Thursday, February 10, 2011
Egypt: The of Embarrassment for Iran
Lately, I have been very disinterested about politics. I do not understand why, but this should be one of the most interesting times in politics and Middle Eastern affairs. Maybe it is work that is killing any interest I have in other areas besides Tax Law. However, as I am browsing through the News and the history unfolding in the Middle East, I cannot ignore the events that are taking place in Egypt. Honestly, it is very hard to predict what will happen in Egypt. Some people are worried about Muslim Brotherhood taking over Egypt like Khomeini did in Iran or Hezbollah did in Lebanon not too long ago. We really cannot foretell what will happen. However, no matter what happens, it will not be as bad some people say it would be for the region especially for Israel. However, as I am looking at the events in Egypt, I cannot fail to be truly embarrassed and ashamed of where I was born.
The reason that I am ashamed is that there is this rivalry between Persians and Arabs. Persians always classify Arabs as barbarians. They pride their cultures to be more superior and more civilized than Arab culture. Arabs on the other hand always classify Persians to be not truly Muslim. They call them fire worshipers and stuff like that. However, Iranians always held themselves to be more civilized than Arabs. The embarrassing part is the way Arab government of Egypt dealt with their protesters compared to Iranian government dealing with Green Revolution. Although people have been killed during the protest in Egypt, however the level of cruelty that you witnessed during the Iranian’s crack down on Green Movement is incomparable by all standards to the protests in Egypt. I believe that it is safe to claim that Egyptian Army along with Egyptian authorities dealt with the protesters with some level of civility despite all the threats thrown out by the protesters. One of these threats was the claim by the protesters that they would take over the Presidential Palace and physically force Mubarak out of power.
What we witnessed in Iran was just absolutely cruel. During and after the protests, protesters started missing. The leaders of the Green Movements started vanishing and being jailed. There are numerous claims of young protesters, including both sexes, of being raped the Iranian authorities while being captive. Many people are still missing. Even during the protest, we witnessed cars running people down and killing them. Who could forget what happened to Neda?
Egyptian protests have been fairly more successful than Iranian protests. The reason for that is Iranian government agents are less likely to have mercy on their people than Egyptian authorities. In another words, Iranian Police are more ruthless than the Egyptian authorities. The Egyptian Army has held back from harsh crack down as oppose to Iranian authorities and paramilitary groups who absolutely devastated the Iranian citizens through heinous crimes committed against these protesters.
There could be one reason to explain such a difference. I know it is very wrong to point this out and of course nobody will want to go there, but one way to explain this difference in level of cruelty is the RELIGION OF PEACE. Iranian agents are motivated by “Islam”. Of course, the leaders’ motivation is also holding on to power for personal gain and they are profit driven. However, once you have higher authority, higher than human rights on your side, you could pretty much justify any crime in the name of religion and specifically in this case “Islam”. Using that name and justifying their acts in the name of Allah and Islam gives them higher level of cruelty because all they could do is branding someone as Enemy of Allah or Kafer and therefore he deserves to die. Egyptian military and authorities for the most part are more secular. They really do not have that many options to justify their actions. Iranian agents on the other hands hold themselves to be Hezbollah or to translate “Party of G-d”. They view themselves agents who protect Islam and therefore they should not be held accountable for their actions.
In this matter, one could blame Islam as a religion. However, this problem should not be taken as a way to channel hatred. The problem lies within allowing religion to take control of the government. The separation of Church and State is the issue here that Egyptian protesters should pay a close attention to for their future government. One could look at Iran and learn that unless there is a clear separation of Religion and Government, all their efforts today is futile. The next government will not be as civilized as the current government when it comes to crack down if the government is an Islamic government or secular government with Islamic tendencies. In that case, just like Iran, they would have a higher authority behind their cruel agenda and that means they do not have to be held accountable for their actions.
But today, you cannot fail to be ashamed as an Iranian when you compare the two movements and see the Iranian government treatment of its citizens. Iranians should really reevaluate everything in their culture, politics, religion, and other social issues to find an answer for why their movement was not as successful as Arab movements in the region.