The Egyptian protests against its authoritarian regime have escalated, to the point of revolution. Even though President Mubarak has shut off internet access and most cell phone connections, the protesters have succeeded in shutting down the government. The army was called out, but is apparently taking the side of the people, a key development in a military dictatorship. The police had been battling the protesters with truncheons, tear gas, and guns. The death toll is unknown. But now the police have disappeared.
Instead of freedom, we now see social breakdown. Looters are plundering everything, as they did in Iraq when Saddam’s regime was overthrown. A culture that relies on strong external controls to ensure social order can go wild when those external controls are no longer there. That seems to be happening here. Are all Islamic countries going to do that, due to being all Law, as opposed to societies influenced by Christianity, which stresses inner transformation through the Gospel? Meanwhile, in Egypt, the jihadist Muslim Brotherhood is organizing vigilantes to protect people’s property. That’s an ominous sign.
And now the Arab revolution seems to have now spread to Jordan!
An op-ed piece in the Washington Post says that the uprisings show that George Bush was right, that people in the Islamic world do crave freedom and democracy. Maybe so. Then again, it didn’t take us invading to bring down these tyrannies. But what kind of freedom are the people getting?