Terrorism is the only threat to Egypt

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The Independent Online
Sir: Robert Fisk's article "Terror stalks Egypt's forgotten towns" (8 February) describes the actions by a small group of civilian outlaws who have reacted against the police as an "Islamic revolution in Mallawi". This can hardly be described as a "revolution". The last paragraph of Mr Fisk's article refers to an armoured vehicle passing with its siren "wailing above the sound of a children's school". If the sound of a children's school can be heard, then how can the village of Mallawi be described as suffering a "revolution"?

Mr Fisk's article referred to Mallawi as a destitute town of dust, car workshops and cane-trading which the government has ignored. In fact, the Egyptian government has very ambitious plans to rebuild Egypt which is evident by the building of thousands of schools, hospitals, industrial complexes and homes for its people.

It has also created 13 new towns in desert areas and a programme for agricultural development, all of which has increased employment opportunities for the Egyptian people. Income from tourism alone has reached $3bn in one year. The only threat to economic development in Egypt is the terrorism.

The opinion of the militants is that democracy does not exist in Egypt. The statement of Fatahla Khafagy, the local representative of the Egyptian Organisation of Human Rights, shows that freedom of speech does exist, and he himself has referred to the crimes that have been committed against the people of Mallawi who have spoken out against the terrorists.

It is the terrorists themselves who are against democracy, which was demonstrated by their recent assassination attempt on the Nobel Prize winner, Naguib Mahfos.

Yours sincerely,

Ahmed Al-Ibrashy

Press Counsellor

Egyptian Embassy

London, W1

8 February