LETTERS: Egypt needs foreign help if it is not to go the way of Algeria

Share
Sir: Robert Fisk states that if the Algerian military junta collapses in its war with Islamic militants, Egyptians will be asking, "How soon before their own regime slides into chaos?" ("Islamists promise Algerian elite a bloody Ramadan", 1 February). Recent developments indicate that the Egyptian regime may have already embarked on such a course. The two dreadful blunders that set off the war in Algeria have now become the policy of president Mubarak and his security forces: namely, the targeting of moderate Islamists and the indiscriminate killing and execution of "suspected" civilians.

Everyday, extremists are being "manufactured" in Egypt's torture cells. The destruction of homes, burning of crops and beating of women by the security forces have already alienated most of the countryside in upper Egypt.

Journalists and writers are being detained for the most ridiculous allegations. Adel Hussein, a 65-year-old Islamic thinker with a chronic heart condition, was arrested last December, stripped and mistreated because the police "found inflammatory leaflets on his plane seat" one hour after he left Cairo airport. Last week, 30 members of the Muslim Brothers were detained on charges of "sedition".

The banned Muslim Brothers is the most moderate and popular of Egypt's opposition movements. Most of its members and supporters are intellectuals, doctors, engineers, journalists and students. Its quick action to provide help to the injured and bereaved following Cairo's earthquake two years ago infuriated the Egyptian authorities.

It is highly unlikely that the moderates will be provoked into violence by the government's repressive tactics. The danger always comes from the frustration of the poor and uneducated, who see no trusted figure for guidance because all those who preach non-violence are either detained or denied access to the media.

If Egypt, the largest Arab country, slides into an Algerian-style war, the repercussions in the whole region will be appalling. As in Algeria, dialogue leading ultimately to free and democratic elections appears to be the only way out of this mess. Dictators, however, do not listen to reason. A balanced combination of outside political pressure and media exposure could force them to compromise.

Yours faithfully, Salah Ezz Oxford 4 February

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

BI Manager - £50,000

£49000 - £55000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client is...

BI Project Manager - £48,000 - £54,000 - Midlands

£48000 - £54000 per annum + Benefits package: Progressive Recruitment: My clie...

VB.Net Developer

£35000 - £45000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: If you're pa...

SAP Business Consultant (SD, MM and FICO), £55,000, Wakefield

£45000 - £55000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: SAP Business...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

The law is too hard on sexting teenagers

Memphis Barker
 

Obama must speak out – Americans are worried no one is listening to them

David Usborne
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform
Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

Take a good look while you can

How climate change could wipe out this seal
Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier for the terminally ill?

Farewell, my lovely

Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier?
Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is in contention for the prestigious award
Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned

Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster

John Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
Will The Minerva Project - the first 'elite' American university to be launched in a century - change the face of higher learning?

Will The Minerva Project change the face of higher learning?

The university has no lecture halls, no debating societies, no sports teams and no fraternities. Instead, the 33 students who have made the cut at Minerva, will travel the world and change the face of higher learning
The 10 best pedicure products

Feet treat: 10 best pedicure products

Bags packed and all prepped for holidays, but feet in a state? Get them flip-flop-ready with our pick of the items for a DIY treatment
Commonwealth Games 2014: Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games

Commonwealth Games 2014

Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games
Jack Pitt-Brooke: Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism

Jack Pitt-Brooke

Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism
How Terry Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

How Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

Over a hundred rugby league players have contacted clinic to deal with mental challenges of game