Monday, March 21, 2005

Good News From the Arab Street

Arthur Chrenkoff has a roundup of good news from the Islamic world--a special "Pro-Democracy edition. He starts out:

While throughout major cities of Western world crowds - albeit much diminished since three or two years ago - have turned up over the weekend for anti-democracy rallies to protest the second anniversary of the start of the liberation of Iraq, one region of the world remained strangely unaffected by the "anti-war" and "anti-occupation" fervor: the notorious "Arab street" has failed to join the "European street" and the "American street" in condemning yet again Chimpy Bushhitler and his imperialist policies. The only significant exception throughout the Middle East was Turkey, where rallies in three major cities could only muster several hundred people between them.

Everywhere else, the second anniversary of invasion did not incite much public excitement - possibly because the local residents were too busy rallying against terrorism and theocracy, and for freedom, democracy and human rights.

And here's a sample of good news from Egypt:

Since early December, Cairo has witnessed a series of anti-government demonstrations demanding free and democratic election that would not result in an automatic re-election of President Mubarak to his fifth consecutive term in office. "The rallies, organised by the Egyptian Movement for Change, have coined a slogan —'kefaya' (enough) -- to vent their exasperation with Mubarak and his consecutive administrations."A few days ago, Egyptian opposition activist Ayman Nour declared to the cheering crowd of about 1,000 supporters that he will stand against Hosni Mubarak in the presidential election later this year. Said Nour: "They [the ruling party] have to apologise for the false elections during the past miserable 50 years... We have never chosen a president before ... Change is coming one day, and that day is soon."On the second anniversary of the Coalition entry into Iraq, some 300 protesters have gathered in the capital to rally against the occupation. By all accounts, large sections of the crowd have spent most of the time venting their anger at their own government, sporting "No to Mubarak" stickers on their foreheads and chanting the opposition slogan "Enough!"
It is beyond me why anyone would demonstrate against the encouraging events that are taking place today in a part of the world that has been under the boot of dictatorship for decades and decades. You would have to be pretty far out in space to not understand the incredible yearning for Freedom that is sweeping the world.

Today it was reported that there was heavy unrest in Kyrgyzstan . Interestingly, that country's most famous son, Salizhan Sharipov, is now in space aboard the International Space Station (he is a Russian citizen and a cosmonaut). Sharipov is an ethnic Uzbek, from an Uzbek village that is within the borders of Kyrghizia. (hat tip: Jim O)

So perhaps it is unfair to suggest that being "far out in space" is an excuse for the behavior of the new anti-Freedom movement (which is the same as the old "anti-U.S." movement). The Arab "street" has figured out which way the wind is blowing.

Only the clueless Left seems to be in need of a weather man.

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