Egypt Battling Religion

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Words: 763
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Egypt Battling Religion
SOC 300
Jan 25, 2012

Religion and politics have been a great debate for many countries. Should religion influence politics? Religion is a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs. Many countries favor this type of government and have become secular. Secularization is the separation of church and state and, more generally, the removal of religion from politics (The Challenge of Third World Development, Howard Handelman, pg. 318). Currently Egypt is a secular country that is considered a third world country and according to the Human Development Index is ranked 113th of 187th. However the United States is a first world country that is secularized and is a thriving country ranked 4th of 187th which suggest that secularization can be beneficial. Egypt's current economic problems are poverty, poorly educated citizens, and an annual economic growth rate of 2%. In 1979 Israel and Egypt had a peace treaty which promised great growth for Egypt but under the leadership of Muhammad Hosni El Sayed Mubarak, Egypt’s fourth President, from 1981-2011 the country never flourished. Mubarak resigned and is currently facing charges of corruption and abuse of power and premeditated murder. Mubarak was a supporter of the Arab Socialist Union and was a Coptic Christian in a country that predominately practices the Islamic belief systems. This was a cause of great controversy and favoritism for the Egyptian people. Even though there is secularization this rift in different religious view affected the economy greatly. Now that Egypt is facing another election some of the future leaders are campaigning for Sharia Law, the combination of moral code and religious law of Islam. This would oppose secularism and push for religion in politics. Sharia Law is open for interpretation and isn’t as strict as some other Islamic beliefs. The leaders campaigning for this type of government to take over propose stimulating Egypt’s economy by bringing back tourism, allowing for foreign trade, and placing money back into the public rather than private citizens. Curbing privatization that is currently happening now in Egypt will be able to put money back into the government and allow for a decrease in poverty. In this case it seems that combining religion and politics is a good idea for the country of Egypt. If the United States is the model of modernization could Egypt become a modern country and no longer a third world country? My answer is yes. These ideas of political change along with Sharia law sound concrete and could possible bring change. I believe that because this type of religion is based on law and morals in a country where the majority follows this type of religion it could be beneficial for Egypt. In