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Egyptian Revolution Islamophobia


 

 

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Part 1 transcript

Today we'll be examining the first few days of the Egyptian Revolution to get a better idea about the Muslim world, and hopefully reduce some of the prejudices against Muslims.

Stephen Colbert, The Colbert Report - There are mysterious forces out there. Forces beyond our comprehension that have a strange influence on all of us. I speak of course of the terrifying phenomenon known as other countries. This is Un-American News.

Jon Stewart, The Daily Show - The revolution in Tunisia has so captivated the world's attention, it even made it into Tuesday's State of the Union Address.
Barack Obama - Let us be clear, the United States of America stands with the people of Tunisia and supports the Democratic aspirations of all people.
Stewart - Well now that thirst for Democracy has apparently spread from Tunisia to Egypt.
Aasif Mandvi - Here in Egypt the situation is...
Stewart - Aasif, I'm just gonna interrupt very quickly, you are not in Egypt.
Mandvi - No, no, it's Egypt. I'm in Egypt.
Stewart - Aasif, I see the U.S. capitol building behind you.
Mandvi - I am at the Egyptian embassy, that is technically Egypt.
Stewart - You were supposed to be in Egypt, Egypt.
Mandvi - I don't know if you've turned on the news lately, but it is crazy in Egypt right now.
The first demand you can hear in the chants: Down, Down, Hosni Mubarak. Mubarak has been the President of Egypt for the last 30 years.
Stewart - They don't...what? They don't like Mubarak? Why do they keep electing him in landslides? I mean, that doesn't make any sense.
Joe Biden - I would not refer to him as a dictator.
Stewart - In 2005, he was elected with 88% of the vote. I mean there's only one way you can get elected over and over again with 90% of the vote, and that is to be a beloved leader. Oh really, there's another...
MSNBC - one of the most repressive and brutal dictatorships in the entire world.
Fox News - We've got an authoritarian regime in power. He has ruled his country really with an iron first.
Stephen Colbert - Well, at 82, it's really more of a calcium deposit fist.

OK, so the US government supported the Tunisians against their dictator, but what about Egypt?

Stewart - We all saw how much love the Tunisian people got for their revolution. I'm guessing the U.S. reaction to Egypt is a love shower.
Robert Gibbs - This isn't a choice between the government and the people of Egypt.
Senator Mitch McConnell - Egypt has been an extremely important ally of ours since Anwar Sadat.
Hillary Clinton - We call on all parties to exercise restraint and refrain from violence. ... Our assessment is that the Egyptian government is stable.
McConnell - We're all watching these developments in Cairo very carefully. Beyond that, I think I will not comment.
Stewart - FREEDO ... I'm sorry. NO COMMENT !

So despite Egyptians finally rising up against this BRUTAL dictator, the US government still wants Mubarak in power.

Colbert - I mean, who are we to judge this man? He's only been president of Egypt for 30 years. He's still in his first term. And he is a staunch ally of America. Just ask President Obama, President Bush, President Clinton, the other President Bush, President Reagan, President Carter, President Lincoln, and King George III.

And why would the US government continue to support this OPPRESSIVE dictator against his own people?

Colbert - Now, dictators: BAD. But I gotta say, this one's a tough call.
CNN - Egypt is Israel's most important strategic ally in the region.
Fox News - Egypt has been unmistakably a major ally, if not the major ally, of the U.S. in the region.
CNN - Egypt controls a vital artery for the region's oil, and the unrest could have a major impact on what you pay for gas.
Fox News - How about 10 cents more a gallon
Colbert - 10 cents more a gallon ! Crush the revolution. Cut off their thumbs. Long live Mubarak.

Other than the price of oil, why would the US support brutal and corrupt dictators like Ben Ali and Mubarak in the first place?

MSNBC - We wanna be for the aspirations of the people, we wanna be for reform, but stability matters to prosperity in the global economy.
Stewart - Ah, the old "freedom aspirations of people / stability balance". We want Egyptian people to have freedom, (joking) just as soon as we're sure they'll use that freedom for hugging not hurting.

Now I get it, the US government can't trust Muslims with democracy, because they think we are inherently violent.

Aasif Mandvi - Your Egyptian side has to be saying, "this is great that Mubarak is gonna leave", (joking) but your American side has to be saying "I don't know if I can trust that Egyptian side". ... (joking) How can Americans be sure that we can trust the Egyptian people? Trust the Egyptian people? Yeah, I mean are you trustworthy, or are you not trustworthy? I am trustworthy. But that's what somebody who's not trustworthy would say.

