By Julia Duin
A protester leads a chant during anti-government rally in Tahrir Square on the morning of January 31, 2011 in central Cairo, Egypt. Protests continued into the seventh day as thousands of people marched to demand the resignation of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, after 30 years of ruling the country. (Photo by Chris Hondros/Getty Images)
With events in Egypt changing by the hour, what are Muslims themselves saying about historical changes there?
For those of us who want something a bit more substantial than Twitter, the pickings (at least in English) are slim.
Arsalan Iftikhar, who writes at TheMuslimGuy.com asks if we’re seeing “A ‘Democracy Renaissance’ in the Arab World?” but does not cite any religious elements at work.
AltMuslim’s Haroon Moghul writes:
We need to get out of the mindset that sees religious Muslims as antithetical to democracy, and that demands a conflict between Islam and progress. Muslims in the Muslim-majority world are already way beyond these stereotypes, and it’s time we get past them, too.
Akram’s Razor asks why American coverage of the riots in Egypt seems so dimwitted.
But good Muslim news blogs aren’t plentiful. A list of top 10 Muslim blogs provided by Dilshad Ali of Beliefnet revealed a list that was mostly out of date or the links didn’t work. The Islamic Society of North America and the Council of American-Islamic Relations had nothing on the Egyptian riots that I could find. Which leads me to believe that the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt are less religious than political and economic.
I got the best information from a staff blog Al Jazeera’s English-language site. This is chock-full of photos and chronicles, among other things, how Tahrir Square in central Cairo has become the Tiananmen Square of the Middle East: People vs tanks.
There’s been rumbling about the Muslim Brotherhood being behind a lot of this but that claim has not yet been fully teased out in news reports. Some independent analysts say the Muslim Brotherhood is old school and protestors have not adopted it as their cause by a long shot. Thus, events on the street are about regime change, not religious revival.
The biggest fears are coming from the Israeli side of the fence, as in this JJewish Issues Watchdog blog sees the Brotherhood’s fingerprints all over the current anarchy in Egypt.
Do you think the events in Tunisia and Egypt are mostly religious in nature? What are the implications if they are –and if they are not?