I’ve been glued to live video out of Tahrir (Freedom) Square in Cairo for several days now. Al Jazeera and BBC have live feeds, Al Jazeera sometimes on You Tube when their internet connection goes down.
It’s easy to sympathize with the anti-Mubarak protesters, considering how violent the pro-Mubarak response was yesterday. It’s been worse today; dozens of journalists have been arrested, some beaten and equipment destroyed; and hundreds of people have been killed across the country (10 so far today in Tahrir Square itself) since the protest started. I watch a while, and pray a while.
But we must not forget who the (mostly invisible) instigators are and their ultimate goals:
- Not democracy
- Not free elections
- Not peaceful disagreement
- What, then?
An Iranian news article spells it out:
TEHRAN (FNA)- Tehran’s provisional Friday Prayers Leader Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami said the popular uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan and Yemen signify creation of an Islamic Middle-East.
Fars News online
28 Jan 2011
“Incidents that are happening in the Middle-East and the Arab world should not be regarded simply,” Ayatollah Khatami said, addressing a large and fervent congregation of people on Tehran University campus.
“To those who do not see the realities I clarify that an Islamic Middle-East is being created based on Islam, religion, and democracy with prevailing religious principals,” Ayatollah Khatami stressed. He was referring to the recent historic revolution in Tunisia and massive protests in Egypt, Jordan, and Yemen.
Egypt’s largest opposition group the Muslim Brotherhood on Thursday called on the country’s people to continue protests. Muslim Brotherhood spokesman Essam al-Arian warned that Egypt would “explode” if the government does not listen to the people. Meantime, Police clamped down on anti-government protesters in the Egyptian capital of Cairo on Friday.
I’ve been watching responses from Russia, too. They heard the Iranian message too and it seems to be making them a bit nervous. Or does it? It’s hard to tell from Pravda or Russia Today. Here are some links to those sites: