Our functioning Democracy

Since we are on the eve of thenational municipal elections, I would like to report that the MB will not win a single seat anywhere in this country. You know why? Because none of them finished their nomination papers on time. Lazy you might say? Nope. They are all missing their "Feesh and tashbeeh" ( clearance of criminal activities report), which they would get it from the Police, and the police won't give it to them.They have a list of all MB members and won't give any of them a criminal clearance, not until the elections are over. One of the MB in Mansoura, however, managed to finish his nomination papers because he had a 6 months old criminal clearance. So he went into the police-station to submit them. The Police Officer took one look at his file, grabbed the Clearnce paper, examined it, and then proceeded to tear it apart and told the man "Oooops! Now go try and get a new one!"

Nice, ehh? 

0 comment on Our functioning Democracy

  1. leo
    March 11, 2008 at 12:36 pm

    No, it is not Democracy. It may also lead to something ugly in the future if MB is getting more and more popular.

  2. ash-shakkak
    March 11, 2008 at 12:48 pm

    Actually, I think Katatni said yesterday they managed to get 60 registered (see here, seventh graf down). But yeah, LE50 says those polling stations won’t be open.

  3. EgyPeter
    March 11, 2008 at 3:57 pm

    THANK GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    If Hosni wants to leave a legacy, nothing would be grander than stomping out and finally crushing Egypt’s foremost Terrorist Organization!!!

    In the quarter century of Muburak’s inept Pharaohship, the least he can do, is plunge that dagger in the heart of the Ikhwan’s political aspirations!! PLEASE!

  4. EgyPeter
    March 11, 2008 at 5:37 pm

    And lo and behold, here is a perfect example of why I abhor the Ikhwan.


    “Parliament’s Undersecretary Zeinab Radwan called for acknowledging the right of a Christian or Jewish woman to inherit and acknowledging women to have equal rights like men to testify in court, in the framework of activating the principle of citizenship and equality among citizens.

    Muslim Brotherhood (MB) deputy Mahmoud Amer said what Radwan is calling for is contrary to the Islamic Sharia and the reference of Egyptian society, but Radwan said she meant to show the true side of Islam”


  5. Craig
    March 11, 2008 at 9:31 pm

    Screw the MB. I have a question, though. If the MB is an outlawed organization, then how can they get a “criminal clearance” certification, anyway? Isn’t membership in an illegal organization a criminal act, in and of itself? Sorry, but I find Egyptian politics extremely confusing…

  6. EgyPeter
    March 12, 2008 at 1:51 am

    Well you see Craig, politics in Egypt make little sense.

    But you pose a great question though. The guy has had 25 years to quash these terrorists. I’m not sure why it’s just dawning on him that they pose the biggest political/social threat to the ruling regime. I mean, come one, he didn’t see this coming? Maybe Muburak hasn’t realized the Islamization of Egyptian society over the last couple of decades and didn’t believe that they they could garner 20% of the vote, as they did in the previous election. But could he have been that oblivious? And now he’s inadvertently made the Ikhwan the strongest opposition to the NDP.

    What a mess.

  7. Patrick
    March 12, 2008 at 5:35 am

    As much as I hate the MB, this is ridiculous. Let them compete fairly and let us have an honest discourse about the issues. Let them lose democratically, and they will lose.

    Besides, the MB is more like Turkey’s AK than it is like Hamas.

  8. SudaneseDrima
    March 12, 2008 at 9:03 am

    “the MB is more like Turkey’s AK than it is like Hamas”

    LOL! Yeah, sure thing. Please! Big difference between them in their policies towards women, the West and Israel. As for letting them compete fairly in elections I agree. Problem is, once they get elected in power, do you really think they’ll just walk away nicely when they lose the next elections?

  9. Roman Kalik
    March 12, 2008 at 11:19 am

    I second Drima. The Brotherhood is far more extreme than most would care to consider. Assuming that they would become more moderate and pragmatic should they get elected is the kind of mistake you only get one chance to make.

  10. EgyPeter
    March 12, 2008 at 3:31 pm

    “Besides, the MB is more like Turkey’s AK than it is like Hamas.”

    Are you serious, Patrick? I don’t think your assessment could be MORE off.

    Do you know the Ikhwan’s history? The Ikhwan and their supporters love to talk about how they have denounced violence. But no one seems to remember their extremely violent past. The Ikhwan simply realized that they have a much better chance to overthrow the government if they “renounce” violence.

