Egypt Isn't Iran

by Patrick Appel

Thoreau's view of Egypt's democracy movement:

Like many Serious People, Richard Cohen is convinced that the Egyptian protests will lead to the rise of an illiberal regime that doesn’t respect minority rights.  Now, yes, I am aware of what happened in Iran in 1979, and I am aware that Egypt has a history of illiberal regimes (e.g. the one that Serious People have supported for decades).  However, just a few weeks ago Egyptian Muslims were in the streets protesting against violent fundamentalists and acting as human shields around Christian churches.  So if I absolutely had to wager money on the outcome of these protests, I’d wager that the Muslims who acted as human shields for Christian churches are not about to turn around and put in place a radical theocracy.  I’d be less than shocked if they elected something a bit more conservative than Turkey’s Justice and Development Party, but would that really be so bad?