Young voices can aid Egypt issue
Yet another crisis has arisen in the Middle East, but this time it is especially disconcerting.
The recent protests against the rule of Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak have raised concerns among the world‚Äôs democratic leaders who fear the crisis could have a domino effect in the region, sparking the spread of violent protests in neighboring nations.
A more dire concern has not been emphasized in the mass media, however ‚ÄĒ the possibility that Mubarak‚Äôs dictatorship could fall to an even more chaotic one by radical Muslim leaders with anti-American sentiments.
It is up to us, the informed young citizens, to raise our voice against inaction. Failure to do so can lead to harmful consequences.
Tensions between Christians and Muslims in this relatively stable Middle Eastern nation heated up after the bombings of Coptic Christian churches in Alexandria by Muslim fundamentalists early in January drew international attention.
Only a few weeks later, Egyptian citizens took to the streets in protest Mubarak‚Äôs regime.
These two events are especially eerie considering the danger inherent in the Egyptian crisis.
American citizens, and especially Egyptians, should fear Egyptian rule being seized by most powerful group after the military: the Muslim Brotherhood.
All progress made in Egypt, a key country in shaping our foreign policy in the Middle East, would be destroyed if this group to came to power.
One need only look to the situation in Afghanistan for precedent.
The Mujahideens‚Äô rise to power in the 1970s and 1980s was at first a relief to the Afghan people who were held under Soviet invasion, as they were now free of a foreign militaty presence.
But this feeling of relief did not last long.
As bad as Mubarak‚Äôs dictatorial regime and suppression of his people‚Äôs rights is, an even worse situation will plague Egypt if the country falls into the wrong hands.
If this were to occur, the fight against terror and the struggle for democracy would be back to a position which only military intervention could fix.
We cannot afford to be in ¬†such a position.
It would take very little effort for the Taliban to gain power in an already unstable region, especially considering the Taliban‚Äôs already-established influence over the Muslim Brotherhood.
The Taliban has a very significant presence in nations like Iran and Lebanon, ¬†and it is alarming to think of the impact it could have on international affairs if Egypt were to fall to the Taliban.
But active citizens, especially the younger ones, are taking a stand for maintaining peace in an otherwise chaotic time.
Currently, Egypt‚Äôs young people are protecting the Library of Alexandria from ruin. By organizing groups to direct traffic, defend the library from looters and collaborate with the military, these citizens are protecting a vital landmark of their country.
On a higher level, they are defending their people from violent intrusion.
All this isn‚Äôt to say that Egyptians will settle for Mubarak‚Äôs dictatorial government.
Protesters continue to fill the streets in Cairo, hurling objects and even involving gunfire after nine days of protest.
The United States must step in immediately to restore a stable form of government, not only for the sake of democracy and Egyptian civil rights, but for international security from further terrorism.
Many opportunistic radical groups have historically seized power in unstable nations.
Egypt‚Äôs current state of political unrest and the dissatisfaction of the Egyptian people are warning signs that the same thing could take place here.
The most important thing we can do to prevent this is to help restore a stable form of government to Egypt in the form of ¬†democracy.
It is only through the institution of a democratic government and the restoration of the rights of the people that citizens will be satisfied.
Citizen satisfaction and loyalty to the government is what will prevent disillusioned Egyptians from legitimating the power of the Muslim Brotherhood through its support or lack of opposition.
Without such a foundation, fundamentalist terror will surely take root.
The young citizens of Egypt have taken a risk to protect the common good. And we can do the same.
Sarah Cueva is a freshman majoring in political science.
For more stories on the crisis in Egypt, click here.