But what's the Islamophobic justification for trusting the Tunisian people with democracy, while continuing to support Mubarak?

Stewart -Tunisia's reputation is as a more secular, moderate nation, (joking) whereas Egypt sits atop one of the region's largest reserves of untapped Islamist rage.
Fox News - It's possible in a country like Egypt, also in a country like Saudi Arabia, also in a country like Pakistan, if you let the majority of the people decide the form of government, they would wind up with a wacko anti-western, anti-democratic , repressive government, and what's the point?

Yes, "what's the point" of supporting democracy for scary Muslims. Instead, the US government must support their dear dictator friend Mubarak.

Gibbs - President Mubarak has for several decades been a close and important partner with our country.
Colbert - Mubarak is our friend. And we know Mubarak is our friend because we pay him to like us. Specifically, we pay him $ 1.3 billion a year.

And exactly how was Mubarak spending this $1.3 billion a year?

Democracy Now, Amy Goodman - Actually that money doesn't necessarily go to Egypt, right, it goes to U.S. military contractors.
Juan Cole - U.S. aid is a little bit of a shell-game because congress typically directs that all of the matériel come from the United States, so it's actually aid to U.S. corporations.
William Hartung - It's a form of corporate welfare for companies like Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics because it goes to Egypt and then it comes back for F-16 aircraft, for M1 tanks, for aircraft engines, for all kinds of missiles, for guns, for tear gas canisters.

Stewart - Even though the U.S. has expressed support for the protests, we may have some credibility issues with the Egypt street.
Sharif Abdel Kouddous - They're very politically aware ... of the U.S. support for the Mubarak regime for the last 30 years. I’ve had protesters come up to me ... holding up tear gas canisters, fired tear gas canisters, showing me the "Made in U.S.A." sign, showing me how ... the weapons used against them were made in the US.
Stewart - We write that on our tear gas canisters? Are you kidding me? ... Why don't we write "Made in China" on our tear gas. And then, when we drop food, or invent a pillow canon, that we can brand with our logo.

Sean Hannity, Fox News - ... people of Egypt, a recent Pew Poll, have a pretty low opinion of the U.S. in spite of our billions of dollars in aid.

Egyptians don't have a negative view of the U.S. "INSPITE OF billions of dollars in aid" but BECAUSE OF these billions of dollars in "aid" that Mubarak used to oppress them.

Colbert - How can we save our friend Hosni? What can the U.S. do to really hold the line for a stable Middle East?
Samer Shehata - ... is by supporting 83 million Egyptians who have been rising up.
Colbert - Isn't it the devil you know, because what about the Muslim Brotherhood? OK. I hear that name, I know nothing about them, (joking) but I am terrified.
Hannity - I'm worried about the Muslim Brotherhood.
Bill O'Reilly, The O'Reilly Factor - They are Jihadists who hate America, and who will help Al Qaeda all day long.
Hannity - They are radical Islamists.
Fox News - The Muslim Brotherhood is the enemy.
Fox News - There is a devil that we do know, and it's called the Muslim Brotherhood.
Fox News - Uh, I'm scared.
Shehata - The Muslim Brotherhood is not a radical, clerically based ...
Colbert - Zawahiri was a Muslim Brotherhood.
Shehata - He was, and he left, right.
Colbert - (joking) They were too radical for him.
Shehata - No, no, actually quite the opposite. The Muslim Brotherhood reformed itself in the 1960s. They condemned the use of violence, have been actively participating, or trying to in politics.
Colbert - But if they're not radical Islamists, why aren't they just "The Brotherhood", why do they have to be the "Muslim" Brotherhood. Wouldn't it be better PR for them right now to go, "We're just the Brotherhood".

Let's get to the bottom of this question about the Egyptian Muslim brotherhood.

Fareed Zakaria, CNN - People worry about the Muslim Brotherhood. Are you confident that a post Mubarak Egypt will not give rise to some kind of Islamic Fundamentalist force that will undermine the democracy of Egypt.
Mohamed Elbaradei, Former Head of IAEA (NOT affiliated with the brotherhood) - I'm quite confident of that, Fareed. This is a myth that was sold by the Mubarak regime, that it's either us, the ruthless dictators, or a Muslim Al Qaeda type,

Surely, there's no morons that are still buying into this myth.

