is mostly military. Nearly three-in-ten (28%) believe it is divided equally between economic and military assistance, and 14% offer no opinion.

Both types of American aid are viewed negatively by Egyptians. About six-in-ten (61%) say U.S. military aid has a harmful influence on Egypt, while just 11% believe its impact is positive, and 25% say it has no impact. Similarly, 61% consider U.S. economic aid harmful, while the remainder of the public is split between positive views (21%) and the belief that the aid has no impact (17%)….

well, if they don’t want it….

i should ‘fess up right now that i have an inexplicable** soft spot for egypt and egyptians. i really do wish them well and hope it all works out for them as best as it can work out.

previously: what egyptians want and aígyptos

(note: comments do not require an email. **it’s got something to do with all this stuff.)

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15 Comments

  1. Hmmm…again…
    So it seems that we have a choice of following the principles of Islam or following them strictly… Heads I win, tails you lose…
    All I can say is that I’m glad that we (the U.S.) didn’t have a role in the glorious “Arab Spring” (with the exception of Libya, anyway).

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  2. @HBD_Chick

    ON THE QURAN AND SHARIA
    I might be able to help clarify the reason egyptians answered the question of economic aid as they did. (The way the question was asked was confusing for them.)

    The military is not insulated from business in Egypt. Many of the largest companies are owned by the military. The military in deeply involved in commerce and distribution. So while we give money to the military it also ends up in business that are purely commercial extensions of the military complex. This is why Egyptians were confused: the delineation implied in the question doesn’t exist in reality the way it does in the west. Their commercial and military sectors are combined.

    ON SHARIA
    The reason they are attracted to the Q’ran and Sharia law are also posed confusingly to them. In the west we have natural law from the church, the common law of the people, the constitution that limits the government, and legislative law that is produced by the state but which is limited by common, natural, and constitutional boundaries.

    In the islamic countries their leaders abused these ‘higher laws’ pretty consistently in vast systems of pervasive corruption. So when they say that they want the Quran and Sharia, they are just falling back on something that they all agree upon. It’s not necessarily the mystical content, but the fact that they have a low trust society (for reasons HBD_Chick explains regularly) and because they have a low trust high corruption society, they don’t have confidence in any form of legislative or constitutional law. They see that as having failed them.

    American conservatives feel the same way: the left has all but eviscerated the constitution by way of the commerce clause, judicial activism, and direct election of the senate. So american conservatives fall back on the american constitution the way muslims fall back on teh Quran. However, the constitution has proven unable to protect us from ‘corruption’ (redistribution and authoritarianism) just as constitutions have failed to protect muslims from ‘corruption’ (privatization and authoritarianism).

    So I find the survey above somewhat silly. It asks irrelevant questions from which we are supposed to deduce irrelevant preferences. When the fact is, that they, like us, want to avoid government corruption. They just know even less about how to accomplish it than we do.

    NOTE
    Not that I have a lot of hope for that civilization. I’m just explaining the perspectives.

    Curt

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  3. A majority seem to be voting for Muslim Brotherhood candidates, so the future does not look hopeful.

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  4. I liked the Egyptians better back in the old days…you know, when they were building pyramids and stuff like that.

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  5. There is no consensus among Egyptians as to whether American financial assistance to their country is primarily economic or military.

    There is no difference between the two.

    Just as there is no difference in funds given to Planned Parenthood for breast exams and abortions. It becomes their money and they just shift funds around on paper to show they are using it in the manner the donor intended.

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  6. @rjp – “My comment disappeared?”

    huh. you were trapped by the spam filter. no idea why.

    edit: heh. prolly your very risqué use of the word “breast.” (~_^)

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  7. @curt – “I might be able to help clarify the reason egyptians answered the question of economic aid as they did. (The way the question was asked was confusing for them.) The military is not insulated from business in Egypt. Many of the largest companies are owned by the military. The military in deeply involved in commerce and distribution. So while we give money to the military it also ends up in business that are purely commercial extensions of the military complex.”

    yeah, that’s probably a good explanation. i wasn’t aware of any of that until just the night before last when i read (somewhere – wikipedia?) pretty much what you just wrote there. no wonder egyptians seem to be pretty positive to the military overall — sounds like it’s the bread and butter for a lot of folks there.

    i was more interested in the 61% who say they thought aid from the u.s. — in any shape or form — is harmful to egypt. if that’s how they feel about it, i don’t think we should force it on them. (~_^)

    @curt – “When the fact is, that they, like us, want to avoid government corruption.”

    do they? do they really?

    this is going to appear in one of my next posts on egypt (maybe later today) — it’s a quote from Development and Social Change in Rural Egypt, pg. 154:

    “In Ahmed’s [local politician from one area dubbed ‘el-diblah’] case service in the National Assembly has indeed provided peasants with what may be termed a ‘politics of largesse’ (Hyden 1980: 90). While his powers at the national level are quite circumscribed, at the local level Ahmed has become an effective ‘gatekeeper’ over the flow of national resources into his district. He has, for example, played an important role in determining the location of certain social services in the area: schools, warehouses and consumer cooperatives. Through this process Ahmed has been able to reward his followers through the creation of new jobs, new titles, and perhaps most importantly, new means of graft. In El-Diblah, as well as other rural areas, easy access to government warehouses and cooperatives provides villagers with the chance to purchase (or pilfer) those government-subsidized products (for example, wood, iron, meat) that can be sold for a handsome profit on the black market.”

    remember, not everybody is “like us.”

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  8. @crassus – “I liked the Egyptians better back in the old days…you know, when they were building pyramids and stuff like that.”

    yeah, awesome! just like the one they’ve got in vegas! (~_^) (been there, and it is FUNny! (^_^) )

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  9. @HBD_Chick

    “Want to avoid corruption….” — “Do they?”

    Good point, sorry. Yes, you’re right corruption as we understand it is different from corruption as they understand it. How about, ‘arbitrary justice’? Is that a better term? I think that’s the one that closely fits how they use it. Now, I’m also talking about the small middle class. You’re right that he vast body of people is factional, and corruption is a goal in itself.

    The oil is their problem really. Spain used to be a hard working country too. That was, until the new world brought in 200 tons of gold or so. Cheap wealth is a bad thing.

    You know, as an aside, it gets lost that the ‘arab spring’ was largely a reaction to increases in food prices. (You want to solve the western world’s problems quickly? Engineer a bacteria that kills rice plants.)

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  10. As the brokest country in the history of the world, the US shouldn’t be giving aid to ANY country. 16 trillion and counting in debt…

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  11. @curt – “How about, ‘arbitrary justice’? Is that a better term?”

    yeah, that’s more the spirit of things, i think. (^_^) justice, for them, being something that is very relative, of course (no pun intended!).

    @curt – “You know, as an aside, it gets lost that the ‘arab spring’ was largely a reaction to increases in food prices.”

    yes, absolutely. i remember seeing some charts of that somewhere. do you know which ones i’m talking about?

    @curt – “(You want to solve the western world’s problems quickly? Engineer a bacteria that kills rice plants.)”

    ooo. whoa. scary. =/

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  12. @miguel – “As the brokest country in the history of the world, the US shouldn’t be giving aid to ANY country. 16 trillion and counting in debt…”

    indeed! =/

    following the same train of thought, why does anybody give any aid to india when they’ve got a space program?!

    Reply

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