February 5, 2011

EGYPT'S COLOUR OF CHANGE



When I listen in, every now and then, on the Western news, there's always that rumble. There is always that tremble, the dark threat in the voices of those "experts" who for years have backed Mubarak, not in person but in spirit, spitting their venom in political shows in my country and so many others.

And they are warning again. They are threatening again. If this comes to pass, this Egyptian (r)evolution, just you wait! There will be a theocratical regime in power in no time! There will be stonings! And women will be subjugated! And in beekeper suits! 

Even the most "liberal" of American commentators and comedians (not you, Jon Stewart, you may go home) like Bill Maher are fueling the distrust, the mistrust against those who are protesting, for every revolution that we are not controlling must be one that turns against us.

It is a notion that some want us to believe.

And Bill Maher and others have wholeheartedly bought into, interrupting an Egyptian journalist with "facts", and by "facts" I mean a "poll". Dear Mr. Maher, a poll is not a fact. A fact is verifiable. A fact is a singular moment in time that doesn't change even as others attempt to re-interpret it.

That is a fact.

A poll is just something that is put together by people, usually hired, and its outcome can be changed, altered and manipulated. It means nothing, but is often, if not most of the time used as a weapon of choice in a debate, like quotes are. See? See? A poll states what I believe! See? It is a fact!

No. No, it isn't, you stupid, little school girl. Oh, I am sorry, Bill. Am I using your own material against you? Good! Because you have become a prime example of the notion that too much weed can indeed affect your ability to think. Or maybe you were always a hypocrite.

Maher has done this before. When arguing for health care reform (which I believe in), he used a poll to support his claim that "most Americans want what I want, see?" But when a poll claiming that most Americans would support the notion of not building the Muslim community center in Manhattan, he said that "this only shows Americans are stupid".

Well, the one who is stupid is Bill Maher, for he has not the ability of reflection. You cannot use a tool if it supports your prejudices and then dismiss it if it goes against what you believe. You know who else does that? Religious bigots, Bill, and you should know about them, because you have been kissing up to the Republican establishment throughout your entire season now.

In the documentary OutFoxed, a scientific study (and by the way, Bill, a scientific study is not the same as a poll, in this case it was a content study) showed that Fox - way back when - had a margin of 2-1 of Republican guests vs. Democratic guests in a 1-1 interview with Brit Hume. And those Democratic guests were mostly DINOs, i.e. Democrats in name only.

But back then, this was at the height of the Bush years, and they didn't announce it at the beginning of each show! Look! We are bipartisan! We are trying to have two Republicans on each show! I am so sorry you have to face a democrat and an analytical filmmaker! I am so sorry, but I will suck your dick!

This is the man who criticises Black Barry. The man who only does sharp criticism when he doesn't have to face the ones he criticises. This guy who pretends to get an Egyptian journalist on his show for one reason, and one reason only. To attack her with "facts".

A poll... really.

Where is this extremist Islamist revolution, Bill?

I am not seeing it. I am not seing any martyrs on the street. I am not seeing how they scream for an Islamist country. I have not even yet seen "Death to America" or "Death to Israel", although the former - considering that they have been oppressed for 30 years with your help and your support, that your government and mine were perfectly okay with trading the Egyptian human rights, the Egyptian freedom for "stability" with Israel - would be perfectly justified.

Let me say that again. Hatred against the government of the United States, each and every government since Ronald Reagan would be perfectly justified.

But these people don't even do that. Welcome to the new world worder, dear American pundits and governmental spokespeople. It's a world where Egyptians don't dress in blood-soaked headbands and scream for the prophet. No.

It's a world in which these people are going out on the street...

... with the flag of their country painted on their faces. In which these people want what you folks a long time ago (you know, those white, rich slave owners) put into a constitution. The right to determine their own fate. The right to pursue liberty and happiness. And man, that must really annoy the American elite, media and otherwise. How dare they? How dare they not ask us for what is best for them? Don't they know we are the good people?

Welcome to the new world order, where America - due to its own hypocrisy - is a nation no longer taken by its word. A world in which your government is judged by its actions. A world in which WikiLeaks has shown you to be arrogant, breaking international law and breaking your promises. In which the facts are that you employed thugs, that you paid off murderers, that you used Mubarak's regime to torture. What gives you the right to even speak up?

What the hell gives you that right?

I am not Egypt. I cannot speak for them.

But I know this. They are not children. They have been treated as such for a long time, with our societies' support and the implicit consent of our governments.

We have no right to tell them what to do.

It is up to them. And I have faith in them.

Why? Because until Mubarak's murderers started to attack, these people were peaceful. They still are. They protest in prayer, and their prayer is their protest. And that is not so different from another (r)evolution, but that is one we tend to forget or only remember in the wrong way.

In 1989, the source of the protest that put hundreds of thousands on the streets of Leipzig, in Communist Germany, was not the intellectual base. It was not the atheist base, of which I consider myself a member of. It was the church. Yes, that is right. It was the churches in Leipzig that cooridnated the Monday demonstrations that ended with the resounding chant "we are the people" and would soon bring down the Berlin Wall.

And they waved the German flag and they sang and they marched and they told their own dictators that they would not go. That this was their country and not the country of those who ruled.

And here?

Here we see the Egyptians. Waving their flag. Wearing their flag. Telling Mubarak that it is over. That he has stolen their country. That he has had it long enough.

That they are here to take it back.

It is up to them. But it is up to us to say, we are with you. We are not our governments, just as you are not your government. We are better than them, all of them. We, the people. And it will be hard, it is hard, and those who sit at keyboards, in rooms far, far away, we have it easy.

We have it too easy to pass judgement. And I have and I will.

Wherever somebody dresses righteously in the cloak of religion or ideology to supress human rights, wherever a majority, Christian, Hindu , Muslim or atheist uses its numbers, its power to suppress the rights of a minority, of women, of other races, of other faiths or those of other sexuality, I will shout at the top of my lungs.

And I will fight you, then.

And the worst excesses in the name of the prophet sicken me.

But this is not about me. This about them.

And I cannot and will not pass judgement on them.

Not now. Not here. Not on them.

On those who are in the streets every day, on those who sleep on those streets every night, young and old, men and women, Christians and Muslim, they are all Egypt. We have no right to pass judgement, not now, for if we do, they have the right to pass judgement on us, too.

And we wouldn't look very good if they do.