— David Sanger, Chief Washington Correspondent for the New York Times on the Brian Lehrer Show
Many Muslim New Yorkers said they felt moved by the events in Egypt, as protests in the Egyptian capital of Cairo calling for the resignation of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak continued over the weekend and hundreds gathered at the United Nations in New York in a show of solidarity.
Hundreds of protesters gathered outside the United Nations headquarters in New York City Saturday, calling for the resignation of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. They were optimistic about Egypt's future, though many complained that it was time for the United States government to start supporting the Egyptian people and not their dictator.
As Americans, we have come to expect our leaders to stand up for the rights of those who want to be free—calling on other nations to foster democracy and not to squelch it. With the situation developing in Egypt, however, we need to hear more from the White House than labored fence-straddling between what is best for our national interests and the principles we profess to uphold.
All of them have one common denominator, which is injustice, social injustice. All of those regimes had privileged certain groups in society and amassed wealth through illegal means like corruption...The people needed to be the rulers, not the other way around. If Tunisia did it, why shouldn't we do it?
— Walid Al-Saqaf, founder and administrator of Yemen Portal, speaking about protest in Yemen and the rest of the Arab world on The Brian Lehrer Show
President Obama has said again and again, he has warned tyrants around the world that they’re on the wrong side of history. And he promised people around the world fighting those tyrants that the United States would support them. It’s time to show that now.
— Mona Eltahawy, columnist on Arab and Muslim issues
I was with my family two weeks ago in Tunisia for the holidays, and we were surprised. It was a country that was waiting to explode. People, they start talking, they are not scared anymore.
—Sophia, a caller originally from Tunisia, on The Brian Lehrer Show
We've tended to overestimate the political value of access to information, the idea that someone, if given free access to Wikipedia and The New York Times will then agitate for democracy, and we've underestimated the value of conversation. What really leads citizens to participate in the kind of public sphere that ends up demanding political change is the ability to coordinate with one another.