more on the arab spring

Western and Indian media sources alike have been so pre-occupied with Egypt revolution 2.0, they seemed to have missed important other developments in Egypt. An Al Jazeera article by Malika Bilal notes, ‘Several thousand protesters bearing gigantic Egyptian flags flocked to the centre of Abbassiyah on Friday in a mass show of support for the country’s ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF).The voices of those who back the SCAF have largely been overshadowed by the thousands, who are demanding an immediate end to military rule in Egypt.

This strike me as the perfect example of how the media and other commentators have focussed only on those developments that fit with the dominant narrative of the Arab Spring – that of thousands of protesters revolting against their autocratic rulers. But there are some that actually prefer the maintenance of the status quo – whether it is the military in Egypt or even Assad in Damascus. The point is not whether the demands of one side are more legitimate than the other, or whether protestors expressing support for their current rulers are actually bed-fellows with the autocrats…..but rather, that the discourse of human rights and democracy has the potential to be so totalizing that it blinds to other voices of dissent…even the pursuit of human rights and liberty can become a hegemonic project, a liberal hegemony that crowds out other alternative voices and means of emancipation. And, as I had mentioned in a previous post, the Arab Spring narrative can actually enable the perusal of policies that safeguard state security rather than human security.

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November 27, 2011 · 4:31 pm

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