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July 4, 2013 / Congau

Egypt

The military takes over in Egypt. A president who was democratically elected just one year ago, has been overthrown.

Shocking! don’t you think? You condemn it strongly, don’t you?

You, the voices of the West, are always guardians of noble principles when events like these occur, so it should be a simple matter for you to criticize this clear violation of your own clear rules. On other occasions, democracy seems to be sacred. Usually it is the one law that can never be overruled, but now that is not the case.

The editorial columns in the West are now busy drawing a complicated picture to the confusion of their readers. Mursi, the president of Egypt, was the country’s first democratically elected head of state. It’s only been twelve months since he replaced a despotic and unpopular regime, but that is not what we are being reminded of in our neutral press. Mursi has despotic tendencies himself, it is said. He ignores the opposition, we are told, and above all, the economy has become much worse. Therefore he deserves to be overthrown, and by the same token those hypocritical democratic principles of the West are overthrown.

Only one year, and he has already proven himself unworthy. No, it didn’t even take that long. He had hardly entered his office when critique and condemnation started pouring over him from the Western sky. They, the West, never liked Mursi and his Muslim brotherhood, and then objective principles become less important.

Why don’t they like him? Because he doesn’t belong to them. His party is not in line with mainstream American and European political parties, and his policies are potential threats to the ideal world order where everybody is obedient consumers of American goods.

There are other rebels in this world as well, and some of them also have popularly elected governments. But no matter how democratically elected they are, they are being condemned for their lack of democracy. Then there are obedient states which fall far short of elementary democratic standards, but still they are rarely criticized. Egypt under Mubarak used to be such a country. We were rarely told that it was not a democracy. It didn’t have to be because it was obedient to the West.

Has it now become such a country again? Will Egypt again be undemocratic but obedient? Time to celebrate then?

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