Egyptian author Alaa Al-Aswany said in a video he uploaded to his YouTube channel on April 20, 2019, that claiming democracy is not for a certain country is like claiming its people do not need justice and honor and are subhuman. He said that Hosni Mubarak, Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi and other Egyptian political figures are examples of people who hold this opinion. He added that the current problem lies in Egypt's regime – rather than in President Al-Sisi – and that every dictatorship ends in disaster sooner or later, even if the dictator had a lot of achievements like Hitler or Saddam Hussein. Al-Aswany added: "Unfortunately, many of us do not learn from history."
Following are excerpts:
Alaa Al-Aswany: There are those who say that democracy is not for us – that was the opinion of Hosni Mubarak, Omar Suleiman, Alaa Mubarak, Gamal Mubarak, Ahmed Nazif, and also of Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi. He was clear [about this] from the first moment. He said: "There will not be democracy in Egypt in the next 20 years."
The meaning of "democracy" is justice and honor. If you say that democracy is not for us, it means that justice and honor are not for us. It means that our honor is not important. Democracy is both an idea and the implementation of that idea. There can be different kinds of democracies. The democracy in the U.S. is not like that in the Scandinavian countries and elsewhere. They are different in the way they implement it. The main idea [in democracy] is that people have equal rights and responsibilities, and that people are equal before the law – justice and honor. When a country says that it or its people are unfit for democracy, it is actually saying that the people do not need justice and honor and that the people are subhuman.
The problem isn't Al-Sisi – it's the regime. Every dictatorship ends in disaster, and if it doesn't happen today, it will happen tomorrow or next month. Why? Because there is no accountability and there is no feedback, which is about listening to opposing views. The decision-making has the shape of a pyramid – there's a person at the top who decides everything, and everybody beneath him applauds him. All the dictatorships in the world ended in disaster. Some dictators were very capable and achieved a lot. Hitler, for instance, despite being a murderer and a criminal, had achievements. When he came to power, Germany had 7 million unemployed people, and after three years there wasn't a single unemployed person. Despite this, it all ended in disaster. Saddam Hussein cultivated education in Iraq and achieved things, but it all ended in disaster. Dictatorship equals disaster. The entire world knows these things. Why does the world fight dictatorships before they even appear? Because they know… People learn from history. Unfortunately, many of us do not learn from history.