Protests are fab. The placards and chanting are infectious, and that is not even getting onto the rare pleasures of kettling or tear gas. I mean, who doesn’t love a good cry? This is why we should all be cheering the developments in Egypt, with the protests leading to the ousting of Mohammad Morsi, right? People marching, standing their ground and making a change (albeit with a little help from the military, whom they suddenly LOVE) is surely the purest form of democratic expression?
Well, not really. Having millions of people in the streets demanding a change in leadership does not and should not over-rule the results of a democratic election. Yes, Morsi was a twerp, but he was a twerp that the majority of the Egyptian people voted for. Whatever reasons given for the Muslim Brotherhood being elected in the first place (split opposition, a Moses promulgation caused heavy traffic on the A43), it should not be confused for a specific idiosyncrasy of Egypt but regrettably a feature of most developed democracies (Google ‘Britain’ for more information).
Often in protests, the silent majority is overlooked in favour of those on the streets; the tyranny of the extrovert. In this instance, the millions of people demanding change in Tahrir Square are dwarfed by the 80 million or so sitting quietly in their homes either in a state of passivity or tacit support for Morsi. Though the self-aggrandising, arrogant nature of the protestors attracted the world’s attention, it meant they forgot the point of the Arab Spring: the right to be heard not the right for their demands to be heeded. The passion and overall aim of their demands were laudable, and whoever brought the massive stadium laser should be a national hero, but the stifling single-mindedness of the beliefs is not any different to that of the Mubarak regime.
As outsiders, it is important to remind ourselves (as well as be reminded by the media), that protestors only represent a small portion of the population as a whole, and often a very narrow demographic (young, a bit angry), and should not be extrapolated to cover the rest of the nation. Egypt is probably better off without Morsi, but next time make sure the whole country gets a say, not just those with lasers.