How the internet is challenging Egypt's government

Although the general strikes of April 6 and May 4 drew limited public participation, they have revealed an important new political phenomenon in Egypt: political mobilization by young, second-generation internet users via blogs, YouTube, and Facebook. After two years of intensive government efforts to outmaneuver the opposition, this mobilization caught the regime flat-footed. It highlighted the possible role of interactive non-traditional media in bringing about political change in Egypt, just as the government's heavy-handed response to the strikes revealed its failure to find new forms of political control aside from the usual repression by the security apparatus.

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{josquote}Perhaps the most prominent examples are the blogs founded by members of the Bahai religion.{/josquote}

Another area of blogger activism is the state of religious minorities, an extremely sensitive issue in Egypt. During the last three years, some blogs have specialized in transmitting the views of religious minorities in Egypt, as well as forms of discrimination practiced against them. Perhaps the most prominent examples are the blogs founded by members of the Bahai religion. Blogs such as Bahai Misri (Egyptian Bahai) and Min Wijhat Nazar Ukhra (From Another Perspective) have become not only sources of information on the Bahai sect and their situation in Egypt, but also a way to mobilize support for their demands.

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