Mubarak. Indeed a tyrant
Photo: AP
Eitan Haber
Photo: Shalom Bar Tal

My tears for Mubarak

Op-ed: Ousted Egyptian president was last obstacle in face of threatening Islamist tsunami

Precisely at the most critical moment Saturday night, when the British prime minister appeared on my television screen (or maybe it was the German chancellor, or the French president,) I ran out of tissues. I therefore had to wipe off my tears with a towel.


One after the other, all the senior Western leaders appeared and hurled at us, Mideast natives, a series of nice words – “democracy,” “civil rights,” and so on. All of them of course took pleasure in the jubilation of the masses at al-Tahrir Square. If they could, these leaders would likely break into dance themselves.


Yet the undersigned is almost convinced that had viewers looked deep into the eyes of Obama, Cameron, Sarkozy and Merkel, they would have discovered fear. It is also possible that after the lights were turned off, these leaders muttered words like “shit,” in English or German. The masses at the Cairo square were of little interest to them. They fear that these masses, and many other millions, have been afflicted by a contagious disease that would reach these leaders too, and that’s the last thing they need.


One should not be impressed by their well-wishes. Their devotion to “democracy,” “popular power” and “civil rights” is lip service in this case. They think that by resorting to nice words they will save themselves and their peoples from the radical wave threatening to sweep them. They fear that in a year or five years, the al-Tahrir protestors will show up at their own squares and boulevards. At this time already, these leaders see the pioneers walking as though they are the masters of the house in Paris, London and Berlin.


It is very possible that Hosni Mubarak was not an ideal leader. It is very possible that the regime in Cairo was corrupt and not enlightened. It is certainly difficult to be an Egyptian in Cairo, Ismailia, Alexandria and Luxor. Yet Mubarak and his people understood something that 100 Obamas will not understand even 50 years from now: Mubarak and his regime were apparently the last obstacle in our conflicted world in the face of the Islamist tsunami, a predator that is already devouring some European states and turning the world into an increasingly less comfortable place to live in.


Hypocrites celebrating

It’s very possible and almost certain that the process is inevitable, and we are doomed to live with it. However, if possible, we should postpone this eventuality. What use would there be for democracy sages should the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt or anywhere else take power or exercise decisive influence on the government, get rid of all signs of the “flawed” Western culture, and turn Egypt’s 82 million citizens, for example, into soldiers holding up the sword of Islam?


What kind of democracy will it be then? Who will demand “civil rights” in a state that will be overtaken by veils? Where will the Americans be when in the same al-Tahrir Square we’ll be seeing hands and tongues and ears and noses cut off and the heads of “rebels” severed? The Americans will surely need huge quantities of tissues then.


President Mubarak was indeed a tyrant. He was apparently corrupt as well. Yet this is the same Mubarak who wore suits and ties, spoke English, upheld the peace treaty, hosted Israeli leaders at his palace, arrived at the Rabin funeral, and even – imagine that – provided us with gas at a special price.


This will likely be the only article today praising Mubarak. In politically correct terms, it would be proper to laud the masses and join in the celebration of democracy. After all, all the hypocrites in the Western world are coming together for this “civil right party.” Yet I, such an uncivilized creature, am already starting to long for the president who was forced to quit. How I wish to be proven wrong.



פרסום ראשון: 02.13.11, 18:01
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