Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor


Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor


Article excerpt

Which democracies are 'false' democracies?

Your May 30 editorial, "Democracy's critical voices," states that "Hopes [for democracy] took a blow last week with the conviction of Egyptian human rights activist Saad Eddin Ibrahim." In fact, since the mid-'90s, Egypt's democracy has been receiving a series of heavy blows through the arrest and imprisonment of numerous Islamic opposition activists who peacefully advocated democratic reform.

The outcry against the falsehood of Egypt's democracy, unleashed in the American press by the detention of Mr. Ibrahim, raises a number of disturbing questions regarding that press's claim to fair- mindedness: Why does Egyptian democracy appear to be in danger only when the detained activist happens to be an Arab American?

And what about Ms. Hanna Abu Khdeir and the other 13 Arab Americans who were detained and tortured in Israel's prison cells? Were they ignored by the American press because of their Palestinian origin? Or is it because Israel's "democracy" is also immune to criticism as long as it is Palestinians whose rights are being violated?

Salah Ezz Cairo

Faculty of Engineering, Cairo University

Nothing 'nice' about a deficit

In your May 17 article "Congress on tax cuts: No stopping us now," Senator Don Nickles of Oklahoma is quoted as saying "We've got some tax cuts coming that are so nice that no one is going to be able to vote against them." Well, by golly, if they throw the budget into deficit again there will be nothing "nice" about them.

Our balanced budget, and its attendant surplus, was brought about by President Clinton, and if the Bush regime takes us back to deficits again, the Republican Party may as well disband, because it will be completely discredited.

William Proctor Conway, N.H.

Give notice of good, too

Regarding your May 30 article "A tussle over right to know where ex-sex offenders live": I find nothing unjust about giving public notice concerning the reprehensible acts that a citizen has been proven guilty of, providing equal zeal is given to the discovery, documentation, and public notice concerning the same citizens' meritorious behavior. …

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