Monday, December 5, 2011

Will Egypt’s Westernized elite flee the country?

I would if I lived in Egypt.
CAIRO (AFP) — For decades, Egypt’s Westernised elite kept the country’s growing religosity at arm’s length, but a projected Islamist surge in the first post-revolution polls has driven many to think of moving abroad.
Sporting the latest fashions and mingling in upmarket country clubs, Egypt’s rich fear a victory for the Muslim Brotherhood and hardline Salafis in the first phase of parliamentary elections presages change ahead.
“I hope they don’t impose the veil and ban women from driving like in Saudi Arabia,” said coquettish fifty-something Naglaa Fahmi from her gym in the leafy neighbourhood of Zamalek.
In a nearby luxury hotel, Nardine — one of Egypt’s eight million Coptic Christians who are alarmed by the prospect of a new Islamist-dominated parliament — is pondering a move aroad.
“My father is seriously thinking about sending me and my brothers elsewhere because he thinks we won’t have a future in the country with the Salafis,” said the banker in her twenties.
Ten months after a popular uprising ended the 30-year autocratic rule of Hosni Mubarak, millions of Egyptians embraced their new democratic freedoms earlier this week at the start of multi-stage parliamentary elections.
The preliminary results to be published on Friday were expected to show the moderate Muslim Brotherhood as the dominant force, but with a surprisingly strong showing from the hardline Al-Nur party.
Its leaders advocate the fundamentalist brand of Salafi Islam, rejecting Western culture and favouring strict segregation of the sexes and the veiling of women.
Note: The writer of this article called the Muslim Brotherhood moderate. Many think they will impose sharia in Egypt.

No comments: