Ever since the military has retaken Egypt, people are screaming to return the democratically elected president, Mohammed Morsi, to office ["Nation on the edge," News, Aug. 19]. How naive.
With the fall of President Hosni Mubarak in 2011, the people of Egypt successfully rebelled to end their dictatorship. Their sudden success created a political void and a lack of organized groups, except for the Muslim Brotherhood.
This group had been outlawed, being guilty of much interior terrorism, including the assassination of President Anwar Sadat in 1981. Having the necessary backup available, the Brotherhood quickly took advantage of this vacuum and ran its leader, Morsi, for president.
Without wasting much time, they drafted an Islamic-dominated constitution, refusing to include in the drafting of it anyone other than members of their own group. This caused the current rebellion, as disappointed masses realized the trap they had fallen into.
This new rebellion, led by the military, removed Morsi and his allies and replaced them with previously ignored, temporary, middle-of-the-road political figures.
Once this situation has calmed down, and the Egyptian people have been given a better opportunity to evaluate new candidates, a new election will hopefully become a truer democracy, not another Islamic dictatorship like Iran.
Meantime, we in the United States should sit quietly by and let them sort out their own problems. We should, of course, sympathize and console; the loss of life is always a tragedy.
Rolf Grayson, Melville
It is unconscionable that mass murder is now committed daily in Cairo and other cities in Egypt. Government security forces surely bear the brunt of the responsibility. There is clear evidence, however, that the outcome of the "democratic" elections had much to do with the present conflict.
What has not been stated clearly in this situation and others throughout the Middle East and Northern Africa, is that an obvious paradox exists in essentially Muslim countries. Democracy and theocracy cannot be, and perhaps will never be, compatible.
To expect leaders of primarily Islamic states to be tolerant of other religions, customs and educational systems is well nigh impossible. It is no coincidence that Egypt (before the Arab Spring) was ruled by dictators for decades, as were Iraq, Libya, Lebanon, Iran, Saudi Arabia (a monarchy) and many small African nations.
The other paradox, quite unfortunate, is that dictators may be necessary to hold societies together to give people some security and freedom.
Roy Lawrence, Syosset