    And why should Egyptians tolerate those filthy disgusting Terrorists??? They are I-L-L-E-G-A-L. Anyone professing membership in that hateful organization should be immediately thrown in jail. Period.

  11. anna
    March 12, 2008 at 3:58 pm

    so egy, you think the MB are ikhwan version 2.0 too? I do. How can they be illegal if they have seats in the bbaaarliaamaan? Everyday I am thankful for what the government does to control them. Ikhwan are scum, they nearly killed my friend.

  12. EgyPeter
    March 12, 2008 at 4:54 pm

    The Ikhwan is the MOTHER of all Terrorist Organizations – no, literally! And Hamas is their retarded little step-child.

    The MB is smart, they’re not totally stupid. They’ve simply evolved over the past 8 decades and now are trying to come off as a legitimate political party. And they have half of Egypt convinced….everyone seems to have forgotten their violent past.

    What a fucking joke!! A simple Wiki search will tell you all you need to know. But be VERY careful because what the Ikhwan say to “western” ears is VERY different than what they say to their own followers-a well established Islamist tactic. But even their toned down rhetoric is pretty horrifying.

    For the sake of Egypt, Muburak needs to drop the hammer on these people, once and for all.

  13. Adam B.
    March 12, 2008 at 7:22 pm

    It would be so much easier to just disqualify any political party with a religious agenda. Religion has no place in politics simply because religion is anti-democratic in and of itself, so any party with a religous basis should not be allowed to run for office, no matter which religion they represent… The same goes for all other parties with non-democratic agendas – no nazis, no communists, etc. Noone who promotes the idea of free thought and free elections…

  14. AF
    March 12, 2008 at 7:43 pm

    The MB is not a terrorist organization. Just because we are scared about their popularity and their political power, doesn’t mean we should cheer the bullshit that is happening with this election. If you can’t sell the people on more liberal and modern ideology then you should shut up or emigrate. Its called democracy, and we don’t have it but we wont get it if thats how we think about the only organized political opposition in this country we call home.

  15. Solomon2
    March 12, 2008 at 7:48 pm

    Why bother talking about what party stands for what when your democracy isn’t functioning? That SHOULD be the primary consideration here. BTW, in America even convicts run for office. Eugene Debs got a substantial fraction of the 1920 vote even while he was in prison. It sounds absurd but at least it prevents the police from giving an automatic veto to any candidate.

    The way out of this mess is actually far simpler than people realize. Establish a parallel voting system outside the centralized system. It doesn’t matter whether the government likes it or not – if it’s good, it will have its own legitimacy and people and government will accept the result. That is how the U.S. Constitution was accepted – not through the procedures laid out in the original Articles of Confederation. When the time came the president of the Continental Congress meekly, without protest, stepped down and voilà George Washington became the first president of the United States.

    But you gotta take the initiative yourselves, and not just think it is Somebody Else’s Problem.

  16. brooklynjon
    March 12, 2008 at 10:11 pm

    “It would be so much easier to just disqualify any political party with a religious agenda”

    Hmmmm… What kind of litmus test would you use to see if a party’s agenda was religious? What if their religion informed their opinions, but they didn’t openly declare themselves a religious party. And where, exactly, does “religion” end and “belief system” begin? Is Secular Humanism a religion? Is Animism religion? Is Shintoism religion? Utilitarianism?

    And would you then disqualify individual politicians who hold religious opinions? Difficult…

  17. EgyPeter
    March 12, 2008 at 11:48 pm

    “The MB is not a terrorist organization.”

    -Check your facts. Do you know the Ikhwan’s history? A simple internet search will tell you all you need to know.

    “If you can’t sell the people on more liberal and modern ideology then you should shut up or emigrate. Its called democracy, and we don’t have it but we wont get it if thats how we think about the only organized political opposition in this country we call home.”

    -Yeah, enjoy the “democracy” that the Ikhwan will bring to Egypt! If by democracy you mean Shariah Law, then yes, the Muslim Brotherhood is for you. And I’m pretty sure that “liberal and modern ideology” is NOT on the Ikhwan’s agenda. lol.

    “Hmmmm… What kind of litmus test would you use to see if a party’s agenda was religious?”

    -Well BJ, I’m pretty sure “Islam is the Solution” would qualify as a pretty good indicator that a “party’s” agenda is religious…and exclusively religious.

    The Ikhwan is the epitome of a religious movement under the guise of political assembly. And THEY know it!

