Guest columnist Shadi Hamid consistently discounts the anti-democratic and illiberal aspects of the Muslim Brotherhood when it had the opportunity to rule [“Does the U.S. truly support democracy in Egypt?” Opinion, April 30]. Whether the U.S. should support democracy in Egypt, and quite frankly anywhere, is a far too simple and shortsighted question. What we should be supporting is liberty.
And where liberty is in conflict with democracy, as it was with Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, and is in the nominally democratic countries of Iraq, Syria, Libya, South Sudan, Afghanistan, etc., we should not be supporting it.
In fact, our emphasis on democracy over liberty only encourages those “democratically” elected governments to restrict the liberty of significant minorities within their countries.
Maybe the lessons of Egypt will encourage those democratically elected leaders in other countries to grant minorities and women in their countries the liberty they justly deserve. The alternative is the chaos and tragedy that is enveloping the Middle East.
Timothy E. Williams, Gig Harbor