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Dec 01, 2004
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Egyptian Human Rights Activist Dr. S'ad Al-Din Ibrahim: If Arab Rulers Do Not Allow Change, It Will Be Forced on Them

#394 | 02:19
Source: Al-Jazeera Network (Qatar)

The following are excerpts from an interview with Egyptian sociologist Dr. S'ad Al-Din Ibrahim:

Dr. S'ad Al-Din Ibrahim: We didn't ask for [the West's] protection, no one did. Our tyrant leaders are saying this in order to incite the Arab street against the human rights movement: They claim that this movement serves for external infiltration, that it receives external aid, and that it operates under foreign patronage, while they themselves – these tyrants – receive external aid, assistance, and support. But when an Arab [human] rights movement has connections with an international [human] rights movement, sirens are sounded as though it is the end of the world.

Democracy is the best existing means for dealing with our internal and external problems. Are the Arab peoples ready for this democracy? Yes, and this is contrary to what our tyrant leaders claim. They claim that the peoples are not ready, that there is a high rate of illiteracy, a high rate of poverty. None of this is valid. Take, for instance, a country like India, where the rate of illiteracy is much higher than in the Arab countries. The standard of living there is lower, with poverty, and shortage. Yet they've had a stable democracy for more than 50 years, since its independence in 1947.

The problems in the Arab world result from the tyranny has taken root, and this tyranny stems from the military taking over the course of events in their countries, and preventing any democracy from developing, and killing any seed of democracy and terminating it before it grows.

Oh leaders, make the change yourselves. I mean what I say. Otherwise, change will be forced upon you, and if it is, it will a catastrophe for you - but also for us. The events in Iraq are a lesson. Everyone wanted to get rid of Saddam Hussein, including the Iraqi people itself. But the invaders who saved them from Saddam Hussein have brought the foreign occupation with them.

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