Hannity - The Brotherhood is an extremist organization.
Glenn Beck, Fox - Here's Egypt. The Muslim Brotherhood want this.
O'Reilly - For decades, the choice in Egypt has been: Does America support Mubarak, or the Islamic Fundamentalists.

But the truth is

Bill Hemmer, Fox - To be clear, I thought for the past week the Muslim Brotherhood had been overstated.
Elbaradei - The Muslim Brotherhood has nothing to do with the Iranian model, has nothing to do with extremism.
Abdel Kouddous - They have renounced violence decades ago. They fulfilled a lot of the services that the state abandoned.
Elbaradei - The Muslim Brotherhood is a religiously conservative group. They are a minority in Egypt. I think this myth that has been perpetuated and sold by the regime has no iota of reality.

It seems that Mubarak's government promoted many similar ridiculous conspiracy theories.

Colbert - I am truly shocked by the recent series of shark attacks at the Egyptian Red Sea resort town of Sharm El Sheikh. And what is most shocking about this: these sharks may not be acting alone.
Fox News - One conspiracy theory blames neighboring Israel's Mossad spy agency. A regional governor remarked, quote "What is being said about the Mossad throwing the deadly shark (in the sea) to hit tourism in Egypt is not out of the question, but it needs time to confirm."

How could Mubarak's government think the Israeli Mossad (their ally) were behind shark attacks? Were the sharks wearing yamakas?

Colbert - Yes, before you accuse the sharks of wrongdoing in these shark attacks, I think it's only fair to ask, could it be the Jews? But Israel working with sharks, it just makes too much sense. It's not like Jews and sharks haven't teamed up in the past. Even Steven Spielberg is telling that shark exactly what to do.
Incidentally, in its Egyptian release, that movie was called "JEWS".

And even during the protests, Mubarak's government was spreading more silly conspiracy theories.

Committee to Protect Journalists - government officials ... have also made insinuations, including having a woman, who had her face blocked out on screen, alleging that journalists were acting as Israeli spies and that they had been trained in Qatar, where Al Jazeera is based. And, of course, that’s taking a level of conspiracy theory to a whole new level.

Putting aside Mubarak's fear mongering against the Muslim brotherhood, let's see what the Egyptian people have to say:

Protestor - Go America, but adjust your policy on Egypt.
Mandvi - Adjust your policy? (joking) That sounds like a veiled threat.
Protestor - I am actually an Egyptian Christian
Mandvi - You're a Christian. See, you look Muslimy to me.
Protestor - We look the same, we're all Egyptian.
Mandvi -Maybe you should change your name.
Mandvi - Where now can America send its prisoners to make sure that they get tortured properly, if we don't send them to Egypt anymore?
Protestor - He needs to step down right now.
Mandvi - Step down right now?
Protestor - Right now, this very minute.
Mandvi - And then who will America put in his place, we won't have time...
Protestor - Egyptians will pick the candidate and we will vote and we will choose between...
Mandvi - That's gonna make Americans very nervous.
Protestor - Do you wanna tell us that we are not adult enough to choose our leaders?
Mandvi - How about this... We get to pick your candidates, but you get to vote.
Protestor - Are you kidding me?
Mandvi - OK, we won't pick your candidates alone, Israel will help. ... (joking) Obviously these people know nothing about how a democracy really works. But hopefully, they can learn.

I wonder which candidates the U.S. government would approve of to be the next president of Egypt.

Colbert - The Egyptian people are angry, so they should hold a special election to choose their leader. Whether it's Hosni Mubarak, voice of experience, or business tycoon Hosno McBarak, or Egypt's first female president Hosna Mooburka.
Stewart - a hot young political leader, I think he's got a bright future, ladies and gentlemen Mosni Shubarak.

CONCLUSION
The U.S., and their friend Hosni Mubarak, have been stifling democracy in Egypt through fear mongering against Egyptian Muslims and the non-violent Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood.

These non-violent protests by millions of Egyptian Muslims have just proved how hypocritical and prejudiced the U.S. government and its media really are.

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said “the best jihad is that of speaking a word of truth to an unjust ruler”.
Had Islamic values not categorically rejected violent extremism, these protests would have been a lot different.

How can anyone think Muslims are violent when Egyptian Muslims, along with their Christian brothers, led to one of the most peaceful revolutions in history?

Islam haters can't hide the truth from you anymore. Does this look like untapped Islamic rage to you?

 

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