Following are excerpts from an interview with Egyptian sociologist Sa'd Al-Din Ibrahim which aired on BBC Arabic TV on July 29, 2008.
Sa'd Al-Din Ibrahim: Whoever provides aid to Egypt must link it to Egypt's human rights record, and to democratic change in the country. I don't deny saying this. I wrote this even before I said it, and I reiterate it to this day, because these people, who provide aid to the tyrannical rulers of Egypt and other countries, are the ones helping to perpetuate the tyranny. These rulers, who boast that they support democratic change, must back their words with actions.
Interviewer: If these countries respond to your demand, and stop or reduce their aid to Egypt – don't you agree that it is the Egyptian citizens who will ultimately be hurt?
Ibrahim: No the regimes.
Interviewer: How come?
Ibrahim: Because through this aid, they support the regime.
Interviewer: Where does all this money go?
Ibrahim: Most of it goes to weapons, or is plundered by the ruling factions.
Interviewer: Didn't you say that if America wants its pressure to be effective, it must convince the European countries to pressure Mubarak? This is what you were quoted as saying. Did you say this?
Interviewer: You said "pressure Mubarak," and not the Egyptian regime.
Ibrahim: Mubarak is the regime. After 27 years, Mubarak and the regime have become one and the same.