August 17, 2016 Special Dispatch No. 6578

Egyptian Writer: Democracy Is A Destructive System Used By The West To Dismantle Arab Countries

August 17, 2016
Egypt | Special Dispatch No. 6578

In a June 29, 2016 article in the official Egyptian daily Al-Ahram, writer Hani 'Asal attacked the concept of democracy, arguing that it damages, divides, and even ruins countries where it is implemented. Democracy, he said, has produced leaders obsessed with wars and blood, such as Hitler, Mussolini, and George W. Bush, and is used as a weapon by the West to dismantle Arab countries one by one, for instance by giving professors and ordinary citizens an equal voice. According to 'Asal, anyone vehemently defending democracy should first be burned by it and suffer from its defects before trying to market it to others.

Hani 'Asal (Image: Al-Ahram, Egypt)

The following are excerpts from his article:[1]

"What joy do I get from democracy, which turns countries into pawns in the hands of their peoples[?]

"What democracy is, where a country goes to bed sovereign and independent, and wakes up to find itself half a country, or a quarter of a country - or even that it has been eradicated from the map?

"What democracy is this that divides instead of unites, that splinters instead of joins, that disperses, that threatens interests, that destroys countries and regimes, that causes peoples, and the entire world, billions in damage overnight, and that sketches out a dark future with no benefits or profits for anyone?

"What democracy is this that places the fate, and the very existence, of nations in the hands of voters who are driven by emotions, feelings, inclinations, and sometimes [also] interests?

"What democracy is this at whose ballot boxes, or shall we say gambling boxes, an educated person's vote is equal to the vote of an ignoramus; the vote of a professor is equal to that of a worker and manual laborer, the vote of a doctor is equal to that of riffraff, or the votes of experienced adults are equal to those of little children?

"What democracy is this that is still not ashamed of people it has produced throughout history - such as Hitler, Mussolini, Jorg Haider, Bush Jr., Tony Blair, Barack Obama, 'the ousted one' [referring to ousted Egyptian president Muhammad Morsi], and their ilk, who are obsessed with wars and blood, and who trade in the [Arab] Spring, change, freedoms, and human rights?

"What democracy is this that allows intimidation and persuasion by means of accusations of treason and threats, fabricated or directed opinion polls, and a mobilized media, with the aim of serving a particular attitude or camp - as happened with [the Brexit] referendum in Britain, whose results [actually happened to] defy these intimidation attempts and [turned out to be] completely different than results of public opinion polls [prior to the referendum]? And this [scenario] will likely recur in the U.S. presidential election.

"What democracy is this that has divided us, and for whose sake we are fought against, and preached to, as though it were a new religion or the Hubal[2] of this era, that must be worshipped...? Isn't this, too, a worthless stone edifice...?

"What democracy is this in which [the West] rejoices? Is it not their soft weapon, aimed at dismantling the entire Arab region, country by country, particularly Egypt, in a way that does not violate its [Egypt's] laws? What has democracy brought, besides destruction, ruin, schism, and sectarian division? How many Iraqs are there now? Wasn't Iraq better off with the dictator Saddam [Hussein]? And what about Syria and its democracy, Yemen and its freedom, and Libya and its change? Have we forgotten that they tried to dismantle Egypt too, with the democracy of referendums after [its January] 2011 [revolution]?

"Have we forgotten the attempt by the drafters of the 2012 [Egyptian] constitution to include a clause that enables future referenda to determine the fate of the minorities in Egypt? Have we forgotten the prominent individuals who vehemently defended this idea? Have we forgotten the plans to establish a state for the Copts in the south [of Egypt] and another for the Sunnis in the north? Have we forgotten the calls to incite the Nubians [in southern Egypt and North Sudan] against Egypt, or the proposals to divide the Sinai?... Have we forgotten the calls for independence in Port Said following the stadium disaster?[3]

"If democracy was truly the best and greatest system... with no alternative but dictatorship, then we would welcome it. But all those who spread it and who vehemently defend it must first be burned by its fire, sip from its bitter chalice, and suffer from its defects and drawbacks before they present it to people..."




[1] Al-Ahram (Egypt), June 29, 2016.

[2] A god worshiped in pre-Islamic Arabia, specifically at the Ka'ba in Mecca.

[3] Referring to the 2012 soccer stadium riot in Port Said, in which over 70 people died. In the aftermath there was  intense protests against the Mursi authorities' handling of  the riot, and some activists reported that calls were made to announce Port Sa'id's independence from Egypt., February 19, 2016.

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