  18. brooklynjon
    March 13, 2008 at 2:31 am


    I agree that an openly religious party is religious (tautologically so). But they could reform themselves as a party devoted to “the traditional Egyptian Heritage” or so. And then what? In the relative monoculture of the Islamic middle east, it may be relatively easy to tell what’s religious and what isn’t, but in plenty of places it can be difficult, especially if you try to supress religious parties.

  19. Adam B.
    March 13, 2008 at 9:19 am


    Basically, any party that openly campaigns for religion as part of the democratic process would qualify. Religion has a built-in tendency to discriminate others, inasmuch as religion ALWAYS center on a set of rules. If a party argues that their specific set of rules should be enforced on everyone, simply because, in their minds, these rules are ‘the one and only true law’ by default they are trying to deny others their right to choose one way of living from the other.

    By it’s very nature, religion is anti-democratic, since religion is seen as ‘the truth’ by it’s practitioners. It’s easy enough for,say, a socialist party to ease off on their demands for property taxes if they can expand the public welfare system instead, but how can a religious party choose to disregard one religious doctrine just because it would mean support for another? You can’t bargain with religion and therefore you can’t bring religion into politics.

    Whether a political candidate has individual religious convictions is some different entirely. As long as there is no attempt to make religion a part of the country’s body of law, I see no problem in people having their own private religious beliefs.

    An example: “I belive that Islam is on the right track, because they preach that we should support the poor, so let’s have a higher level of public welfare” – OK; “Islam says that we should fast for an entire month each year, so let’s impose a law that says that noone, regardless of religion, are allowed to eat or drink during the daytime for that month” – NOT OK.

    A crude but descriptive way of showing how religion/culture can function in a democracy and how it can’t.

  20. Adam B.
    March 13, 2008 at 9:31 am

    More to the point, if we take Iran as an example, religion will have a tendency (to say the least) of limiting the nature of it’s opposition if it efver comes to power. Since, by definition, they are right, there is no need to let others have theri say, since, by definition again, they are wrong.

    If it makes it easier to swallow, let’s just say that:

    Any party, that has as it’s political agenda or part of it’s political agenda an intent to subvert the democratic functions of a society, should not be allowed to run for office in said society.

  21. AF
    March 13, 2008 at 3:36 pm

    “Check your facts. Do you kno’w the Ikhwan’s history? A simple internet search will tell you all you need to know.”

    -I know the history, but its exactly that, history.

    “Yeah, enjoy the “democracy” that the Ikhwan will bring to Egypt! If by democracy you mean Shariah Law, then yes, the Muslim Brotherhood is for you. And I’m pretty sure that “liberal and modern ideology” is NOT on the Ikhwan’s agenda. lol.”

    – Clearly you did not understand what I meant. Yes liberal and modern ideology are NOT on the Ikhwan’s agenda, but if you actually believe in democracy then you should try to defeat Ikhwan’s right wing agenda by organizing and campaigning, by trying to convince the 75 million or so that islamism is not the way forward. Cheering for Mubarak’s thugs is not the way.

  22. EgyPeter
    March 13, 2008 at 4:35 pm

    AF – I don’t necessarily disagree with you. On a level playing field, I would love nothing more than to bring out into the open and debate and expose their agenda. Surely they would be humiliated.

    BUT, and it’s a huge ‘but’ – Egypt is NOT playing on a level field. The game has been severely tilted towards the NDP. And since Muburak for the last quarter century has effectively quashed all opposition (except for the Ikhwan for some stupid reason) and has left Egypt with the choice of the failed NDP or the Terrorist Ikhwan. Well, I’ll sadly take the NDP every time.

    I’ll take the lesser of two evils….at least until Egypt can get some proper

  23. EgyPeter
    March 13, 2008 at 5:56 pm

    political representation.

  24. brooklynjon
    March 13, 2008 at 7:01 pm

    Adam B.
    “By it’s very nature, religion is anti-democratic, since religion is seen as ‘the truth’ by it’s practitioners”

    I know what you mean, and I substantially agree with you, but there are some major caveats.

    One is that not all religions believe that they are “the truth” for everyone. That is a property of catholic religions (with a lower case “c”), but not of all religions. Many are perfectly happy to let non “believers” do pretty much whatever they want.

    Two is that it is hard to define with certainty what is a religion and what is not a religion. Strictly following the Bible or the Quran is easy to call “religion”. Strictly following “Dianetics” or “Das Kapital” is harder, but is also hard to completely write off.

