We're a week into the new Egypt and only time will answer the important question of what's next.
I'd like to share the optimism of the many, but I'm more of a cynical pragmatist than a Pollyanna. (Just for the record I was one of the first people to predict disaster for that homeless guy with the golden voice.)
Perhaps I'm not as hopeful as others because I've seen far too many images of Muslim crowds in the streets, calling for the death of America, the death of Israel and the death of infidels. Let's also not forget that close to half the population in Egypt is illiterate. Almost as bad as Mississippi.
As Bill Maher stated on his show last week, "walk into any coffee shop in Cairo and they will tell you that 4,000 Jews stayed home from work on 9-11 and that Israel flew those planes into the buildings." You can scoff at that kind of broad generalization, but I happen to believe Bill is right.
This sets up a prime opportunity for the dreaded Muslim Brotherhood, a political organization that is as diametrically opposed to the ideals of democracy as was Hosni Mubarak. Moreover they represent a greater threat to Western Civilization.
As Sam Harris, liberal, and author of the book, Letter to a Christian Nation put it:
A cult of death is forming in the Muslim world--for reasons that are perfectly explicable in terms of Islamic doctrines or martyrdom and jihad. The truth is we are not fighting a "war on terror." We are fighting a pestilential theology and a longing for paradise. This is not to say we are at war with all Muslims. But we are absolutely at war with those who believe that death in defense of faith is the highest possible good, that cartoonists should be killed for caricaturing the prophet and that any Muslim who loses his faith should be butchered for apostasy.
If I were a praying man, and clearly as a card carrying atheist I'm not, I'd pray that the Muslim Brotherhood crawl under some rock or find a time machine and make their way back to the 9th century.
If Egypt were to become a theocracy I wouldn't mind if it was run by the Sufis.
Sufis, and the great Sufi saints like 13th century Persian poet Rumi, believe divinity can be best reached through the gateway of the human heart, that we can all find paradise within us, if we know where to look. They are tolerant, intellectual and non-violent.
Why do we not hear more about Sufism? Because they represent less than .5% of the Islamic population and are considered heretics by both Shia and Sunni. And because they are regularly attacked, butchered and bombed by...wait for it...other Muslims.