Tuesday, 19 May 2009, 12:58
S E C R E T CAIRO 000874
NEA FOR FO; NSC FOR KUMAR AND SHAPIRO
EO 12958 DECL: 05/17/2019
. . .
No issue demonstrates Mubarak,s worldview more than his reaction to demands that he open Egypt to genuine political competition and loosen the pervasive control of the security services. Certainly the public "name and shame" approach in recent years strengthened his determination not to accommodate our views. However, even though he will be more willing to consider ideas and steps he might take pursuant to a less public dialogue, his basic understanding of his country and the region predisposes him toward extreme caution. We have heard him lament the results of earlier U.S. efforts to encourage reform in the Islamic world. He can harken back to the Shah of Iran: the U.S. encouraged him to accept reforms, only to watch the country fall into the hands of revolutionary religious extremists. Wherever he has seen these U.S. efforts, he can point to the chaos and loss of stability that ensued. In addition to Iraq, he also reminds us that he warned against Palestinian elections in 2006 that brought Hamas (Iran) to his doorstep. Now, we understand he fears that Pakistan is on the brink of falling into the hands of the Taliban, and he puts some of the blame on U.S. insistence on steps that ultimately weakened Musharraf. While he knows that Bashir in Sudan has made multiple major mistakes, he cannot work to support his removal from power.
While it may be difficult for President Asif Ali Zardari to find Osama bin Laden, it sure isn't difficult for him to locate a copy of his country's Second Amendment, which strips the right of millions of Ahmadis to call themselves Muslims.
The alleged Time Square suspect, Faisal Shahzad, was a 5-year-old Pakistani citizen when these draconian laws were enacted. His generation knows only one way to deal with a difference of opinion in matters of religion: Shoot the opponent.
School-age children need to be taught, from an early age, how to express a difference of religious opinion — and more importantly, how to respect one
Since the promulgation of anti-Ahmadi laws in 1984, 101 Ahmadis have been killed on religious grounds. In June 2008, the entire population of Rabwah (the headquarters town of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Pakistan) — 60,000 people — was charged with committing blasphemy.
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