After 54 years it’s time to call a spade a shovel. The only real concession the United States can make to the Cuban regime is to continue to treat Castro’s favorite propaganda tool as a sacred cow. We can do better.Fareed speaks with Egyptian-born columnist Mona Eltahawy about the situation in Turkey and her role in the upcoming documentary ‘Girl Rising,’ which is premiering this Sunday on CNN at 9 p.m. ET.How does it look to you, from Cairo, what is going on in Taksim Square?I think the most important thing about what’s happening in Turkey is that for me, it seems like Turks are trying to find a middle ground or a third way between what used to be just kind of the Ataturk, nationalist way and the Islamist way, as modern as it is, of Erdogan. And for me, as a Muslim from the Middle East, that’s really important.
You’ve spent 10 years in America and gone back to Cairo. Do you worry that while you would like to see a more secular republic, you’re worried by Erdogan’s Islamism or the Muslim Brotherhood’s Islamism?Um-hmm. On the ground, that stuff is pretty popular. So when Erdogan has put in these moderate restrictions on the sale of retail alcohol or he talks about women being allowed to wear the head scarf, in my experience, all my friends in Istanbul hate him for it. But the country at large likes it, because [this is a] 99 percent Muslim country, most people are devout. That actually resonates a lot more than people think. I assume the same is true in Egypt. Do you worry that your preferences are actually the preferences of a very small urban, kind of educated class?I often compare the Muslim Brotherhood and their platform to the Christian fundamentalists in the U.S. who love to tout moral values. It’s very easy to tout moral values, to be against abortion, to be against same-sex marriage here.
And in Egypt and in the Middle East, it’s very easy to say I’m going to ban alcohol and I’m going to make sure that all girls can or should wear head scarves. That is too easy and that is a violation of people’s rights.So, you know, be as Muslims as you want, be as religious as you want. But I think that the goal of the revolution was never about banning alcohol. The goal of the revolution was never about head scarves. The goal of the revolution was bread, liberty and social justice. And in that spirit, I think that we should be aiming for rights that encompasses everybody and their way of life. So I think when it comes to women especially, we’re unfortunately very cheap bargaining chips. But what helps us is that women were side by side with men on the street.