LOS ANGELES, July 3, 2013—As Americans prepare to celebrate Independence Day, Egyptians may be on the verge of creating their own special July 4th.
While the American media focuses on two random individuals who engaged in a deadly street fight, Egyptians are engaging in a massive street fight that could change the world forever.
When Pharoah refused the pleas of Moses to “let my people go,” the result was an epic struggle for freedom. Centuries later, while Americans, Israelis, and the West are free, it is the Egyptian people bravely trying to escape the chains of bondage.
President Mohammed Morsi is on the verge of being ousted after spending his first year in office attempting to pass authoritarian and counter-democratic measures. He came to power after the 2011 popular Egyptian uprising toppled Hosni Mubarak and ushered in elections. Morsi promised democracy. He broke his word, and is now paying the price.
Critics of the Arab Spring insisted that toppling dictators like Mubarak and Libya’s Ghaddafi would lead the Muslim Brotherhood to take power. Yet this shortsighted concern missed the big picture. Arabs may have voted for Muslim Brotherhood political parties, but that does not mean they wanted to replace one form of slavery with another. Egyptians do not want Sharia Law or any other form of dictatorship. The options of a relatively secular dictatorship or a Muslim theocracy are false choices.
The people want freedom. They have taken to the streets, and seem prepared to fight and die for it. They are not yelling, “death to America, death to Israel, Allah Akbar!” They are chanting for President Morsi to go.
Those who see Arabs or Muslims as living lives incompatible with freedom and liberty are not paying attention. Talk to Muslims and Arabs living in the United States who escaped their oppressive homelands. Many of them watched “Dallas,” “Baywatch,” and “American Idol.” They like Coca Cola and Big Macs. They use Twitter and Facebook, and love having the entire world at their fingertips.<>
These are not American or even Western values. They are human values. The ability to choose what to watch, what to eat, and who to converse with separates human beings from animals. Egyptian women want to choose how to wear their hair and skirts. They want to drive cars and get a decent education. The men do not want to impose Sharia on the women. They want freedom.
Those refusing to believe this need to look in the streets. They need to find a media outlet covering real news instead of the latest celebrity sensationalism. Go to social media sites and see people pleading for the right to lead their lives as God intended.
In 2009, the people of Iran rose up. The American government, which pays lip service to human rights, stood down and let the mullahs kill their own citizens. This pattern repeated in Syria through dithering.
In Egypt, America has a chance to right a wrong and show the world our strength of character. If our government refuses to show a moral spine, that does not stop our people from showing solidarity.
Americans are not shy about protesting in solidarity for causes we believe in. We do this with social issues on both sides of the spectrum. Yet the biggest social issue is life, and life is not just about abortion or euthanasia. It is about the adult years in the middle where people have the strength to fend for themselves, if only they could get some help.
Americans need to stand up for the Egyptian people in any way possible. We need to let them know that they are not alone.
If America gets this wrong, it will be another shameful self-inflicted black eye. Yet another group of people will see that the American word means nothing.
If America gets this right, July 4th, 2014 could be a day when Egyptian-Americans commemorate a mutual Independence Day with barbecues containing hot dogs, hamburgers, and potato chips alongside Kushari, Fatta, and Konafah.
Brooklyn born, Long Island raised, and now living in Los Angeles, Eric Golub is a politically conservative columnist, author, public speaker, satirist and comedian. Eric is the author of the book trilogy “Ideological Bigotry, “Ideological Violence,” and “Ideological Idiocy.
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