    Three is that many belief systems can stand in for religion as the basis of a community’s culture, which inevitably seeps into their politics. Sitting here in New York, the big topic this week is prostitution. It’s illegal, and the reason it’s illegal is that it’s immoral. Yet there are plenty of people of all religions who think it should be legal, and plenty of all religions who think it shouldn’t. In American medicine, we have a belief in the patient’s autonomy being paramount. Many foreign doctors think it’s ridiculous to allow patients to chose a course of action that is detrimental to their health. The American doctors mainly don’t. Where do these beliefs come from? Culture. But in many respects, culture resembles religion.

    Four (and this is one of my big bugaboos), you don’t really mean that it’s antidemocratic; you mean that it’s anti-freedom. Democracy is all about the tyrrany of the majority. The best democracies have something to limit the power of the majority, be that a constitution, a “House of Lords”, a supreme court, or whatever. And that constitution is antidemocratic in that it limits what the majority can get away with. If the majority wants religious rule, then it’s imposition is purely democratic, but it’s a pity about the minority that can’t be bothered. This conflation of democracy with liberty is a tragic error (in Iraq, for example), and is due to the secular western “religion” of liberty, in which we have a hard time imagining anyone wanting less freedom, but it is evident that in large parts of the world, people want exactly that.

  25. anna
    March 13, 2008 at 8:53 pm

    interesting to read, but i’m gonna go off topic coz i’m bored.

    although i agree with the fact that yes culture does influence how patients’ treatment choices are viewed I don’t really think that culture is the main reason for the patient autonomy in the us. hop over to ol’ blighty and you have very similar culture but very paternalistic attitude eg health records are property of hosp. and not given to pt., no choice between drugs, everyone gets the cheapest thing the government can get its hands on, I meant the most cost-effective choice. Difference? funding. private insurance vs state funding. The other important factor is also the suing culture which exists in the us. don’t give the patient what they want and something goes wrong, you and or your employer will get done. Sorry, but I think economic principles have more to do with the patient autonomy in the us, than culture.

  26. brooklynjon
    March 13, 2008 at 10:08 pm


    Maybe. But if you sit in a class on medical ethics (and believe me, with degrees in Philosophy and in Medicine, I get to do this with some frequency), this will be presented as an ethical shift in America over the past four decades, which has gradually been codified into law with the sanctity of “informed consent”. Marcus Welby never had to get your consent, but that was then, this is now.

    Now, is it possible that the ethical imperative is an epiphenomenon, and are actually driven by economic or political realities? I suppose that it is. Frankly, I never thought much about it. (That’s kind of the essence of culture: from within, it’s internally consistant, and it’s easy to forget that it can be another way).

    I don’t think our litigious society is much of a factor, though. Failure to obtain informed consent is not usually a hot button in malpractice cases. Usually a failure to diagnose or a judgment lapse is the crux of a claim, and so a physician’s beneficence and expertise seem to carry the day there. However, legally, the tension between what’s good for someone and what they want has been settled, for adults at least, in favor of giving people what they want.

  27. anna
    March 14, 2008 at 1:34 am

    bj, as I said, I agree that culture is important but that there are other drivers. no lectures, bj, just basic principles of supply and demand, simple stupid. the healthcare system mentioned does work on the basis of “informed” consent- that was never the issue. Same culture, same code of ethics with the most significant variable being funding. The us private insurance system turns patients into consumers, having paid their premiums pt.s want to ensure they have the best tests, drugs etc- that’s why you have direct to patient advertising which you don’t find in uk because treatment decisions aren’t patient driven, well beyond over the counter. Where third party payment comes from the state, you get the state making decisions, so use of generics, set drugs, set medical devices, according to local budgets. In fact most “informed” consent decisions have already been made for the pt. before they’ve set foot in the door. And as far as I know you’re not entitled to a second opinion without consent of treating doctor, they own the notes remember.

    Lititgation aspect was related to meeting patients’ demands in terms of carrying out more tests, prescribing a a certain drug- placating the patient.

    As for ‘foreign’ doctors finding it difficult to let patients take detrimental actions with respect to their helath. could be lack of respect for patient autonomy, could also be that they take their duty of care seriously?

  28. EgyPeter
    March 14, 2008 at 5:01 am

    Yeah, I read that Patrick and couldn’t help but laugh. WTF?? It made me think of those Christians in Lebanon that side with Hezballah.

    One can’t help but wonder if these people are mentally retarded.

    Anyways, check this out. Pope Shenouda straightened them out.


  29. Patrick
    March 14, 2008 at 6:38 am

    That sounds like a political move to me, “The Church only supports NDP candidates.” I’m not sure thats a statement I’d be comfortable with a Church leader making on behalf of any party, and I approve of the NDP.


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